The ERC was awarded the 2014 top Communications Technology company at the NC Tech Awards last Thurs (Nov 6) in Raleigh. As the Executive Director, I am very proud of this award. It is more important because so few people are really aware of just how much the ERC does in the communities it serves.
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Sure, the ERC supports the four sectors named on its website (education, healthcare, government services, and economic development), but what does this mean? It means the ERC works with communities from Franklin to Sparta to enhance student’s access to broadband. It means that doctors at clinics or hospitals have access to important patient data that is kept/maintained elsewhere. More importantly it means that in emergency situations, doctors can request specific patient information including xrays, MRIs, and other images from regional healthcare groups to best serve critical patient needs. It means that local, regional, and state government branches can get the highest level of broadband speed, reliability and uptime. It also means that government can connect its facilities across a city, county, or the entire region at significantly reduced costs without the loss of quality service. Last, it means that the ERC supports numerous public safety networks and plays a critical role as a technical community advocate. This, and more.
The ERC is an open access network. We not only make available our resources to other telecommunication and cable companies, but we also look for opportunities to create partnerships where we both benefit. In this case, our role is to provide vital infrastructure to enable these other companies to serve the ‘last mile’ in a financially feasible manner.
All of us at the ERC will continue to support economic developers as well as community, business and policy leaders in advocating for a better tomorrow. This can be accomplished in many ways. For one, we continue to expand our network by constructing millions of dollars worth of new fiber optic infrastructure. Our goal is to reach as many underserved areas as possible, and then partner with other groups – local or national – to expand coverage options at competitive prices. What we ultimately want is to increase the adoption of technology. And the ERC believes that this will create opportunity.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word of thanks to the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA), all of the judges who voted for the ERC, all our partners in this process, all ERC customers who have worked with us over the past 12 years, and last but not least a special thanks to the ERC employees – past and present – without whom this would not have been possible.