Business Sense

Over the past year, SkyLine has received national recognition through two awards programs with NTCA — The Rural Broadband Association, which represents more than 800 rural, independent and communitybased communications providers throughout the U.S. NTCA’s Smart Rural Community (SRC) Showcase Awards is an initiative to highlight efforts that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business, and NTCA’s TeleChoice Awards Program honors excellence in member telco public relations and marketing.

The Town of Sparta and Alleghany County represent multiple municipalities and more than 35 communities across SkyLine’s service area that can use the “Smart Rural Community” designation thanks to the efforts by SkyLine to build a robust fiber network and to provide innovative and collaborative broadband solutions that enhance local communities.

Pictured (l-r): Mayor John Miller with the award, SkyLine Board Secretary Jim Shepherd, SkyLine President R.C. Mitchell (seated), and Sparta Town Manager Bryan Edwards.

Smart Rural Community

SkyLine was one of 12 companies nationwide to receive the Smart Rural Community (SRC) Showcase Award during the NTCA Fall Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana last September. The goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is to foster the development of smart communities throughout rural America and Canada by encouraging innovative implementation of broadband solutions and access to next-generation applications for distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security. Smart Rural Community provides educational programming, matching grant resources and an award program to recognize top-performing communities.

SkyLine has spent more than a decade to bring last-mile, fiber connections to members throughout the cooperative’s five-county service area. This latest initiative includes such towns as Sparta, Banner Elk and areas of West Jefferson, along with more than 35 communities in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga counties, plus the entire Shady Valley community of Johnson County, Tennessee. Fiber connections give our customers access to the fastest Internet speeds available (including Gigabit speeds), which is 100 times faster than traditional broadband and represents a next-generation experience that has no rival.

SkyLine CEO Jimmy Blevins and the SkyLine Board with the SRC Award, as it represents the cooperative’s efforts to bring fiber technology to its members throughout SkyLine’s service area and to be a collaborative partner in advancing economic opportunities throughout the region.
SkyLine President R.C. Mitchell accepted the SRC Showcase Award at the 2016 NTCA Fall Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, in late September 2016.

About NTCA

NTCA’s mission is to promote and sustain advanced communications services in rural America by supporting the viability and vitality of its members. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas; it provides training and development, publications and industry events and an array of employee benefit programs.

The local impact of this national designation as a “Smart Rural Community” gives greater leverage to area communities and municipalities to market their areas to foster entrepreneurship, job creation and job expansion opportunities according to Sparta Town Manager Bryan Edwards. “As part of the strategic planning process for Alleghany County and the Town of Sparta, we recognize the significance of promoting the broadband capabilities available to residential consumers and to existing and potential businesses in the county,” he said. “All of our schools and community college are connected, and the service is available throughout the county. We are so fortunate to have a cooperative such as SkyLine to bring the infrastructure to attain the “Smart Rural Community” designation for Alleghany County and the Town of Sparta.”

Noting several applications where SkyLine’s FTTP network has provided advanced services to health care, education and business expansion projects in Alleghany, Watauga and Ashe counties, the award further recognized SkyLine for its collaborative efforts to drive economic and community strength across the region.

TeleChoice Awards

SkyLine was among 23 member companies to receive national recognition during the NTCA PR and Marketing Conference in San Deigo, California, in early May. Entries in seven categories – annual report, complete branding campaign, complete marketing campaign, customer newsletter, local video content, single-target print publication and website – were judged on innovative strategies, design, writing, creativity and other elements specific to each marketing category.

Among companies with access lines of 10,000 or more, SkyLine received its fifth, first-place award for Annual Reports and a first-place award in the single-target print publication category for a broadband win-back campaign that featured a musical greeting card.

“The marketing efforts of NTCA member companies continue to play a critical role in educating and raising awareness of communications technologies, services, initiatives and issues that impact the vitality of rural communities and our nation,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. Winning entries included campaigns that increased rural consumers’ adoption of higher Internet tiers, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps, and print and digital material touting the telcos’ histories and commitment to their communities.

SkyLine PR Administrator Karen Powell and Executive Director of Competitive Operations Edward Hinson accepted the awards for Annual Report and Single-Target Print Publication at the NTCA PR Net Conference in San Diego, California, in May 2017.

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 759
1200 NC Hwy 194 N.
West Jefferson, NC 28694

Phone Numbers
Toll free: 1-800-759-2226
Phone: (336) 877-3111
Fax: (336) 877-2020

Web Address

Office Locations
Banner Elk
West Jefferson
(Smart Home & Call Center)