about nrtc

Distinguished Legacy in the Cooperative Spirit

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Founded in 1986 by electric cooperatives, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), NRTC today serves more than 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. NRTC solutions help electric and telephone members bring all the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America.

our Beginnings
  • 1986 – On August 6, directors of the National Rural Telecommunications Council formally incorporate NRTC and begin a membership campaign
  • 1987 – Hires CEO Bob Phillips, former counsel to the Kansas Electric Co-ops statewide organization, who was involved in NRTC activities since the 1985 Council was formed.
  • 1987 – Launches RuralTV C-band service.
  • 1988 – Begins investigating technologies that ultimately lead to automated meter reading products
  • 1989 – Bob Phillips testifies before Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, calling for Congress to mandate non-discriminatory pricing and equal access to cable programming. This led to program access provisions of the 1992 Cable Act, enacted by overriding a presidential veto.

  • 1992 – Signs landmark direct broadcast system (DBS) distribution agreement with Hughes Communications and opens sale of DBS territories to rural utilities
  • 1993 – Almost 350 rural utilities and 36 affiliated investor organizations commit funds to the DBS project
  • 1994 – DIRECTV successfully launches DBS-1 satellite
  • 1997 – Becomes an Internet service provider with nrtc.net promoting Internet access throughout rural America
  • 1998 – NRTC breaks ground on Herndon, VA, headquarters building
  • 1998 – Finalizes long-distance resale deal with AT&T
  • 1999 – NRTC members provide DIRECTV service to 1 million subscribers

  • 2000 – NRTC membership exceeds 1,000 utilities
  • 2001 – Enters the two-way, high-speed satellite-based Internet business
  • 2001 – Strongly supports NCBA in its application for and launching of .coop domain name
  • 2002 – Part of coalition that successfully defeats the proposed merger of EchoStar Communications and DIRECTV
  • 2003 – Invests $29.5 million in WildBlue Communications to deliver satellite Internet access. By year end, 200 NRTC members sign up to offer the service
  • 2005 – Begins providing Ka-band satellite Internet access with the commercial deployment of WildBlue
  • 2005 – Forms partnership with National Telecommunications Cooperative Association to offer Internet protocol television (IPTV)
  • 2006 – Secures controlling interest in Telispire (currently NRTC Mobile Solutions) to offer mobile phone service in member communities. NRTC later acquires 100 percent interest

  • 2011 – Tim Bryan, former CEO of ICO Global Communications, becomes NRTC CEO
  • 2011 – NRTC signs distribution agreement to offer Exede satellite broadband service – up to 12 Mbps downstream – over newly launched ViaSat-1
  • 2013 – Acquires NeoNova, a provider of wholesale ISP services and cloud-based solutions based in Raleigh, NC. NRTC combined NeoNova and its ISP business to expanded services for rural broadband providers. Later renamed the division NRTC Managed Services.
  • 2015 – Reaches a Master Representative and Marketing Agreement with SoCore Energy, one of the leading solar technology providers, to assist in developing solar energy projects for rural utilities. ENGIE, international energy company based in France, later acquired SoCore
  • 2016 – Acquires Pulse Broadband LLC (now NRTC Broadband Solutions), to enable NRTC to accelerate its efforts to provide a full range of technology solutions to its electric and telephone members in the areas of broadband and communications services.
  • 2017 – Forms partnership with Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (now Itron), to bring high-performance, multi-application Gen5 platform to NRTC’s electric utility membership. The agreement allows NRTC to offer reliable, two-way advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and other future smart grid and related applications.
  • 2019 – Completes “NRTC United,” a program to reorganize operations. Over the previous decade, NRTC grows from a handful of employees at Herndon, VA, headquarters, to several hundred operating from several locations under multiple names. All divisions of the company now work together under the “NRTC” banner.

  • 2020 – Acquires CrowdFiber, a Rome, GA-based software leader in broadband marketing and online sales automation. CrowdFiber software excels at geographic analysis for business planning and marketing strategies.
  • 2020 – As much of the world adjusts to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, NRTC carries on without losing cohesiveness and efficiency. Offers technologies and expertise to assist members through difficult months.
  • 2020 – Compiles the “Rural Electric Cooperative Broadband Benchmarking Report” (PDF) providing data experiences from 36 electric cooperatives that had already built broadband networks as a growing number of rural electrics explore broadband projects.
  • 2021 – Added NRTC Funding Services with staff to assist members interested in applying for grants and loans for broadband and smart grid projects. Offers data and filing assistance for billions of dollars in programs the federal government created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 – Creates Technology Planning Service to assist electric cooperatives to draw up 10-year “roadmap” to smart grid implementation.
  • 2022 – NRTC welcomes Axin Global to its family of solutions-providers.

Our mission

NRTC provides solutions that help our telecommunications and electric members bring all of the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America.

Our vision

We will be our members’ most trusted technology partner.

Our values

OUR MEMBERS are our reason for being.

OUR TEAM is the foundation of our success.

OUR PASSION is supporting rural communities.


Tim Bryan Celebrates Our Members at Annual Meeting

Bryan shared a video of various NRTC employees explaining what member-driven means to them. He especially praised one employee observation – “It’s not just a phrase. It’s engrained in every action that we do.” He pointed to ways that NRTC applies the member-driven philosophy to technology solutions.

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