NRTC and NTCA Improve Programming Offer--Emphasizes Powerful Programming and Smart Support

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NRTC and NTCA unveil "TelcoVideo" to provide rural telcos with flexible programming options.

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This year, NRTC has strengthened the value of this offering--from the investment in Avail-TVN, the largest independent digital media services company in North America, to the creation of flexible programming packages

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) , a cooperative dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural America through use of advanced telecommunications, and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) , a non-profit association representing more than 580 small and rural telephone cooperatives and commercial companies, today announced improvements to their programming offer and debuted a new name for the service. "TelcoVideo" affirms NRTC and NTCA's focus on delivering a service for small- and medium-sized telcos. The tagline "Powerful Programming. Smart Support." highlights the significant improvements made to their offering.

"This year, NRTC has strengthened the value of this offering--from the investment in Avail-TVN, the largest independent digital media services company in North America, to the creation of flexible programming packages," said NRTC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Phillips. "This truly is powerful programming. Our goal is to enable members to deliver a triple play of services, including a strong video service, which will make them competitive," he continued.

"Competition in rural areas continues to grow, making it vital that rural telcos have video as part of their service offerings," said NTCA CEO Michael E. Brunner. "TelcoVideo gives rural telcos the flexible programming and comprehensive support needed to be successful in the video business."

With the powerful programming available through TelcoVideo, telcos can customize programming packages to appeal to a wide range of customers--from residential subscribers to commercial accounts. Packages are also divided into white-labeled, highly marketable tiers, including the High-Definition (HD), Hispanic and Variety Tiers. Premium channel packages, including HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Showtime and The Movie Channel complete this robust offering.

TelcoVideo also provides smart support to help telcos grow their video businesses. To start, TelcoVideo provides complete marketing support, including a comprehensive marketing assessment and customizing print and electronic marketing collateral. The program also includes access to sophisticated Web-based support tools, like the advanced contract management system and a password-protected online business center to help telcos run their video businesses. With TelcoVideo, telcos may also take advantage of customizable staff training programs and resources.

As part of the improvements made to the programming offer, TelcoVideo has a visual identity and logo, which can be seen on NRTC's Web site at http://www.nrtc.coop/video.

About NRTC
The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of more than 1,400 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. Founded in 1986, NRTC provides products and services developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, such as high-speed Internet access via satellite, full service Internet support, wireless technologies, long distance programs, mobile phone service, IP broadband backbone services, and direct broadcast satellite service (DBS) with DIRECTV. NRTC serves rural and independent telephone operators in a market of more than 10 million homes. For more information, visit http://www.nrtc.coop.

About NTCA
The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) is the premier association representing more than 560 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. For more information, visit http://www.ntca.org.

NRTC Contact:
Andrea Cumpston, 703-787-7156

NTCA Contact:
Caitlin Colligan, 703-351-2086

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