Champions Of Change And Innovators In Rural America

Joseph_Depa_2 Joseph P. Depa III February 14, 2012

We’ve blogged previously about the benefits of broadband networks, especially in underserved communities. We’re proud to have played a major part in many efforts to bring high-speed Internet services to these areas, including two major projects in North Carolina and Michigan.

Today, we are even prouder, as our customers in those projects—MCNC in North Carolina and Merit in Michigan—are being honored as “Champions of Change” at an event at the White House on February 15.

Joe Freddoso, president and CEO, MCNC, and Donald Welch, president and CEO, Merit Network, will represent their organizations at the White House event, which will begin at 1:30 pm EST and will stream live on the White House’s website. Click here to watch.

Both Joe and Donald have been instrumental in delivering high-speed broadband infrastructures to rural areas of the US.

MCNC is currently constructing its broadband infrastructure throughout North Carolina by expanding the North Carolina Research and Education Network through the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative. Merit’s REACH-3MC is doing similar in Michigan, and both projects were funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Joe and Donald will be joined by nine other “Champions,” highlighting change-makers and innovators in various fields including telecommunications. Both projects are vital for delivering high-speed broadband to rural areas, connecting schools, colleges, universities, libraries, public health and safety facilities. You might ask, why is building a high-speed broadband infrastructure so important to rural America? Well, high-speed Internet service is a luxury in some parts of the country.

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, approximately 10 percent of Americans cannot get broadband at baseline speeds (three to 10 mpbs maximum advertised speeds). That means there are many people in this country who have dial-up as their only way to access the Internet.

Both organizations are fulfilling the dreams of many by providing high-speed Internet to rural parts of their states and CommScope is a proud supporter of these two projects. As we blogged before, high-speed access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Joe and Donald are making that necessity into a reality forNorth Carolina and Michigan. Congrats to them on this honor. You deserve it!

About the Author


Joseph P. Depa III

Joseph P. Depa III is corporate communications manager at CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications network. An award-winning newspaper reporter and magazine editor, Joseph has 25 years of experience in public/media relations, marketing, publishing, advertising, social media and corporate communications.

Joseph is a graduate of Northeastern University and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.