EATEL receives first-ever rapid responder award

Staff reports

The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association recently presented their inaugural Rapid Responder Award to EATEL and 23 other telecommunication companies across the country at the Fall Conference in New York City.

The Rapid Responder Award was created to recognize companies for their exemplary teamwork and dedication to providing assistance to NTCA members affected by natural disasters.

The award was spearheaded by West Kentucky Rural Telephone General Manager, Trevor Bonnstetter, whose company was severely affected by a major ice storm in January 2009. With assistance from EATEL and other rural communications providers, West Kentucky Rural was able to restore vital communications service to its customers. “We are pleased to honor these recipients of the Rapid Responders Award for their willingness to do whatever it took to help restore critical communications service to those affected by the ice storm,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Brunner. “These recipients exemplify the spirit of rural communications providers, and we applaud their extraordinary commitment to doing the right thing at any cost.”

In response to the storm, NTCA activated its Disaster Clearinghouse, an online resource that matches affected telcos in need of supplies or other materials following a natural disaster with other telcos able to donate supplies or human resources.