NRTC Offers 80-Plus HD Channels to Rural Telcos

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association said this week they now have the technical means to deliver to rural telcos more than 80 channels of HD programming.

NRTC said it has more than doubled its HD offerings in recent weeks, and can now help rural telcos compete head-on with more traditional TV services such as cable and DBS, especially on the HD front.

The latest HD menus include HBO and Starz premium channels, and the multichannel ESPN HD package. The co-ops are offering an “HD Basic” tier scheme (at no cost to telcos) which includes such offering as CNN HD, ESPN HD and Bravo HD. NRTC’s higher-priced “HD Tier” includes premium outlets such as HDNet, A&E HD and HD Theater from Discovery Networks.

NRTC represents more than 1,400 rural utilities and affiliates in 47 states. The NTCA is a lobby group representing more than 560 locally owned and controlled telecom co-ops and commercial companies.

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