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Kansas Tech CEO to Advocate for Rural Connectivity & Digital Equity as Officer on National Broadband Association Board


Ben Foster leads Kansas' largest independently owned broadband and communications company.

MILTONVALE, Kan., Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association announced the election of board officers for 2024, including Ben Foster as secretary/treasurer. Foster is the president & CEO of Twin Valley and ISG Technology – together the largest independently owned broadband and communications company in Kansas. Twin Valley is rapidly growing as a rural Kansas fiber and small-to-medium business IT provider, while ISG is a top national competitor in mid-to-enterprise level IT services with locations in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

As the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based broadband companies, NTCA is committed to advancing policies that help close the digital divide and advocating on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas.

Just last week, NTCA endorsed a bill to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program, which would allocate an additional $7 billion to the program. The $14 billion program currently helps bring high-speed internet to 23 million households nationwide. Currently, funds remaining for the program are insufficient to continue it beyond April 2024, according to the FCC, but with the additional funding proposed in the bill, the ACP could be extended through the end of the year.

The association also provides educational programming, training and development by publishing comprehensive industry research, conducting in person and virtual events, and offering an array of employee benefit programs.

"NTCA is instrumental in setting industry policy and putting important legislation in front of lawmakers," Foster said. "It's critical to have representation on a national level as decisions are being made on broadband policies and funding for underserved areas. In my role as an NTCA board officer, I aim to support the work of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development and amplify the voice of rural Kansas families, businesses, and communities."

In its Pledge made to rural communities, Twin Valley committed to building the most reliable broadband network and supporting meaningful outreach initiatives, including digital inclusion efforts. Industry policy and federal funding are keys to delivering on those commitments.

"Kansas broadband providers like Twin Valley have been advocating for cutting-edge communications and connectivity for decades. Industry leaders like Ben, who have firsthand knowledge of local needs, are uniquely positioned to help shape policy that directly impacts rural communities," said Jade Piros de Carvalho, director for the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. "Public-private collaboration and advocacy at the national level are exactly what our state needs to achieve our vision of digital equity in Kansas."

As a fourth-generation owner of the Twin Valley family of companies, Foster brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the NTCA board, which he has served on from 2011 to 2014 and 2022 to present. He also serves as a board member for the Kansas Fiber Network.

As NTCA board secretary/treasurer, Foster joins officers Mike Grisham, president and CEO of Shawnee Communications (Equality, Ill.), who will serve as chairman, and Roxie Jorgenson, director at MTA (Palmer, Alaska), who will serve as vice chair.

"As we head into NTCA's 70th year, I look forward to working with all of our board members to ensure that our members can continue to deploy, maintain and sustain high-quality, affordable broadband services in rural America," said NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield.

About Twin Valley

Twin Valley is a fourth-generation family business that has over 80 years' experience providing cutting-edge technology and connectivity throughout the central U.S. Together with ISG Technology, Twin Valley helps customers unlock possibilities to realize their full potential by providing a unique combination of broadband, managed IT services, technology consulting, professional services, and cloud/data center solutions for both residential and business customers.

Twin Valley made a Pledge to their communities and customers, always striving to provide the most reliable broadband network, the best value for internet, local hometown customer service and meaningful community outreach initiatives. Learn more at twinvalley.com/pledge.

About NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovative change in smart rural communities across America. In an era of transformative technological developments, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are advancing efforts to close the digital divide by delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks. Their commitment to building sustainable networks makes rural communities fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at ntca.org.

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SOURCE Twin Valley