How did OTE get to be a Smart Rural Community, Gig-Certified Provider?


SRC Gig Certified Provider Logo.jpg

OTE has been a Smart Rural Community (SRC) for a long time...likely from its inception more than 65 years ago. Now we have the official designation from NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.

The Gig Certified award (details below) was a technical recognition, talking about the bandwidth we could deliver to customers. SRC is about the benefits customers/communities can get from the technology we have invested in and deployed.

Smart Rural Communities use broadband/fiber networks to help communities remain vital and vibrant with economic development, education, health-care, government services, security and efficient utility use. These are natural extensions to the work we have done in our communities for 65 years, so they are native habits for OTE.

SRC allows us to use some common language to connect to other providers like us across Illinois and the US, who are doing great things in and for communities. Enjoy the benefits and value of living in a Smart Rural Community!

What Gig Certified Means

You’re served by one of very few Gig Certified Providers!

NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, has recognized Oneida Telephone Exchange (OTE) with the Certified Gig Community award. The distinction is only for companies who can provide Gigabit Internet to their customers. Gigabit is equal to 1,000Mbps.

“We know it can be difficult to understand technical language and what different Internet speeds really mean,” said Troy Nimrick, OTE's General Manager.  “So let me state it this way: Less than 30% of the customers in Illinois and the US have a fiber optic network connected right to their home or business. AND, an even smaller percentage have a network capable of delivering Gigabit Internet (up to 1000Mbps). We are proud to say OTE customers are in this rare group, with all the benefits the Fiber network provides.”

OTE serves Oneida and Wataga with ultra-fast Internet, TV and voice communications services. We also provide Internet and other services to customers in Rio.



3 Things to Know about Fiber

Learn more about Smart Rural Communities

Did you know you’re in a rare group? Although no one agree on the percentage, there ARE NOT many customers in the US who have access to a Fiber-to-the-Home network, and all the benefits it offers. By our information, only about 30% of customers in the nation have Fiber-to-the-Home available to them. That means you have what 70% of the customers in the U.S. wish they had.

So what does that mean for you? We’ve put it in a few easy categories.

1. Huge bandwidth capabilities. The Internet has grown a lot since it burst on the scene for most of us in 1993. In the early days, it was only text we consumed, which matched our connections at the time: dialup. Now, we watch video on YouTube, we stream HD ‘TV’ shows on Netflix and we video chat with others routinely. Our fiber network can deliver up to 1 Gig (which is equal to 1000Mbps) and our basic Internet is now 100Mbps! You don’t need to know how to calculate bits and bytes to know this is a lot of Internet speed!

2. You do more and connect more devices to your Internet connection. The lines that once defined Internet, TV and phone used to be distinct. Now, TV and Internet blur together a trend, which will accelerate, creating more need for that huge bandwidth we spoke about before. You can connect all the devices you want - computers, smartTVs, game systems, tablets, smartphones, and streaming media boxes.

3. We have invested in you and our communities. We say we are Your Connection to the World, and now that requires Fiber-to-the-Home. We care about you, our communities and the climate we offer to those who want to create jobs – that is why we have invested in this network!

Learn more about Smart Rural Communities