NCTC enlightens Macon County residents

By Kelly Rich

Representatives from North Central Telephone Cooperative (NCTC) convened at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building last March for an event hosted by the White House Rural Council. The event centered on success stories and also the barriers to deploying telemedicine in NCTC’s rural area. The forum included about eighty leaders in broadband technology and telemedicine from around the country.

Those success stories are local customers of NCTC striving in their business due to the quality of service being offered right here in Macon County.

Amy Phelps, Marketing Manager at NCTC commented, “During the upcoming legislation session, there will be lots of talk about the lack of rural Broadband, and that simply not true. NCTC is a member of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA), and together with other communications providers just like us, we are trying to get the word out about the services we offer. Other internet service providers stir up news that they are coming to Nashville with their fiber, but we’ve been here all along in rural Macon County and surrounding areas with Gig capabilities for a while now. People are still not aware that we have one of the first 6 hospitals in the nation to certify as a critical access hospital.”

Stacey Brawner, with the Macon County General Hospital commented, “Broadband has help Macon County General Hospital to reduce wait times and improve care overall to our community. New equipment along with broadband services from NCTC is changing the way our local hospital serves the community.

“MCGH‘s medical imaging department is providing modern health care. For example, digital images can be sent to anon-call radiologist who is able to immediately read the medical imaging film and give the physician an interpretation to help treat the patient quickly. Being in a small town, people don’t always realize that MCGH has the same equipment as larger hospitals. Broadband also helps with digital mammography. There was a time that the patient had to wait a few days for interpretations but now the radiologist can communicate quickly with the ordering physician on the final interpretation of the radiology test treatment for the patient.”

Brawner also stated that Telemedicine also allows Macon County General Hospital to communicate with larger hospitals immediately. The emergency room physician can use telemedicine equipment and remotely communicate with a specialty physician such as a neurologist or psychiatrist at a larger facility. The ER Physician can use telemedicine equipment via high speed internet such as our broadband here at MCGH for connectivity.

It is not only large businesses that reaps the benefits of the technology offered by NCTC. Jessica Nix, of Lafayette, stated, “I am the Practice Manager for Middle Tennessee Emergency Physicians, PC, and we experienced a major change in our operations in August of 2016. When we did so, we consolidated from a large office space in Metro Center in Nashville, to all operations being run from my home office ( in Lafayette). One of the biggest challenges I thought we would face was internet and voice service that could meet the demands of all of our office needs. I called NCTC, and explained what I needed. I was sure it would be difficult to merge the office voice and internet service with my existing home services, but it was no problem at all. NCTC was able to easily establish multiple phone and fax lines in my home to accommodate our office operations, and maintain my existing home phone services simultaneously. They were also able to establish a higher internet bandwidth of 100 MBS for a cheaper price than what we were receiving with another service provider in Nashville, and the Fiber optic service was not available in Nashville either. Something even more impressive to me than the services NCTC provides is their customer support. Anytime I have had a question, NCTC has been great to answer quickly and easily. From experience, I can say that working with other larger providers in the same industry that NCTC customer support is unrivaled. With the reliability of the North Central services and support, I have been able to operate the business out of my home more efficiently than ever. NCTC made the transition to a home office setting for our company seamless!”

NCTC is a telecommunications cooperative that has been recognized nationally for its innovative approach in providing high tech solutions for its customers. NCTC is a Gig Certified Provider offering rural middle Tennessee and south-central Kentucky access to high speed internet, video/teleconferencing capability, VOIP telephone communication, and secure data storage.

By Kelly Rich

Reach Kelly Rich at 615-666-2440.

Reach Kelly Rich at 615-666-2440.

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