ICN Issue 10


The temps might be cooler, but this issue of ICN is coming in hot!

With nearly 60 pages of informative articles by ACA Connects leaders, counsel, and AMP23 vendor partners, this is one of our biggest issues yet.

Independent Communications News (ICN) is an all-digital magazine created by ACA Connects with content specifically curated for ACA Connects Members.

Scroll down for Community Champions voting!

2024 Community Champions Contest

ACA Connects Members are an important part of their communities. In addition to delivering reliable and affordable video and broadband services, they often lead initiatives that provide a helping hand to their neighbors and friends.

Community Champions

ACA Connects is excited to announce that entries are now being accepted for the 2024 Community Champion contest! This annual initiative encourages ACA Connects Operator Members to submit a community service project showing how their company supports and uplifts the neighborhoods and customers they serve.

Online entries will be accepted from April 3 through August 15 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Entries must include a 150- to 250-word description of the project and one photograph. Only one entry per Member company is allowed, and the contest is only open to ACA Connects Operator Members (Companies are eligible to win every 4 years).

Voting will occur from September 30 through October 30 on the ACA Connects website. The winner will be announced in early November, presented with a $2,500 check to continue their efforts with the project, and spotlighted in the December ICN.

This is a great way to promote all of the unique and innovative ways that our Members support their communities! Project submissions will be highlighted in the next two issues of ICN.

Summit 2024 attendees may have seen images of 2023 submissions in the opening video, and details on all the projects are included in information we provide to Members of Congress during our meetings on Capitol Hill.

At ACA Connects, we are proud to represent such a wonderful group of companies who see the value of investing in their communities and lifting up their neighbors. We’re excited to see the innovative and unique projects our Members have developed in an effort to give back!

2023 Community Champions Award Winner:
WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone

Questions regarding Community Champions?
Please contact Stacey Leech at [email protected].

Vote for the 2023 Community Champions Award

Our ACA Connects Members are an important part of their communities. In addition to delivering reliable and affordable video and broadband services, they often lead initiatives that provide a helping hand to their neighbors and friends.

From volunteering at food banks to organizing clothing drives to donating school supplies to local children, our Members and their employees are engaged and committed to the well-being of their customers in the areas where they live and work.

For 2023, we have 24 nominations. Please vote for the community service project you would like to receive the $2,500 award to continue their efforts. To view details on each project, scroll down further on this page. Voting will continue through October 31 at 5 p.m. ET,  and the winner will be announced in early November.

Community Champions

Voting closed on October 31 at 5 p.m. ET. The 2023 Community Champions Award Winner will be named in November and presented with a $2,500 check to continue their project.

Astound Broadband

Astound Community Connect

Astound Community Connect (ACC) is a company-wide initiative which centers around making meaningful change in the communities Astound serves and beyond. This is done by focusing on creating key partnerships with nonprofit and community organizations, empowering our employees to volunteer and contributing to important causes that align with our company values and mission.

Under the auspices of ACC, Astound launched a partnership with Habitat for Humanity proudly donating over $650k to the organization and their Home is the Key national fundraising campaign, including the support of 25 Habitat for Humanity Affiliates across the country. A key component of this partnership involves Astound employees rolling up their sleeves and collectively volunteering to help build homes and participate in other volunteer activities.

Astound Community Connect is linking Astound employees to Habitat for Humanity volunteer opportunities in 25 cities across 11 states and has the capacity to give paid time off to over 1,000 employees so they can help families in need achieve stability and self-reliance through safe, decent, affordable housing.

With the much-needed help of our employee volunteers, families who are unhoused or in need of stable housing conditions, can achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.

We are immensely proud and humbled by the difference we are making in the communities we serve.

Armstrong Utilities, Inc.

Healing Heroes

Armstrong’s Healing Heroes is a heartwarming partnership with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., dedicated to transforming the lives of our brave disabled veterans in local communities. Through this initiative, we provide these heroes with highly trained service dogs, bringing profound changes to their lives. Once paired with a service dog, recipients often report reductions or eliminations of prescription medications under their doctor’s care, as well as increased activity, improved family interactions, and better sleep. These incredible dogs not only offer companionship but also help restore self-confidence and independence, giving veterans a new lease on life.

With the unwavering support of our communities, Armstrong has raised over $350,000, which is enough to donate 15 life-changing service dogs. To date, we have successfully paired 9 of these exceptional dogs with deserving veterans! We are actively seeking local veterans who could benefit from the loving assistance of a medical service dog. Together, we can unleash the extraordinary power of healing and make a difference in the lives of those who have given so much.

If you would like to learn more about Healing Heroes or our paired veterans, please visit us at https://www.armstrongonewire.com/HealingHeroes


Poplar Bluff United Gospel Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Day Feast

The Poplar Buff United Gospel Rescue Mission has been providing a Community Wide Thanksgiving Feast for over 40 years. BOYCOM has participated in it since its founding in 1993. Area businesses are asked to send baked goods to the Mission on Wednesday evening, before Thanksgiving, and we have been doing just that for 32 years and counting! For many years, all the girls would bring their pie or cake fixin’s to the office, and we would all bake there. The office would smell of all things sugar and clove, pumpkin and spice, apple amd cinnamon.

As we grew, so did our contributions. For the past five years, even the techs and field guys would bring in cookies, pies or cakes. Most of the time, these “homemade” treats would be semi-homemade (the boys “made” the money that bought their treats!), but all of us girls would add their gifts from the heart to our homemade desserts. Once all were gathered throughout the business day on Wednesday, we would load them all in the back of a truck and hand-deliver them to the Mission. Most years, our little crew of 15-17 will donate over 35 pies, cakes and other desserts.

The residents of the Rescue Mission will come to greet us and help us carry in all the desserts to be added to the rest of the community’s for the feast the following day. Each and everyone of BOYCOM’s team members go home on Wednesday, knowing that they helped well over 800 folks have a blessed Thanksgiving Dinner-and that is a priceless gift indeed!

Cass Cable Tv

CASS County Food Pantry

The local food pantry is located in Virginia, Illinois, and distributes food to local families in the county each month, offering over 200 boxes per family. The Cass County Food Pantry is a local not-for-profit that reaches out to local companies such as Dot Foods, JBS Pork Company, and many other rural companies in Cass County to help donate and serve these 200 families every month.

As we all know, families need more food essentials than just meat, and these items can be costly. With the hard work and help of the community and the Cass County Food Pantry Director JoAnn Anderson, the program can continue. Cass County, Illinois, has seven rural communities and many rural residents who live in the country. This food pantry requires constant help and funding, and the community does not hesitate to perform fundraisers, raffles, and more. Local businesses also provide support. An outstanding group of Cass Cable TV employees also helps the food pantry regularly, taking time out of their day to assist in boxing food and unloading trucks.

Conway Corp

Conway Corp Community Day of Giving

Seventy Conway Corp employees united in our commitment to community — collaborating to assemble snack packs, load trucks, and deliver vital donations to the Conway Ministry Center. We proudly contributed:

  • 500 reusable shopping bags
  • 1,600 non-perishable snack packs
  • 10,000+ food and clothing items

These donations directly support the Ministry Center’s clients, who include individuals and families facing food insecurity, homelessness and clothing needs in our community. Our efforts aim to foster a more supportive and inclusive environment for the community we serve.


We Care Day Initiatives

Fybe’s mission is to help ensure that those in rural areas have the same opportunities as those in the bustling metropolises of Raleigh and Charlotte. With this great responsibility, Fybe had the vision of not only providing reliable internet service, but to make serious commitments to the communities we serve. We wanted to set ourselves apart from some of the legacy carriers who drum up sales in our rural areas, install inferior networks, and leave without truly understanding who it was they were serving.

In 2023, Fybe’s leadership instituted quarterly “We Care Days” giving our staff the ability to work for worthy non-profits in each of our counties at no cost to them. Each project is allocated $2,000 in materials, equipment (owned or rented by Fybe), and supplies in addition to Fybe’s own staff serving as the strong arms. In addition, Fybe patronizes local eateries to provide lunch to staff on the day of each community service event.

Thus far, Fybe has committed over 300 hours to local causes and over $10,000 has been donated to 5 different organizations in rural northeastern NC.


Paint the Town for NeighborWorks Alaska

Paint the Town is an annual program that GCI participates with a team every year to give back to those who do not have the resources to take care of their homes on their own. Employees volunteered a paint a home together in Anchorage.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications

Food Pack Event

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit hunger relief organization that provides food to help communities in developing countries become self-sustaining. FMSC organizes “Food Pack Events” where volunteers hand pack scientifically designed meals, which are shipped to partners in nearly 70 countries and used to run orphanages, clinics, schools, missions, and community feeding programs.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications has been a proud participant in the annual Winona, MN “Feed My Starving Children Food Pack” event for the past 8 years.

At the 2024 event, a group of HBC employees and their families joined over 500 other volunteers to assemble a total of 101,088 meals and contributed $30,000 to FMSC. That is enough to feed 276 children a meal a day for an entire year. The day consisted of three separate shifts, over 550 volunteers, and a whole lot of love and caring.


Summer Backpack Program

For over 100 years, Shentel has been deeply rooted in the communities we serve. That is why we have made it a priority to give back and support local initiatives that make a positive impact. One of our biggest initiatives is providing food and support for children during the summer. Every year, thousands of school-aged children get free or low-cost meals through their schools. During the summer, these programs are often not available, which may mean that these children may go without. Shentel is honored to help support the basic needs of food and nutrition to give children in our service areas a better chance to grow and learn. Each year, in the spring, Shentel employees participate in the company-sponsored program to raise monetary or food donations in support of local food banks and nutritional support organizations.

This year, employees donated over $10,000 and, with the matching donation from the Shentel Foundation, Shentel was able to donate a total of $20,500 to food organizations across five states in our service footprint. Throughout the months of June and July, we delivered these checks to eight different organizations including, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Mountaineer Food Bank, Maryland Food Bank, Project Share, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Feeding Kentucky, Feeding Southwest Virginia, and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. These funds will assist with programs such as summer meals for children, mobile food banks, fresh produce programs and more.

2023 Community Champions Award Winner

2022 Community Champions Award Winner