Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank Extend Application Deadline for America's Best Communities Contest.
 
Frontier Communications Corporation, DISH Network and CoBank announced that the competition deadline for the America’s Best Communities contest will be extended to March 25, 2015. Just two months since the launch of the America’s Best Communities contest, more than 100 communities have registered to compete for the $10 million of assistance focused on revitalizing rural America.  Those communities — and the hundreds more eligible — will now have additional time to complete their full and final applications.
 
The competition, conceived by Frontier and co-sponsored by DISH and CoBank, is designed to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across 27 states in Frontier’s footprint. America's Best Communities contest will help address the need for growth by identifying and investing in innovative ideas small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies.  The winning ideas then become available as a roadmap for growth for all rural communities across the U.S. participating in the campaign.
 
"The enthusiastic response from small towns across rural America compelled us to reexamine the timeline and to extend the deadline to give all eligible communities the time needed to form teams and finalize their plans for the America's Best Communities competition. The response is truly a credit to the spirit of free enterprise in rural America," said Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications.
 
“The America’s Best Communities contest is a fantastic opportunity to share how small and rural towns are developing creative solutions for economic and cultural sustainability,” said DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton.  “At its core, the contest gives voice to the best ways we can help communities across the country thrive for generations to come.”
 
“It is truly gratifying to see small and rural communities galvanize in response to this innovative program,” said Bob Engel, CEO of CoBank.  “This contest is all about unlocking the potential of rural America’s greatest asset – its people.  We applaud those communities that have registered already, and encourage others to participate.”
 
America's Best Communities is a multi-stage, two and a half-year contest that provides $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop growth and revitalization plans. The top three communities will receive a total of $6 million in prize money.  Municipalities with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 and located within Frontier's service areas are eligible to apply. Those with populations under 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.
 
Once all applications are in, judges will select up to 50 qualified community applicants to be announced on April 29, 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to further develop their plans and proposals.  These communities will have six months to refine and submit their final proposals in November 2015.
 
Up to 15 semifinalists will be selected in January 2016, and will attend America's Best Communities summit in the spring of 2016 to present their proposals.  There, eight finalists will be selected and receive an award of $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities' proposed plans and bring them to life, while sharing their stories – and successes – along the way.
 
The America's Best Communities top three competition winners – those with the most innovative, effective proposals – will be awarded $3 million, $2 million and $1 million respectively, in grand prizes in April 2017.
 
More detailed information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at www.americasbestcommunities.com.