We’re a subscriber driven non-profit dedicated to the provision of high-quality, high-value internet access for North Carolina’s public and non-profit healthcare providers. We supply broadband connectivity services to some of the largest healthcare systems in NC, and we work to make the same high-quality service available to NC’s smaller, rural healthcare providers. Guided by a board comprised of industry experts and our own subscribers, we dedicate ourselves to acting in our subscribers’ best interests, valuing their ability to provide care over our profits. We recognize that our broadband services are the connection that EMPOWERS healthcare providers…and that’s the NCTNA difference.
SEE HOW WE COMPARE TO COMMERCIAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS (ISP) BELOW
|High-capacity, state-wide Fiber Optic Presence (MILES OF FIBER)||In NC, commercial ISP's have a regional presence and a mix of transport options|
|Actively Managed Circuits (REAL TIME, HISTORIC DATA AVAILABLE)||NCTNA monitors traffic flow to assure continuity of service.|
|Dedicated Broadband (GUARANTEED BANDWIDTH)||NCTNA provides full bandwidth subscribed to 24X7, No slowdowns|
|Free, direct connection to the NC Data Center, Health Information Exchange, & commercial "cloud" services AMAZON (LISTING OF 3RD PARTY CLOUD; SPECIFIC TO HEALTHCARE?)||Direct access to key health information resources|
|Multiple High-Speed Connections to Upstream Providers||Fail-over options should an active pathway go down|
|Free DDOS Protection (EXPAND)||We discourage network intruders|
|Very High-Speed Bandwidth Options||Multiple Gigabit Bandwidth Options|
|Statewide "Intranet"||NCTN subscriber traffic travels over the NCTN intranet, not the Internet Technical Support|
|NC-Based, local Network Operations Center (NOC)||Not a "Customer Call Center" with a customer sales agenda|
|24/7 Access to NOC Network Engineers||Network engineers answer calls and respond immediately to technical support issues|
|Single Contact for all Technical Support Questions & Needs||NCTNA is responsible end-to-end for any broadband issues on its circuits, even redundant services|
|Subscriber Notification for Network Maintenance|
|Subscriber Portal||Subscribers can track such things as a real time utilization, latency and technical support history|
|Subscriber-led non-profit||NCTNA subscriber representatives constitute the majority of its non-profit board. Subscribers, not stockholders, are NCTNA'S key stakeholders|
|Service Value > Profits||NCTNA cost savings are passed on to its subscribers as subscription price reductions|
|FCC Healthcare Connect Consortium||65% subscription discounts for eligible sites/services|
|Financing Sustainability||NCTNA dedicates funding to replace and upgrade network components regularly, assuring best-in-class broadband services now and in the future|
|98+% Customer Renewals||More than 10% of Commercial ISP subscribers switch providers each year|
|Community Discount Guarantee||For suitable sites, NCTNA's Community Discount Guarantee assures timely and full (65%) discounts for its subscribers.|
With NCTNA and MCNC fiber, healthcare providers enjoy a dedicated connection—meaning the connection is not shared as it is when working with commercial providers. Subscriber traffic travels over the NCTNA intranet, not the shared public internet. For multi-facility healthcare providers, like larger healthcare systems, dedicated broadband allows a secure connection from one facility to another. This ensures consistent connection and allows information to be shared easily between the system’s locations. This is fundamentally different from a traditional internet service provider, where circuits are shared with other subscribers, many of whom are not participants in the healthcare organization. For all subscribers, this means that connection is reliable, securely enhanced with DDoS protection, and bandwidth is guaranteed with NO slowdowns.
Commercial internet service providers typically practice an “oversubscription” business model meaning sites that rely on a circuit frequently demand more than a circuit can accommodate. The result is a substantial reduction in throughput performance during peak usage—which typically occurs during the busiest times of the day for healthcare providers. We take a different approach and instead, we actively monitor the traffic on circuits to ensure they can accommodate subscriber demand. Any time there appears to be a slowdown or cessation of traffic, we work in conjunction with MCNC’s network engineers to respond immediately. This means performance does not degrade. With NCTNA, your quoted throughput is throughput you can count on throughout the day and night.
In 2019, NCTNA became a non-profit 501c3 corporation and established a board of healthcare industry leaders and our own subscribers. With the guidance of our board, we began to better identify and anticipate the needs of many different types of healthcare organizations. NCTNA subscribers enjoy up to 65% discounts on their broadband connectivity services byway of funds we secure on their behalf from the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF). Read more about how our discounts work here. In the past, when the HCF program exceeded the cap on discounts, subscribers were left with long funding approval delays and pro-rated discounts. While larger hospital systems can rely on reimbursements when delays occur, these situations often have a greater impact on smaller healthcare providers. Thus, the Community Discount Guarantee (CDG) Program was created.
The CDG Program helps protect eligible subscribers from gaps in discounts by guaranteeing the discount rate does not change regardless of funding delays. The program is like an insurance model and is designed to break even over time. The program slightly increases overall costs due to the fee, but the monthly recurring cost remains at the discounted rate for enrolled services instead of fluctuating based on the discount status.
NCTNA subscribers receive an offer to enroll in the program when there may be a delay or temporary gap in discounts, and enrollment is based on each site’s rurality and eligibility type. The CDG Program prioritizes rurality when assessing eligibility, because we understand the implications and challenges that can be presented by the delayed funding for rural providers.
Subscribers enrolled in the program help share the risk of lost and delayed discounts through a low monthly fee as a form of discount insurance. Urban non-profit hospitals, off-site data centers, and off-site admin offices are excluded in order to keep the monthly fee low for rural sites.