Going the Distance

NCTA — The Internet & Television Association


Wi-Fi and broadband unexpectedly took center stage in 2020. Overnight, our homes became our classrooms and offices, and we all needed access to reliable Wi-Fi to continue our work. Beyond — a community-focused arm of NCTA, the Internet and Television Association — has long worked with organizations across the telecom industry to create connections for all Americans, regardless of their income or zip code. Beyond needed to break through a crowded news space to uplift the work of the telecom industry to ensure that physical distance caused by the COVID-19 outbreak did not limit students’ access to an education. In addition, Beyond also wanted to highlight resources available for American communities and communicate the importance of providing access to broadband — not just in the immediate in light of the pandemic, but for the long-term.


Adfero developed a strategy to reach two key audiences: groups that need broadband and those that support the expansion of broadband in underserved communities. We created a messaging strategy that showcased how the success of distance learning is a community effort, with many playing a role. The campaign empowered community members and raised awareness of how the telecom industry mobilized support for families and students at the height of a crisis. This campaign established a framework for Beyond to continue engaging communities on the importance of broadband access — even once students return to full-time, in-person instruction. Our strategy laid the foundation for building a base of advocates familiar with the industry’s work as new challenges arise.


This campaign continues to be of critical importance in 2021, reaching millions across the country. In fact, display advertisements across audience-specific websites were seen more than 9.1 million times, while Facebook advertising reached more than 1 million users. Both platforms combined drove more than 59,000 clicks to the Beyond Distance Learning landing page, making it the most visited page on the website over the course of the campaign.