Newberg, Oregon (NAPSI) - Frontier Communications (NADAQ: FTR) and DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) have launched America’s Best Communities, a $10 million prize competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.

At recent launch events in small towns across the country, including Dallas, Pa.; Charleston, W. Va.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Troy, Ohio; Newberg, Ore.; and Minden, Nev., Frontier and DISH emphasized their commitment to supporting sustained economic success for rural communities, many of which have faced tough times in recent years.

America’s Best Communities will help address the need for growth, they said, by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies. The winning ideas then become available as a road map for growth for all rural communities across the United States.

“This contest is designed to challenge a community’s brightest and most innovative thinkers to develop meaningful strategies and plans that will transform their town or city,” said Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “Whether ideas come from an individual or a group, visionaries in a community can effect powerful transformations. And the $10 million in support from Frontier and DISH is just the tip of the iceberg. As businesses join together to support their local community through the America’s Best Communities contest, there will be a multiplier effect that will expand the size and impact of the prize. Frontier is offering qualified applicants the resources they need to be their own agents for positive change.”

“DISH got its start serving remote areas of Colorado, so we understand the innovation and entrepreneurialism that spring forth from America’s smaller communities,” said DISH CEO Joe Clayton. “Every small community has a story to tell and we want to help create an opportunity for the best ideas that lead to thriving communities to be identified and shared.”

America’s Best Communities is a multistage, three-year contest that provides $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop growth and revitalization plans, and $6 million in prize money to the top three communities. Municipalities with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 and located within Frontier’s 27-state footprint are eligible to apply. Those with populations less than 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.

Communities must apply by January 12, 2015 to qualify. Judges will then select up to 50 qualified applicants in February 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to develop their plans and proposals. These communities will then have seven months to leverage resources and track progress, submitting their final proposals in September 2015.

Up to 15 semifinalists will be selected in November 2015, and will attend America’s Best Communities summit in January 2016 to present their proposals. In early 2016, eight finalists will be selected and will be awarded $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities’ 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 $6 million in grand prizes in October 2017.

More detailed information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at

“Frontier is committed to the small cities and towns we serve, and one of the best ways to demonstrate that is through our new America’s Best Communities prize competition,” Wilderotter said. “We’re excited to see which ideas rise to the top and how they will help not only an applicant’s local community grow and thrive, but how the proposals can benefit all communities across America.”