A Tribute to Ray Baum – One of a Kind

A Tribute to Ray Baum – One of a Kind

Last week, Chairman Greg Walden, head of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee announced the passing of long time friend and aide, Ray Baum.  Ray had long been a fixture in the communications policy arena from his days as Chairman of the Oregon PUC to his latest role as Chief of Staff for the committee and was well known in Washington policy circles but more importantly, known by those he crossed paths with for being a thoughtful…

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If Broadband Were So Easy….

If Broadband Were So Easy….

With all of the noise and frantic pace around broadband and infrastructure initiatives, I have found myself thinking that the attention on rural broadband is a blessing and a curse.  A blessing in that it has really gotten the attention of key policymakers to focus on what actual public policies could be implemented to ease deployment  – and a few very thoughtful ones have also made it clear that they agree with our position that it will take additional resources…

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Too Late For My Olympic Career?

Too Late For My Olympic Career?

Many of us have our childhood dreams.  My husband Don was going to play second base for the New York Yankees, my brother had dreams of making it big in a rock and roll band (and now a successful psychologist, still plays Chicago clubs frequently with whatever group of guys he can pull together) and I had two dreams – either being the first Jewish/female President (hmmmm, I guess I could still be a first in either of those two…

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A Big Infrastructure/Rural Broadband Day in DC

A Big Infrastructure/Rural Broadband Day in DC

This morning President Donald Trump released details on his long-awaited infrastructure initiative. Both as the lead organization for broadband issues within the “Rebuild Rural” coalition of several hundred stakeholders and through its own work with various offices in the administration and on Capitol Hill, NTCA has long advocated for the inclusion of resources for rural broadband in any infrastructure plans and greatly appreciates President Trump’s focus on rural America in the administration’s recently-released infrastructure initiative. The initiative calls for a…

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The Important Things In Life

The Important Things In Life

It’s so easy with work, life obligations, stuff to do, home errands and tax preparation etc to find yourself too busy to do the important things in life…like visiting family.  So Kelsey and I carved out a few days last weekend to make our way to Destin, Florida – where my folks spend a few months every winter to get out of the Michigan cold.  With never-ending physical challenges that come with aging, as well as the COPD my mother…

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A Key Step Forward On Completing Calls To Rural America

A Key Step Forward On Completing Calls To Rural America

It has been years in the making and hundreds of visits, calls, sharing of horror stories, workshops required of large carriers and prodding of policymakers but at 4:45 am this morning, the United States House of Representatives passed the last hurdle and formally voted through S.96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act, a key tool in the toolkit to prevent least-cost routers from dropping calls to rural America.  The legislation passed the House and the Senate in 2017…

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A New Leader At RUS

A New Leader At RUS

Last night I received a “heads up” call before the official notice came out shortly afterwards touting that USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was applauding President Trump’s intent to appoint Kenneth Johnson, current General Manager/CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and President for Co-Mo Connect in Missouri as the newest RUS Administrator.  Johnson started his career in the electric utility industry in Nebraska and is a director and past president for Central Electric Power Cooperative in Missouri, where he has…

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Officially SXSW Cool?

Officially SXSW Cool?

Ok, maybe I still have yet to become a charter member of the “cool kids” club, but I did score an invitation to speak on a panel at SXSW in Austin in March.  That is at least a baby step into coolness, right? I was really excited to have Chris Woods, Executive Director of the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute reach out to ask me to be on a panel that he would be moderating at this international platform for…

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Sharing the Rural Broadband Story with the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Sharing the Rural Broadband Story with the House Energy and Commerce Committee

With a pending weather report calling for snow (and let’s be honest, the mere threat of snow tends to turn DC into a tizzy), I made sure that this morning was an early-rising adventure with the opportunity to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on the agenda mid-morning. While the advanced planning on the travel front ended up being unnecessary, the opportunity to share some thoughts on rural broadband deployment – the challenges with…

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TGIF!

TGIF!

Have you ever just had one of those days?  Or maybe one of those weeks? As I scurried around this morning, more focused on the day ahead than anything else, I noticed that I was “clomping” through the NTCA garage.  Clomping? One shoe making a thunking noise and the other oddly silent.  When I lifted my shoe to see if I had stepped in something to make one silent or maybe knocked off part of a heel to make one…

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