Visiting the Blue Grass State

Visiting the Blue Grass State

I do a lot of plane landings…in many places.  But I will say that one of the most beautiful landings of all is here in Kentucky at the Lexington Blue Grass Airport.  The slow descent brings you over pastures of green as far as your eye can see, ringed by white fences and if you’re lucky enough from the air, you can see the horses milling about their playground.  And then you really know that you’re in Kentucky because you…

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The Next Generation – Saving the World (Literally!)

The Next Generation – Saving the World (Literally!)

Today was such a fabulous day for the Bloomfield – Patterson crew as we attended the graduation ceremony for Kelsey, our youngest, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where she received her Master’s degree in International Relations, International Economics and a speciality in National Security and a concentration in the Middle East…whew!  Just thinking about all of that and what it entails makes me a little bit stressed. This degree was the culmination of two long years…

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FRS Launches Fabulous Rural Youth App Challenge – Winners Announced!

FRS Launches Fabulous Rural Youth App Challenge – Winners Announced!

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) has a number of tools in its toolkit focused on improving the quality of life in America by advancing an understanding of rural issues and engaging many of the impacted communities in this quest. There are so very many tools that FRS staff use to achieve their mission but I am particularly excited about their most recent effort to launch an inaugural Rural Youth App Challenge which asks students to develop concepts for mobile…

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Sharing Broadband Thoughts with the House Committee on Natural Resources

Sharing Broadband Thoughts with the House Committee on Natural Resources

What a treat it was to be invited to testify before the Natural Resources Committee this week! It was a great opportunity to share that after the initial business case can be made for rural broadband, we come to the next significant challenge – the barriers to deployment itself. This is where the questions and legislation presented in the committee’s hearing become so important, helping to reduce responsibly and thoughtfully the costs and time associated with deployment and allowing providers…

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One of the Real Good Guys

One of the Real Good Guys

It’s easy to be cynical about Washington and that cynicism goes back to the start of our union. However, the addition of a 24-hour news cycle along with the rapid rise of social media has made it harder and harder to avoid the partisan squabbles and chants of “drain the swamp.” (I’ve always wondered if trade associations are considered part of the swamp but since I represent the “good guys,” I’ve tried not to think about this too hard!) But…

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Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Congress Putting Their Actions Into Words

Today was a big day for those advocating for continued broadband deployment across rural America as 193 members of Congress (194 if you include Sen. Joni Ernst’s letter) reached out to the FCC to address the long-term budget sufficiency of the Universal Service Fund (USF) High-Cost program. This is a critical and necessary step in continuing to close the digital divide (and the urban-rural divide) that is often cited by Chairman Pai as one of his top priorities. The USF…

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More Than One Day A Year

More Than One Day A Year

One minute she was a young, ex-Olympian escapee from East Germany, and the next she is dancing with a young American ROTC officer from MIT and the conclusion is that she left her own mother and family and came to this country, without much English in her repertoire and was soon a mother…mine. I can’t imagine what a huge leap each of those moves were for my mother but she was a brave young woman to make them.  My folks…

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Rural Gig Going Strong – 150 Rural Providers Recognized Strong!

Rural Gig Going Strong – 150 Rural Providers Recognized Strong!

As community-based technology providers, NTCA members know that a key part of their business model is to stay on the edge of what’s next and what consumers need. That is one reason why so many RLECs in our family have taken the plunge and leap of faith to bring gigabit broadband—delivering internet speeds up to 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households—to their communities. Google Fiber has folks in awe but honestly, bringing gig services to…

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A World Without Home Internet Access

A World Without Home Internet Access

As much as we ponder, collaborate and work with policymakers on what daily life is like for those without internet access, I am admittedly spoiled by my own in Arlington, Va.  Until…. last week.  A power outage in my neighborhood wreaked havoc on my home fiber connection and I have been without a dial tone, television and far most importantly, home Wi-Fi access since Thursday.  The first day, I felt like the classic urbanite “roughing it”…like being on a camping…

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Chairman Pai Speaks to the USF Budget Control

Chairman Pai Speaks to the USF Budget Control

Earlier this week, USAC came out with the new budget control mechanism, part of the requirement under the FCC Rate of Return Reform Order.  To remain within the annual rate of return budget, USAC has to apply the FCC Budget Control Mechanism methodology to reduce the anticipated USF support for the coming year.  Sigh.  This is one of those pieces of the Reform Order that has flown right in the face of the cost based carriers needs for certainty and…

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