My NTCA Benefits….Not Slowed Down by Snow

My NTCA Benefits….Not Slowed Down by Snow

I should have been enroute to our Asheville benefits operation today but the latest superstorm, Diego (and what is it with naming storms lately?) put a squash on those plans. I really had been looking forward to spending time with our team in our benefits center along with SVP, Les Greer, as we started our soft launch of our “My NTCA Benefits” portal. This multi-year project is on the verge of kicking off and will be fabulous addition to our…

Read More Read More

USF and Broadband Top of Mind

USF and Broadband Top of Mind

This week has been busy….the last few hours before sunshine rules went into effect prior to the FCC’s vote on the USF order next Wednesday.  It feels like the entire industry has been counting down to this time for years…with hundreds and hundreds of congressional and FCC meetings in between. I was able to have an ex parte discussion with three of the four FCC commissioners willing to have an ex parte discussion this week.  In each of these conversations,…

Read More Read More

Making a Difference Close to Home

Making a Difference Close to Home

I loved seeing the smile on Doug Boone, CEO of Premier Communications in Iowa, as he sat between the Governor of Iowa and the CEO of The Boeing Company at an airport opening a few weeks ago. That smile is well earned because as a local community leader, Doug put a fair amount of effort into working statewide to have a small regional airport open in their part of northwest Iowa. It’s evident that this economic development event was significant…

Read More Read More

Using Benefits to Stay Competitive in the Workforce

Using Benefits to Stay Competitive in the Workforce

While not as “exciting” as hearing about any possible end of the year salary increases—likely more important for the staff of NTCA member broadband companies (and our own staff)—are the benefits offered through member-run trusts administered by the association in the healthcare, disability, wellness, defined benefit, and defined contribution plans. What employees seldom realize is that these benefits are extremely valuable and have a higher monetary value at the end of the day than any salary raises could possibly cover…

Read More Read More

So Much to be Grateful For

So Much to be Grateful For

Thanksgiving platters are cleaned and put away and leftovers have all been placed into plastic storage containers that Kelsey carted off this morning when she left for work at the crack of dawn. Leah caught a noon flight back to Chicago so she could save on another night of doggy boarding fees and Don and I simply had time to reflect on how lucky we truly are. On Thanksgiving I typically make every family member go around the dinner table…

Read More Read More

Chairman Pai Speaks…

Chairman Pai Speaks…

It would be an understatement to say that when the FCC’s draft order on the USF budget begins circulating tomorrow, there will be a number of rural broadband providers anxiously reading through the details. The same goes for NTCA staff along with the members of our Industry and Competitive Services committees who have been so engaged and active for years as the quest and battle for USF sufficiency has been waged. We have been most appreciative of the leadership from…

Read More Read More

A Time For Leadership

A Time For Leadership

Last week, the NTCA and SMC board of directors were in town for their series of November board meetings.  These meetings are a critical part of our governance process since on the NTCA side of the house, we select our new leadership for the year and both boards approve their 2019 budgets. Kevin Beyer, General Manager of Acira (Chokio, Minn.) powered by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company (Bellingham, Minn.) and Federated Telephone Cooperative (Chokio, Minn.), was elected chairman of NTCA–The Rural…

Read More Read More

Cyber Information Sharing – The Next Frontier?

Cyber Information Sharing – The Next Frontier?

I  am so proud of our team here at NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association as we announced that –  in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS) – we will explore creating a forum for small, rural telecom operators from across the country to share and receive timely, actionable and relevant cyber information.  Can’t think of a topic that is more timely. At a Capitol Hill briefing, Bob Kolasky, director of the National…

Read More Read More

More Than Thank You…

More Than Thank You…

Much like everyone with social media access at their fingertips, I have a constant news feed that flows in by the hour. Most of it is not really worth previewing but today I hit on some tips for how to take Veterans Day recognition beyond a “thank you” for those who do or have served and thought they were worth noting (and then acting on at least a few of them of course!) Many of these are a truly honorable…

Read More Read More

The Day After….

The Day After….

The phones are quiet, the ads for simple things like cars and toothpaste are back on television, and the Washington, D.C. metro area is running a little slower and a little later this morning—given a population base that views election cycles as comparable to the World Series. It becomes difficult not to get caught up in the fever particularly during the politically charged times we are living through now. I always enter the political cycle with a basket of wishes;…

Read More Read More