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#BipartisanTech

#BipartisanTech

The idea of bipartisanship and technology should not be a hard one to grasp and support for the melding of both was in full force today at the Next Century Cities “Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Policy” session that I joined for a panel discussion.  Jon Chambers, former FCC staffer and Conexon founder, Harold Feld from Public Knowledge and Brent Skorup with the Mercatus Center at GMU and myself were led in the discussion by Chris Mitchell with the Community Broadband…

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And the 116th Congress is on it’s way….

And the 116th Congress is on it’s way….

On January 2nd, the new Congress was sworn in for their new terms and away we go.  This picture was taken from one of the many swearing-in parties myself and our team attended over the course of that week as we welcomed back old friends and introduced ourselves to the new players who are flooding Washington DC.  (Of course the irony that this particular picture was taken from the top of the new, yet to be opened to the public,…

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Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal ran a piece called “Rural America Still Waiting for Phone Calls That Won’t Connect,” highlighting the ongoing problem with the completion of calls to rural America. Author Drew FitzGerald did a very good job at explaining the frustrating and perplexing problem that has impacted NTCA member companies for years. A caller places a call to a rural exchange and the calls never hit the telephone company’s switch. When the call is dropped, the…

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Starting the New Year with a Full Tank

Starting the New Year with a Full Tank

2018 felt crazy-busy. Maybe everything in our lives is accelerated thanks to the zero downtime lifestyle many of us have adopted with 24/7 access to information as well as one another. In the spirit of starting the new year on the right note, Don and I went to a farmhouse inn in Virginia near lovely Afton Mountain for a few days. It was actually a retreat that I signed us up for months ago as one of Don’s birthday presents…

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2019 Begins With Constructive Dialogue

2019 Begins With Constructive Dialogue

My family once gave me a shirt from the “Life is good” company (whose founder was recently profiled at some NTCA meetings during 2018) noting that “the glass was half full”. That kind of optimism is my mantra…until it isn’t. I spent much of 2016 and 2017 looking at FirstNet, the public-private, public safety network as a tough nut to crack (but certainly one worth working at) with hopes that the building of this national public safety network would actually…

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A Fond Farewell to 2018

A Fond Farewell to 2018

I know that in many ways, the year that we are on the verge of parting ways with has been stressful…crazy stock market swings, lots of social media noise, the growing feeling of division within our country, and ending the year with the government on a partial shutdown. However, from the perspective of the rural broadband industry, 2018 was an excellent year. It was a year that saw policymakers move beyond making noise about rural broadband to actually putting money…

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Our Electronic Reality Requires Broadband

Our Electronic Reality Requires Broadband

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with an NPR reporter who has really developed a strong interest in rural broadband deployment and the challenges and opportunities associated with ensuring that more Americans achieve connectivity. When she and I were catching up we talked about network and home capacity also being an issue that needs to be taken into consideration when we talk about what is “good enough” for rural Americans. As I noted in the discussion, the need for…

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The Programming Battle Lines Are Drawn

The Programming Battle Lines Are Drawn

As not only an advocate for those who purchase programming to serve their subscribers but also as a consumer of video products myself, I found the following in my inbox from my communications provider yesterday to be pretty poignant. As you may know, we must periodically renew our agreements with TV content providers to be able to provide you with the programming available on Fios® TV. Despite what you may be hearing from Disney, we have been negotiating a renewal…

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Holidays are about Families…

Holidays are about Families…

It feels a bit like we have hurtled into this holiday season.  Getting caught up in the search for the perfect presents, for stocking stuffers and for ways to celebrate the holiday season has occupied the past few weeks.  And then there is the arrival of the family – via plane and  other mechanisms of bringing families under one roof. And then it happens – everyone is together, my idea of nirvana. Our family is a mix of cultures and…

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All I Want for Christmas…

All I Want for Christmas…

As we rush into the end of the year, it certainly is a time to reflect on the year we are saying goodbye to and to also look ahead to 2019. We are certainly doing that here at NTCA as we begin to work on our 2019 goals and our 2019 policy priorities and strategies. Other things to ponder are ways to ensure that your teams have the right tools in their hands as we begin the new year. Hopefully…

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