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Category: USDA

Sharing Thoughts with RUS

Sharing Thoughts with RUS

RUS and USDA are hard at work gathering feedback on their recently released NOI on the new rural broadband pilot program with comments due at the start of next week. The process has been fast and furious and I hope that USDA is just as fast and furious when it comes to releasing funds out the door to rural broadband providers who utilize it so they can continue to build in areas where deployment is needed. It is going to…

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Stories from the Sho-Me States

Stories from the Sho-Me States

It seems that every time I come back to the Springfield/Branson area, there are more things hopping in the area. This time, I noticed that the airport has continued to turn itself from a sleepy commuter hub to a sleek, modern facility with more electric outlets than any I have seen in my recent travels. Never underestimate the power (no pun intended) or importance of airport outlets; I’ve been known to hang out in the O’Hare Airport bathrooms simply because…

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Here We Go….Time to Sharpen the Pencils to Comment on the Proposed RUS Broadband Pilot Program

Here We Go….Time to Sharpen the Pencils to Comment on the Proposed RUS Broadband Pilot Program

A few months ago, Congress acted on the importance of broadband connections with the realization that it will take resources to actually get the job done. That was certainly a step in the right direction. Next step? Getting out some thoughts on how that program should operate, who should participate and what type of incentives will be offered. I know that it’s kind of “cheating” but I thought there was a great deal of value in sharing exactly what USDA…

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NTCA and Government Leaders Discuss Broadband in the Field

NTCA and Government Leaders Discuss Broadband in the Field

The E-Connectivity tour 2.0 took place in Minnesota yesterday! Michael Daniels from our NTCA team was on the ground as several NTCA folks and friends shared stories around the importance of broadband deployment and how partnerships can be a component in extending the rural broadband reach even farther. Kristi Westbrock, CEO and GM for The Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) in Minnesota, a company known for creatively pulling together broadband partnerships, highlighted the work they are doing with one of their…

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E-Connectivity Kicks Off in Minnesota

E-Connectivity Kicks Off in Minnesota

Update: 6/20/18: The recorded event is available online: www.youtube.com/thefarmfoundation Creating opportunities for people living in rural America to have reliable access to robust broadband services drives the work of NTCA and its member companies. As such, NTCA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Foundation and other industry stakeholders, will host the listening session, “What’s on the Horizon for E-Connectivity in Rural America?,” Tuesday, June 19 at 9:00–11:30 a.m. Central. The event, to be held in Faribault, Minn., will also be livestreamed online. I hope many…

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E-Connectivity Listening Tour Kickoff

E-Connectivity Listening Tour Kickoff

Last week, we announced that NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, along with the Farm Foundation, NRECA, CFC, and CoBank are partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to organize a series of listening sessions across the nation to gather insights into the tools that are needed to improve e-connectivity in rural America. Our first discussion will be held in Minnesota on June 19. This event will focus on hearing from rural stakeholders about the need for and positive solutions to…

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Part-ner-ship

Part-ner-ship

If you flip open the dictionary (or use the online version), the word “partnership” is described in many ways, but the main gist is generally “an association of two or more people or entities that conduct a business or pool money, skills and other resources and share profit and loss in accordance with the terms of their agreement.” I tend to prefer the synonyms noted along with the word “partnerships” like “cooperation,” “association,” “collaboration,” “coalition,” “alliance,” “relationship” and “connection.”  Those…

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What a Week….and it’s only Wednesday!

What a Week….and it’s only Wednesday!

I always love the energy that comes when NTCA members come into town and hit the Hill and key agencies to share their stories and perspective on building broadband in rural America.  With a ton of recent activity – the recent order from the FCC finding reserves to make up some of the budget shortfall, the FNPRM on the future of building high-cost networks, upcoming CAF II auctions, a new RUS funding program in the Omnibus measure approved by Congress,…

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#AgOutlook and Rural Prosperity

#AgOutlook and Rural Prosperity

It was most gracious of USDA to extend an invitation to me to speak at their annual #AgOutlook conference here in the DC area yesterday – particularly with a focus on Rural Prosperity and all that that entails. I was on their E-Connectivity panel and shared the space with one of the top USDA economists who spend a lot of timing thinking, pondering, measuring and analyzing broadband statistics as well as with a GM of an electric cooperative in Michigan…

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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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