Just making my way through a crowded, storm-impacted airport in Charlotte, N.C. after our first NTCA regional meeting of the summer. We’ve begun our grand finale of regional meetings in grand fashion with an amazing program and relevant topics in large part due to Mark Marion and Dennis McGarry on our fabulous training and development team.
Cyber risk management, the future of video, using change management to drive excellence, AMAC’s timely session on industry tips for adapting to change and new technologies, board evaluations, life cycles of business plans, models for IoT in rural America, a benefits review, a snapshot into the future of rural broadband providers presented by our Future’s Task Force, a review of current policy activity and a lot of networking in between—all of these topics gave way to productive and constructive ways to spend the past few days.
Dustin Durden, GM of Pineland Telephone Cooperative in Georgia, laid out an intriguing proposition for NTCA members as he outlined the Futures Task Force report and shared the value in finding ways to use their developed matrix to self-identify the challenges and opportunities RLECs face and to take note of how others have addressed the same issues. Case studies were shared and hopefully more folks will be driven to our website to ponder the wealth of information in the task force report.
The IoT discussion was fascinating with a review of the application for the Internet of things for rural Americas including self-driving vehicles, precision Ag and a reminder that all of these amazing applications will take an even more robust investment in fiber plant to achieve the vision promised.
While it is bittersweet to begin these last series of regional meetings, it gives me solace that at NTCA, we are “walking the talk” when it comes to ensuring that we evolve as the industry does. Next summer, our adventure will be our brand-new summer symposiums. This will be an enriched experience (in Bloomington, Minn. (home to Mall of America) and Savannah, Ga.—both locations open to all!) for entire boards to network with peers and take part in educational sessions on matters like finding and preparing next generation board leadership, developing board principles and strategies, managing broadband expectations in rural communities and managing financial, governance and fiduciary responsibilities…all very timely topics…I can’t wait!