The Bucket List

The Bucket List

Last year, my husband Don turned 60. We had a celebration to end all celebrations because…why not? Given the size of the celebration—including a surprise party with friends across the country flying in—I knew that my gift would also have to match the occasion. But what to give a man who values experiences more than material things? Who actually counts time together as quality time? Who is a tad more “adventure-driven” than I am? Something off of his bucket list,…

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A Long Road Ahead

A Long Road Ahead

Sigh. We are one week away from when Hurricane Florence hit the coast of North Carolina and amazingly enough, things are getting worse for our NTCA broadband members, before they are getting better. The pictures and stories of devastation are heartbreaking. To add insult to injury, the rivers are now cresting further and water is hurtling in 6-foot waves to some of our member companies on top of already flooded infrastructure. The question of where does one even start on…

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A Productive Fall Conference with a Full Agenda

A Productive Fall Conference with a Full Agenda

I’m still winging my way back to DCA as we wrapped up another successful Fall Conference—this one in Seattle—and had the opportunity to share ideas, programming and some great networking with 1500 of our NTCA members. From augmented reality (which BTW, will require a robust broadband network) to life lessons, to how millennials use technology, to tips on how to create partnerships, to a recap of the flurry of DC regulatory and legislative activity, to wireless to video, to programming…

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Meet me in St. Louis…with NISC

Meet me in St. Louis…with NISC

I have always appreciated the friendship and partnership that NISC has with NTCA—from their work with our members, to their wonderful support for our programs, especially Smart Rural Community and the Foundation for Rural Service—so it was an easy call to say yes to bopping out to their user group meeting in St. Louis earlier this week. They mentioned that over 2,600 folks would be there, but I have to admit, I didn’t think that nearly that many would show…

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A Day to Never Forget

A Day to Never Forget

I have no idea what it is about my travel schedule, but I almost always seem to be on a plane on 9/11 and I always find myself thinking back to 2001 when I was also supposed to be on a plane back to D.C. from the TTA meeting in Texas. I remember watching with my fellow Americans as our collective hearts broke and our false sense of security was shattered forever. I will never forget the kindness of NTCA…

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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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When Washington DC Meets Rural South Dakota

When Washington DC Meets Rural South Dakota

NTCA’s Foundation for Rural Service does so very much for the rural broadband industry and even more for the communities that these companies serve—but one of my favorite FRS activities is their annual trek out of D.C. with a gaggle of Capitol Hill staffers and into the real world (i.e. out of D.C.!) to see how rural networks are built and to help them better understand the challenges of broadband deployment where the land is vast and the people far…

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Strengthening Your DEFENSE

Strengthening Your DEFENSE

National security is a hot topic here in D.C. and I recently asked someone who works in that space what their biggest concern was, and it wasn’t a nuclear attack from North Korea or implications from the fall out of the Iran nuclear deal—it was cybersecurity—without a moment of hesitation. At NTCA, we’ve really been focused on the cyber threat and the tools needed to help NTCA members manage and protect their networks and I am really proud of the…

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Farewell to an FCC Era

Farewell to an FCC Era

Washington, D.C. can actually be a small town and telecom/broadband circles can make the city feel even smaller. So, while I was very sorry to see Amy Bender, legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, leave her post at the FCC this week, I know that our paths will cross again in her next “gig”. After Amy’s very distinguished 14-year career with the agency and after all of her hard work on topics as critical as the Universal Service Fund,…

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Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

Everyone Has Their John McCain Story

…and I have mine as well. It was (literally) decades ago when everyone in DC’s telecommunications circles was working on crafting what became the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sen. McCain was a member of the prestigious Senate Commerce Committee and a key player on the majority team as the legislation was crafted over a series of years. Per his usual operation, he forged his own path through the negotiations and discussions including proposing a phone voucher program–a creative idea but…

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