I had “begged” my way onto a panel slot today for the Broadband Communities conference here in the Washington DC area that focused on Driving America’s Growth to talk about partnerships and other creative ways to think about bringing broadband to underserved communities. I always find these meetings to be so interesting because of the composition of the participants – a lot of community activists, academics, municipality and city leaders, NTCA telco members, electric utilities…and the list goes on. Because of the various perspectives, I think the audience is prime to hear the story of what community providers can bring to rural America and how their ability to think outside of the box makes them the perfect partner for those thinking about how to bring services in to their communities.
The chance to talk about partnerships, opportunities and the importance of communications in building out broadband in rural communities was timely as the FCC continues their work on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund – the next frontier of support to really find creative ways to service some of the move rural parts of our country.
We took the opportunity of our sponsorship of this conference to highlight the platform we are working hard to create on national branding under the Smart Rural Communities umbrella and how critical it is to work with communities on how to best utilize their broadband infrastructure to stimulate economic development.
Fascinating speakers, a number of NTCA members in town to compare notes with and and uneventful Uber ride back to the office tonight – a success by all accounts.