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Category: ConnectedED/Education

Another Out-of-the-Box Discussion

Another Out-of-the-Box Discussion

We’re wrapping it up here in beautiful Missoula with a thanks to our gracious hosts for the meeting, Blackfoot Telecom. The Northwest Regional Conference ended with “Out-of-the-Box Thinking Is Out-of-the-Box Doing,” one of my favorite discussions pulled together by our Associate Member Advisory Council. Once again, I was not disappointed. Today’s discussion featured two telco CEOs, Dave Dengel from Copper Valley Telephone in Alaska and Bruce Todd from STRATA Networks in Utah, talking about their operations and ensuing culture changes over…

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So Many Reasons and Ways That Rural Libraries and Rural Broadband Providers Can Work Together

So Many Reasons and Ways That Rural Libraries and Rural Broadband Providers Can Work Together

We hosted Marijke Visser with the American Library Association (ALA) today at our office for the latest episode of our “Broadband Beats With Shirley Bloomfield” video series. We had a great conversation about the role that libraries play in improving the quality of life in rural America. It makes sense when you think about it: libraries have historically been one of the hubs of information in a community, regardless of the size, and are a wealth of resources. It did make me reflect on…

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FRS Trip With Congressional Staffers Tells an Important Story

FRS Trip With Congressional Staffers Tells an Important Story

Last week, the Foundation for Rural Service conducted another one of their wildly successful trips taking congressional staffers out into the field to see real America—rural America. It is one of the FRS initiatives that I think is simply fabulous, and I commend our FRS leadership for their efforts in making this annual tour a priority. This year’s tour was to upstate New York. FRS Executive Director Elizabeth Crocker and NTCA Senior Vice President of Policy Mike Romano hosted 10 congressional…

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Review of E-Rate Maps a Must

Review of E-Rate Maps a Must

The FCC recently released an updated version of the E-Rate maps detailing fiber connectivity to schools and libraries. The interactive maps show, by school district, the approximate percentage of public schools with fiber connectivity and the number of students in the district, as well as the local libraries that are fiber-connected. It is a nice concept, but we’ve seen a good concept go bad such as NTIA’s efforts a few years ago to create a national broadband map. Aside from the fact that the…

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NTCA Encourages Congressional Outreach During Recess

NTCA Encourages Congressional Outreach During Recess

August is such a terrific time for NTCA members to connect with members of their congressional delegation while they are home from their work in Washington, D.C. With so much turmoil and bitter partisanship on Capitol Hill, it is more important than ever for constituents to connect with members of Congress back in their states and districts. Members of Congress are back in their districts until September 8 and will be back in early October as the 2014 election campaign…

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The Rural Brain Gain

The Rural Brain Gain

The story of rural outmigration goes that the most talented students in a rural community are often encouraged to leave rural America as economic opportunities shrink for young people. Mark Marion, the newest member of our top-notch education and training team, shared with me some recent articles on studies conducted regarding the rural “brain drain.” The studies were quite interesting and left some serious food for thought for rural broadband providers. In short summary, some of the highest achieving young folks are also…

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Crowdsourcing Rural Infrastructure?

Crowdsourcing Rural Infrastructure?

Myself, and a few of our NTCA team, attended the White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference held in Washington, D.C., today. The day kicked off with the announcement by the White House Rural Council of the creation of the new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, through which private entities can invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. CoBank is the fund’s anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Target investments will include hospitals. schools and…

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NTCA Regionals Explore Out-of-the-Box Thinking

NTCA Regionals Explore Out-of-the-Box Thinking

NTCA’s first regional meeting kicked off this week in beautiful Savannah (which was a tad stormy as we left today). I loved the energy in the room and the way our members were willing to roll up their sleeves to get to work. The speakers all hit the mark on “The Internet of Things,” cybersecurity, video opportunities, the impact of policy decisions on consumers and more. I particularly loved our Associate Member Advisory Council panel discussion on “Thinking Out of…

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FCC Acts on E-Rate Modernization and Rural Experiments Framework

FCC Acts on E-Rate Modernization and Rural Experiments Framework

The last few FCC open meetings have been more exciting than usual. It seems like every meeting now has something on the agenda of great interest to our membership. Today, the FCC adopted a report, order and further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) that includes a budget and application selection process for the rural broadband experiments, as well as a report, order and FNPRM that provides a framework for E-Rate modernization. We’ve been closely watching these issues here at NTCA because both…

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The Next Round of Smart Rural Communities

The Next Round of Smart Rural Communities

Friday, July 11, is a big day here at NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. It is the cutoff date for the second annual round of applications for NTCA companies and their communities to submit applications for recognition and designation as Smart Rural Communities. So what makes a rural community smart? Quite simply, it’s a dynamic suite of broadband-enabled solutions that builds community strength and enables global competition. Or better yet, it’s a community that uses broadband networks to enable applications that the…

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