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A Few Days On Capitol Hill

A Few Days On Capitol Hill

This week saw the annual return of NTCA members to pound the pavement of Capitol Hill.  I did have to convince a few folks that even without Congress in session this week, coming to our nation’s capital and being able to share the story of rural broadband innovation (and thank congressional staffers for all of their efforts over the course of the past year) was certainly worth the trip!  I certainly hope they felt the value when they flew out…

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Big Day For Moving Rural Telecommunications Forward

Big Day For Moving Rural Telecommunications Forward

Thankfully today is Friday, April 12th and not April 1st.  There are so many good things happening that I simply want to ensure that there are no April Fool’s shenanigans going on! We started the day with a call initiated by the White House hosting FCC Chairman Pai who shared that later in the day he would be heading to the White House for a briefing on 5G as well as a new rural broadband funding initiative being rolled out….

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Getting Ready to Hit the Hill!

Getting Ready to Hit the Hill!

Next week is NTCA’s annual pilgrimage up to Capitol Hill and a prime opportunity to share their stories of how they are continuing their broadband builds in the rural parts of our country.  I know some folks are bummed that Congress will be on recess that week but honestly, it’s a wonderful opportunity to spend even more time with the key congressional staffers from the offices of these elected officials and to dig a little bit deeper into the issues…

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Let’s Talk Rural Broadband

Let’s Talk Rural Broadband

The House Rural Broadband Caucus showed great leadership today by scheduling a discussion with the caucus, Hill staffers and Chairman Pai and Commissioner Starks from the FCC.  NTCA was honored to help host the event and I was doubly honored to be asked to moderate the discussion….nothing like getting to control the microphone on a topic that is a huge part of the mission of our association. Congressman Wittman from Virginia and the newest co-chair of the Caucus is passionate…

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Mapping Might Be The Hottest Broadband Topic

Mapping Might Be The Hottest Broadband Topic

And critically important since the only way to make some of the wisest policy decisions will be based on what infrastructure truly exists for consumer use in all parts of our country  – if that task is actually possible or if we’ll have to settle for “close enough”.  NTCA has a group of members, with far more insight than I have, working together to explore possible, accurate and workable solutions.  That is why I wanted to share some insights and…

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Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

Small Business Administration Delves into Regulatory Obstacles

On a plane, trying out a new airline wifi system (competition on the ground AND in the air seems to be the order of the day).  As I was flipping through my emails, my eye was caught by a notice from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that they are looking to hear from individual small businesses on the regulatory barriers that are impacting their business. In the broadband space, the FCC took a credible crack at this with their BDAC…

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Chatting with the Chairman

Chatting with the Chairman

It was a true treat and honor to have FCC Chairman Ajit Pai join NTCA and our members in New Orleans at our RTIME meeting to share his perspective and priorities for the state of rural broadband in our country, and the role that NTCA members play in ensuring forward movement on bridging the digital divide. I loved having the “fireside” chat with the chairman and always appreciate his willingness to engage with our sector including the time he took…

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#BipartisanTech

#BipartisanTech

The ideas of bipartisanship and technology should not be hard concepts to grasp, and support for the melding of both was in full force during a panel discussion at the Next Century Cities “Opportunities for Bipartisan Tech Policy” session today. Former FCC staffer and Conexon founder Jon Chambers, Harold Feld from Public Knowledge, Brent Skorup with the Mercatus Center at GMU, and myself were led in the discussion by Chris Mitchell with the Community Broadband Networks. Our panel was focused on…

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Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Rural America’s Still Waiting….

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal ran a piece called “Rural America Still Waiting for Phone Calls That Won’t Connect,” highlighting the ongoing problem with the completion of calls to rural America. Author Drew FitzGerald did a very good job at explaining the frustrating and perplexing problem that has impacted NTCA member companies for years. A caller places a call to a rural exchange and the calls never hit the telephone company’s switch. When the call is dropped, the…

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A Fond Farewell to 2018

A Fond Farewell to 2018

I know that in many ways, the year that we are on the verge of parting ways with has been stressful…crazy stock market swings, lots of social media noise, the growing feeling of division within our country, and ending the year with the government on a partial shutdown. However, from the perspective of the rural broadband industry, 2018 was an excellent year. It was a year that saw policymakers move beyond making noise about rural broadband to actually putting money…

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