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Category: On the Hill

#RtimeInnovates

#RtimeInnovates

We are off and running here at RTIME, NTCA’s annual gathering of thousands of rural broadband providers from across the country and the energy level is wonderfully high. Given that we are spread over at least three hotels and a convention center in downtown Phoenix, I worried in advance that folks would have sore feet by day 3 but that was needless concern as NTCA members continue to make their way to various sessions to take advantage of the wonderful…

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Virtual Living Room Opens in Bristol, Vermont

Virtual Living Room Opens in Bristol, Vermont

Today is one of the kind of days that remind me why I love my job! I took the early morning flight from Washington DC to Burlington, Vermont (it’s not the travel I love…4 delays/gates later for a 75 minute flight) to join our innovative leaders at Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telcom, friends at CoBank, co-workers from the Foundation for Rural Service, numerous reps from VA Health in Vermont, the American Legion Post 19 Commander, representatives from the Vermont congressional…

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White House Releases Rural Community Action Guide on Response to Addiction Issues

White House Releases Rural Community Action Guide on Response to Addiction Issues

NTCA has had a long and very productive working relationship with Anne Hazlett, beginning with her work as the top Rural Development policymaker at USDA under Secretary Perdue. While we were sad to see her leave, her departure simply meant a new role focusing on issues critical to rural America that deserve the policy attention she was willing to give to it – the opioid epidemic and its impact on rural America. Anne is now the Senior Advisor for Rural…

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5G, Workforce of the Future and Next Steps for ReConnect…

5G, Workforce of the Future and Next Steps for ReConnect…

Whew, it’s been quite a week out here in Washington DC.  In spite of what the headlines look like, there are a number of activities still underway that are constructive in a news cycle that looks to be all political. NTCA was delighted to receive the phone call from the Senate Commerce Committee to join the discussion earlier this week on 5G and the workforce needed in the communications space.  We may have only had 24 hours to prepare but…

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FIBER – Fast Interconnection Between Everything Rural

FIBER – Fast Interconnection Between Everything Rural

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Bob Debroux with TDS for coining what might be one of my new favorite phrases as we enter what is hopefully a new era of placing a public policy priority on fiber and future-proofed networks as the government looks for different ways to close the digital (or rural/rural) divide. Since last spring NTCA has advocated for opportunities for our members to participate in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), and…

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‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

It feels like we’re all trying to cram in a month of activity in the next 48 hours as the holidays are upon us and time has run short. Holiday shopping? I have been so much less thoughtful on this front than is typical for me as I realize that without Amazon Prime, I might be light- handed for Chanukah and Christmas. Congress seems to be feeling that same sense of pressure but in their closing hours did some pretty amazing…

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Another Spoke in the National Broadband Agenda Wheel

Another Spoke in the National Broadband Agenda Wheel

Last week I had the opportunity to join a panel discussion at the Broadband Communities program and shared my perspective on partnerships and how they might move the ball forward on broadband deployment in hard to serve rural markets. Whether it is NTCA member rural broadband providers partnering with one another, with their state fiber networks, with local electric coops or communities – part of the equation is what it will take for some of our unserved and underserved communities…

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It’s All About Making Time For One Last Trip to DC in 2019

It’s All About Making Time For One Last Trip to DC in 2019

Ok, all of my frequent flier program friends. It’s that time of the year when I know what you’re doing…you’re checking your club status and thinking about what adding one more trip to the end of the year will do to move the needle for you getting a “possible” upgrade on your favorite airline sometime in 2020 (and if you’re like me, those upgrades are typically my tiny short flights like DCA to Nashville). Nonetheless, an upgrade is an upgrade…

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Talking Broadband With Land O’Lakes

Talking Broadband With Land O’Lakes

Rural broadband access has been a widely debated topic in Washington DC over the last couple of years as policymakers – local and national – have woken up to the fact that there are still a number of citizens in one of the most developed nations in the world that do not have connectivity where they live or work or raise their families. What was gratifying today was having a discussion with a Fortune 500 CEO, Beth Ford, leader of…

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NTCA Members Focus on Vision in Denver

NTCA Members Focus on Vision in Denver

Back in the Denver airport and getting ready to head back home after four action-packed days here at our Fall Conference. It was hard to argue with how we opened this meeting – with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue heading to the podium to share with NTCA members how valuable their networks and connectivity are to the future of rural America. From economic development to precision agriculture, from telemedicine to education – the services offered by community-based broadband providers make all…

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