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Category: Policy

USDA’s New Broadband Program Bringing Service to Rural America

USDA’s New Broadband Program Bringing Service to Rural America

NTCA was very excited to support USDA’s new ReConnect grant, grant and loan program when it was voted into existence by Congress and implemented by the team at RUS. However, I’m not going to lie, when the first grants out of the box were distributed to an electric utility and municipality, I became a tad concerned that the RLECs were going to be cut out of the process given that they have been doing the job already of building networks…

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Time for Reflection After Veterans Day

Time for Reflection After Veterans Day

Now that we are a few days past our annual Veterans Day remembrance and nods of appreciation to those who have served our country with honor, it’s time to take a deeper dive into what we and technology can really be doing to support those who have protected our democracy, security and freedom. I was recently horrified to hear the latest statistics on the suicide rate for our American veterans – over 20 commit suicide a day.  A day!  Per…

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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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Big Sky Country – A lot of Land, Not A lot of People

Big Sky Country – A lot of Land, Not A lot of People

I was delighted to be invited by Geoff Feiss, head of the Montana Telecommunications Association, to come out to join his meeting this past week in beautiful Big Sky Country to share some thoughts and perspective on what is taking place in Washington DC and in the telecom industry generally. I seldom turn down a trip to such a beautiful part of our country…and am always stunned by the vast swaths of land with few inhabitants while I am making…

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Steamy Savannah Sets the Stage for Strategy Skills for NTCA Attendees

Steamy Savannah Sets the Stage for Strategy Skills for NTCA Attendees

Heading back from hot and humid but lovely and hospitable Savannah, Georgia as we wrap up our inaugural Summer Symposiums for the year. Nearly 400 NTCA rural broadband providers gathered for a few days of focusing on what matters, strategic thinking, good governance policies, the latest in advocacy topics for the industry, cybersecurity and a host of other topics relevant to ensuring that the time in a company’s boardroom is time well spent. The opportunity to hit on these critical…

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Video Issues are Critical to Rural Broadband Providers Too!

Video Issues are Critical to Rural Broadband Providers Too!

While mission critical issues such as Universal Service have occupied a great deal of the press from NTCA in terms of what we are up to these days, that certainly does not mean that we also don’t devote a fair amount of time and energy to video issues – battling the crazy imbalance on retransmission consent agreements that our members are subjected to (because I would not even consider calling them a negotiation in any way, shape or form!), working…

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Kicking off Programs on Leadership and Governance

Kicking off Programs on Leadership and Governance

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Governance is the process of governing over a social system – like a rural broadband provider.  Both of those skills sound easier to implement than they can be, so I’m really excited that we have transformed with the times here at NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and transitioned away from our long-held regional meetings to a new format focused on director training (for both…

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New Chapters in the Universal Service Funds Story of Success

New Chapters in the Universal Service Funds Story of Success

So very much has taken place on the Universal Service Fund front over the course of the past few years, and most significantly with the FCC’s December 2018 USF Order. I’m all about stories and that is why I wanted to share some stories of how these additional resources from the FCC’s USF Order are being put to work by America’s rural broadband companies.  These stories capture the spirit of innovation and community collaboration and these carriers profiled are just…

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NTCA Rural Broadband Women Hit The Policy Trail

NTCA Rural Broadband Women Hit The Policy Trail

It was so fun hosting our (now) third annual Women in Telecommunications fly-in to Washington DC this past week with 28 women from NTCA member providers coming to Washington DC to talk policy with women policymakers in our nation’s capital.  I was impressed at how many of our female executives were game to come out to DC during the hottest and most humid month of the year but I do think that “big hair” aside, everyone found the trip to…

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