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Category: Smart Rural Community

National Farmers Day

National Farmers Day

October 12 was National Farmers Day and it recalled for me the time an NTCA member was making a passionate plea with a Hill staffer on the role that broadband plays in rural America and how that use of technology  feeds into a more robust agriculture economy.  He was stopped in his tracks when the staffer informed him that most of what he was saying was irrelevant because food actually comes from a store. Hmmmm.  It sounds like there is…

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Smart Rural Community Field Trip to Maine With Senator and Commissioner

Smart Rural Community Field Trip to Maine With Senator and Commissioner

You can tell that you’re in Maine when most of the traffic on the highway alongside you are caravans of logging trucks!  After a journey across the country on Tuesday night, I knew that my last stop was Portland, Maine because I was the only person boarding the place in the Detroit Metro airport who did not have hiking boots and a backpack on.  I was a tad jealous! Josh Seidemann, our Smart Rural Community (SRC) guru,  and I met up…

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Got to Love Sioux Falls!

Got to Love Sioux Falls!

I am traveling back from the Regional Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this week.  The location is ideal given the key leadership role that Senator Thune, local boy gone to Washington, has played in communications policy and his continued active engagement in meeting the challenge of rural broadband deployment.  One of the things I love about this region is that the turn-out is as strong as it is for our “more tropical” locations for these meetings in the Southeast….

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Talking Rural Broadband with USDA

Talking Rural Broadband with USDA

USDA was hopping today with a meeting on rural prosperity down one end of a hallway and a meeting that Tom Wacker and I had with Anne Hazlett, the new Rural Development Assistant to the Secretary down another. We were also joined in the meeting by Jannine Miller who has joined USDA as the Senior Advisor for Rural Infrastructure and between the four of us, could have spent three hours instead of just the one talking about rural broadband. Hazlett…

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“Make the Dirt Talk”

“Make the Dirt Talk”

What a treat it was on Friday to reconnect with Billy Tiller, former board member for Five Area Telephone Cooperative in Muleshoe, Texas, who served on the board when he was right out of school for 12 years – during some really informative times in this industry. Billy then went on to not only run a large ranch in Texas, but he also started AgPro Exchange, a company that uses data to manage agriculture interests in the 21st Century.  With…

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Be Smart

Be Smart

It’s that time of year again, when NTCA opens up our nomination process for our annual Smart Rural Community Showcase awards. Now entering our fifth year (wow…where does time fly off to??), this annual tradition of ours is a wonderful opportunity for NTCA members to be recognized for their extraordinary achievements in promoting rural broadband networks and their broadband-enabled applications in their rural communities. More than 40 NTCA member companies, and their communities, have been recognized with the Smart Rural…

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Broadband Vouchers Won’t Help Rural America Connect

Broadband Vouchers Won’t Help Rural America Connect

A few weeks ago, the Daily Yonder, a rural oriented publication (which I actually do read!) had posted a story from a former FCC staffer who shared his take that broadband vouchers were, among other initiatives, the way to build rural broadband networks. I took offense at that suggestion after my 30 plus years in working in the telecommunications industry and having a pretty strong sense of what it actually takes to build and maintain these networks. I appreciated the…

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“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day…teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime”

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day…teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime”

We’re pretty much all familiar with the wise proverb, “You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; you teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?” That same adage can apply pretty powerfully to the power of broadband in rural communities. NTCA member telcos have been working tirelessly to promote rural broadband networks and broadband-enabled applications in their communities. With the Smart Rural Community (SRC) Showcase Award, they have the opportunity to…

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Smart Rural Community….More Than a Fashion Statement!

Smart Rural Community….More Than a Fashion Statement!

How much do I love NTCA’s Smart Rural Community initiative? More than I can clearly articulate! The idea of a program that is designed to celebrate not only the broadband that has been built to a rural community, but even more importantly, how that community is using that broadband to do amazing things in the arenas of jobs, economic development, public safety, education and healthcare, is really energizing. The application process for the next round of Smart Rural Community designations…

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Chairman Pai Talks Digital Empowerment for Rural and Urban America Alike

Chairman Pai Talks Digital Empowerment for Rural and Urban America Alike

In a speech today in Pittsburgh, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai picked right back up where he left off with his Digital Empowerment Agenda last fall, talking about a variety of coordinated measures aimed at bringing the benefits of broadband to every American. While it’s a package of measures, the great thing about the chairman’s agenda is it recognizes that the challenges facing Americans in terms of broadband access can and will differ by geography, economic circumstance, and other factors– so…

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