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Category: USF

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Takes Another Step Forward

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Takes Another Step Forward

For too long, NTCA members have heard the calls from consumers in neighboring rural areas desperate for broadband, and they have tried to respond wherever they can while also continuing to invest and deliver high-quality services in their own deeply rural communities. We all know the stories of the larger company service territory in a rural area being the last they bring service to and consumers getting increasingly frustrated. Today’s vote to establish the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund offers great…

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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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A New Year Ahead…

A New Year Ahead…

I long ago gave up any pretense that I made New Year’s resolutions and then strove to keep them. Sure, I have my general messages to myself…I’m going to eat better, make it to the gym more often, be more patient and the list goes on but I find that loud pronouncements aren’t effective for me staying on task. But I do have a few routines at the end of the year. I like to read lists of best books…

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Bidding 2019 a Fond Farewell

Bidding 2019 a Fond Farewell

The end of the year is upon us, and as I sip eggnog and munch on potato latkes, it’s also an excellent time to reflect on the year to which we will soon be bidding a fond farewell. This year had an exciting start with the FCC issuing its landmark Universal Service Order in late 2018. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai joined us at the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting & Expo (RTIME) in New Orleans to help celebrate the network investments…

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So Much To Be Grateful For…

So Much To Be Grateful For…

Holiday season means wonderful chaos, family, food, doggies, leftovers and walks through the autumn leaves…and we had that in spades this weekend as Leah and her friend Brett drove from Chicago with Sawyer (another golden pup) to spend the week with Don and I. Given that Brett has never been to Washington DC, the two of them spent a great deal of time seeing every museum and every site special to our nation’s capital….I would get tired just hearing their…

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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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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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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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Interesting Bedfellows

Interesting Bedfellows

I do find that in the world of Washington DC, some of the most interesting advocacy is done when you have the most diverse group of interests to work with. That came to mind for me recently when NTCA sent a letter to the FCC, along with ACA (the smaller cable folks) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association applauding their announcement to create the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF), which is the logical and much needed follow-up to the…

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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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