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 of the difference to the future of their communities. We all know that, but kind of nice to hear it from the Secretary of USDA, right? And we had the opportunity to make the Secretary an honorary member of our Smart Rural Community fan club!
Smart Rural Communities were very top of mind as we made our 7th round of Smart Rural Communities Showcase awards as we recognized 11 amazing companies for their work utilizing their robust broadband to power cool things in their communities. Kudos to these companies that have gone above and beyond.
From terrific speakers like Rohit Bhargava talking about the Non-Obvious to David Pogue, disruptive and future technology reporter…to peer roundtable discussions, session on cyber, video, wireless, generating revenues, workforce strategies, regulatory issues, new funding strategies, committee meetings and networking opportunities…the days were packed!
The Foundation for Rural Service culminated their year-long celebration of their 25th anniversary and NTCA’s Rural Broadband PAC encouraged folks to pull out their smartphones in the middle of a general session to head to NTCA’s website and PACForm to give prior approvals – nice to see that we had 86 members who had nimble fingers.
While I am pretty certain that everyone attending this meeting met all of their wellness step requirements while making their way through the two towers at the Sheraton in downtown Denver, our members and associate members all seemed to have had a good week of “getting business done” and networking at the same time. Win win!