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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Being Part of the Solution

Being Part of the Solution

Haven’t you noticed that these days it’s easier for some to whine about circumstances than it is to act? And I totally get it, sometimes finding a solution and being proactive is a little scary and kind of “puts you out there.” But doing just that is what a number of NTCA members have now done in seeking USDA ReConnect support over the past few months. This new grant, grant/loan and loan program at USDA, authorized and funded by Congress,…

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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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‘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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The Countdown to RTIME 2020

The Countdown to RTIME 2020

NTCA’s Rural Telecommunications Industry Meeting and Expo (fondly known in our circles as RTIME) will be upon us sooner than we know, if how quickly the upcoming holidays have snuck up on us as well is any indication. But I had a chance to do an early preview by attending an industry meeting in Phoenix, Arizona last week, where RTIME will be hosted in 2020. Aside from the fact that it was a treat to take a jacket off in…

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A Room With A View…And Meetings With A Purpose

A Room With A View…And Meetings With A Purpose

This past week was a week of whirlwind travel. Up to NYC on Monday to join the Group Health Trustees for their annual opportunity to wrap up the year of business on the various health benefits offered by NTCA to our members and their staffs. While the trip should have been a blissfully easy one – it took me nearly 10 hours of travel and trains, planes (almost) and cabs to finally make it to NYC. Quite a feat given…

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Telling the Smart Rural Community Story…

Telling the Smart Rural Community Story…

My heart always skips an extra beat when a reporter calls…never quite sure what their motivation or angle might be but I’m always anxious to tell the story of NTCA members and the services they provide to their communities. But I had such a energetic discussion with writer Sue Halpern, writer for The New Yorker (including her phone cutting off in the middle of her discussion from her relatively rural home in Vermont with her Price Cap carrier provider struggling…

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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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The Foundation for Rural Service Gives Back

The Foundation for Rural Service Gives Back

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate an anniversary than to give back, and that is exactly what the Foundation for Rural Service did today in selecting their 2019 FRS grant recipients. A record 26 companies were selected with $100,000 in grant support going to rural communities across the country. Now that’s what I call an anniversary present! The Foundation for Rural Service does a number of key programs and runs some amazing educational opportunities – but I…

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