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Volume 12, Number 08, March 9, 2009 - Upcoming Meeting to Address New Broadband Programs

Industry Events

Rural Economic Development Conference & Site Visit (Mar 15-18)


2009 Legislative & Policy Conference (Mar 23-25)


Telcom Executive Forum (Apr 5-7)


IP Possibilities: A New Road to Revenue
(Apr 21-23)


PR & Marketing Conference
(Apr 26-28)


ANPI's 2009 Annual Meeting (May 4-5)


The Marketplace


Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects


DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos


Log On, Link Up and Learn


RT Magazine | NTCA Events | NTCA Publications

The IP Possibilities Conference & Expo is the one professional development event you must attend this year. The urgent questions keeping you up at night will be addressed, including how to improve broadband penetration rates, fund your IP transition and control programming costs. Early-bird ends March 23. Save in conference costs and register today at Exhibit space and sponsorships are still available, but selling fast. Contact Lisa Freedman at 703-351-2089 to secure your space.

Volume 12, Number 08, March 9, 2009

Upcoming Meeting to Address New Broadband Programs

ZillionTV Aims to Please Advertisers, Content Owners, ISPs

Embarq Files Universal Femtocell Patent

President Obama Appoints FCC Chairman

President Obama Appoints Nation's Chief Information Officer

...And last but not least, our media of the week

Upcoming Meeting to Address New Broadband Programs

In a notice published February 27 in the Federal Register, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Rural Utilities Service and FCC announced a joint public meeting regarding the broadband initiatives provided for in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The meeting will take place March 10, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. (ET), in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NTIA Acting Administrator Anna Gomez, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Acting FCC Chairman Michael J. Copps are scheduled to speak.

The meeting agenda is available online. Instructions on how the public may submit questions to the agencies prior to the meeting are provided at the bottom of the agenda.

For updates published by the agencies or to watch the public meeting online, visit or

ZillionTV Aims to Please Advertisers, Content Owners, ISPs

Silicon Valley startup ZillionTV is working on a mass-market solution that brings Internet video content directly to the TV. ZillionTV's new set-top box, which it hopes to bring to market in the fourth quarter of this year, will deliver a fully on-demand, personalized television experience with highly targeted, interactive ads.

Of course this is not a new idea but ZillionTV is attempting to satisfy all parties involved, including content owners, advertisers and Internet service providers (ISPs) by giving them a stake in the venture.

The company is aiming to launch with 15,000 titles. ZillionTV has content agreements in place with Disney-ABC Domestic Television, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Each company also is an investor. ZillionTV promises to stream their content and offer a chance to extract more advertising dollars from their work.

The company plans to partner with telcos, cable operators and other Internet service providers as distribution channels. ZillionTV is hoping that ISPs will offer the broadband VoD service as an enticement to move to higher-speed tiers. The video wouldn't actually traverse the public Internet; rather, ISP distributors would co-locate VoD servers in their own facilities for optimal performance.

With the ZillionTV business model, a consumer would pay a one-time "service-activation fee" in exchange for the ZillionTV set-top and remote, which could be co-branded with an ISP partner. The viewer would then browse a catalog of VoD titles, and would be shown a certain number of ads before their selected content plays.

TV commerce also is a future offering. ZillionTV is working with Visa to create a way to make purchases through their remote control.

The company is in the process of conducting field trials with partners in several markets nationwide.

Read more at Multichannel News.
Visit ZillionTV's Web site.

Embarq Files Universal Femtocell Patent

Embarq has filed a patent at the U.S Patent and Trademark Office for a universal femtocell that will work with any wireless carrier.

A femtocell is essentially a mini cell tower that resides in the customer’s home, offers a better signal and routes the traffic over the home’s wired broadband network, removing the burden from the cellular towers. (For more, read NTCA's ePapers.)

Femtocells are a hot trend which has emerged in the marketplace. T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon have each launched femotcell products, and AT&T is trialing the technology.

What’s interesting about Embarq’s patent is that, in theory, the wireline carrier will be in control of the device. And of course from Embarq’s perceptive offering a universal femtocell is a potential way to capture revenue from providing better cellular service inside people’s homes, especially as customer’s cut the landline cord.

View the patent application.
Read "Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects."

Read "The Fundmentals of Femtocells."

President Obama Appoints FCC Chairman

Following weeks of anticipation, President Barack Obama on March 3 named Julius Genachowski as the new chairman of the FCC. Genachowski must be confirmed by the Senate before taking the position. That process could take up to several months.

Genachowski will be tasked with addressing a full range of challenges from the DTV transition to universal service reform. In addition, he will be responsible for developing a national broadband plan over the next year as directed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Of the nomination, President Obama stated, "I can think of no one better than Julius Genachowski to serve as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishments in the private sector and public service."

Acting Chairman Michael J. Copps, who will continue to serve in that capacity until Genachowski is confirmed, stated, "Julius has the knowledge, experience and dedication to lead this agency forward, as we tackle the many challenges confronting the country-and the commission. I look forward to the prospect of working with him on a communications agenda focused on serving consumers and the public interest."

Read the press statement.

President Obama Appoints Nation's Chief Information Officer

In related news, Vivek Kundra, the 34-year-old former chief technology officer of the District of Columbia, was named by President Obama late last week to the new position of chief information officer (CIO) of the United States. That's a different job than the chief technology officer (CTO), a White House position that Obama previously said he would create but has yet to define.

The chief information officer will be part of the Office of Management and Budget. He will oversee $71 billion in annual technology spending across the government and set standards for the design of federal systems. According to the White House, the CIO directs the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments and is responsible for oversight of federal technology spending. The CIO will also work closely with the CTO to advance the President’s technology agenda.

Although the job description for the nation's CTO has yet to be released, it's possible that the CTO may focus more on overall technology policy while the CIO may handle day-to-day spending and operations within agency projects.

President Obama commented on Kundra's nomination: "Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position....As Chief Information Officer, he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible."

Read the press statement.
The Washington Post ran a profile on Kundra earlier this year.

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And, last but not least, a special feature, our media of the week: NTCA has introduced its podcast series, a new communication tool designed to keep members informed about key rural telecom issues. The first in the series, a three-episode podcast available online, brings you highlights from NTCA’s recent Edcast on the Broadband Funding Initiatives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Listen to the podcast.

Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.

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The Marketplace

Femtocells and Wireless Substitution: 2009 Prospects
2008 was hyped as the year of the femtocell, billed as the next big thing in fixed-mobile convergence (FMC). Industry analysts predicted widespread market roll out. It’s clear this goal was not achieved.Where do we stand now? Will the technology ever come to fruition? How should a traditional landline provider respond to this competitive threat? Read the ePaper to learn more.

DTV Transition Q&A for Telcos - Updated with Delay Info!
NTCA has prepared a question and answer document for telco customer service representatives to use to address customer calls about the digital television transition. The document features explanations for a broad range of typical questions. Also, this information piece may be used by telcos for posting on your Web site or in your upcoming newsletters. NTCA encourages you to use this downloadable document for your efforts to educate customers about the upcoming changes to DTV. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Fravel at 703-351-2012.

Log On, Link Up and Learn. Join NTCA’s Tech Community
As you well know, the telecom industry is evolving at an increasingly fast pace. Rural telecom professionals need to maintain access lines and trouble-shoot existing issues, while also developing new, cutting-edge technologies. Learn new strategies to manage the chaos and keep up with industry trends. Join NTCA's Tech Community today and utilize one of your best assets – your peers. Visit to learn more.

Rural Telecommunications Magazine
NTCA's award winning magazine is the most valuable resource for the telecommunications industry. Each issue offers readers up-to-date information about public policy, developing business, technology, management, marketing, operations and more. Get access to selected feature articles from the latest issue of the magazine as well as subscription and advertising information.

Rural Economic Development Conference

Industry Events

Rural Economic Development Conference & Site Visit (Mar 15-18)
Telecom companies are perfectly positioned to become an engine of growth in their community with the global telecommunications explosion, allowing them to attract business, create jobs and develop tourism - all of which add to the local economy. This year's conference features an exciting new meeting format. Meet with state economic development officials and view several model economic development projects. Join us for the Rural Economic Development Conference and site visit on March 15-18 in Albuquerque, N.M. Register.

2009 Legislative & Policy Conference (Mar 23-25)
The 2009 Legislative & Policy conference will be held March 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.Take advantage of the opportunity to establish and refresh alliances with our national policy-makers to ensure that the rural voice is taken into consideration as policy-makers explore new laws and regulations that affect the way rural telcos do business. Registration is now open.

Telcom Executive Forum (Apr 5-7)
Meet with your colleagues in Santa Monica for this year's Telcom Executive Forum, April 5-7. TEF is an exclusive event - designed for top executives to discuss issues and foster networking. Learn how to stand out in the age of advertising deficit disorder. Get solutions. Register.

IP Possibilities: A New Road to Revenue (Apr 21-23)
How can a rural telecommunications provider thrive in a down economy? It is critical now more than ever that you discover untapped revenue streams for your organization and make essential decisions about implementing IP-based technologies. Two days of panel discussions at the IP Possibilities Conference & Expo will showcase best practices that you can adopt to keep your telco out in front of your competitors. Register by March 23 to qualify for substantial savings, and sign up to receive e-mail updates about the conference.

PR & Marketing Conference (Apr 26-28)
Learn how to deliver the ultimate customer experience and increase your business bottom line. Speaker Scott Deming will provide the opening keynote and provide key insights and tactics that will enable you to create loyal and happy customers. The conference includes sessions on target marketing, copywriting and social media. This conference to be held April 26-28, 2009, Albuquerque, N.M. Register.

ANPI's 2009 Annual Meeting (May 4-5), Scottsdale, AZ
Visit the Web site for more information!