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Feb 15 2016

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A Quick Trip to Electric Co-op Event and NRTC Board Meeting

I headed out Friday for the Big Easy (I just like saying that instead of New Orleans—it sounds way cooler) to attend the NRTC board meeting with my fellow “telco” colleagues, as well as their majority electric co-op board members. The opportunity to not only connect with NTCA’s own leadership, but also to sit around the table with electric leaders and hear what their business model is looking like, what their challenges have been and compare notes on the differences and similarities between telco and electric cultures, etc., is really a rich experience. In addition, I have great admiration for the NRTC team, starting at the very top with their CEO Tim Bryan, who is as creative and innovative as they come.

The meeting was filled with some interesting reports on the status of NRTC’s work in the video world, and I really welcome their ability to look for ways to create scope and scale on the programming front and continuing to look for OTT and other solutions. It was particularly fun attending the meeting the day after reading the news release on the partnership just announced in Missouri between Kingdom Telecom and their neighboring electric cooperative as they established a new LLC to bring broadband services to consumers of the electric cooperative that were not in Kingdom’s service territory and, hence, had not previously had access to broadband services. This is exactly the solutions-based action that I love to see. Kudos to GM Renee Reeter and her team.

I had planned on making a few more connections while I was down at the NRECA meeting, but I got a call from my dad that my mother had been taken to the hospital in Destin, Florida, where they “winter.” The beauty of online airline reservation systems is that I was able to book a one-way ticket, use cash and miles to keep it reasonable, and be on a plane two hours later. My mother, a stage 4 COPD patient, spent two days on a ventilator, and had a miracle moment and a gift today when she was able to be weaned off without any more drama than necessary and a few barbs thrown my dad’s way. The miracle of modern medicine even has airline online reservation systems beat!


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