So, yesterday I was so excited to be chatting with USDA Secretary Vilsack about rural broadband…and today, I am disappointed that when the final cuts and edits of the President’s State of the Union were delivered, that while rural broadband was mentioned for the first time by a President, there was an emphasis on wireless technology. The education continues as we work to have policymakers understand the role that wired networks and wireless networks play – and the duplicative value of both. At the end of the day, however, a wired network is required to ensure that any of these “bells and whistle” wireless services can be offered. I sometimes feel like Charlie Brown beating my head against the wall on getting this message across. However, there are positive take-aways too…we are having great discussions with USDA, the FCC, NTIA and other agencies and we just need to keep educating policymakers and telling the rural telco story of success. I also think we take this opportunity to talk with policymakers about how they can change spectrum policy to make it easier for rural telcos to access spectrum for their communities instead of relying on reverse auctions or heavily funded investor entities who are unlikely to build infrastructure in remote regions of the country. That is one of the reasons why I really hope NTCA members continue to show up for our Legislative and Policy Conference in March. The program will be terrific, substantive and key speakers AND we need our members telling this story as well as their own story of technology deployment to all of those key staffers on the Hill. Please don’t let Members of Congress being out of town convince you to do otherwise…the staffers are key and are the best relationships can be built so I can’t put in enough plugs on why this is so important to your future – this year in particular!
Jan 26 2011
More Education for Policymakers
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