February 24 February 25 February 26 February 27 February 28



Saturday, February 24
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Sunday, February 25
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Church Service

7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Tour: Waco & Magnolia Market

8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Foundation for Rural Service Board of Directors Meeting
8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Telco Executives/CEO Policy Discussion
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Membership Committee Meeting
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Welcome to Austin

Get the best tips on exploring local attractions, dining, and shopping.

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.


Your Customer Service, Digital Connections and the Customer Experience
Engaging the empowered customer is a challenge for all companies. From customer reviews and social media to apps and ever-growing customer expectations, telcos must know where they stand today before they can successfully serve the customer of tomorrow. This panel addresses consumer preferences, customer service trends, and how telcos can improve their own customer experiences.

Brought to you by the NTCA Associate Member Advisory Council

For: management and staff
NTCA Certificate code: B109

What the Data Tell Us About the Economy
A nationally-known economist shares his insights on global, national and local economic trends. With a particular focus on successes and challenges for rural economies, the presentation gives specific attention to energy, construction, real estate and communications. The presentation concludes with an outlook for the remainder of 2018 and beyond.

For: management, staff, directors
NTCA Certificate code: B106

Marketing's Greatest Hits
The NTCA Marketing Committee is doing what it does best, bringing you leading-edge marketing know-how for the promotion of products and services in small town America.

Brought to you by the NTCA Marketing Committee

For: management and staff
NTCA Certificate code: B108

Executive Leadership Exchange
Members of the NTCA Managers’ Futures task force will host a discussion on current issues and challenges faced by telco execs and general managers across many territories.

Brought to you by the NTCA Managers' Futures task force

For: management
NTCA Certificate code: B109

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


Hiring That New Manager
Retirements are on the rise again as the industry begins to cycle through a new generation of management. In this session, we’ll learn how to plan for transition, identify and cultivate future leaders. It’s critical to make thoughtful choices for your telco’s transition, whether growing from within or looking beyond the company to make a new hire.

For: directors, board officers
NTCA Certificate code: G107

Bylaws for a New Generation
Creative business combinations, deals and collaborations abound. Are your bylaws ready for action? Many deals today are held back by outdated bylaws that were written for a bygone era of telecommunications services. Learn how you can update your bylaws and be ready to strike when the time is right.

For: directors, board officers
NTCA Certificate code: G103

The ROI of Fiber
4K video, HD voice, on-demand streaming services, smart homes and businesses—telcos must find creative and affordable supplementary solutions to leverage their fiber investments. This panel will focus on how to effectively plan and execute your next fiber investment, including communicating your fiber roll-outs to your staff and getting the best return on your dollar.

Brought to you by the NTCA Associate Member Advisory Council

For: directors, management
NTCA Certificate Code: B101

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

NTCA Rural Broadband PAC Board Meeting

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.


Noon - 2:30 p.m.

Meetings and Education Committee Meeting

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Awards Committee

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CONCURRENT DIRECTOR SESSIONS (Repeat)
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Join CEOs and other executives from firms nationwide for an exclusive and interactive discussion of best practices and business issues. Learn how your peers are challenging their teams to perform and what they are doing to grow revenues. Each roundtable is based on company size. 

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

CSSA Board of Directors Meeting

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. WELCOME RECEPTION (JW Marriott)
Monday, February 26
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. NTCA Rural Broadband PAC Annual Awards Breakfast
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. TIG Policyholder Breakfast
7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CONSULTING ROOMS

Meet with representatives from CoBank, RTFC, RUS

7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. REGISTRATION
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

OPENING GENERAL SESSION (Austin Convention Center)


Shirley Bloomfield
Chief Executive Officer, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

Broadband is the fiber that connects industry, innovation and infrastructure, weaving its way through business, consumers and technology. Catch up on a timely discussion of innovation and infrastructure that's facing rural America in 2018.


 What Customers Crave

Nicholas Webb
Futurist, Technology Chief Executive Officer, Award-Winning Inventor, Number One Bestselling Author

9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

The Coffee Stop

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Technical Committee Meeting

1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Government Affairs Committee

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Joint Industry & Regulatory Policy/Competitive & Advance Services Committee Meeting

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CONCURRENT DIRECTOR SESSIONS (Austin Convention Center)

Capital Credits and Other Board Legal Issues

We’ll explore a comprehensive collection of legal issues that every director needs to know today. Compliance with many issues such as capital credits, cyber awareness, risk management and fiduciary responsibilities will help directors better understand their role.

For: directors, board officers, management
NTCA Certificate code: G102

Smart Agriculture and Broadband: 10 Top Trends to Watch

As populations rise worldwide, the need for precision agriculture will only grow. The US agriculture industry is already highly-dependent on smart ag, and we’ve barely scratched the surface as more farms come online and more devices get connected to the network. Come explore 10 trends to monitor as broadband spreads across the landscape.

For: directors; management
NTCA Certificate code: T106

Mergers, Real Estate and Coffee Shops—Being Open-Minded for Expansion

Future deals and combinations will require keeping an open mind. In the past year, telcos have opened business lines that run the gamut from coffee shops to electric contractors to water utilities to tech support, and even daycare. Hear some of those stories from your peers—who knows what inspiration may be just around the corner in your community.

For: directors, board officers, management
NTCA Certificate Code: B106

From the Boardroom: Telco/Electric Collaboration

Unexpected collaborations can help sharpen a Board’s skills as they work on strategic deals to benefit the community. Through the unique lens of a Board member, this session examines board roles and limitations regarding collaboration. Learn the critical board perspective that’s needed for formalizing lasting partnerships, especially when an alignment of two boards is required.

For: directors, board officers
NTCA Certificate Code: B103

1:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Associate Member Advisory Council
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Innovation and Business Opportunity
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Legal Committee Meeting
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. EXPO (Austin Convention Center)

Open House (Open to all attendees)

Find the latest products, services and solutions for your networks and business operating needs. Connect with more than 100 exhibitors.

6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. FRS FUNDRAISING EVENT

Sizzling Fun at Austin’s Rattle Inn

Support the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) and enjoy a fun-filled evening at the Rattle Inn, one of Austin's hip live music venues located in the popular West 6th Street District.  

Tuesday, February 27
6:15 a.m. - 7:15 a.m. Fun Walk

Get a healthy start to your day. Join NTCA and your fellow attendees for an early morning walk or run to check out local sites.

7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. EXHIBITOR PRESENTATIONS

Get an in-depth look and learn more about industry products, services and solutions from EXPO exhibitors. 

See Participating Companies.

7:00 a.m. - 7:45 p.m. CSSA Annual Meeting
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. REGISTRATION
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
7:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. CSSA Board of Directors Meeting
7:45 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. CAUCUS MEETINGS (Austin Convention Center)

Central Caucus
North Central Caucus
Northwest Caucus
Southwest Caucus
Northeast Caucus
Southeast Caucus

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. NTTA Membership Meeting
8:00 a.m. - Noon TIG Board Meeting
8:00 a.m. - Noon CONSULTING ROOM
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ACE Annual Meeting
8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. SECOND GENERAL SESSION (Austin Convention Center)

Everything You Need to Know About Cybersecurity

Marcus Sachs
Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, North American Electric Reliability Corp.

Cybersecurity is a hot topic generating a lot of uncertainty, but what do we really need to worry about? Is it all marketing hype or should we change the way we think about risks to our businesses? This session separates the myths from the facts and presents several ideas for improving your resiliency and reducing your exposure to the most common types of cyber threats.


Industry Applications for Augmented Reality

This is the year of augmented reality (AR)! Many companies are exploring the benefits of AR and what it can offer. Learn how technology providers are just scratching the surface of AR use in agriculture, construction and technical support in the very near future.

9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  The Coffee Stop
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Tribal Affairs Committee Meeting
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. SPOUSE SESSION

Hypnotist Doc Ravencraft

Calling all nonbelievers! See Doc’s hypnosis first-hand and follow along with amazement as volunteers begin to drop their chins to their chest or rest their heads on the shoulder next to them and take Doc’s suggestions—from transporting back in time to the era of disco to becoming part of TV shows and movies, and much more.

10:30 a.m. - Noon CONCURRENT MANAGER SESSIONS (JW Marriott)

From the CEOs’ Desk—Collaboration Among Telcos and Electrics (Does not repeat)

Conditions must be just right to find victories in collaboration, from finding the right partners to managing an agreement that will work now and well into the future. Understand the telco executive perspective on what sparks success, and find out how others started the process and continue to make collaborations work for all stakeholders.

For: management
NTCA Certificate code: B103

Complementary Nature of Small Cells (Does not repeat)

As wireless usage continues to increase and demands on spectrum grow, small cells with shorter range can help boost network capacity. This session will examine how small cells, strategically placed, can complement the larger macro cells that are common today.

For: management and staff
NTCA Certificate code: T104

Game On! Community Tournaments—A Win for All (Does not repeat)

Reach out to a whole new audience. Telcos are realizing that gamers are a growing base of users that are part of that target market of next-generation users. Hear how telcos are having great success in promoting community tournaments for the gamers that want your superfast service. Learn how others are positioning themselves to show their community that it’s game-on.

For: management and staff
NTCA Certificate code: B108

Rights of Way, Pole Attachments, and Infrastructure Initiatives (Does Not Repeat)

Rights of way and attachments issues create some roadblocks to infrastructure deployment: historic preservation, railroads, and environmental interests just to name a few. Learn more about emerging and evolving issues, and how history can affect the future.

For: management and staff
NTCA Certificate code: P103

10:30 a.m. - Noon CONCURRENT DIRECTOR SESSIONS (Repeat from Monday)
11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EXPO LUNCHEON (Austin Convention Center)
1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ROUNDTABLES

New Director/First-Time Attendees

Join other new- and nearly-new directors for an open information exchange.

Smart Agriculture

Discuss the intersection of smart ag and robust broadband, and find out what does broadband bring to farms near you.

Disruption in Healthcare

Besides rural broadband, the other hot policy topic of the day is rural healthcare. Discuss how telehealth is closing the gaps in your territory.

Having Depth at the Bench

Where do you fit in with innovation and resilience? Discuss long-range considerations when leadership changes occur. Whether it is a software transition, a culture change, staffing changes, or a new General Manager, share your company initiatives that gained support, and paid off.

Board Ethics for Everyone

It’s always important to revisit board ethics to make sure you are doing all the right things. Be prepared to share your efforts that keep boards ethical.

Your Tech-Savvy Board

The ever-changing landscape of products and services is enough to challenge any Board member. How does your company keep everyone abreast of the products and services that the company offers now and in the near-future?

2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ROUNDTABLES (Repeat)
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EXPO REFRESHMENTS (Austin Convention Center)
3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. RWA Committee Meeting
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. NRTC Annual Meeting
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. NTCA Rural Broadband PAC/RTAF EVENT

An Evening in Hill Country

Enjoy world-renowned barbeque with a side of Texas Hill Country hospitality as we spend the evening at Salt Lick BBQ. We'll take a scenic drive into Hill Country as the sun is setting to be the exclusive guests at the Pecan Grove. Savor the family recipes that have roots back to the wagon trains of the mid 1800's and have some good ole Texas fun listening to live music under the majestic canopy of pecan trees.

Wednesday, February 28
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet & Awards Ceremony
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. REGISTRATION
9:30 a.m. - Noon The Coffee Stop
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CLOSING GENERAL SESSION (Austin Convention Center)

Business Session

Foundation for Rural Service Report


Measuring the Value of Broadband
A research project, commissioned by the Foundation for Rural Service and conducted by iGR, explores the value of broadband networks within broader measures of economic activity. Hear from the authors who conducted primary research on the number, types and value of transactions in order to better understand the impact your network has on other industries and on the national economy as a whole. The research splits broadband-enabled transactions by vertical industry to better capture and describe the comprehensive value of rural broadband networks.

Economic Analysis

John Suter
Vice President, Capital Markets Research, RTFC


The Passing Zone on I.C.E.— Innovation. Collaboration. Execution.

Jon Wee and Owen Morse
Co-Founders, The Passing Zone

Be amazed. Be thrilled. Just watch out for flying chainsaws as the award-winning juggling team of Jon and Owen demonstrate how the principles of innovation, collaboration and execution, and the power of partnerships lead to success. Through their exciting and hilarious acts where audience members join in the fun, they will show you how to be a high-performance team player. Their philosophy: If you can innovate, collaborate and execute, you can accomplish great things (even without three chainsaws.)


Golf Outing: Onion Creek Golf Club

Join the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) for a fun day of golf at the Onion Creek Golf Club, one of Austin's most historic golf clubs. Founded by Austin native and three-time Master's Champion, Jimmy Demaret. The course features a fun and challenging experience for those who enjoy the game and the fellowship it inspires. Shotgun start is at Noon. The course is approximately a 15 minute drive from the Austin Convention Center.


Meeting adjourns


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