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From Our Blog


We are off and running here at RTIME, NTCA’s annual gathering of thousands of rural broadband providers from across the country and the energy level is wonderfully high. Given that we are spread over at least three hotels and a convention center in downtown Phoenix, I worried in advance that folks would have sore feet by day 3 but that was needless concern as NTCA members continue to make their way to various sessions to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to network, hear from their peers, gather technology nuggets and meet on the EXPO floor with over a hundred exhibitors that all are sharing innovative ideas, products and services in this market.

couple in front of building

Virtual Living Room Opens in Bristol, Vermont

Sometimes, often times in rural America, the nearest VA medical center is too far away for a person to easily get to, and their home internet connection isn’t fast enough or strong enough to make telemedicine options possible. The Virtual Living Room is a program that had its roots in the White House conference on rural health that NTCA played a leadership role in getting off the ground about 5 years ago as a few NTCA members noodled around what we could all do to bridge the gap for those who have served our country and live in rural America. My undying thanks to Keith Gabbard at PRTC in KY for making the first project a reality after some napkin scribbles, phone call brainstorming and Keith just finally showing VA folks that gig service resides in rural America!


White House Releases Rural Community Action Guide on Response to Addiction Issues

NTCA has had a long and very productive working relationship with Anne Hazlett, beginning with her work as the top Rural Development policymaker at USDA under Secretary Perdue. While we were sad to see her leave, her departure simply meant a new role focusing on issues critical to rural America that deserve the policy attention she was willing to give to it – the opioid epidemic and its impact on rural America.

Anne is now the Senior Advisor for Rural Affairs at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP – since we like acronyms so much here in DC). In this still relatively new role, she is working across the federal government to equip rural leaders with tools to address drug addiction in rural America. She called Josh Seidemann and I a few months ago to share that she and her team were looking to create a rural community action guide to help local leaders better access resources and address issues on the ground with this unprecedented drug crisis our country is experiencing.