By Ashley Spinks, Communications Coordinator, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
February 5, 2019
For some members attending RTIME, their day began very early this morning with the NTCA Rural Broadband PAC 50th Anniversary Celebration breakfast at 7 a.m. Others had an extra hour to sleep before heading to the Second General Session of this year's conference at 8 a.m.
NTCA Board Secretary-Treasurer Allen R. Hoopes took the stage to introduce the first speaker, Joe Candido, who offered advice for how to think like a futurist. Candido discussed the wide range of industries that are being affected and changed by emerging technology, including transportation, health care, education and farming. He also offered insight into how generational differences can hinder or support effective workplace collaboration.
Following Candido's remarks, NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield walked onstage to introduce FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai joined the conference for a "Fireside Chat" with Bloomfield on a variety of issues, including the recently-adopted Universal Service Fund budget order, the most effective way to implement performance testing requirements and the availability of spectrum. Bloomfield shared some thoughts about the conversation on her blog.
To close out the morning, NTCA Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs and Business Development Michael Romano led a panel discussion, "The Changing—and Unchanging—Nature of Rural Network Economics," which was briefly interrupted by a fire alarm! (As Director of Government Affairs Adam Jorde pointed out on Twitter, it seems the chairman's discussions of rural broadband initiatives were just too hot!)
Concurrent sessions from Monday repeated in the afternoon, and a new feature of this year's RTIME conference debuted: EXPO Live! NTCA hosted two panels, moderated by Andy Johns from WordSouth and composed of NTCA members, during this new live programming aspect of the vendor space. The panels were on the topics of broadband partnerships and how to build Smart Rural Communities™.
Closing out the day were Regional Caucuses, held at the House of Blues. During the caucus meetings, regional board directors, as well as representatives from the boards of the Foundation for Rural Service and the PAC, offered updates on progress in the region. This evening, the PAC continued celebrating its 50th anniversary with a tour of the National World War II Museum.
The final day of RTIME [R]evolution will kick off tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the Closing General Session.