The Federal Communications Commission is embarking upon an ambitious effort to remake the Universal Service Fund into a vehicle for ensuring universal broadband coverage.

Broadband Communities Highlights Impact of Internet on Economic Development with Kentucky Conference

Gigabit Networks, Press Releases, Universal Service September 14th, 2015

Editor’s Note: This week marks the fourth annual Economic Development Conference hosted by Broadband Communities Magazine. The roving conferences have moved from Southern Virginia to Chicagoland; from Western Massachusetts to — this week — Lexington, Kentucky. will be there, reporting on and analyzing the most significant developments to emerge from the event. The event will also be Broadband Communities’ first event since the passing of CEO Scott DeGarmo last month.

Below is the Chairman’s Statement about the event. The agenda is available here; registration is available here

Across America, hundreds of communities are seeking to acquire or develop advanced communications networks. Such networks, they believe, can drive and support simultaneous progress in multiple fields that are of critical importance to them, including economic development and global competitiveness, education, health care, public safety, transportation, energy, environmental protection, democratic engagement, and much more. In virtually every case, fostering robust economic development has ranked at or near the top of the list of considerations motivating these communities.


White House Announces September 21 Date for Release of Broadband Report

Broadband Stimulus, National Broadband Plan, Press Releases, Universal Service August 31st, 2015

Editor’s Note: The White House announced that it would be releasing a report from its Broadband Opportunity Council on Monday, September 21. Read more about the council. Coming Soon: Building on Our Progress of Broadband Investment and Competition August 20, 2015 at 5:57 PM ET by Jeffrey Zients Summary:  The White House has received input […]

FCC Workshop on eRate Funding Shows New Flexibility for School and Library Fiber Builds

FCC, Fiber, Gigabit Networks, Universal Service June 18th, 2015

June 18, 2015 – Recent changes to the eligibility rules for the Federal Communication Commission’s eRate program open the door for new fiber connections for schools and libraries using agency funds. Among the rule changes were the suspension of the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up front construction costs over several years, the […]

Drew Clark Quoted in Communications Daily on Municipal Broadband and Wired West

Universal Service May 20th, 2015

In a story from Communications Daily about the progress of WiredWest, the Massachusetts-based municipal broadband effort, reporter Samantha Madison quotes me as follows. Drew Clark, of counsel to Kirton McConkie, said this is an exciting time because it’s a great implementation of the next phase of what the broadband stimulus efforts were about. States are making […]

Schools, Health and Libraries Conference a Vital Connection for Public Broadband

Education, FCC, Health, Minority, NTIA, Universal Service May 18th, 2015

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Conference

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 – More than five years after the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan, policy-makers and on-the-ground-advocates seeking to build better broadband networks will convene here this week at the annual conference of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition.

The conference, “Enhancing Broadband Through Innovation, Investment and Inclusion,” has become the regular Washington gathering point for those engaged in public broadband initiatives.

Among the keynote and plenary sessions at this year’s conference include addresses by Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, former Virginia Gov. and Sen. George Allen, plus Mayor Jill Boudreau of Mount Vernon, Washington.

Rural Telecommunications Congress Videos and Presentations Posted

Broadband's Impact, States, Universal Service May 18th, 2015

AUSTIN, May 18, 2015 – The Rural Telecommunications Congress posted the entire video and presentations made at the recent Rural Telecommunications Congress held here last month at the Broadband Communities Summit.

The original link to the sessions is at

2015 RTC Program Agenda and Session Content

Tuesday, April 14
3:00pm – 4:00pm: Looking Forward by Looking Back: Digital Inclusion from 1980 to Today
From the first community technology center (1980), the first community network (1986), to the first open gov/data initiative (1989), this presentation explores the history, themes, and future of our work.
  Jane Patterson – RTC President; President, The View Forward
        Speaker:  Anne Neville – Director, NTIA State Broadband Initiative, U.S. Department of Commerce
Digital Nation NTIA-SBI Highlights – session audio

Anne Neville Presentation

Download File

Rural Telecommunications Congress Elects New Slate of Officers: Drew Clark as Incoming President; Jane Smith Patterson as Immediate Past President

Press Releases, Rural Utilities Service, Universal Service April 16th, 2015

AUSTIN, April 16, 2015 – The board of the directors of the Rural Telecommunications Congress voted here on Wednesday to elect a new slate of officers to lead the organization, building upon its work over the last several years.

At its annual meeting held jointly with the Broadband Communities Summit here, the Rural Telecommunications Congress unanimously approved as new officers:

  • Drew Clark, President
  • Jason Whittet, Vice President
  • Frank Odasz, Secretary
  • Eric Ogle, Treasurer
  • Jane Smith Patterson, Immediate Past President

“It is a humbling experience to be entrusted with the leadership of an organization with the history and institutional knowledge of the Rural Telecommunications Congress,” said Drew Clark, incoming President. [...]

Drew Clark, Incoming President, Rural Telecommunications Congress

Jane Smith Patterson, Immediate Past President, Rural Telecommunications Congress

Better Broadband for Rural America Means Looking Beyond Tradition: Join Us at the Rural Telecommunications Congress Today

Education, Expert Opinion, Health, Public Safety, Universal Service April 14th, 2015

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 – The Rural Telecommunications Congress portion of the Broadband Communities Summit opens here Tuesday with a series of conference sessions focused on looking beyond conventional rural telecom.

Rural Telecommunications CongressWith a theme of “Connecting Communities Across the Countryside of Rural America,” our conference sessions on Tuesday include a discussion of the State Broadband Initiative and its impact on rural America, and a robust panel on the companies and technologies that will broadband the life-giving broadband to rural America.

The RTC sessions planning for Wednesday including a summary of the lessons learned from successful broadband deployments, “Broadband and the Farm,” and the impact of the internet of things on rural communities — plus important insight on telemedicine-based health and education programs. [...]

Jonathan Chambers of the FCC Says Results of Rural Broadband Experiment Teach Incumbents a Lesson

Broadband Data, Broadband Mapping, FCC, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, Universal Service April 14th, 2015

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 – The official from the Federal Communications Commission responsible for the agency’s unique “rural broadband experiment” on Monday said the experiment was less about learning than about teaching the rural telecom industry that it can do better.

Speaking on panel at the Broadband Communities Summit here, Jonathan Chambers, chief of the Office of Strategic Planning at the FCC, said: “I wanted to teach certain people in Washington that we could do better than 4 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 1 Mbps up [in broadband speeds.]” [...]

Jonathan Chambers, Chief, Office of Strategic Planning, FCC

Rural Telecommunications Congress Takes Center Stage at Broadband Communities Conference – For a $195 Price

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, Universal Service April 9th, 2015

__1421904841AUSTIN, April 9, 2015 - The Rural Telecommunications Congress (RTC) will take center-stage at the 2015 Broadband Conference Summit here next week. Preconference workshops begin on Monday, April 13 and the Summit continues from Tuesday, April 14 through Thursday, April 16.

For the seventh year in a row, the 12-year-old- Rural Telecom Congress has been partners with the Broadband Communities Magazine to improve broadband availability and usage across Rural America.

FOR THE SPECIAL RATE OF $195, you can register for the full conference. This represents a $700 savings from the full conference cost.  RTC invitees use the code RTC195 to register at a special rate.  This includes all meals, refreshments , evening Receptions,  and admission to all sessions.  When registering, choose the “code holders” option and enter “RTC195” when prompted.  Go to the registration page at:

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