Connect with us

Broadband's Impact

Rural Telecommunications Congress Videos and Presentations Posted

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 http://www.ruraltelecon.org/2015-rtc-bbc-summit.html

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.
Moderator:
  Jane Patterson – RTC President; President, The View Forward
        Speaker:  Anne Neville – Director, NTIA State Broadband Initiative, U.S. Department of Commerce
00:00
00:00
Digital Nation NTIA-SBI Highlights – session audio

Anne Neville Presentation

Download File





Published

on

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 http://www.ruraltelecon.org/2015-rtc-bbc-summit.html

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.
Moderator:
  Jane Patterson – RTC President; President, The View Forward
        Speaker:  Anne Neville – Director, NTIA State Broadband Initiative, U.S. Department of Commerce
00:00
00:00
Digital Nation NTIA-SBI Highlights – session audio

Anne Neville Presentation

Download File



4:10pm – 5:00pm:  Broadband Is Like Oxygen to Rural America – What Technology and Companies Will Provide It?
Will Gigabit networks or wireless services best meet the needs of the nation’s rural communities? What options are rural communities missing without good-quality broadband? And when commercial providers are in short supply, how do non-profits, cooperatives and municipal broadband providers help fill the void? Hear the perspectives of a range of rural Internet providers.
        Moderator: Drew Clark – RTC Board Member; BroadbandBreakfast.com; Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie
        Speakers:
Luis Reyes – CEO/GM, Kit Carson Electric
        Will Aycock – CEO, Greenlight, Wilson, North Carolina
        Ron Walters – CEO, PANGAEA, Tryon, North Carolina
        Bill Shilito – President, North Carolina Wireless, LLC
00:00
00:00
Broadband is Like Oxygen to Rural America – session audio

Luis Reyes Presentation

Download File


Will Aycock Presentation

Download File


Ron Walters Presentation

Download File


Bill Shilito Presentation

Download File



Wednesday, April 15
9:00am – 9:50am: Lessons From Successful Broadband Deployments
Join this session to learn and discuss the state of rural broadband access. Hear actionable details about the innovative projects that are providing solutions in rural areas to create positive economic and community outcomes from broadband deployment.
Moderator: Jason Whittet – RTC Board Member; Program Officer, IDC Research
        Speakers:
        Tony Wilhelm – Vice President, Affiniti
        Mark Dzwonczyk – CEO, Nicholville Telephone
        David Salway – Executive Director, NY State Broadband Program
        Luis Reyes – CEO/GM, Kit Carson Electric
00:00
00:00
Lessons from Successful Rural Broadband Deployments – session audio

10:00am – 10:50am: Broadband and the Farm
Broadband technology is an essential tool to those who are linked to the land – modern farmers and ranchers, landowners, builders, and loggers that feed and supply the nation. Their efforts and success drive a significant component of the USA and world economy. The panel will provide a commercial perspective of how broadband is needed on the farm, a state perspective on its importance to the state economy, and discussion on how fiber and wireless networks are essential infrastructure to rural America.
        Moderator: Keith Montgomery – RTC Vice President; CFO Declaration Networks Group, Inc.
        Speakers:
        Mark Lewellen – Manager, Spectrum Advocacy, John Deere & Company
Phillip K. Brown – Director, State/Federal Policy and Broadband Planning, Connected Nation
        Dan Hunter – Assistant Commissioner for Water and Rural Affairs, Texas Department of Agriculture
00:00
00:00
Broadband and the Farm – session audio

Broadband And The Farm Presentation

Download File



2:30pm – 3:20pm: The Internet of Things – Its Impact on Rural Communities
Your refrigerator can order groceries when you need them, your house can call the plumber when there’s a leak, share a diabetic’s blood sugar values with his doctor, and  turn on the irrigation system when the soil is too dry or wait if rain is forecast. Along with medical devices and the fitness industry, these are examples of the Internet of Things that will add to our lives and integrate measurement, analysis, and even social media. Ubiquitous broadband with low latency is critical to make it happen.
Moderator:
Jane Patterson – RTC President; President, The View Forward
        Speaker: 
Mark Johnson
– CTO and VP of Data Architecture, MCNC
        John Chowdhury – Director of Utility Practice, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.
00:00
00:00
The Internet of Things Impact on Rural Communities – session audio

Mark Johnson Presentation

Download File


John Chowdhury

Download File



3:30pm – 4:20pm: Monitoring Rural America’s Health
Learn from projects that have outstanding outcomes in rural and statewide telehealth networks. There will be time to ask questions and have an interactive discussion about telehealth topics important to you. Hear about how current laws and regulations have impacts at state levels with privacy and security.
        Moderator: Galen Updike – RTC Past President; Mesa, Arizona
        Speakers:
        David Kirby – Project Director, NC TeleHealth Network
        Michael Keeling – Partner, Keeling Law Offices PC & Lobbyist for ATIC / Arizona TeleHealth
00:00
00:00
Monitoring Rural America’s Health – session audio

Galen Updike Presentation

Download File


Dave Kirby Presentation

Download File


Michael Keeling Presentation

Download File



5:10pm – 6:10pm: Digital Education and its Impact at the Community Level
Relating adequate broadband to assure quality of life, diverse Community Anchor Institutions (libraries, schools, colleges, economic agencies, public safety, and health organizations) are challenged with finding the most effective practices for training to outcomes. Solutions are evolving across multiple platforms for innovation from mobile devices to Gigacities, across sectors from health to digital entrepreneurship, and across diverse demographics, particularly the 1:2 Americans who are low income and living in poverty.
Moderator: Frank Odasz – RTC Secretary; President, Lone Eagle Consulting
    Speakers:
    John Windhausen – Executive Director, Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB)
    Myra Best – Executive Director, DigiLEARN
Gene Crick – Executive Director, Metropolitan Austin Interactive Network (MAIN)
00:00
00:00
Digital Education and its Impact at the Community Level – session audio

Frank Odasz Presentation

Download File


Myra Best Presentation

Download File


Gene Crick Presentation

Download File



Thursday, April 16
9:40am – 10:30am: Plows to Tractors to Computers to Prosperity
The ability to drive the economy and enable business from anywhere can happen no matter where you live. The digital divide is not only about access, but more about having the resources and awareness to effectively utilize broadband and its ever-changing solutions to business. The session will highlight current research with examples across the nation to get a look into how rural homes and businesses are utilizing broadband, and offer solutions to drive economic improvements where you live.
Moderator: Eric Ogle – RTC Treasurer, Baker Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee
Speakers:

        Michael Curri – President, Strategic Networks Group, Inc.
Monica Lynn Babine – Senior Associate, Program for Digital Initiatives, Washington State University
Maria Alvarez-Stroud
– Director, Broadband and eCommerce Education Center, University of Wisconsin
00:00
00:00
Plows to Tractors to Computers to Prosperity – session audio

Maria Alvarez-Stroud Presentation

Download File


Monica Babine Presentation

Download File



10:40am – 11:30am: Who Will Gigafy Our Rural Infrastructure?
This session will focus on how cross-sector partnerships provides broadband to rural communities. This will be an opportunity to interact with a rural electric cooperative moving towards providing their customers broadband (North Carolina), and with Sunset Digital Communications, the oldest rural Fiber-to-the-Premises company in the USA , partnerships with Powell Electric (Tennessee and Virginia) and a major health initiative (the Northeast Texas Medical and Educational Fiber Optic Network).
Moderator:
Joel Mulder – RTC Board Member; Senior Director of Business Development, G4S Technology
        Speakers:
        Marshall Cherry – COO, Roanoke Electric Cooperative
        Mickey Slimp – Executive Director, Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities, UT Health Northeast
        Paul Elswick – Owner, President & CEO, Sunset Digital Communications, Inc.
00:00
00:00
Who Will Gigafy Our Rural Infrastructure? – session audio

Marshall Cherry Presentaion

Download File


Mickey Slimp Presentation

Download File


Paul Elswick Presentation

Download File


Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney at The CommLaw Group. He has closely tracked the trends in and mechanics of digital infrastructure for 20 years, and has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers navigate coverage, identify markets, broker infrastructure, and operate in the public right of way. The articles and posts on Broadband Breakfast and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

Education

National Non-Profit to Launch Joint Initiative to Close Broadband Affordability and Homework Gap

EducationSuperHighway is signing up partners and will launch November 4.

Published

on

Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of Education Super Highway.

WASHINGTON, October 18, 2021 – National non-profit Education Super Highway is set to launch a campaign next month that will work with internet service providers to identify students without broadband and expand programs that will help connect the unconnected.

On November 4, the No Home Left Offline initiative will launch to close the digital divide for 18 million American households that “have access to the Internet but can’t afford to connect,” according to a Monday press release.

The campaign will publish a detailed report with “crucial data insights into the broadband affordability gap and the opportunities that exist to close it,” use data to identify unconnected households and students, and launch broadband adoption and free apartment Wi-Fi programs in Washington D.C.

The non-profit and ISPs will share information confidentially to identify students without broadband at home and “enable states and school districts to purchase Internet service for families through sponsored service agreements,” the website said.

The initiative will run on five principles: identify student need, have ISPs create sponsored service offerings for school districts or other entities, set eligibility standards, minimize the amount of information necessary to sign up families, and protect privacy.

The non-profit said 82 percent of Washington D.C.’s total unconnected households – a total of just over 100,000 people – have access to the internet but can’t afford to connect.

“This ‘broadband affordability gap’ keeps 47 million Americans offline, is present in every state, and disproportionately impacts low-income, Black, and Latinx communities,” the release said. “Without high-speed Internet access at home, families in Washington DC can’t send their children to school, work remotely, or access healthcare, job training, the social safety net, or critical government services.”

Over 120 regional and national carriers have signed up for the initiative.

The initiative is another in a national effort to close the “homework gap.” The Federal Communications Commission is connected schools, libraries and students using money from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which is subsidizing devices and connections. It has received $5 billion in requested funds in just round one.

Continue Reading

Broadband's Impact

Steve Lacoff: A New Standard for the ‘Cloudification’ of Communications Services

The cloudification of communications services makes it easy to include voice, data, SMS, and video within any existing service.

Published

on

The author of this Expert Opinion is Steve Lacoff, general manager of Avalara for communications

The line of demarcation between what has traditionally been considered a telecommunications service was once very clear. It was tangible – there were wires, end points, towers, switches, facilities. Essentially, there was infrastructure required to relay voice or data from point A to point B.

Today that line is fuzzy, if not invisible. The legacy infrastructure remains, but an industry of cloud-based services that don’t require the physical connections has exploded. Voice, data, SMS, and video conferencing can now be conveniently delivered OTT. Enabled by simple API integrations, businesses can embed just one of these services or a complete communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) into an app, service, or product.

Cloudification is a game changer

This “cloudification” of communications services makes it easy to include voice, data, SMS, and video within any existing application, product, or service. These are essential components for many business models.

Consider these services we have come to rely on in our daily lives: food or grocery delivery, ride services, and business and personal communications. These require multiple methods of communication with shoppers, drivers, co-workers, watch party groups, and external business partners.

The exciting news is there is no end in sight. Use cases will continue to evolve and growth will continue to skyrocket. The scale cloud delivery accommodates is massive. These untethered, easy to embed communications services are a critical differentiator for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer buyers, and the lifeblood of the businesses providing both the end user subscriptions and the APIs.

In fact, one industry juggernaut saw H1 YoY video application service demand grow nearly 600% in 2020.

Not surprisingly, as business demand for these services increases smaller CPaaS players continue to enter the market to quickly snag market share. According to a recent IDC study, “the global market revenue for CPaaS reached $5.9bn in 2020, up from $4.26bn in 2019, and is expected to reach $17.71bn by 2024.”

Merger and acquisition activity is aligned with this hockey stick growth forecast. Large telcos, SaaS providers, and even other CPaaS providers are all on the hunt. Whether they want to add additional features to punch up their products or eliminate the competition in a very tight, nuanced market, the end game is clear – as the market expands, the players will ultimately contract leaving only the most competitive offerings.

Don’t let communications tax take you by surprise

One of the least understood risks when adding cloud-based voice, data, SMS, or video conferencing to an existing product or service is new eligibility for and exposure to the complex world of communications taxation. Making mistakes can get costly very quickly.

Here are some of the key pitfalls to keep an eye on:

  • Expanded nexus: Understanding communications tax nexus is different – and exceptionally more complicated – than sales tax. There are approximately 60,000 federal, state, local, and special taxing jurisdictions, each with uniquely complex rules that tend to change at their own pace. Rules are very different for each service.
  • More complex calculations: The more communications services you provide via API, the more complicated communications taxes will be. Each feature can be taxed at different rates in each individual jurisdiction, or the whole bundle can be taxed at one rate. It’s critical to monitor monthly to avoid audit issues.
  • Maintaining overall compliance: Just as tax rates and rules need to be maintained, so must tax and regulatory filing forms in each jurisdiction. Some of these are very long and require significant detail.  They must be filed in a timely, accurate cadence to avoid additional audit risk.

Bottom line: Don’t assume, be prepared! As these communications services become more pervasive a larger swath of technology providers will find themselves liable for communications tax. The more your business falls behind, the more it can cost you.

It pays to be proactive and prepared. Tax and legal advisory experts can help determine your level of risk, and tax and compliance software providers can help you keep up with changing rules and regulations. Don’t underestimate the ongoing value of networking with peers who are either struggling to answer the same questions or have already overcome the hurdles you’re facing today.

Steve Lacoff is General Manager of Avalara for Communications. With a focus on data, VoIP, and video streaming, Steve has spent 15 years in various product and marketing leadership roles in communications and technology industries, including Disney’s streaming services and Comcast technology solutions. Steve now drives business strategy on today’s changing industry landscape and associated tax impacts. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

Continue Reading

Digital Inclusion

Digital Inclusion Week Highlights Focus on Broadband-Disconnected Urban Residents

Most Americans benefitting from federal spending on rural broadband are white non-Hispanic Americans, says NDIA.

Published

on

Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2021 – Experts on digital empowerment pressed the federal government to maintain a focus on broadband equity during a Wednesday event, hosted on Wednesday by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as part of “National Digital Inclusion Week.”

Speaking about the broader agenda for NDIA, Angela Siefer, the non-profit group’s executive director, said that NDIA’s purpose was to provide “peer-to-peer learning. We get the conversation started. Everything we get is from boots on the ground.”

This theme of community-informed practice and knowledge sharing echoed throughout the presentation.

Siefer said that NDIA “learned that digital redlining is happening in Cleveland” from discoveries that came from having boots on the ground and from living there.

“Digital redlining” refers to discrimination by ISPs in deployment, maintenance, upgrade or delivery of services. Often, as was alleged in Cleveland, NDIA accused AT&T of avoiding making fiber upgrades to broadband infrastructure. The group has also published reports with the Communications Workers of America making similar charges.

These discoveries have built momentum for some, including New York Democratic Rep. Yvette Clark’s Anti-Digital Redlining Act, introduced in August. The bill attempts to ban systematic broadband underinvestment in low-income communities.

Panelists argued that federal government perpetuates digital divide

Underinvestment in historically excluded communities extends beyond large corporations’ – it includes the U.S. federal government’s broadband investment approach. Paolo Balboa, NDIA’s programs and data manager, said that federal government perpetuates racism within the digital divide.

Balboa discussed how federal broadband programs focus funds on expanding availability to residents in unserved and underserved rural areas, but ignore the many – often black and brown – urban Americans lacking high-speed internet access.

But NDIA’s research found that most Americans benefitting from federal spending on rural broadband are white non-Hispanic Americans. Americans who lack home broadband service for reasons besides local network availability are disproportionately of color, says NDIA.

The panelists argued that federal policies directed at closing the digital divide by spending primarily on rural infrastructure leaves out the digital inclusion programs urban and some rural inhabitants need.

Amy Huffman, Munirih Jester, Paolo Balboa, Miles Miller

In finding that fewer than 5 % of the bulk of American households without home broadband are rural, NDIA argues for a federal policy approach centering cost of access as the solution to connecting more families of color. The officials advocate a broader focus that includes the experiences of urban city and county residents for whom cost is the major barrier.

Munirih Jester, NDIA programs director said that NDIA keeps an active list of free and low-cost internet plan available for low-income households, and how they may access it to find affordable ISPs.

Amy Huffman, NDIA policy director, discussed the provision of COVID-19 response funding. She highlighted organization’s resources to raise awareness of the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit, a program to help households afford Internet service during the pandemic.

This year, more than 100 events were registered as part of this week’s Digital Inclusion week, with many visible on the NDIA blog, said Yvette Scorse, NDIA Communications Director.

In a statement this Monday, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Infrastructure Agency spotlighted the agency’s efforts on the topic, including its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program which is making $980 million available to Native American communities.

As previously reported this August, NTIA recently launched Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program making $268 million in grant funds available to HBCUs and other Minority-serving institutions.

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

Trending