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Rural Connect

NRTC offers Rural Connect as a place for its members and others interested to follow all topics related to communications technology and how it affects rural electric cooperatives and telecommunications providers. NRTC uses this blog to announce and discuss its products and services. NRTC posts all Rural Connect content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, where you can use the blog to discuss technology, regulatory, legislative and business issues.


Sep 17, 2020
by Randy Sukow
It is well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for home internet connections as many work or study from remote locations. But more traffic on the network has not resulted in slower speeds, according to a study by WhistleOut, a search engine that uses its technology to gath...
Sep 14, 2020
by Randy Sukow
It is anticipated that as the FCC requires advanced techniques like crowd sourcing and polygon calculations when reporting broadband coverage data, future mapping will more accurately tell policy makers where service exists and where it does not exist. But no mapping technology is perfect. The Commi...
Sep 9, 2020
by Randy Sukow
As technology advances, demands on the smart grid are growing. Many rural electrics today have begun demand response (DR) programs based on smart thermostats, which help co-op members save energy and money. Gradually, however, homes and business are moving to additional technologies, such as solar p...
Sep 8, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The FCC expects to vote at the end of this month on a plan to open the 3.45-3.55 GHz band for commercial use. The Commission said that it would release a draft of the Report & Order tomorrow (Sept. 9) in preparation for a vote during the next scheduled FCC agenda meeting on Sept. 30. The plan f...
Sep 2, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Verizon Wireless was the top bidder in the recently concluded Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) auction. It bid nearly $1.9 billion to acquire 557 licenses in 157 different counties. Bidders large, small and rural competed for the 3550-3650 MHz band Priority Access Licenses (PALs) where many e...
Aug 31, 2020
by Nick Carney
NRTC's broadband members now have a new offering to entice subscribers: the popular new streaming service HBO Max. The streaming service, launched in May by WarnerMedia, provides access to more than 10,000 hours of content, ranging from popular and classic movies to brand new HBO Max exclusives...
Aug 26, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The FCC’s auction for Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in the 3550-3650 MHz band, better known as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) ended yesterday with $4,585,663,345 in gross bids. CBRS is the first of several mid-band frequencies the Commission plans to distribute over the next year to...
Aug 20, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The academic world sometimes describes the value electric energy storage systems in dry terms of economic theory. NRTC partner ENGIE is interested in translating those analyses into real-world examples of how utilities today are making wise investments through storage deployments. There is a long li...
Aug 19, 2020
by Randy Sukow
An NRTC electric member one day recently was looking at a possible coincident peak day. The staff dispatched the smart thermostats in their region in anticipation of the upcoming event. In return, they got an error message; indications were that the dispatch failed. Fortunately, the co-op was workin...
Aug 17, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Over the weekend C-SPAN aired an interview with NRTC board member Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, who shared her view of the general state of rural telecommunications with a national TV audience. She appeared on The Communicators, a weekly half-hour program that fea...
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