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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.


Jun 30, 2020
by Randy Sukow
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, in comments to the FCC last week, proposed a plan to allow certain rural mobile phone providers to draw funding from the new $9 billion 5G Fund without having to participate in a reverse auction. These “legacy” providers, who in the past built 3G and 4G se...
Jun 26, 2020
by Matt Timmons
NRTC was pleased to partner with the Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) on a four-part online broadband workshop. The educational sessions for TEC members originally were slated to be part of an in-person training event at TEC’s Georgetown, TX, training facility, in early June. The COVID-19 pandemi...
Jun 25, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday announced that it was awarding a total of $86,691,000 in loans to six rural telephone companies. Each of the loans through USDA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure program involves implementation of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTT...
Jun 22, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee today introduced a bill to allocate $6 billion in a bid to settle the rural broadband issue once and for all. His Accelerating Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Act would allocate $6 billion for rural broadband in unserved areas to go on top ...
Jun 19, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) yesterday introduced the "Rural Connectivity Advancement Program Act’’ (RCAP), a bill that would take 10 percent of net proceeds from FCC spectrum auctions and apply them toward building broadband service in unserved rural areas. Thro...
Jun 17, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Some members of Congress, including Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS), recently have advocated getting Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) money into broadband providers’ hands more quickly. He has sought ways to speed up the start date of the RDOF auction, now scheduled f...
Jun 12, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The FCC’s recent attention on low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites and their eligibility to participate in the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) reverse auction has centered increased attention on the technology that seeks to make broadband connectivity available worldwide through small satel...
Jun 9, 2020
by Randy Sukow
The FCC this morning finalized the final procedures for the Phase I Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) reverse auction and made it official that the auction will begin on Oct. 29. In adopting the Public Notice, the Commission also reversed its policy blocking certain bidders from the auction’...
Jun 5, 2020
by Randy Sukow
In recent years, NRTC and storage technology partner ENGIE have worked with electric cooperatives to build battery energy storage systems (BESS) for applications including demand response and integration with community solar facilities. The good news according to a new report, “Battery Energy Stor...
May 29, 2020
by Randy Sukow
Citing the FCC’s policies regarding the broadband latency, Viasat said this week that it is dropping its plan to build and launch medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites in non-geostationary-satellite orbit (NGSO) and instead moving to a low-earth orbiting (LEO) constellation to compete with SpaceX an...
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