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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.


Feb 25, 2021
by Randy Sukow
Following today’s NRTC Virtual Annual Meeting, the NRTC Board of Directors met to elect new officers, including Tim Mergen, CEO and GM of Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association in Litchfield, MN, who will serve a two-year term as chairman. Mergen, who has been vice chairman for the past ...
Feb 25, 2021
by Randy Sukow
For the first time, NRTC held its annual meeting online. The today’s meeting also was the first time that NRTC electric and telco members gathered in one session. The most prominent topic of the day was on the many ways that NRTC members have served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
Feb 24, 2021
by Randy Sukow
The economic and the practical motivations for consolidating the wireless tasks within a rural electric cooperative are coming together. The combination of available spectrum for utilities, lowering costs for private Long-Term Evolution (pLTE) components the growing ecosystem of 3GPP-compatible devi...
Feb 24, 2021
by Randy Sukow
Talk about bad timing. If there ever was a good time to schedule a pandemic of indefinite length to disrupt your business, it wouldn’t be while preparing the imminent roll out of fiber optic broadband service in rural Tennessee. But about a year ago, that was what Cumberland Electric Membership Co...
Feb 22, 2021
by Steve Pastorkovich
The government is ramping up new programs to fund broadband network construction and consumer access as the benefits of widespread connectivity become more apparent. Some are programs that are already underway, while others are new initiatives Congress funded in legislation late last year. NRTC wil...
Feb 17, 2021
by Randy Sukow
Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel this morning announced the formation of a new Broadband Data Task Force to manage the implementation of new mapping and data-gathering processes and finding the precise locations where broadband service is available today. FCC attorney Jean Kiddoo will lead ...
Feb 16, 2021
by Randy Sukow
Sometimes that smartphone video camera is in the right place at the right time … if you consider being near an electric power hazard the right place. After a rare Louisiana winter storm earlier this week, some residents of the city of Kenner (near Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport...
Feb 15, 2021
by Randy Sukow
The FCC sent out a call to Internet service providers, asking them to participate in the new $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The aim is to assist low-income families across the nation who sometimes go into debt staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as panelists ...
Feb 11, 2021
by Randy Sukow
A week after NRTC and NRECA submitted a paper to the FCC pointing to flaws in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) reverse auction, other organizations have aired similar reservations. There is widespread concern that some of the winning bidders did not have the technical and/or financial quali...
Feb 2, 2021
by Randy Sukow
A jointly written NRTC and NRECA paper calls on the FCC to take a close look at bidders in the recent Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I reverse auction. As the Commission reviews the “long-form” applications for each winning bidder in the auction, NRTC and NRECA say bidders must “d...
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