In her keynote speech at TelcoTV, Shirley Bloomfield explained how rural broadband operators must shift their message to building broadband and not just saving broadband in rural areas. In the above interview, Bloomfield, president and CEO of NTCA, points out that the networks are, “living and breathing,” and require continual upgrades to stay current with the explosion of demand from end-devices.
She points out that regulatory uncertainty is causing investment uncertainty and cites a survey of telcos whereby over 50% of Wisconsin telcos are cutting back or stopping capital investments. The regulations are forcing a short-term view on what are long-term, capital investments.
Working together as an industry to achieve economies of scale and greater reach is imperative for rural operators to build new revenue streams. She also suggests working with groups outside the traditional telecom sector that also share the desire to improve rural America with bring new opportunities.
Developing new products to build upon the broadband infrastructure will be critical to driving new revenue. Bloomfield indicates that the change in name of TelcoTV from TelcoVision reflects this need for operators’ to broaden their product offering®.