Mark Gailey of Totah Communications discusses his community and the roots of his company, which date to the 1950s. Gailey is a 3rd generation provider who came home after working at Contel of Arkansas. He points out the importance of putting a face to the data, when talking to the FCC.
He also discusses the National Broadband Plan and the potentially devastating impact it will have on his and other rural communities, both in terms of job loss as well as the reduced support for local community organizations. Gailey echoed the concerns of I heard at this conference from people who work for telcos as well as their consulting engineers.
Many of these folks are concerned that, if the National Broadband Plan is enacted in the direction the way it is going, there could be bankruptcies as early as 2012. It seems to be more of a flash cut, than a glide path to a broadband support fund. Interestingly, this has the potential to put a burden on an other Federal agency; the USDA's Rural Utility Service.
The idea of equality of opportunity in terms of education was discussed. Gailey pointed out how his own son takes an online algebra class that, otherwise, would require driving 20 miles. Coincidentally, when we were discussing this point, a group of kids, apparently on a field trip, walked by us (around 7:00).
This is a big story that will play out in the next 4 months.