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Regulatory ViodiTV @ ACA

“Rural America Is a Big Part of America” #Summit21


It’s one thing to talk about or even see pictures of rural America, but it doesn’t compare to experiencing it first hand. Last April at the ACA 2014 Convention, I had a chance to catch up with the lone Representative from the very rural state of Vermont. Interspersed in the above interview with Representative (D-VT) Peter Welch are some images captured from my brief visit to Vermont this past week. The images reinforce Welch’s points about the unique nature of rural America.

Welch discusses the importance of understanding the needs of the people and the small businesses in rural areas and how independent operators have been key to bringing broadband to areas that otherwise would be ignored. He suggests that any sort of telecommunications’ rewrite needs to look at the consumers’ needs and that’s why the bipartisan working group of Energy and Commerce Committee that he and Rep. (R-OH) Bob Latta formed is crucial to ensuring that the rural needs are heard.

He points out that consumers eventually pay for the high content costs that originate with media companies and sports teams in large cities. He suggests that technology and innovation may be part of the solution to some of the cost issues. Ironically, I was able to see an example of Vermont innovation that offers an affordable alternative for the cash-strapped consumer; more about that in a future post.

2014 ACA Summit coverage brought to you by the ACA and ViodiTV.

2 replies on ““Rural America Is a Big Part of America” #Summit21”

With the smartphone Rural america now has relevance for the 90% of the population that transits to and through; so effectively doubling and possibly tripling the demand assumptions. As well, increasingly 2-way BB apps like HD videoconferencing can likewise virtualize demand. However regulators and the industry do not have effective analytical frameworks and models to take these geometric demand trends into account.

Thanks for the comment. I agree that the untethered feature of wireless changes everything. In fact, I am typing this comment from my phone.

My travels last week though the hinterlands of upstate New York and Vermont reinforced how dependent I am on wireless it also reinforced in my mind how difficult wireless deployment can be in rural America. Wireless needs fiber. One example of this was at a ski resort where myself nor my colleagues had wireless data. The ski resort realizing the dead spots, wired the mountain for fiber and WiFi; a definite guest amenity.

We also heard of fiber fed Distributed Antenna Systems by another operator to help bring LTE to places it would otherwise not be. Stay tuned for more coverage in future ViodiTV posts.

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