2017 MTA Spring Convention: March 27-29

The annual MTA (Minnesota Telecom Alliance) conference is coming up – March 27-29 in Minneapolis. It’s also a big and great show with topics ranging from policy, to technology, marketing, industry new and business management. The trade show alone is a fun look at what folks are doing.

Here’s a peek at the agenda

Monday, March 27

Breakout Sessions (3:00 – 3:50 pm_

Enabling Faster Speeds at the Network Edge – Karthik Kailasam, Emerson Network Power

Automation and You: Automating Everyday Life and Business Tasks – Shaun Carlson, Arvig
Selling Ethernet Transport in a Tariff Environment – Iris Carrasquillo, NECA

Breakout Sessions (4:00 – 4:50 pm)

Evolving Broadband Privacy Requirements – Shannon Heim, Dykema Gossett

Achieving High Availability with NFV – Mike Gates, REDCOM

There Has to Be an Easier Way! – Gwen Schaffer, Olsen Thielen CPAs

Opening Reception at Hyatt (5:00 – 6:30 pm)

Tuesday, March 28

Breakout Sessions (9:30 – 10:20 am)

5G: Embracing the Opportunities – Ben Humphrey, Finley Engineering Company, Inc.

Leading Millennials – Debbie Johnson, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
How “Big Data” Can Support Revenue – Andy Rangen, 7Sigma Systems, Inc.; Aaron Hautala, RedHouseMedia

Breakout Sessions (10:30 – 11:20 am)

Fiber Indexing for Multi-Use – Erik Gronvall, CommScope

Building a Profitable Modern Video Offering – Mark Chambers, NeoNova; Terry Kucera, NeoNova

Culture Branding: The HR + Marketing Connection – Jenna Monse, Cooperative Network Services; Christine Castagneri, Cooperative Network Services

Breakout Sessions (11:30 am – 12:20 pm)

Personal Cyber Security: A Clear and Present Danger – Jon Brown, Vantage Point Solutions

Make World-Class Wi-Fi Your Differentiator: How to Optimize Carrier Class Wi-Fi in Your Subscriber’s Home – Ben Chan, Calix

Hot Topics in Labor & Employment Law Under the New Administration – Tom Revnew, Seaton Peters & Revnew

Issues Update Lunch (12:30 – 1:30 pm)  – Ron Kresha

Exhibits Open – 1:00 – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, March 29

 

Keynote – John Kriesel

Lifeline Broadband Update Webinar Feb 21

Promises to be a good discussion from NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance)…

The addition of broadband service to Lifeline occurred in December.  NDIA affiliates spend a lot of time and energy  searching for and keeping track of low-cost broadband offers for their community members.  We are at the very early stages of implementation of the new Lifeline program and this webinar is a check-in for where we are now and the current trajectory for the modernization changes.

Save the date now for a conversation about Lifeline broadband featuring Olivia Wein, attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.

This special NDIA webinar  will take place…

February 21, 2017
1:00-2:00 Eastern
at https://zoom.us/j/4320943209

No RSVP is required.

I’ll set the stage with an update on low-cost broadband offers available, how the different offers were mandated, and how you can find information on the offers.  Olivia will discuss:

  • Which ISPs must offer a Lifeline broadband service? How does one determine if an ISP has a Lifeline obligation and in what geographic regions must they provide service?
  • Who else can be a Lifeline Broadband Provider?
  • What are the minimum service standards for wireless and wireline providers?
  • How does one apply for Lifeline? What is the current process for signing up and how will that change when the verification platform is live? What are the timelines for the new enrollment process?

Please join us for this important discussion!

Blandin Webinar Archive: 2017 Legislative Preview

For folks who couldn’t attend, want to see it again – or as we heard from one viewer – didn’t have enough broadband to view, here are the notes and video of the webinar yesterday…

Join us for our inaugural 2017 webinar to learn what broadband issues will be discussed at the Legislature this year. We will hear from both industry and community perspectives about the grant funds, the Office of Broadband and various niche considerations that impact the availability and affordability of broadband, especially in rural Minnesota.

Brent Christensen, president of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, will provide the telephone industry perspective.  Laura Ziegler of League of Minnesota Cities, Steve Fenske of the MN Association of Townships and Mark Erickson from the City of Winthrop (and other hats) will discuss what they hope to see accomplished over the next several months.

Blandin Webinar: 2017 Legislative Preview Jan 12

It’s going to be a good session:cropped-bob_header.jpg

2017 Legislative Preview
January 12 from 3 – 4 pm
Register!

Join us for our inaugural 2017 webinar to learn what broadband issues will be discussed at the Legislature this year. We will hear from both industry and community perspectives about the grant funds, the Office of Broadband and various niche considerations that impact the availability and affordability of broadband, especially in rural Minnesota.

Brent Christensen, president of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, will provide the telephone industry perspective.  Laura Ziegler of League of Minnesota Cities, Steve Fenske of the MN Association of Townships and Mark Erickson from the City of Winthrop (and other hats) will discuss what they hope to see accomplished over the next several months.

Upcoming BroadbandUSA webinars: new tool on Jan 12 & progress report on Jan 18

Wanted to share info on these upcoming webinars…

BroadbandUSA Community Connectivity Webinar Series

Update, assessment detail, and sneak peek at online tool!
Date:               Thursday, January 12th
Time:              2:00-3:00 p.m., Eastern Time
Register:         https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/8438943433992339460
Overview: Participate in this month’s discussion about the BroadbandUSA Community Connectivity Initiative – a local planning tool that promotes broadband planning, action and progress.  The online tool includes twelve models that combine data, questions, responses, and resources to support local leaders explore key topics related to broadband availability, adoption and skills, and the community context that informs local efforts. In addition to providing an overview of the initiative and assessment, we will preview the online tool and discuss the 2017 timeline and delivery schedule.

BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations

The BroadbandUSA Monthly Webinar Series is now called  Practical Broadband Conversations
Topic:             Broadband Opportunity Council: Accomplishments and Outlook
Date:               Wednesday, January 18 from 2:00-3:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
Register:        https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/2578680599272392707
Overview:  Since the Broadband Opportunity Council was formed in March 2015, federal agencies have made great strides toward meeting the goals and fulfilling commitments to increase broadband deployment, competition and adoption through executive actions within the scope of existing programs, missions and budgets. Read the report here and join BroadbandUSA to learn about the progress made and what the future holds for this interagency working group.

Speakers:
Douglas Kinkoph, Assistant Administrator and Co-Chair, Broadband Opportunity Council Working Group, BroadbandUSA, NTIA, US Department of Commerce

Keith B. Adams, Assistant Administrator And Co-Chair, Broadband Opportunity Council Working Group, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, US Department of Agriculture

Timothy A. Herwig, District Community Affairs Officer, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, US Department of Treasury

Net Inclusion 2017 May 16-17 in St Paul, Minnesota

I’m excited to share info on the national digital inclusion conference coming to St Paul this summer. I think it’s going to be a great event. I’m getting a good preview as I am on the planning committee. So many interesting people are involved – and I’m excited to introduce folks to the many great things that are happening in Minnesota to close the digital divide…

Net Inclusion 2017 Save-The-Date

May 16-17, 2017
St. Paul, Minnesota

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit.

Net Inclusion Purpose:
1.  Discuss current and potential local, state and federal policies with the potential to increase digital equity.
2.  Discuss current and potential sources of financial and programmatic support of digital inclusion programs.
3.  Share digital inclusion best practices and new strategies.

We will be in three walkable venues:
St. Paul Public Library George Latimer Central Library
90 W. 4th St. St. Paul MN 55102
James J. Hill Center
80 W 4th St. St. Paul MN 5501
St. Paul City Hall
15 Kellogg Blvd. West St. Paul MN 55102

The Net Inclusion National Planning Team and the Local Planning Team are working hard to create an awesome event. Net Inclusion will begin the morning of May 16 with digital inclusion program site visit tours in the Twin Cities. We’ll wrap up sessions at 3:30 on May 17.

Support Net Inclusion through Sponsorship.

Digital Inclusion Policies and Programs of Local Governments – articles and webinar Jan 11

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has taken over the Journal of Digital and Media Literacy this month. (My words, not theirs.) They are talking all about Digital Inclusion Policies and Programs of Local Governments.

It’s a topic I thought might interest a lot of readers – and would their upcoming interactive discussion on the topic:

Here’s an excerpt from the articles…

Local governments are also in the perfect position to pull together digital inclusion partners, create local plans, increase awareness and raise funding. Which local organizations should engage and which strategic solutions they should employ may vary down to the neighborhood level.

The field of digital inclusion is new enough that even practitioners are still uncertain of the definition. To help us all move forward, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has published the following definitions of digital inclusion and digital equity:

Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).  This includes 5 elements: (1) affordable, robust broadband Internet service; (2) Internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; (3) access to digital literacy training; (4) quality technical support; and (5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration. Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional, and structural barriers to access and use technology.

Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.1

The first four activities in the NDIA definition of digital inclusion overlap with the four activities identified by Colin Rhinesmith in Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Broadband Adoption Initiatives:2

  1. Providing low-cost broadband

  2. Connecting digital literacy training with relevant content and services

  3. Making low-cost computers available

  4. Operating public access computing centers

Read more.