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EXPO 2017 connects with all things telecom

Following a year of uncertainty, elections and political change, EXPO 2017 narrowed its focus to the here and now. Held along the beautiful River Walk in San Antonio, this year’s conference theme of Making the Connection spoke to the joint efforts of the industry to implement change and share successes and challenges. A-CAM, USF reform and Washington administration changes all made for interesting classroom and panel discussions.

Monday general session offered rural association happenings and BDAC activities 

Monday’s general session featured a panel of rural telecom association executives, moderated by Jeff Dupree, NECA vice president of Government Relations, updating attendees on the state of regulatory change and implications of FCC and Congressional actions. Not surprisingly, the panel spent a good amount of time discussing the efforts being made at the FCC and on Capitol Hill to bring attention to the insufficiency of the USF High Cost Fund for both legacay and A-CAM companies.

Following the rural panel, members of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee addressed the audience with a breakdown of their five different working groups and their assigned roles, such as creating model codes used by states and municipalities to streamline broadband deployment. From the sound of it, an appointment to the BDAC brought with it a massive workload.

Classes and panels were designed to satisfy both A-CAM and traditional RoR companies

Classes began Monday afternoon and continued right through Wednesday, with Tuesday and Wednesday mornings starting with vendor and consultant sessions, respectively. Attendees chose from nearly 20 different classes and panels, most offered twice or more over the two and one-half days, and topics were relevant to both A-CAM and traditional rate-of-return companies. 

USF reform and A-CAM were predominant classroom and panel discussion subjects. NECA-related topics, such as forecasts through true-ups, Tariff No. 5, and switched and special access transport options, were plentiful, along with panel discussions on cybersecurity, third party services, broadband and strategic technology initiatives. Add in the very popular and informative Washington update plus an in-depth look into The Internet of Things and this year’s conference provided opportunities to make plenty of connections.

Foundations makes its EXPO debut

 For the first time at EXPO, the entire eight module “Foundations of Telecommunications” curriculum was offered. Students attending all modules earned a certification, while others preferred to attend selected classes.

And we’ll do it again next year

Save the date for NECA EXPO 2018, November 4-7 at the New Orleans Marriott.

 

Filed under January 2018, Tagged with EXPO, Winter 2018


Senior Editor - Linda Zinner 
Editor - Rocky Marcelle     

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