Last week I attended and spoke at IT Expo in Miami. This week I am attending my first national rural telecom event, Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and Expo (RTIME). What distinguishes this event is focus on the issues of rural America around telecommunications and the coming together of so many different telephone company CEOs, General Managers, Directors and management staff. Of course, since it is being held at the Disney location in Orlando, there is also a good size contingent of younger family members.
Although, my day has been full of meetings, I did find time to hear the comments of Shirley Bloomfield, NTCA CEO and Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Commissioner. Both spoke well to a very enthusiastic standing room only audience. Both addressed top priorities for this group by discussing regulatory challenges, call completion, funding changes and the need to understand what strategies have to be considered by the rural ILECS (RLECs).
For those of you not attending, Bloomfield perhaps pushed the buttons best that I often discuss with RLECs. It is very important for each Telco to think and act differently. Collaboration with other Telcos can result in the sharing of backend resources, employees and investment opportunities that can offset the often-small size of the RLEC. Leveraging the assets and, to some extent, expertise of others in our ecosystem will assist in reducing the impact of the changes in funding for many. Additionally, RLECs need to embrace innovation from the deployment of Metro Ethernet, SIP Trunking, Hosted Communications, wireless, IPTV and other new applications and services.
Interestingly, ANPI has introduced a new logo and beneath that logo we show our commitment to Collaboration, to Innovation and most important, to Deliver. As mentioned during lunch, we can all sit around a table and discuss possibilities but delivering upon them proves we are making the right plans, developing the right product and deploying the correct infrastructure and methodology.
With our entry into Hosted Solutions, we are offering RLECs the chance to private/white label a platform that delivers a rich suite of communications capabilities supported by the OSS/BSS required for ordering, provisioning, billing and supporting the product.
NTCA and OPASTCO have united to execute this event. The attendance is fantastic. Check back on Thursday for more.