Annual Meeting roundup.Opportunities for learning, networking and plenty of down-home, Texas-sized fun were in abundance at NTCA's Annual Meeting and EXPO '05 in San Antonio San Antonio (săn ăntō`nēō, əntōn`), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. , February 13-16. More than 2,800 attendees experienced interactive sessions on important telecom issues and heard from some of the industry's most prominent figures, all the while enveloped en·vel·op
tr.v. en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing, en·vel·ops
1. To enclose or encase completely with or as if with a covering: "Accompanying the darkness, a stillness envelops the city" by the beauty and culture of the southwestern setting.
NTCA NTCA National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
NTCA National Telephone Cooperative Association
NTCA National Tile Contractors Association
NTCA National Token Collectors Association
NTCA Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Brunner got the event off to a rousing start at the opening general session, where he delivered his state of the association address. In his speech he highlighted the past year's many legislative and regulatory successes, which he credited in large part to the support of NTCA's members.
Brunner also outlined the challenges facing the industry and called on the membership to get involved and play an active role in helping the association shape the policies that will govern the industry in the years to come.
Two keynote addresses marked the opening general session as well: a lighthearted look at the importance of market branding by Jim Davis, creator of Garfield the Cat, and an introspective in·tro·spect
intr.v. in·tro·spect·ed, in·tro·spect·ing, in·tro·spects
To engage in introspection.
[Latin intr look at the FCC's activities and priorities by Jeffrey Carlisle, chief of the FCC's Wireless Competition Bureau.
Davis' lively presentation focused on the importance of "taking care of your company brand," and how branding can bring familiarity and recognition to telcos. A native of rural Indiana, Davis spoke about the evolution of the Garfield franchise and how the loveable love·a·ble
Variant of lovable.
Adj. 1. loveable - having characteristics that attract love or affection; "a mischievous but lovable child"
lovable cat emerged from a comic strip comic strip, combination of cartoon with a story line, laid out in a series of pictorial panels across a page and concerning a continuous character or set of characters, whose thoughts and dialogues are indicated by means of "balloons" containing written speech. character to become a multimillion-dollar brand.
That brand's roots still lie in central Indiana, where the Paws Inc. studio is located. During his presentation, Davis delighted the audience by drawing several cartoons that later commanded quite a bit of attention during a live auction benefiting the Telecommunications Education Committee Organization (TECO (Text Editor and COrrector) A text editor written in 1963 by Dan Murphy at MIT for editing paper tape on a Digital PDP-1 computer (it was originally called "Tape Editor and Corrector"). ).
Carlisle opened his comments by noting that the past year was filled with "speculation, excitement and anxiety." He read a passage from a recent business article that stated that the "Wal-Mart phenomenon" has created "the rise of the consumer" and their right to access a wide array of products. He related this to the telecommunications sector, noting that a similar phenomenon is occurring with consumers and their access to connectivity.
Carlisle went on to say that the "triple play" is an illusion; the services commonly referred to as the triple play--voice, video and data--are not three services, but one: data. Carlisle noted that teenagers will drive the development of broadband, and the industry should pay attention to the types of electronic products that teenagers will buy in the next three, five and 10 years. In closing, Carlisle said the goal of the commission is to create intercarrier compensation and universal service regimes that are equitable and sustainable.
A compelling panel discussion entreating members to recognize, "There is More to Life than DSL DSL
in full Digital Subscriber Line
Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary ," rounded out the opening general session. Amperion CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. Phil Hunt and Tom Moore, CEO of Wildblue, shared their thoughts on alternatives to digital subscriber line See DSL.
(communications, protocol) Digital Subscriber Line - (DSL, or Digital Subscriber Loop, xDSL - see below) A family of digital telecommunications protocols designed to allow high speed data communication over the existing copper telephone lines between end-users and (DSL) and discussed their implications for rural telecom.
Hunt discussed the importance of personalized service--the type provided by NTCA members--and projected that incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) will enjoy continued success as the industry moves toward more personalized service. He added that broadband is an unstoppable force and provides a necessary service to society.
Moore predicted that ILECs would remain competitive in the marketplace by continuing to transition and grow as new technologies become available and consumers demand advanced services.
FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, an advocate for independent rural carriers, participated in a question-and-answer session in which he candidly said that, while the commission hasn't always been successful in balancing the needs of rural carriers with those of larger carriers, he believes they are making progress. Adelstein joked that it was fitting that the NTCA annual meeting was held in San Antonio--where the famous battle of the Alamo The Battle of the Alamo was a 19th-century battle between the Republic of Mexico and the rebel Texian forces, including both Anglos (ethnic Europeans) and Tejanos (ethnic Mexicans in Texas), during the Texians' fight for independence — the Texas Revolution. was waged--because, like the Alamo's defenders, rural telecom providers are being attacked from all sides on universal service and voice over Internet protocol See Internet and TCP/IP.
(networking) Internet Protocol - (IP) The network layer for the TCP/IP protocol suite widely used on Ethernet networks, defined in STD 5, RFC 791. IP is a connectionless, best-effort packet switching protocol. (VoIP) issues, as well as increased competition from wireless and cable providers.
He discussed what the new leadership of the FCC may mean for rural carriers [FCC Chairman Michael Powell has announced that he will be stepping down in March], reflecting that the commission has a heightened sensitivity to rural issues as a result of rural carriers' continued participation and involvement in both the legislative and regulatory rulemaking processes, especially on such a vital issue as intercarrier compensation reform.
Adelstein also noted that the commission must be careful not to take universal service for granted as it moves forward with forming rules and regulations addressing new technologies. "VoIP doesn't make universal service unnecessary; it makes universal service more important," he said.
A keynote speech keynote speech
See keynote address.
Noun 1. keynote speech - a speech setting forth the keynote
keynote - the principal theme in a speech or literary work by former actor and Congressman Fred Grandy concluded the general sessions. Grandy's humorous and poignant look at the motivation behind public service and volunteerism was well received by the packed house.
v. ex·pound·ed, ex·pound·ing, ex·pounds
1. To give a detailed statement of; set forth: expounded the intricacies of the new tax law.
2. on his theme of "doing well and doing good," Grandy explained his view of the true nature of public service and how it links to community wealth. Grandy also spoke about how personal tragedy launched him from an acting career to a career in Congress, and then the nonprofit sector, illustrating his point that the path to public service is a uniquely personal journey. He noted that many cooperative leaders already contribute to their communities.
The annual meeting was filled with educational seminars and workshops on a wide range of topics, from marketing techniques to VoIP to board governance to an exploratory look at the "Telco of the Future." And the sold-out EXPO packed with exhibitors gave attendees an up-close look at resources available to their operations (see page 38).
Following a delicious banquet, an awards presentation honored several member companies and their employees for distinguished service and outstanding citizenship (see page 44). The meeting ended on a high note, as attendees danced the evening away to the energetic sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a contemporary swing band from southern California. Their notable singles include "Go Daddy-O" and "You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight". The band went from a regular Wednesday night gig at the Derby in Hollywood, playing for a few hundred people, .
Caitlin Colligan is public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most manager for NTCA. She can be reached at email@example.com.