for the week ending February 9, 2018

Broadband Grant Idea Gains Support:  Legislation that would provide state broadband grants to any willing provider to reach unserved rural areas of the state made progress this week on both sides of the Capitol.  On a 12-1 vote, the House Special Committee on Innovation & Technology Wednesday approved a committee substitute for HB 1872  (text not yet available) that would establish a grant program through the Missouri Department of Economic Development.  Applicants could receive up to $5 million for projects to extend broadband to unserved areas.  A similar plan, SB 922, was heard Wednesday by the Senate Commerce C ommittee.

Economic Development Group Focuses on Broadband:  Efforts to expand rural broadband networks was the focus of the opening session of the winter conference of the Missouri Economic Development Council in Jefferson City Monday.  The group heard comments from Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Garrett Hawkins, deputy director; and Luke Holtschneider, rural development manager for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The panel discussed the importance of the new office of broadband development recently announced by Governor Greitens, and legislative efforts to provide grants to fund broadband in unserved areas.  Holtschneider briefed the MTIA board of directors on plans for the new office at their meeting Wednesday in Jefferson City.

MATSS Opens Call for Speaker Proposals: MTIA and our MATSS partners have begun planning  for our 2018 conference at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri Monday, October 15 – Wednesday, October 17, 2018. We invite your company to submit a brief outline of a proposed presentation (maximum of 45 minutes) appropriate for one of the breakout sessions .  As you know, MATSS attendees are interested in new technologies, technical solutions, business practices, and developing regulatory and legal issues that relate to the telecommunications field. We’re looking for presentations that meet those needs. Proposals should fall within four categories: 1) general management; 2) technology updates; 3) outside plant topics; or 4) current regulatory and/or legal issues. Proposals must be educational to all attendees and MUST NOT be of a commercial nature or promote products.

When submitting your proposal, please note the following:

  • Presentation summaries should be 300 words or less.
  • No PowerPoint slides and/or extensive proposal documents.
  • No compensation or other consideration will be given to the selected presenters.
  • No more than two proposals per company.

Please e-mail your proposal to the MATSS Program Selection Committee (attention Bob Stafford) at ota@brightok.net . Please also include your company name, ONE contact person and their address, phone number and email. The deadline for receipt of your proposal is COB March 20 , 2018.   All proposals submitted will be reviewed by the Program Selection Committee and all successful applicants will be notified around April 19, 2018.

Industry Partner of the Week:  MTIA member-company CoBank, ACB provides financial services to Missouri’s telecommunications carriers.  For more information, contact Andy Smith, vice president, at 770-618-3260; or visit them online at www.cobank.com.

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