FCC Chairman Focuses on Rural Missouri: Several Missouri telecom providers and other stakeholders participated Wednesday in a roundtable discussion and presentation on rural broadband that featured FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The roundtable, organized by Missouri congressman Jason Smith, was held at the West Plains Civic Center as part of Chairman Pai’s Missouri tour.
Panelists discussed the benefits that robust broadband service can provide for education, agriculture, business and the quality of life in rural Missouri; and also shared their views on the need to expand broadband further into the state. MTIA president Ric Telthorst asked Pai to take steps to address the funding shortfall in the federal USF program that is handicapping several Missouri carriers in upgrading their networks.
MTIA member companies attending the roundtable included Ellington Telephone Company, Peace Valley Telephone Company, Steeleville Telephone Exchange, BPS Telephone Company, CenturyLink and AT&T. Chairman Pai made another Missouri stop later in the day in Ozark to view a CenturyLink network facility in an area where the carrier is using CAF funds to further expand their service. Pai concluded his swing through the state with a meeting Wednesday evening in Joplin with emergency communications providers.
MATSS Room Block Filled, Reservations Still Open: We have had a great response for next month’s regional telecom trade show in Kansas City. Our room block at the Sheraton Crown Center is filled, but some rooms may still be available at the adjacent Westin Crown Center (not at the conference rate). To check on availability, call the Westin at 816-474-4400. And, if you have not yet registered for the conference and trade show but plan to attend, please do so ASAP. Registration forms, and other conference information, are available at the link on our home page at www.mtia.org.
Safety Village Project Gets Funding: MTIA member Missouri One Call System has contributed $50,000 to get the construction of the Safety Village on the campus of the State Technical College of Missouri finally off the ground. The contribution will help to fund initial construction costs of the facility that will be used to instruct STC students in proper location and excavation techniques around buried underground utilities. The college plans to eventually make the facility available to train utility industry personnel as well. The formal check presentation will take place October 6 at the college’s fall advisory council meeting on the campus in Linn, Missouri.
Industry Partner of the Week: MTIA member-company Complete Splicing Solutions, Inc. provides inside and outside plant construction, engineering, management services, training, testing, and repair of fiber and copper cables for Missouri’s telecommunications carriers. For more information, contact Al Nappier, president, at 573-743-6300; or visit them online at www.completesplicing.com.