Viodi View

Viodi View – 03/04/2009


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“Cherish the past and embrace the future,” was the theme of this year’s 2009 Minnesota Telecom Alliance’s Convention and Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. As usual, this uber-large, State Telephone Association tradeshow was the place to be to see independent telcos from the upper Midwest. What made this show special is that it celebrated the centennial anniversary of the association. It was both an honor and a humbling experience to participate in the festivities associated with this event and to interview past and current leaders of the Minnesota telecom industry. 

Click here to view this stimulating interview with Andy Brown of Bennet & Bennet regarding the Broadband StimulusA Stimulating Conversation on the Broadband Stimulus

A hot topic issue at the MTA Convention was the recently passed economic stimulus bill and the impact it will have on broadband deployments. After talking to a number of people at the MTA confab, the consensus about how the broadband stimulus is going to be managed is summed up best by the quote from Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman, “Nobody knows anything.”  At the MTA, we caught up with Andy Brown of Bennet and Bennet who provided an excellent summary of the package and what the broadband stimulus could mean to independent telcos in this brief video interview.

3G and LTE squeeze WiMAX- is the market window still open? by Alan Weissberger

Many pundits have declared the window of opportunity for WiMAX has closed.  Squeezed between he enhanced capability of 3G technologies (e.g. HSPA/HSPA+ for GSM) and accelerated LTE roll-outs, (notably Verizon Wireless) the claim is that WiMAX is DOA.  We disagree!  Click here to read the rest of the article [Editor’s note:  this article has received some very interesting and extensive commentary since its publication on February 21].

…..Telecom Start-ups and Supportive Carriers Recognized by Alan Weissberger

Over 20 Service Provider (SP) members of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley announced the winners for this year’s SPIFFY awards for their innovation, execution, management, and technology at the annual SPIFFY Award ceremony.  First place winners include 4Home (congrats Brad Kayton).  To read the rest of the article, as well as Norwest Venture Partners Tim Chang’s observations on the current harsh climate for telecom start-ups and entrepreneurs, click here.

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

We would like to hear what attendees of the MTA show thought of ViodiTV.  We listed some things we think we can improve for the next show.  We are very interested in hearing what the viewers have to say, so please comment on this post. 

The Korner – Cherishing the Past and Embracing the Future – An Independent Telecom Family

My favorite VIodiTV stories are the ones that deal with people. After all, technology in the telecom industry should be transparent and facilitate the connecting of people. As such, I was extremely excited to find out that one of the sharpest young technologists in the business, Shaun Carlson, had a family connection to the business. His father, Steve Carlson, recently retired from a long career at Dakota Supply Group.

Shaun and Steve Carlson on the Independent Telecom business - then, now and the futureI have known Shaun through his speaking engagements at various industry events. At last year’s IP Possibilities, Shaun and I became “Facebook Friends” and, as a result, formed ties that extend to our respective Churches, even though our Churches are a thousand-plus miles away from each other. I have been impressed with Shaun’s ability to be a technology bridge for his community. What impresses me most, however, is how he finds time to serve our Country via the Air National Guard, as well as be a youth leader at his Church.

So, I was thrilled to meet Shaun’s dad, Steve, at this event. Through his work at Dakota Supply Group, he helped the independent telcos and their rural communities through a career of service. While researching their web site for this post, I noticed that DSG has a special club for the children of their employees and their customers. Kids who join the club receive a membership packet, t-shirt and opportunities to participate in contests; in short; it is a good community building thing for rural communities.

This video interview with Steve and Shaun Carlson embodies the theme of MTA’s 2009 Convention of cherishing the past and embracing the future.

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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