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Press Release -- April 22nd, 2024
Source: ncta

NTCA Legislative + Policy Conference and Smart Communities in Conversation Feature Broadband Policy Leaders

Arlington, Va., (April 22, 2024)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association will host two events next week to discuss broadband policies impacting small, community-based broadband providers and local initiatives that increase access to and use of broadband in rural communities. The 2024 Legislative + Policy Conference beginning Monday, April 29, will bring community-based providers together to hear the latest on federal broadband policy issues and to advocate on behalf of their communities with legislators and policymakers. And on May 1, NTCA will convene federal policymakers and broadband leaders for “Smart Communities in Conversation,” a look at locally driven initiatives that are spurring digital adoption, economic development and community engagement in rural communities.

Media are invited to cover the on-the-record portion of the Legislative + Policy Conference featuring: 

  • NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield
  • FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez
  • RUS Administrator Andy Berke
  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson
  • CISA Director Jen Easterly

Media are also invited to attend the half-day program on May 1, including:

  • FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks
  • Representatives from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Smart Rural CommunitySM providers and other broadband industry leaders

Both events will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Media wishing to attend either event in person must RSVP to Alex Naughton no later than Friday, April 26. Agendas for both events can be found below.


Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill 

400 New Jersey Avenue, NW 

Washington, DC 20001  

Monday, April 29

NTCA Legislative + Policy Conference

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. ET             Industry update from NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield   

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. ET              Conversation with FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez

9:45 – 10:15 a.m. ET            Conversation with RUS Administrator Andy Berke

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. ET          Conversation with Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET          How to Engage with Members of Congress Back Home

Chris Townson, CEO, DTC Communications

Tyler Campbell, Executive Director, Kentucky Telephone Association

11:30 – Noon ET                   Conversation with CISA Director Jen Easterly

Wednesday, May 1

NTCA Smart Communities in Conversation

8:30 a.m. — 8:45 a.m. ET      Welcome from NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. ET               Conversation on Rural Issues with FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. ET             Rural Digital Inclusion: Case Studies of Success and Lessons Learned

Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA

Jennifer Prather, CEO, Totelcom Communications

Catherine Nicolaou, Broadband Program Manager, the City of Albuquerque

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. ET           Community Planning and Engagement Strategies

Tanya Sullivan, CEO, Plus One Strategic Communications

Friday Otuya, Community Engagement Specialist, Nex-Tech

Kelly Wismer, Chief of Staff to the Executive Director, Appalachian

Regional Commission

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET           Tackling Rural Affordability

Kathryn de Wit, Program Director, Broadband Access Initiative,

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Keith Gabbard, CEO, Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative

Cassidy Hjelmstad, CEO/General Manager, SRT Communications

11:30 – Noon ET                   What Does It Mean to Be a Smart Rural Community? 

Andrew Brown, Director of Industry and Client Relations, JSI

Emily Buckman, Director, Government Affairs, the American Farm

Bureau Federation

Mitchell Bailey, CEO, GRM Networks



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