03/05/08

Three “C”s – consolidation, competition and convergence – was the theme of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance’s 99th Annual Convention. Another “C” that reflects the times is “change”. Maybe, it is the 7-year itch, but change is underway at Viodi as well.  At this point, I cannot discuss all of the changes, although the Viodi web site is evidence of one of the on-going changes.

MTA + MART = MTA | Independent Telecom Industry’s New Math

Randy Young of MART/MTAChange was part of the story at the MTA Convention, as the big news was the member approval of the merger MTA and MART (Minnesota Association of Rural Telecom).  Our video interview with Randy Young, the President of the newly combined organization, provides insight as to what drove this combination of complementary trade associations. 

Thanks MTA & Thanks Innovative Systems

Thanks MTA and Innovative Systems

We received great feedback on ViodiTV, which aired on the in-house cable television systems of the MTA conference hotels. We owe a big thank you to MTA, particularly Mike Nowick and Mo Dennis, for their help in making this a reality. We also greatly appreciate Innovative Systems and Roger Musick’s continuing support of our crazy ideas. Thanks!

Tidbits from a U-verse Customer

So I am standing in the return line at a major Silicon Valley, big box retailer last night and a conversation with a late twenty-something guy, who is standing next to me, ensues. As it turns out, he is a current customer of AT&T’s U-verse IPTV service. Like my earlier video interview with uVerse customer Mark Snow, he seemed to be most impressed with the value of the service – i.e. how much he got for what he pays.   Click here to read more.

Alternative Video Killed the Video Store

Back in the early days of commercial Video on Demand (circa 1999), when I was with the on-demand, Application Service Provider, DemandVideo, one of the benchmarks for our success was the demise of a video store.  Click here to read the full post. 

A Market-Based FCC?

Click here to learn more about some of the FCC's latest studies

The FCC released three studies regarding on the topic of licensed versus unlicensed spectrum. These could be very critical policy papers that shape the future of spectrum allocation and are important for Congress to read.  Click here to read more.

Weissberger’s Wireless World and More….

Alan Weissberger has a number of detailed posts over the past few weeks regarding wireless and telecom in general and can be found by clicking on the links below:

Club Viodi Postings

Club Viodi membership is restricted to independent telcos.  Independent telcos, contact us to learn more:

People on the Move – MTA Public Service Award Winner & Mr. IP Video

One of the best things about the MTA conference is seeing friends, old and new. One person I did not catch up with is Gary Johnson of Paul Bunyan Telephone. He should have been there to accept his MTA Public Service Award. The irony is that the reason he was not there was the reason he won the award. He was chairing a Rotary Club meeting and missed the awards ceremony. In conjunction with the Rotary, Johnson spearheaded the Lake Bemiji Dragon Boat Festival, which drew 63 teams and over 1,300 visitors in 2007. This festival, scheduled for August 1-2nd, has been a boon to economic development for his community, drawing people from adjacent States. 

Steve Hawley has the license plate to prove that he is Mr. IP Video. I had a chance to catch up with Steve on the drive from Roslyn to the SeaTac airport (thanks for the ride, Steve). In addition to editing the IPTV World, magazine (a must-read for anyone interested in the global view of IPTV, Steve has been busy authoring reports for MRG. I leafed through his latest report regarding IPTV Quality of Experience. At 300+ pages, it provides a comprehensive look at ways operators can proactively ensure Quality of Experience for their customers. 

As I took a quick tour through the MTA tradeshow floor, which was quite impressive with more than 160 exhibitors, I ran across a booth with the latest in fiber splicing technology. Having learned this skill almost 24 years ago, I appreciated how much the technology has increased productivity. Any skills I once had in the fiber realm so long ago are obsolete in this world of precision and relatively low-cost splicing machines. As I thought about the hours I spent terminating and testing fibers, I realized that many of the work place skills I acquired years ago are obsolete in today’s world. 

One of the few skills I learned in the workforce some 25 years ago is still with me today. Technically, I did not learn the skill at work, but during lunch hour with a colleague. We would sneak across the street to the ROLM campus, which had subsidized lunches, a pool and a park-like setting. Bob was a juggler and he taught me to juggle. I never progressed beyond three balls, but this skill transcends technological obsolescence. 

Click here to see the very entertaining Dan ThurmonYes, I have been complacent, never practicing and rarely pushing out of my comfort zone of three balls. Dan Thurmon, MTA’s keynote speaker, used juggling as a metaphor for life. The balls in the air represent the many things we are trying to accomplish. The key to juggling, which I learned from Thurmon’s presentation, is to keep your eye on the target. The time you actually drop the ball is when you look at what you have accomplished; that is, when you look at your hands. A central message to Thurmon’s talk is the importance of being able to adapt to change and aim for a higher level in achieving objectives.    

With a book, Success In Action, and a couple of DVDs to this credit, Thurmon delivers an entertaining, thought-provoking and, sometimes, scary presentation. Our video interview with Thurmon provides a glimpse of the inspirational message he gave to MTA.    

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