ViodiTV – Day One @ OPASTCO

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A large library of content overcomes multiple flight delays. Let me explain what this fragment means. Roger was supposed to arrive in Seattle from Madison around noon today. Unfortunately, airplane mechanical problems delayed his arrival until around 5:30.

The good news is that he had enough material to create a best of ViodiTV reel that provides highlights from last year’s show as well as features from other shows we have attended. He was able to burn a DVD on the fly at the airport.

Of particular interest, is the interview with Wilfred Martis of Intel and his suggestion that the minimum speed for broadband is 10 Mb/s. His statement could have huge policy implications given that the FCC says that 4 Mb/s is enough for rural America.

The other thing that I notice is that video is still a TV experience. Watching it on the big screen makes the content fresh again and truly a lean back experience. It is also easier to see spelling errors, such as “wathing”, instead of “watching.”

It’s also easier to see my many verbal miscues. I also wonder why one of the speakers attibuted redistribution of wealth to Adam Smith. Why I didn’t pick up on that in our interview is beyond me.

The other defect, that some may notice and that you just don’t see anymore in digital systems, is analog noise (I attempted to capture with the above photo of the TV). It is particularly bad on channel 62 on the hotel’s analog cable network. Oh well, hopefully, no one will tune away because of the squigley lines.

So, that is it for Sunday, here at OPASTCO. Please let us know what interviews you would like us to get (either by coming up to us at the convention or responding to this post).

Viodi View – 03/03/10

Roger filming MTA outside on a relatively balmy MN dayThe sunshine, bright blue sky and relative warmth that greeted attendees of the 101st Annual Minnesota Telecom Alliance Convention is hopefully a metaphor for a fresh beginning. The weather over the previous couple of MTA Conventions mirrored the economy with gray skies and biting temperatures. This year, there are signs of rebirth everywhere, as I can see the top of the soon-to-be opened (next week, March 10th) Target Field, new home of Major League Baseball’s Twins.


Batter Up at MTA

Cliff Albertson explaining the Associate Committe's promotion of MTA's 2010 ConventionThe MTA Associate Committee hit a homerun by selecting baseball as the theme for its 2010 exhibits. In this brief video, Cliff Albertson of Badger Communications explains some of the clever things the MTA Associate Committee devised to draw people to the show floor. One of the other things the Associate Committee did is to bring ViodiTV to the convention and sponsor coverage on the hotel channels – Thanks MTA Associate Committee! Check out the video we produced of the Associate Committee’s promotion efforts – this has extra material not seen on the TV channel.


Independent Cable and Telcos – More Alike than Not

Matt Polka of the American Cable Association gave the keynote speech at the 2010 MTA Convention. He emphasized the commonalities between independent telcos and independent cable operators. Some 40% of the ACA membership consists of independent telcos. In his talk, he likened ACA members to David and big media to Goliath and that ACA has been fighting for the small operators since its inception in 1993.

In this viMatt Polka of ACAdeo interview, Polka discusses some of the current issues that are at the forefront of his organization’s agenda including the ACA’s concerns regarding the Comcast-NBC merger, the high cost of retransmission consent and the direction media conglomerates may be moving with over their top video efforts.

Polka’s comments on retransmission consent reminded me of an earlier post (The DTV Transition – at What Cost) we wrote on the topic of the real costs of over-the-air broadcast. He referenced a recent op-ed piece written by Steve Friedman, CEO of cable operator Wave Broadband regarding the arcane FCC rules regarding retransmission consent and the costs this regulation imposes on consumers.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2011132689_guest22friedman.html


GSA Silicon Series: New Markets, New Economics by Alan Weissberger

This very informative, analyst – only panel discussion (Feb 10th in Santa Clara, CA) assessed the outlook for new and growing markets throughout the semiconductor industry. While several markets were covered, this summary will focus exclusively on the hot communications related markets and products. During the meeting, analysts from FBR Capital Markets, iSuppli, Databeans and Gartner shared their perspectives and predictions on what's hot and why in several markets of interest to communications and network practitioners.  Click here to read the rest of the post. 


Effects of Broadband Policy and Network Neutrality on Innovation at the Edge and in the Cloud

William B. Wilhelm, Jr. of Bingham McCutchen LLP
Wednesday March 10th, 2010, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
National Semiconductor, Building E, Conference Room, 2900 Semiconductor Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95051

Produced by ComSocSCV


Some Tweets and Short Thoughts


The Korner – What Do a Telephone Tech and a Deputy Sheriff Have in Common?

Brent Christensen, Vice President of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, brings a fresh perspective to telecommunications. Although born of a telecom family, he followed his father’s footsteps in that his first career was outside of telecom. Starting at the birth of the 1996 deregulation, Brent started as a technician and progressed to the role of general manager at Christensen Communications.

Click to watch the video interviewHis recent appointment as Vice President of the MTA comes at a time as the industry continues its transition to an all IP world. Judging by the record setting number of attendees (approximately 1,400) at the 2010 MTA Convention, there is a great deal of interest from telcos in the upper Midwest regarding how they remain, “One step up on the road ahead.”

Brent explains in the following video how his experience as a customer gave him an appreciation for what is required to serve. Similarly, his previous vocation gave him plenty of experience serving the public. Brent spent 14 years as a deputy sheriff in the Austin, Texas area. Surprisingly, he draws four parallels between his role in law enforcement and his work as a technician at a telecommunications company. You will have to watch the video to hear his comparison of these vocations.

Congratulations OPASTCO Award Winners

Congratulations to Steve Meltzer of JSI for winning the OPASTCO Associate Member Distinguished Service Award for 2009. For 32 years, Steve has been making valuable contributions to the independent telco industry. See him on ViodiTV in our conference coverage.

Congratulations to Harry Baker for receiving the well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. There will be coverage of Harry on ViodiTV.
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Viodi View – 06/15/2009

The week before last, Roger Bindl and I had a chance to document innovations and innovative ideas at Parks Associates’ Connections Conference. The fun thing about the Connections Conference is that it spans different disciplines and the mix of speakers last week included folks from sectors such as telecommunications, energy, consumer electronics and entertainment. Mitch Singer, CTO of Sony Pictures and president of the DECE, was one of those speakers. He explained how the DECE is trying to make the online video experience as user friendly as DVDs.

Thanks to the Connections Conference, we may have the first video documenting a working demonstration of Qualcomm’s 600 Mb/s WiFi chipset designed for home networking of multiple high definition video signals. Home Networking was a major theme of the conference. In this issue, Alan Weissberger has a comprehensive article on home networking from a panel at a Telecom Council Meeting. Lastly, thanks to a chance encounter at the Connections Conference, I learned how to use the new camcorder capabilities of the G1 Phone.

Some Video Highlights from the Connections Conference Sponsored by Parks Associates

Hope for a Digital Media Distribution Standard

Mitch Singer, CTO of Sony Pictures

Mitch Singer, CTO & Executive Vice President New Media and Technology of Sony Pictures, who provided a keynote address at Parks’ Connections Conference, discusses the relatively new group, DECE, that is trying to bring standards to digital media distribution.  DECE, LLC is made up of content owners, service providers and consumer electronics and offers consumers the promise of media portability and ease of use, while assuring content owners that their content will be protected

A New Twist on Wireless Home Networking

Jason Ellis of Qualcomm shows the new 4 radio WiFi chipset from Qualcomm

Qualcomm announced the doubling of wireless home networking speeds with its chip technology that integrates 4×4 MIMO technology to provide throughputs of up to 600 Mb/s.  Jason Ellis of Qualcomm demonstrates this high speed solution in this brief video.

PlumChoice at Connections 2009

Fred King talks about support services at the Connections Conference

Ken Pyle interviews Fred King of PlumChoice, at CONNECTIONS 2009 in Santa Clara, CA. King explains how they work through service providers and consumer electronic manufacturers to help them help their customers. King suggests that now is a good time to provide remote support services, as people are opting for more frugal behavior and as a result are looking at fixing instead of replacing technology.

Network, Video & More on the Same Cable – HDMI 1.4

Rob Tobias explains the new HDMI 1.4 specification

Rob Tobias of Silicon Image discusses the newly announced HDMI 1.4 specification.  This new specification promises to add networking capabilities to what was traditionally a digital video specification.


Broadband Wireless and the Connected Home – Telecom Council Meeting Review by Alan Weissberger

This article covers the wireless networking aspects of the Connected Home – both inside and out. It is primarily based on the Telecom Council’s May 14, 2009 meeting titled, “The Connected Home: Services and Models.” Trends in delivery of multiple residential services, mobile broadband, home networking, and remote access to the connected home are examined. We also highlight a few related news items from Sling Media (now Echo Star) and Motorola.  Click here to read the rest of the article.


Mobility in the Spotlight at the TIECon 2009 Wireless Sessions by Alan Weissberger

TiEcon is the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs, focusing on technology markets, entrepreneurial opportunity and innovation. Now in its 16th year, TiEcon 2009 was themed "The BOLD Entrepreneur." The record-breaking attendance of over 3,500 included entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry executives, analysts, engineers, and business leaders. TiEcon 2009 lived up to its entrepreneurial spirit by featuring dynamic speakers who showed how they adapted to changing conditions and create their own future, despite a very challenging economic climate. This article reviews two wireless panel sessions, which had a very pragmatic market and business focus.  Click here to read the rest of this article.


TCA Management Conference – I Survived the Tribe

I was extremely honored to participate in the TCA Management conference the week before last, where I had a chance to speak on the topic of local content. Unfortunately, I missed most of the conference, but the excellent binder of material (it was so refreshing to have materials in a traditional form) provided a good summary of the presentations that covered regulatory, marketing, finance and the stimulus.  In addition to the good material, TCA made it a fun event, as the theme was based on the television series, Survivor.


Efficient Video Production with the G1 Phone

Downtown Colorado Springs where the OPASTCO 2009 Convention will be held

I am not a big gadget person – really. I have had the G1 Phone for a couple of months and other than the electronic whoopee cushion application and the Shazam application (listens to music and identifies the song and artist), all of the applications I have downloaded from the Android Market have been ones intended to enhance productivity. So, at the Connections Conference, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the latest version of the Android software enables the recording of videos on my G1 Phone.

The video quality of the G1 can be marginal, especially in low light conditions and especially compared to the Creative or Flip camera I normally use. It cannot be beat for efficiency and ease of distributing the video either on YouTube or via email. The only thing I haven’t figured out is why the share feature doesn’t always work, which is probably just as well, as the world doesn’t need to see most of the videos I take.

The following video was shot while taking an early morning walk through downtown Colorado Springs. When I started my walk, my only plan was to get a little exercise in the brisk Colorado air. As I saw the various monuments and museums, along with the natural beauty of Pike’s Peak, I felt inspired to share what I saw with others, particularly since the upcoming OPASTCO Summer Convention finds its way to Colorado Springs next month. Additionally, I decided it would be kind of fun to present my impromptu creation during my presentation on Local Content (I didn’t).

Hopefully, we will see you in Colorado Springs at the OPASTCO event (July 25th-29th).

Viodi View – 05/27/09

In this issue, Roger Bindl and Margaret Hines of Inspire Marketing report from the 2009 Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association Convention. Alan Weissberger reports on a talk given by famed anti-trust expert, Gary Reback. The comments that follow from Reback and others provide an interesting look at the changing anti-trust climate. Finally, I follow up with a brief summary of a rural-based tech company that wants to change the way telcos offer broadband services.


ViodiTV at WSTA highlightsViodiTV at WSTA 2009

This video provides highlights from the 2009 WSTA Annual Convention. This edition of ViodiTV at WSTA was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors. Highlights include Wisconsin PSC Commissioner Mark Meyer, Daniel Hardy and Judd Genda of Axley Brynelson, Gary Evans of Hiawatha Broadband says that local content is the most important thing they do, as it puts smiles on the faces of their customers, Jerry Wilke of RTG, Rob Riordan of Nsight, Andrew Walding of CellStream, Ann Anderson of Lemonweir Valley Tel, and Matt Eversmann of Freeman Phillips LLC. The video wraps up with bagels, brunch, golf, and fish. Check ViodiTV for full interviews with Jerry Wilke on femtocells, Rob Riordan on femtocell applications, Andrew Walding on Evolving TDM to IP, and Matt Eversmann on leadership. A special thanks to Margaret Hines of Inspire Marketing for assisting with interviews.


Andrew Walding discusses how TDM evolves to IPEvolving TDM to IP by Roger Bindl

An interview with Andrew Walding, CellStream, at the WSTA 2009 Annual Convention. Andrew talks about moving from TDM voice to IP voice, and how we’re not really inventing a new wheel, but adapting it. We talk a bit on the flexibility of SIP and his favorite new application and gadget. ViodiTV at WSTA was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors.


femtocell perspective from Jerry WilkeFemtocells?!

Margaret Hines Inspire Marketing, interviews Jerry Wilke RTG Executive Director at the 2009 WSTA annual convention on Femtocells. If not already, rural carriers will face new competition from wireless carriers and Wilke provides an example of one rural carrier who found they had lost at least one landline subscriber to a wireless carrier and its femtocell technology. ViodiTV at WSTA was produced by Roger Bindl.


Rob Riordan of Nsight Telservices discusses Femtocell applicationsFemtocell Applications with Rob Riordan by Roger Bindl

Rob Riordan, Nsight, talks about Femtocells. Margaret Hines – Inspire Marketing – interviews Rob at the WSTA 2009 Annual Convention for ViodiTV. Riordan suggests some innovative uses of femtocells, including as a sort of location detection device to remind teenagers to do their chores and homework when they arrive home from school. Beyond improving signal quality, femtocells could facilitate personalized advertisements. Riordan also discusses how femtocells combined with an IP backbone can extend wireless into applications for 1/10 the price of traditional methods. This edition was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors.


TIA Forecasts 3.1 Percent Loss for ICT Industry in 2009- Broadband still THE growth driver for telecom by Alan Wwissberger

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), whose primary membership is network equipment vendors, has just released its annual report and outlook for the global telecommunications industry. For the first time in its 23 years of forecasting, TIA predicts a 3.1 % loss for the global ICT Industry in 2009. Further, they anticipate a 5.5 % decline for 2009 US ICT revenue. Much of this loss may be attributed to a 27 % fall in the U.S. broadband equipment market. Click here to read more.


Gary Reback: US Government Must Enforce Antitrust Laws to Encourage Innovation by Alan Weissberger

Gary Reback is one of the nation’s most prominent antitrust attorneys, best known for spearheading the efforts that led to the federal lawsuit against Microsoft. Gary spoke to an attentive and eager audience on May 14th in Santa Clara, CA. The Commonwealth Club and Yale Club of Silicon Valley sponsored his enlightening and provocative talk. Reback’s main message was that the government l’aissez faire policies, so strongly promoted by University of Chicago economists, have gone way too far. As a counter-weight, he says we need more government oversight of the private sector along with more vigilant anti-trust enforcement.  Click here to read more.


Enter a New Gateway

I recently had a chance to catch up with Robert Peterson and Jeff Christensen of Entry Point, LLC based in Idaho Falls and Salt Lake City. Entry Point is an early stage company with a gateway product capable of supporting so-called triple play services, as well as advanced broadband services such as smart meters, femtocells and home security.  Click here to read more.  

ViodiTV at WSTA 2009

Image with Link This video has highlights from the 2009 WSTA Annual Convention. ViodiTV at WSTA was sponsored by Solarus and Central Cable Contractors. Highlights include Wisconsic PSC Commissioner Mark Meyer, Daniel Hardy and Judd Genda of Axley Brynelson, Gary Evans of Hiawatha Broadband, Jerry Wilke of RTG, Rob Riordan of Nsight, Andrew Walding of CellStream, Ann Anderson of Lemonweir Valley Tel, and Matt Eversmann of Freeman Phillips LLC. The video wraps up with bagels, brunch, golf, and fish. Check ViodiTV for full interviews with Jerry Wilke on Femtocells, Rob Riordan Femtocell, Andrew Walding on Evolving TDM to IP, and Matt Eversmann on leadership. A special thanks to Margaret Hines of Inspire Marketing for assisting with the interviews.

Viodi View -04/03/2009

The first time I got serious about using a personal digital assistant was something that Atari produced some 20 years ago. This was before the term PDA was coined. I bought it because somehow I thought it would make me smarter or, at least, better organized. It did neither and it was soon relegated to the shelf to gather dust. The G1 from T-Mobile (service) /HTC (phone manufacturer) /Google (Android operating system) may finally provide the organizational nirvana I have been looking for my entire life.

The G1 phone proved to be a handy assistant in producing ViodiTV at last month’s MTA convention. Although, I haven’t looked for teleprompting sofware for it yet (that sort of application exists for other PDAs), it served as a great way to jot down notes and scripts. The fast web browsing, thanks to the 3G network, made this a very useful research tool for getting facts for our "just in time" video production. Two extremely useful applications that helped us coordinate our interviews at MTA were the integrated calendar and email; allowing us to create more video than we had in years past.


Working Together – Yesterday and Today

click here to watch our video interview with Ron LaquaA video that was very special to me is my interview with Ron Laqua of Halstad Telephone. Ron chaired the MTA Centennial committee. In this interview, I was struck with how we were part of a living history that in some way might be part of a 200th anniversary celebration. I caught up with Ron, via email, this week regarding the historic flooding along the Red River. He indicated that his town was relatively safe given the high dike walls and the standby generator that has been providing back up power this past week.

He explained that his town helped out by stuffing and distributing sandbags to farms and other towns. He pointed out that 90% of the Fargo-Moorhead population was somehow involved in fighting the flood. As Ron said, this sort of volunteerism is inspiring.  Click here to watch the video interview.


click here to watch the video interview with Brian Potter of Gardonville Telphone Cooperative AssociationIndependent WiMax

In this interview shot at MTA’s Convention, Brian Potter of Gardonville Telephone Cooperative Association discusses their rollout of WiMax services in rural Minnesota and their use of both 700 MHz and 3.7 GHz to provide fixed wireless Internet.  Click here to watch this interview.


Femtocells and Mobile Broadband Technologies by Alan Weissberger

Femtocells are another topic of hot discussion in the telecommunications world. They offer the wireless carrier the potential of off-loading backhaul traffic, while improving customer experience and potentially providing better value by allowing the cell phone to have unlimited minutes in the home environment. Alan Weissberger provides a summary of a recent conference on the topic of Femtocells in this article. Click here to read the latest on Femtocells.


Managing the Mobile Workforce using MaaS by Alan Weissberger

On April 1st, I attended a SaaS Conference talk by Jim Sheward, CEO of Fiberlink, on the topic of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). I found it provocative and of vital interest to IT managers that are having great difficulting managing a mobile work force. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is the delivery of enterprise mobility infrastructure using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform where the programs run on servers that are reached via the public Internet. Specifically, MaaS is a "cloud" based, always on, Enterprise Mobility Platform™ with cost advantages, ubiquitous mobile device connectivity capability and a real-time updating and enforcement software engine.


Asides

Congratulations to Tellytopia and SureWest for implementation of Tellytopia’s i2TV online to television platform. SureWest is a definition validation for Tellytopia’s unique approach to bringing User Generated Content to the TV. Tellytopia gave a preview of this at the panel Viodi organized at last year’s Telecom at NAB show.

We are going to miss this year’s NAB. The folks from Lightbulb Communications have another great content slate at the Telecom2009 at NAB conference they are producing.

We will be at the IP Possibilities show in San Diego, which also has a great list of speakers but overlaps with NAB. I am looking forward to moderating a panel on local content at this forum.


The Korner – Time Saver or Distraction?

Click here to watch the video of my experience with Northwest Airline's electronic boarding passOne of the reasons for holding off on the procurement of a smart phone, besides the increase in monthly subscription fee, was my tendency to become tethered – some might say addicted – to Internet access. Those who saw me at MTA Convention could attest that the G1 phone was effectively my new appendage. It is a double edge sword as the constant connectivity and access to information provides gives me more opportunity to be productive. On the other hand, the persistent availability of the Internet competes for the idle moments where I could think random thoughts that might lead to a good idea.

Worse yet, is the distraction of the Internet and email that causes me to lose focus on the task at hand.

For instance, I was able to use the G1 phone to check in while on the Minneapolis Light Rail system. Even better than checking in, I was able to receive a virtual bar code on my phone for scanning at security. I was so thrilled with this time saving step, that I emailed Roger. In between our virtual high five emails celebrating my technical prowess, I missed the stop for my terminal. It took about 5 minutes before I realized I would have to backtrack. Fortunately, I could bypass check-in and go straight to security. I simply waived my phone over the security bar code reader and made my plane with at least 5 minutes to spare.  Click here to watch my brief video on this electronic ticketing application. 

In the next part of this review, we will look at some of the productivity enhancing applications from Android market that I have been using.

Viodi View – 03/18/2009

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Reach out from IP Possibilities with sponsored video’s by Viodi for IP Possibilities and news releases. The ePublication and Viodi View Newsletter mailing will reach over 8,000 industry professionals twice during the 2 day conference. Check here for details.


Click here to get a view on the future of the newspapersIf you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you. That was the approximate tag line that NBC used about a decade ago to promote its summer rerun season. Similarly, what is news to one person may be an old story to another. The demise of the print newspaper is quickly becoming an old news story, as every week we are hearing of the demise of another print daily (the Seattle Post-Intellingcer conversion to online being the most recent to fall).

This video, shot at the Minnesota Telecom Alliance’s Convention, features brief interviews with Lynn Schofield Clark, Professor of Mass Communications and Journalism of the University of Denver and author and former CNN correspondent, Dave Kenney, regarding the future of the newspapers. Kenney suggests the telecommunications industry may be able to help fill the gap left due to the loss of the print newspapers.


The broadband stimulus is a news story that is still unfolding. There was quite a bit of positive feedback from our video interview with Andy Brown of Bennet and Bennet, PLLC. Emmett Smith watched the video and wrote this piece that argues that the stimulus should have never been undertaken.  Thanks Emmett for the kind words and insightful commentary. 

If nothing else, the broadband stimulus has stimulated lots of discussion. Here is a sampling of some of the many ongoing and upcoming stimulus activities:

  • Occam is blogging on the NTIA/USDA meetings
  • Consulting company, CCMI has a no-cost webinar slated for Thursday, November 19th
  • CPUC Hearing – San Francisco, Monday March 23rd

Finally, Alan Weissberger reports on a recent stimulus event in the following article.


Telecom Council Panel Session: Update on U.S. Broadband Policy by Alan Weissberger

In a lively Telecom Council panel session sponsored by AT&T, seven industry executives discussed the ramifications for the U.S. government’s stimulus package and federal budget proposal as related to broadband policy. The sober and candid assessments offered a realistic view at what is involved in building out broadband, particularly using wireless technology, to underserved and rural areas in the U.S.  Click here to read more. 


 A Tale of 2 Meetings:  Mobile Telecom in Crisis by Alan Weissberger

With the current credit crisis, economic meltdown, and stock market crash, both business and individuals are facing significant challenges: Big corporations are cutting cost and downsizing workforce while startups are struggling with shrinking market and drying capital sources. The soft job market makes people more cautious about the future. But crisis and downturns can lead to significant opportunity.  Click here to read more.


Monetizing Web Video with Social Networks by Roger Bindl

Monetizing video wtth social networks - the video

The key message from a CableFAX webinar on monetizing web video, social networks, and other on-line activities is that success comes from various places, is likely based on a plan, and the plan includes a means to insure success.  Click here to watch and read the rest of Roger’s report. 


3 Degrees of Separation – Or Almost Full Circle

My friend Dutch was stationed at the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu in Southern California in the 70s. In the 80s, I worked with Dutch at a company called Catel, a leader in producing AM & FM TV modulators. Norman Gillaspie consulted for Catel. I ended up consulting to Norman at many of his companies. His most recent venture, Transparent Video Systems, just sold an all digital RF system, which includes multiplexers and QAM modulators, to Communications Services, the cable system that serves Point Mugu. This announcement comes on the heels of an announcement TVS made last month regarding an RF to USB dongle that effectively eliminates the need for a traditional set-top. Congratulations Norman.


The Korner – Unique Economic Developments

Click here to see the unique things Spring Grove Communications is doing to help its community.One of the things I enjoy about co-producing ViodiTV is having the chance to dig a little deeper into comments made by speakers at the various telecom conferences. At the MTA Convention, Craig Otterness of Spring Grove Communications, who accepted the 2008 MTA award for economic development, had an interesting one-liner about his company’s unique video solution. This prompted us to track down Craig and find out more about the special developments that will prove to be quite stimulating for their local economy and which make for truly newsworthy topics.

Economic development requires leadership. Spring Grove Communications provide an excellent example of leadership, as they worked with their community to build a new library, 24 hour fitness center and digital cinema/public meeting place that can be used for much more than movies.  Click here to watch the video. 

Viodi View – 03/04/2009

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Reach out from IP Possibilities with sponsored video’s by Viodi for IP Possibilities and news releases. The ePublication and Viodi View Newsletter mailing will reach over 8,000 industry professionals twice during the 2 day conference. Check here for details.


“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.