The 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.
The 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.
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 video 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.
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
- Laughter at the idea of how closed captioning will work in 3D (2/19/10)
- Vote for Andy Ryan's Distracted Driving Can End Badly (scroll down to find). Long-time Viodi View reader, Ron Jeffries grandson's effort to win a contest worth $1,000 for his high school.
- Excellent post by Matt Mullenweg, I Miss School
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.
His 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.