WordSouth Launches “Rural Broadband Today”

June 25, 2020By Stephen V. Smith

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of broadband in the recalibrated society we find ourselves in. The past decade saw tremendous advances in extending broadband to rural Americans (federal and state grant programs, the reworking of state laws, etc.), but the global pandemic has brought the plight of the have-nots into dramatic focus. You just can’t participate in remote work, home-based learning, and telehealth without it.

With so much attention and activity in the rural broadband space, WordSouth has launched a new audio program to explore this critical issue. Rural Broadband Today features conversations with elected officials, industry experts, and business leaders at the forefront of America’s efforts to solve the rural broadband challenge.

The first two episodes are available now on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. The premiere episode features Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, who talks about the rural-rural divide, along with some of the innovative ways NTCA member companies are serving their customers in response to a national health care crisis.

Episode 2 features Brandon Presley, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission. He shares thoughts on proposed legislation to speed up RDOF funding, as well as the flurry of rural broadband activity taking place in North Mississippi. 

Rural Broadband Today is hosted by yours truly, and I’m excited to share the voices of people who are on the front lines of connecting rural America.

This podcast is an extension of the work we do here every day at WordSouth as we help rural providers tell their stories of connecting communities with vital services. We launched our first podcast in 2015 with StoryConnect, a show focused on communications, marketing, and leadership for electrics and telcos. We’ve also had the pleasure of working with groups such as the Tennessee Broadband Association and NTCA  to help them share their own voices across the popular podcast medium.

StoryConnect has an important focus, but Rural Broadband Today takes a broader look at the people and issues shaping the rural broadband story. This has great meaning to me because I believe we’ll look back at this era one day and glean a lot of lessons — about who we are as a nation, what’s important to us, and how we view our place in the world. Hopefully, we’ll be able to say we did the right thing most of the time, with one of those right things being that we made sure all Americans, no matter where they live, have access to broadband service.

Many people use an app for listening to podcasts, but if you’d rather listen to Rural Broadband Today on your computer, visit this page on our website.

If you have an idea for a topic or guest for our new show, please email me at ssmith@wordsouth.com.

Want to support the show? Share it with your friends and give it a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify. Thank you!

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