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The NCC Team Visits Connect(X) to Underscore the Importance of Wireless Connectivity

On Tuesday, October 5th, the Next Century Cities team joined the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s 2021 Connect(X) Conference in Orlando, Florida. The gathering featured stories and insights from industry experts, government officials, advocates, and local leaders from across the country. 

From coast to coast, residents increasingly rely on digital tools to power their lives, making both wireline and wireless technologies integral parts of the growing connectivity network. Specifically, wireless provides core support for emerging technology powered by 5G networks as well as affordable, innovative, and flexible solutions for some of America’s hardest to reach communities. 

Corian Zacher, NCC’s Policy Counsel for State and Local Programs, led a conference breakout session that explored ways for wireless industry stakeholders to become involved in the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). RDOF is a $20.4 billion fund managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that is working to build new and resilient broadband networks for residential and commercial customers in rural segments of the country. 

The panel also included Joel Thayer, President of the Digital Progress Institute, and Barlow Keener, Principal, Keener Law Group. Zacher, Thayer, and Keenerp shared insights into wireless projects and initiatives across the country in light of high aspirations for the industry. Highlights of the discussion focused on broadband mapping improvements, data privacy and cybersecurity, and strategies for leveraging funding from different sources toward ubiquitous connectivity.

While attending Connect(X), the NCC team also took time to meet with municipalities and industry partners in pursuit of our efforts to always elevate local stories and priorities. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and NCC Member Orlando, Florida, shared perspectives on 5G deployment and developing effective public-private partnerships. Local perspectives are essential for ensuring that deployment strategies protect the needs of communities while paving the way for innovation. 

Learn more about the Connect(X) conference and the Wireless Infrastructure Association here. Also, watch this two-minute video to hear directly from our team while they were in the City of Orlando.

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