All Day Digital
All Day DigitalSep 13, 2023
Why Fewer Hands Hold More Towers and Other Digital Assets
First it was towers, and now it’s fiber: The days of separately owned digital infrastructure assets are coming to an end. One driver is wireless operators, who want one-stop broadband partners who can handle complex needs. In this episode of All Day Digital, investment banker and former communications equity analyst Jennifer Fritzsche explains how rapidly changing customer needs are helping drive consolidation, and what that looks like for rural America.
Git Along Little Dogies, and Onto the Wireless Network
In confined settings of chickens, hogs and dairy cows, producers have widely adopted technology that monitors animal health and improves efficiency. But with cattle scattered on the range, beef operations are a different breed. That could change with private wireless networks. In this episode of All Day Digital, former rancher and current graduate research student Caleb Hurst digs into precision livestock farming.
The Electric Co-ops Pumping Connectivity Lifeblood to Rural Communities
With rigorous experience, commitment and strong balance sheets behind them, rural electric co-ops are doing for broadband today what they did for electricity last century. In this episode of All Day Digital, CoBank Regional Vice President of Electric Distribution Tamra Reynolds discusses how those co-ops providing the connectivity lifeblood to rural communities are finding a revenue opportunity in the smart grid.
How Wholesale Fiber Networks May Create New Broadband Providers
Thanks to wholesale fiber networks, you may soon receive an offer from your wireless provider for a home broadband bundle. In this episode of All Day Digital, returning guest Tim Courtney, vice president of sales and business development for Further Enterprise Solutions, covers how the wholesale fiber business could usher in a new set of broadband service providers.
Time to Dig into the Nuances of Network Fed Funding
An alphabet soup of federal funding programs is determining the future of rural telecom, and now’s the time to master the details. This episode of All Day Digital features telecom attorneys Clare Liedquist and Dee Herman, principals at Herman & Whiteaker. They outline what operators needs to know — from what to look for in broadband coverage maps to navigating BEAD, ACAM and RDOF.
How Broadband Providers are Building Smart Rural Communities
The most significant outcome of rural broadband is the difference it can make for unserved and underserved communities—the patients, students and farmers behind the statistics. In this episode of All Day Digital, guest Josh Seidemann, vice president of policy and industry innovation for NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, outlines how broadband providers magnify their impact with the Smart Rural Community initiative.
Cable Companies Bring a New Weapon to the Broadband Battle
In a move that will increase broadband competition for fiber providers, Comcast and Charter have announced plans to boost speeds by deploying DOCSIS 4.0 on their existing infrastructure – a shrewd and cost-effective approach. In this episode of All Day Digital, host Jeff Johnston gets an expert assessment from Jim Gleason, the president and CEO of Vexus Fiber who also happens to be a cable industry veteran.
Why the Trendy MVNO Wireless Model Might Fit Smaller Operators
Large cable companies are making headlines as mobile virtual network operators, successfully selling wireless services under their own brands. Can the emerging MVNO business model work for smaller, rural cable companies and broadband operators? The answer is yes, according to private wireless expert Alex Besen, guest on this episode of All Day Digital with host Jeff Johnston.
The “Towering” Opportunities for Rural Telecom Operators
As national wireless operators expand their coverage in rural America, rural telecom operators’ local knowledge may help them enter the tower industry. In this episode of All Day Digital, Jeff Johnston hears from Scott Soden, managing principal at Alpina Capital LLC, about what’s changed for the tower industry and how it’sachieved high valuations and predictable cash flows.
Rural Communications Market Defies Economic Struggles
While inflation and surging interest rates pummel other sectors, rural communications appears unscathed. One driver is the essential role broadband plays in consumers’ lives – and investors’ ensuing interest. In this episode of All Day Digital, Jeff Johnston explores the economic angle with colleague Andy Smith, CoBank managing director and tenured expert in banking the communications industry.
Why Satellites Could Mean a Giant Leap for Rural Mobile Users
Satellites are the next giant leap in mobile phone communications, and could have a profound impact on rural Americans. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston and guest Tim Courtney, vice president of sales and strategy at Further Enterprise Solutions, explore what it will mean in the near future when smartphones can work anywhere in the U.S., regardless of cellular coverage.
BEAD Broadband Money is Coming. Now What?
Now that much of the $65 billion in rural broadband federal funds are heading to states, local level implementation is about to get real. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston is joined by Mike Romano, executive vice president of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. He outlines what rural stakeholders need to be aware of before they navigate the new Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Why Rural Fixed Wireless Internet is Cheaper than Satellite Service
In many parts of rural America, building fiber to home networks is too expensive. So, lower-cost wireless networks are emerging as a solution. But not all wireless networks are the same. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston talks with Frank Louthan, managing director, equity research at Raymond James, to examine the nuances of fixed wireless internet, and compares it to the expense of satellite.
How Rural Telecom Should Prepare for Edge Computing
Edge computing is the next long-term growth opportunity for rural telecom operators as data storage and processing that supports low latency applications moves into smaller communities. In this episode, two experts at the forefront of the edge computing join CoBank’s Jeff Johnston with insights on how rural operators can reap the benefits of an expanding market. Listen to Jeff’s conversation with Marc Dyman of Kinetic by Windstream and Brian Porter with the Tensor Group.
All Day Digital S1E08: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Metaverse (But Were Afraid to Ask)
The metaverse is the next frontier in technology: personalized experience in digitally enhanced physical spaces with augmented and mixed reality. In other words, the world becomes your desktop or your home screen. What does this mean to enterprises, consumers, and communication providers? CoBank’s Jeff Johnston breaks it down with Qualcomm’s Brian Vogelsang, the company’s metaverse product management leader.
All Day Digital S1E07 - Plan, Share, Commit: Rural Operators Take on Supply Chain Issues
Supply chains snags continue just as U.S. communications companies are working to “rip and replace” Chinese-made equipment from their networks. How can small, rural telecom operators compete with the larger national operators to get the equipment they need? CoBank’s Jeff Johnston speaks with David Strauss, senior vice president at Ace Technologies, on effective strategies rural telecom operators can use.
All Day Digital S1E06: How Delays of “Rip and Replace” Jeopardize All Telecom in U.S.
The federal government promised to reimburse U.S. communication companies to “rip and replace” Chinese-made equipment from their networks. But Congress has yet to provide adequate funding, creating an environment of unusually high risk and uncertainty for rural operators. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston speaks with Carri Bennett, a communications policy expert with the Rural Wireless Association and partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, and John Nettles, president of Pine Belt Wireless.
All Day Digital S1E05: Labor, ESG, Efficiency, Better Broadband: The Business Case for Precision Ag
Technology in precision agriculture has come a long way over the last several years and improved on-farm efficiency. As the ag economy grapples with ESG demands, labor challenges, and high fertilizer costs, better rural broadband is helping facilitate wide-spread adoption of cost-saving applications like robots, sensors, and artificial intelligence. In this episode, Jeff Johnston speaks with Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, lead grain and farm supply economist with CoBank. Ken explains the concepts behind precision ag and how it can help the U.S. ag sector address key challenges and improve profitability. (Content note: this podcast was recorded prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has added even more volatility to fertilizer supply chains and prices.)
All Day Digital S1E04: What Electric Co-ops Should Know Before Taking the Broadband Leap
More and more electric co-ops are entering the broadband business and playing a vital role in bridging the digital divide. But building a broadband service can be complicated and demands a comprehensive approach to planning. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston speaks with Marcellus Nixon, vice president, internet services for United Cooperative Services. Marcellus draws on his telecom background with advice about how electric co-ops can avoid pitfalls.
All Day Digital S1E03: The Emerging Role of Private Wireless Networks
Private wireless networks have the potential to deliver significant benefits for schools, businesses and other organizations throughout rural America, while helping to bridge the digital divide. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston speaks with Tim Courtney, vice president of sales and strategy at Further Enterprise Solutions, to discuss the emerging role of private wireless networks. Listen to their conversation for insights on how the availability of the CBRS band is enabling smaller organizations to build carrier-grade wireless networks at a reasonable cost.
All Day Digital S1E02: Why Telecom is Attracting a New Class of Investors
Investor interest in the communications market is red hot, as consumer demand for high-speed digital services seems unstoppable. The amount of money flowing into the communications industry is unprecedented and cable broadband valuations have never been higher. Consolidation within the industry should continue, as investors and strategic buyers look to quench their insatiable appetite for communication assets. In this episode, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston visits with Steve Soraparu, a communications investment banker and managing director at Stifel. Listen to their conversation for insights on how investors are currently viewing the industry and what prospective sellers need to consider.
All Day Digital S1E01 - Rural Broadband Has Hopped from Ho-hum to Hot
The rural broadband landscape should evolve significantly over the next few years, as an unprecedented amount of capital hits the market. In this inaugural episode of All Day Digital, CoBank’s Jeff Johnston visits with Bill Baker, CEO of Nextlink Internet. Nextlink has been involved in rural broadband buildouts in six states and Baker shares his perspective on how the industry has evolved and where it’s going.