The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014 - (Page 19)

THEME: ON THE EDGE: MEETING CONSUMER DEMAND Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment By: Louis J. Tomasetti President & CEO, Commnet W e've long heard the argument that investing in rural telecommunications is important for bridging the digital divide, and ensuring equal access to the social and economic opportunity provided by high speed and wireless technology. And while this is very true, there is another argument for investment that was brought into clear focus by a recent headline-grabbing event in Nevada. When James Glanton's jeep tumbled over a snowy embankment in the remote Seven Troughs area of Nevada, he - along with his girlfriend and four young children - was left stranded. While largely uninjured, they had no cell signal and little food, and faced nighttime temperatures of 16 degrees below zero. Without the ability to communicate to the outside world their situation was dire, but Glanton and his companions found ways to stay warm and survive on leftover snacks. At the same time, a frantic search was underway. A Navy search-and-rescue team and the Civil Air Patrol assisted the sheriff's deputies by searching a concentrated area where the group was thought to be. Two special helicopters equipped with infrared technology were also used, and about 200 people joined the search team. Even with all of this, finding a small group of people in a massive stretch of rough terrain is immensely difficult. The turning point came three days after the accident, when the Air Force contacted Commnet. Glanton's cell phone had been roaming on Commnet's network, and after creating a coverage map, we were able to determine that he was in an area without coverage. This information allowed the rescue team to focus on a new location, and within hours, the group was found. As it turns out, the breakthrough in a large search and rescue operation didn't come from boots on the ground or hightech aerial surveillance, but from a small piece of telecommunications data. The story demonstrates the unique ways in which regional carriers play an integral role in their communities. Companies like Commnet are focused on the opportunity of serving often-neglected rural areas. As such, they both provide an important service to the large, national carriers, and are deeply connected to local law enforcement, community leaders, policymakers, and customers. But this story also demonstrates the importance of federal support for investments that expand telecommunications access in America's remote areas. Rural and regional carriers often provide the most robust, and frequently the only, service in these areas. In its efforts to expand service into very low population and traffic areas, Commnet has used creative solutions to reduce costs and make these remote areas viable business cases. But in many places, it is simply not economically feasible for carriers to build out service. And yet, the people who live, work, and travel through these areas deserve equal access to technology - and importantly, they deserve the THE essential public safety benefits that telecommunications provides. To help achieve this goal, more spectrum should be made available to rural and regional carriers. As the FCC works to create rules for the upcoming incentive auction, it is important that both large and small carriers have the opportunity to win this spectrum. At the same time, the FCC should make certain that its spectrum policies promote interoperability. Non-interoperable devices simply will not work on other carriers' networks. If consumers' devices won't connect when outside their home network footprint, it could be devastating in an emergency situation. It is unsettling to realize that a situation could arise where life-saving coverage is available but is not accessible by the device. Most Americans, no matter where they travel, have confidence that their mobile phone will be available if their car breaks down or if they're confronted with a medical emergency. In the remote, and often rugged, areas served by Commnet and other rural carriers, such service simply cannot be taken for granted. By creatively working with law enforcement and using available data, Commnet was able to play a small, but important role in an inspiring rescue effort. And with some positive policy action in Washington, companies like Commnet will be able do even more to assist law enforcement, address vital public safety needs, and offer greater consumer access to the benefits of telecommunications. Comment is a subsidiary of Atlantic TeleNetwork, Inc., which operates wireless and wireline telecommunications networks in unserved areas of the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Commnet operates systems primarily in the southwestern United States. VOICE * * Spring/Summer 2014 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President and CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2013 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Staying Ahead of “The Next Big Thing”
Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment
Competition – The Foundation for a Healthy Industry
Putting the “Incentive” in Incentive Auction
Beat ’Em or Join ’Em: Data Roaming in a 4G LTE World
2014: The Year of Small Cell Deployment
Band Class 12 – Beyond Broadband
Chat Mobility Utilizes Multi-Faceted Plan to Attract & Retain Customers
Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market
Regional Carrier Bridges Digital Divide with Massive Network Upgrade
Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers
Expanding America’s Wireless Networks: It Takes a Village
Lead with Location
Giving Your Customer Their Preferred Choices in Billing: Paper, Electronic, and Mobile
Monetizing Data Demand with Personalized Services
Making Sure Long-Distance Calls Reach Rural Subscribers
Mobility Growth with Emerging Devices
Mobile Broadband and the Rise of Mobile Security Challenges
On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America
Transform Your Business by Making It Simpler
Lessons Learned on the Road to LTE
Let’s Get Personal
Even If the Voice Packets Make It, Does the Lack of Quality Ruin It?
Our Connected World: The Necessity of NFV for Telcos
Ten Hot Consumer Trends in 2014 and Beyond
Gain Your Edge: Effective Edge Out Strategies with 4G LTE
Reaching Consumer Demand Through Marketing in the Rural Driven Markets
Tips for Improving the Customer Experience
Creating a Super High-Capacity Network in Rural America
Your Competitors Are Coming for Your Customers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Representative Robert “Bob” Latta

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014