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Annual Convention Sessions & Speakers

General Session
Wednesday, May 24

8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Broadband Funding & Policy – 2022 & Beyond

Mike Romano, NTCA

While significant decisions and substantial funds are coming from the federal level, there has never been such opportunity for interaction – and potential confusion – between federal and state policymakers when it comes to promoting broadband availability and affordability. We’ll discuss how various federal agencies are tackling certain issues, the state’s role in making decisions on key broadband questions, and what’s likely to transpire in the second half of 2022 and coming years.

Financial Market Update
Jeff Johnston, CoBank
Hunter Hook, CoBank

Financial Markets are always evolving. This session will cover current trends in interest rates, company valuations, and how they will impact rural telcos.

Keynote: Amplify Employee Engagement | Capitalize on Passion, Focus and Commitment
Mike Evans,

In these tremendously ultra-competitive and turbulent times, how do you cultivate an environment where employees at all levels are engaged, energized and flourish? How do you effectively tap into the enormous wealth of creativity, innovation, passion, energy and commitment of employees that is often left idle? Much different than "job satisfaction" (there are a lot of highly paid miserable people who are satisfied with their job) – engagement is about passionate, focused and committed employees contributing daily to help achieve what matters most.

Breakout Sessions 
Wednesday, May 24

1:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Beat the Competition With a Subscriber Acquisition Strategy

Tara Young, Calix

Subscriber acquisition is key strategic initiative for most broadband service providers (BSPs). But how can they reach and acquire new subscribers before their competition? Armed with more than $100 billion in funding, new competitors and incumbent providers are looking to expand their networks and grow their business. They’re targeting the same pool of potential subscribers as most BSPs. And for BSPs that compete on speed and price alone, they are more vulnerable to competitive threats. To win BSPs need new strategies to fuel growth, acquire new subscribers, and deliver differentiated subscriber experiences.

Onboarding for Employee Retention

Brian Blahnik, B Squared Consulting

One way to retain employees is by developing a strategic onboarding process. The sooner new hires feel welcome and prepared, the sooner they will be able to contribute to the mission.

Empowering Broadband Consumers through Transparency Order

Teri Kessler, NECA

An overview of the Empowering Broadband Consumers Through Transparency Report and Order released on November 17, 2022, also known as the Broadband Label Order. Requirements for broadband providers to display easy-to-understand labels to allow customers to comparison shop for broadband services. FNPRM to discuss the display of more comprehensive information and the availability of the information in other languages and other modalities.

Enable Support for Wi-Fi 6 & 6E Technology to Deliver an Exceptional Subscriber Experience

Dennis Budke, Calix
Matt Gloss, Calix

Consumer adoption of internet services and smart home products spiked with the pandemic and is going strong as the expectation for always-on, high quality connected experiences evolves. This demand has driven a wave of CPE upgrades among consumers, triggering BSPs to begin their replacement cycles now looking at Wi-Fi 6E on the heels of Wi-Fi 6. In fact, the Wi-Fi Alliance predicted that 338 million “Wi-Fi 6E”-compatible devices would enter the market in 2021, designed to take advantage of this new spectrum and not be clogged with legacy devices. Support for Wi-Fi 6 and 6E technologies is now top of mind for BSPs as they look to get ahead of the curve.

2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

Work Smarter Not Harder: Ways to Leverage AI in Marketing

Autumn Ricke, Pinnacle Marketing Group

Artificial Intelligence enables organizations to improve their overall marketing efforts. AI can automate your everyday marketing tasks like scheduling and sending emails or predicting campaign performance and let you get back to work on other important things, like satisfying clients. Want to know how? Here are four ways you can begin using AI for your organization's marketing today. 

Cyber Security Preparedness

Facilitator: Jordan Roberts, Telcom Insurance Group

Panelist: Wendy Danielson, Norvado

Panelist: Shawn Walmer, 3RT

Our panel of cyber security experts will provide an interactive session on steps you can implement to prevent a cyber event, lessons we have learned from other attacks, and the best practices your company should be striving to complete to keep it safe.

What's Hot on the State and Federal Regulatory Front for 2023

Eric Pulvermacher, Forvis

In our every changing regulatory environment we will discuss some of the most active topics in regulatory today. These topics will impact us all so stay up to date on what is happening. Attendees can expect update on the PSC grant process, broadband nutrition labels and the constitutionality of USF.

Mobile Apps for Today’s Telecom Operations

Lindsay Randazzo, Innovative Systems

Connectivity on the go is essential for supporting the demands of your customers, mobile applications increase productivity for technicians and transmits field activity back to your OSS system in seconds. This session will present real world data showing how thousands of service technicians are using mobile apps today and what they are using them for.

2:20 PM - 3:20 PM
Marketing Roundtable
Facilitator: Melissa Lease

The Importance of Staying Sharp
Steve Meltzer, JSI

Things seem rosy for rural broadband providers. Broadband funding programs are beyond plentiful. Consumer appreciation and demand for broadband service has never been higher. What a great business to be in! But practicing good business fundamentals is still key to future success. This presentation will take a sober look at the most important issues facing broadband providers and talk about the challenges of managing businesses as the good times roll.

Technology Roundtable
Facilitator: Shane McCann

General Session
Thursday, May 25

9:00 AM - 11:45AM

2023 Broadband and Video Report on Rural America and Executive Peer Panel
Facilitator: Scott Meyer

Panelists: TBA

This presentation will include 2023 data that identifies key demographic, social, and preferential tendencies of your broadband and video customers. The study was conducted in rural marketplaces across the US with over 800 respondents and includes a benchmark report that covers 2021-2023. A free copy of the full report will be made available to conference attendees.

Join our panel of leading Telecom executives as they share their thoughts and ideas on driving innovation, new revenue opportunities and creative cost management in the face of fluctuating support dollars. Hear these leaders discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing.

Team Esports
David Lockstein, 
Watertown School District
Mike Dahle, Wisconsin High School Esports Alliance

Panelist: Michael Culp
Jaylyn Palenshus
Panelist: Logan Zipp

David Lockstein and Mike Dahle from the Wisconsin High School Esports Alliance will be bringing in an Esports team from Elkhorn School District to talk about what Esports means to them.

Schedule subject to change. 


Wisconsin State Telecommunications (WSTA)
122 West Washington Ave, Suite 1050
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608-256-8866

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