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NDATC members learn about ‘Build Broadband’ effort

From staff reports

A nationwide grassroots effort to emphasize broadband investment as part of emerging national policy was described during the annual summer conference of the North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives (NDATC). The conference, for members and guests of NDATC, was held last month in Medora.      

National Telecommunications Cooperative Association Communications Director Laura Withers described NTCA’s current “Build Broadband With Us” campaign in remarks to the conference.  

Withers said with the new Trump administration, a new Congress and a new emphasis on improving America’s infrastructure, broadband and social media are both in the national spotlight. She said NTCA aims to help its members harness this momentum by offering resources for a new social media campaign touting the benefits of broadband for rural America.

“It’s no secret our president has been a huge infrastructure proponent and also a very active social media user,” Withers told the board. “We’ve seen President Trump take to Twitter and have the power to change the national conversation in 140 characters. We’re asking our members to follow that trend and use social media more in their advocacy efforts.”

NTCA President and CEO Shirley Bloomfield launched the “Build Broadband With Us” initiative at the 2017 NTCA annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., earlier this year. To date, many across the country have logged onto or linked into the effort. In signing up, supporters receive updates on social media messages they can spread to ensure their lawmakers and consumers are aware of the broadband successes and challenges in their communities.

“We’ll send you content to share on social media and make sure your members of Congress see it in their press clips. A single message shared here and there has more of an impact than you think,” Withers said, relaying details from a recent post that was shared on social media sites by 100 people and received more than 43,000 views in one week.

For more information on the campaign, including registration to receive social media content to share, Withers said people can visit


Kroshus salutes cooperatives

Brian Kroshus, North Dakota Public Service Commissioner

In a keynote address to the summer conference, new North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus provided remarks on his initial experiences in the position. Earlier this year, Kroshus was appointed Public Service Commissioner by Gov. Doug Burgum. Kroshus took the seat formerly held by Brian Kalk, who resigned from the three-member PSC to take a position at the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center.

Prior to his appointment to the Public Service Commission, Kroshus spent 30 years in business management in the publishing industry, positions with Forum Communications, Fargo, and Lee Enterprises, Bismarck.

In his remarks to the conference, Kroshus paid tribute to the telecommunications cooperatives, and their history of working for their consumer-members and among themselves, for their collective effort to bring modern telecommunications and a better quality of life to North Dakota.

Fellow Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann and Julie Fedorchak were also in attendance at the NDATC conference.