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Panelists: Catharine Rice, President @ SEATOA; Wayne Wishart @ GRUCom (City of Gainesville), Tina Mooring @ Computer Central of Wilson (Pending): Brian Young @ CTI, Lou Comer @ Georgia Municipal Association, David Snyder @ VOLState; and Sam Cook @ Seimitsu
After the session Catharine Rice, a panelist and owner of Broadband-Matters and President of www.SEATOA.org (association of 4 states TN/GA/NC/SC), was a great contributor to a roundtable discussion on how to engage local and state governments and in her opinion "local Service Providers are of increasing importance" in providing alternatives to incumbent carriers. FISPA also held a webinar May 17 on this same topic and it was the highest rated 'attentive' webinar as tracked by Go To Webinar statitics portal. Join Catharine (and perhaps a representative from NATOA) and other FISPA members to discuss the status of local government broadband initiatives, how to work with/or against them, and be updated on what the incubent's carrier (telephone and cable) are doing in response or anticipation of them. Catharine Rice has been a cable and broadband consultant to North Carolina communities and to the Triangle J Council of Governments for 10 years, helping them plan and deploy local broadband systems, administer local cable franchises, and maintain and fund PEG channels. During this time she has assumed numerous leadership roles in educating municipal officials and advocating for local broadband and video systems. These efforts included contributing to the development and implementation of North Carolina's first municipal fiber-to-the-home network by implementing a broadband feasibility study for Wilson, NC, and speaking before state legislative committees over the period of four years to promote community broadband systems, in local public meetings, and before municipal officials. She also spearheaded the successful passage of North Carolina PEG legislation and amendments that provide @$34,000 annually per eligible community to fund local community public, education and government channels. Catharine is the President of SEATOA, an association representing local community broadband planners and community video programmers in four states: NC,SC, GA and TN.
Local Gvt BBND Consultant
Cities that had used some franchise fee cash for public, education and government channels now tend to funnel the money into other city services, said Catharine Rice, an associate with Action Audits.
Catharine Rice, President, SEATOA
Catharine Rice Catharine Rice is President of the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SEATOA). For the last ten years, Catharine has been a cable and broadband consultant serving North Carolina communities in planning and deploying local broadband systems, focusing particularly on those communities in the Research Triangle area and surrounding rural counties. The earlier periods of this work included cable rate regulatory oversight and enforcing build-out and transfer of ownership requirements under local cable franchises. With the passage of the state's cable deregulatory legislation, her focus turned to developing municipal solutions to the lack of private sector broadband deployments and competition, including working with the City of Wilson in the development and implementation of North Carolina's first fiber-to-the home system. When the industry attempted to shut down that system and other municipal systems, Catharine organized a North Carolina grassroots movement with SEATOA and worked with NCLM to block industry-sponsored anti-municipal broadband legislation, a battle which lasted four years but, disappointingly, ended with the industry prevailing under new Republican leadership. During this same period, Catharine lead numerous SEATOA efforts to guarantee PEG access funding (and actual payment) through revisions to the state's Video Services Competition Act. Prior to her work in North Carolina, Ms. Rice served more than ten years as Vice President of the Washington, DC-based municipal-consulting firm, Institute for the Positive Use of Technology, (InPUT). She holds a masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communications and served as NATOA's Administrative Officer from 1984-1989.
Catharine Rice, SEATOA