OPASTCO 50th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet


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OPASTCO 50th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet

  1. 1. 1963 – 2013
  2. 2. ROUNDtable O P A ST C O President John N. Rose Editor Martha K. Silver Associate Editor Caroline O’Reilly Art Director Sharri Harris Wolfgang AURAS Design Advertising Sales Partyke Communications Contributing Editors Director of Technical Issues John T. McHugh Director of Business Development/ Senior Policy Analyst Steve Pastorkovich Vice President of Regulatory Policy and Business Development Stuart Polikoff Director of Education Kathleen Kelley Riesett Vice President of Legislative Policy Randy Tyree OPASTCO Officers Chairman Mike Osborne First Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect Rhonda Armstrong Second Vice Chairman Cullen McCarty Treasurer Pete Holland OPASTCO Roundtable (ISSN-10436073) is published four times per year by the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, 2020 K Street, NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20006; 202/659-5990. Copyright 2013 by the Organi­ ation for the z Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies. All rights reserved. OPASTCO Roundtable is a controlled circulation publication, third-class bulk postage paid at Altavista, Va. Appearance of advertisements in OPASTCO Roundtable does not constitute endorsement by OPASTCO. OPASTCO is a member of the Society of National Association Publications. Letter from President John Rose 50 Fabulous Years of Achievement and Fellowship 5 Letter from Chairman Mike Osborne Pioneers Past, Present and Future 7 Acknowledgements 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee 8 Timeline OPASTCO: 50 Years of Connecting Communities 10 Tribute John Rose: OPASTCO’s President and Industry Leader 34 John Rose’s Top 10 Telecom Advocacy Efforts by OPASTCO 38 Foundation The History and Mission of FRED 40 Leadership and service OPASTCO Presidents & Chairmen 42 OPASTCO Award Recipients 44 OPASTCO Boards & Directors 48 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   3
  3. 3. Congratulations OPASTCO on 50 YEARS! JSI is proud to have stood with OPASTCO since its very start. Your work has made a difference for both your members and the industry. Through the ups and the downs of the last 50 years, the rural industry’s spirit of cooperation has remained steadfast. We look forward to continuing that partnership with everyone working on behalf of rural America. phone 301-459-7590 | email jsi@jsitel.com | web www.jsitel.com Headquarters – Greenbelt, Md. | Austin | Minneapolis | Atlanta | Salt Lake City
  4. 4. OPASTCO  n   Letter from John Rose 50 Fabulous Years of Achievement and Fellowship Opastco history is like family history to me. It is about the people, the rural community, generations of families and employees, and most of all, the rural pioneering can-do spirit. OPASTCO member companies and cooperatives built the finest telecommunications networks where the large AT&T/Bell operating companies could see no business returns. Even some of the large independent holding companies built their companies on what small independents had already accomplished. I have read all the individual, company and state telephone association histories that I could read. These histories and accomplishments are America’s successes. Rural telephone companies and cooperatives, OPASTCO members, are proud of this heritage, and this 50th anniversary book commemorates this proud accomplishment. Rural companies have always invested in their community and their employees for the long term. Small telecommunications companies were committed to their communities. OPASTCO has been at the forefront in pushing for new opportunities, new businesses, new technology, and new ways of doing things. We have always known that problems are also opportunities, and we must continue to reinvent ourselves. The past is prologue to what the next fifty years may bring. We know that many challenges lay ahead; however, the track record that has been achieved with sparse resources gives us a road map for the future. The goal is the success of our businesses and our communities in a world economy. OPASTCO and its members have always embraced new technology. During the last fifty years, success has come through hard work and cooperation. We may have disagreed about the directions, but for the most part, we have not been disagreeable. Our meetings were all over this land and have been conducted in a family atmosphere. We have reached out to include Canadian small independents in the organization. We have made friends with the telephone companies in Finland. We have worked with the International Finance Corporation to find opportunities in Hungary. We have been at the table with both state and federal policy makers on all the major issues. OPASTCO representatives have been voting members on all the FCC Technical Advisory Councils. All the large telecommunication companies know us as strong, forward-looking negotiators. This heritage will serve the industry well as we move forward for the next fifty years. OPASTCO was founded in 1963 as a result of toll ticketing settlements issues, and here we are still debating toll ticketing’s grandchild, access charges. There were many more independents in 1963, and OPASTCO grew rapidly and reached its peak in membership around the year 2000 even as the number of small independent companies steadily decreased. But the spirit of OPASTCO will never decline as long as it remains in the hearts of members and employees. Long live the OPASTCO spirit and its boldness. Let us toast every year to the legacy of rural telephony, rural telephone companies and OPASTCO, and let us toast to the new industry and small telecommunications companies. The glasses will forever touch in my mind. John Rose President, OPASTCO 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   5
  5. 5. A QUOTE IS S EASY R EASY! ER U UP 80 80 02 2 2- 4 6 6 4 Did you know that our knowledge of the telecommunications industry is universal and of benefit to many types of businesses? We understand the risk of the rural telecom companies, contractors, consultants, and manufacturers and many more! GETTIN G Award winning coverage, service, and the best premiums are now available to the whole telecommunications industry! You know us as the first and only insurer to have developed proprietary products for loss exposure analysis. Our Teletracker Risk Audit™, which is available to all types of telecom businesses, finds exposure to loss, explains the risk, and then outlines a solution plan to either manage or insure it. Seek your insurance protection and risk management services from the industry experts at the Telcom Insurance Group. Because it has always been a matter of trust… 800-222-4664 6301 Ivy Lane, Suite 506 Greenbelt, MD 20770 www.TelcomInsGrp.com
  6. 6. OPASTCO  n   Letter from Mike Osborn Pioneers Past, Present and Future Our industry has accomplished so much in the past 50 years. This commemorative booklet is a testament to the challenges we have overcome and the progress we can achieve when we work together. We created a community of OPASTCO members, linking rural communities together through the desire to bring high-quality telecommunications services to our customers. Individual companies and their employees were no longer each trying to solve the same problem on their own. Our collective expertise and hard work helped all of rural America’s telecommunications move forward. As individual companies, we have come together through OPASTCO and its committees to steer public policies that would benefit rural networks and rural communities, and have created resources and tools that improved our business capabilities. Together, we have met at OPASTCO conventions to learn from each other, have reenergized ourselves in an atmosphere of camaraderie, and have brought valuable problemsolving information back to our rural companies and communities. Now our industry is facing new challenges. As technology changes, so, too, must we change. We need to learn from the lessons of our history and recognize what we can accomplish if our country’s rural telecommunications industry comes together, speaks as one voice, and strategically invests in our future. Where the earliest pioneers in our industry were blazing new trails as independent telephone companies, during the past 50 years, we have added many telecommunications services to our networks. Technological advances have played a big part in this growth. Technology, however, has changed who determines what goes over the network. In the past, we decided what our networks were used for; now, our customers decide what they want delivered to their homes, businesses and mobile devices. Today, we are still pioneers, and we are still providing telecommunications in areas the larger companies deem less financially desirable. Yet, through our networks, our customers can reach every corner of the globe, picking and choosing which broadband applications and resources they wish to use. We are pioneers that must determine a new direction for our industry. Just as we came together in the past, we must now come together to explore telecommunications’ future. As individual companies, we each must find our own solutions, but together we can achieve great things and use our strength in numbers to influence our destiny. Mike Osborne Chairman, OPASTCO 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   7
  7. 7. OPASTCO  n   50th Anniversary OPASTCO Acknowledgements 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee Ron Laudner, Chairman OmniTel Communications Brenda Cordwell Mike Osborne John Staurulakis Inc. Ace Communications Mark Gailey R. Craig Smith Totah Communications MGW Telephone John Granger Ben Spearman Mapcom Systems Comporium Arturo “Archie” Macias Wheat State Telephone Company Manny Staurulakis John Staurulakis Inc. OPASTCO Staff Amanda Casey Caroline O’Reilly Kathleen Kelley Riesett John N. Rose Martha K. Silver OPASTCO 50th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet Researched and written by Martha K. Silver Designed by Sharri Harris Wolfgang, AURAS Design Sources for the OPASTCO 50th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet include the OPASTCO 40th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet, the OPASTCO 25th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet, OPASTCO Board of Directors meeting minutes, OPASTCO filings and press releases, OPASTCO Roundtable magazine, The Washington Weekly Report, OPASTCO Advocate, OPASTCO 411, and multiple sources found on the World Wide Web, including, the Telecommunications History Group, Aronsson’s Telecom History Timeline, NASA and Wikipedia. Most product shots are from respective manufacturers. Some historic product shots from Max’s Museum at www.az-apco-nena.org. Archie and Veronica are copyrighted by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. 8  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013
  8. 8. Power & Tel Congratulates OPASTCO for 50 Years of Commitment to the Rural Telecom Industry. W ith five decades as your source for the products needed to build and maintain your network, Power & Tel celebrates the importance of rural telecommunications and is proud to have served as a supply chain partner for OPASTCO members for those 50 years. Please visit Power & Tel booth 515/517 at the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and Expo. Contact (800) 238-7514 | www.ptsupply.com | marketing@ptsupply.com
  9. 9. OPASTCO: Connecting 10  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013
  10. 10. 50 years of Communities For the past 50 years, OPASTCO’s members have been a driving force in the connection of rural communities, people and member companies. OPASTCO was born when a community of like-minded rural telephone companies and suppliers got together to brainstorm solutions to the Schedule B toll settlements average schedule formula. As these pioneering individuals realized that they had common challenges that they could solve together, their community grew bigger. As the OPASTCO community grew and more independent telephone companies saw the value of sharing information, networking and collaborating to solve problems, more connections were made. OPASTCO members worked together on task-specific committees, they met at conventions to share ideas and make new professional connections, and they worked to ensure that their communities enjoyed high-quality services that connected them beyond their rural ­communities’ borders. Keeping Rural America Connected Just as Keeping Rural America Connected was the title of a groundbreaking 2004 OPASTCO study on toll de-averaging that significantly influenced law­ makers crafting the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it truly has been OPASTCO’s mission to keep rural America’s communities connected. In the early years of OPASTCO, the crucial work was to ensure telco members fared well in a world of regulation and the Bell system. In more recent years, OPASTCO recognized the need to position members for a world where all communications are broadband and telecommunications companies must stay ahead of their customers’ demands. Making Connections, Sharing Knowledge During the past 50 years, one of OPASTCO’s strengths has been its ability to bring together rural telephone company owners and managers. Often residing in remote locations where they have little opportunity to network with fellow telecommunications ­ rofessionals, p OPASTCO’s twice-annual meetings have been an important vehicle for knowledge-sharing and problemsolving. At OPASTCO conventions, members have learned how others are making strategic decisions to prepare their companies for the future, have explored new business opportunities, and have brainstormed ideas that have been industry innovations realized. These achievements occurred because OPASTCO c ­ onnected members in an environment of fellowship and community, where opinions are respected and ideas are appreciated. Committees as Communities Since its earliest days in 1963, OPASTCO has been a member-run organization. In the spirit of community, OPASTCO members volunteer to participate on committees that run the association. Some committees make management decisions, while others develop high-level policy positions, and others provide educa- 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   11
  11. 11. OPASTCO  n   Timeline Our industry’s rich history is a history tional services and knowledge-based of people—OPASTCO members— resources. The committees are the who made commitments to volunteer heart and soul of the association, and their time and their resources for the every significant action OPASTCO betterment of our companies and has taken has been based on member communities in rural America. input and direction. If you ever served on an Over the years, OPASTCO comOPASTCO committee, thank you for mittees have come and gone. Some your service. Whether the task was committees are created for short-term, big or small, your active participation ad hoc issues; committee members on an OPASTCO committee made a research an issue and make a recomThe Separations & Access Committee difference and moved our industry mendation to the board. Other commeets in Calgary, during the 2004 forward. mittees are long-term working groups Summer Convention. that help mold telecom policy, oversee OPASTCO has made significant accomplishments; OPASTCO’s financial operations, plan conventions, create the timeline on the following pages tells a story of an marketing resources, and a host of other valuable services. industry and its association growing and evolving. History OPASTCO committees are our true connections listed below the year is OPASTCO history; history listed between our community of companies and our association. above the year shows telecommunications and technology As you read through the timeline of OPASTCO history, events that ultimately changed the telephone industry of the association’s actions and achievements, please take a our grandfathers and brought new business opportunities moment to recognize that every step of the way, members were involved—on the board level, committee level or both. to rural telecommunications. OPASTCO Committees Through the Years Executive Committee Associate Member Committee Average Schedule Committee Awards Committee Building Search Committee Bylaws Committee CATV Cross-ownership Committee CLEC Committee Dues Structure Committee Education Committee EVP Search Committee Finance Committee Industry Relations Committee Insurance Committee ISP Committee Junk Fax Calls/900 Calls Committee L&R Conference Committee Legislative and Regulatory Committee Legislative Policy Committee Membership Committee Marketing Committee Marketing/PR Committee Mobile Wireless Committee Nominating Committee, Directors Nominating Committee, Officers Operator Services Committee President’s/Chairman’s Award Committee Public Relations Committee Radio, Cellular, BETRs & PCN Committee REA/Rural Development Committee Regulatory Policy Committee ROSS 7 Committee RUS Committee Separations & Access Committee Site Selection Committee Speaker’s Bureau Committee Standards Committee Tradeshow Committee Technical Committee Unification Leadership Committee Video and Broadband Committee Ad-Hoc Committees 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee Board Expense Committee Board Membership Committee Cellular Committee 12  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 Future Committee Lifetime Membership Dues Committee Marketing OPASTCO Committee Membership Survey Committee Mini MBA Program Committee Modified Final Judgment Issues Committee National Branding Committee Technology Input Committee Toll De-averaging Study Committee Universal Service Committee
  12. 12. OPASTCO  n   Timeline p SAGE, the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, is the first large computer network to provide man-machine interaction in “real time.” Each computer in the 27-center system contained more than 50,000 vacuum tubes, weighing 250 tons and occupying an acre of floor space. ■■Motorola develops the first rectangular picture tube for color television in a joint venture with National Video Corporation. The tube quickly becomes the standard for the industry. q u American Airlines’ travel reservation system SABRE, developed by IBM, links 2,000 online terminals via phone lines. ■■Gordon Moore suggests that integrated circuits would double in complexity every year. This later becomes known as Moore’s Law. u 1964 p The transistorized Pageboy pager, supplied to AT&T under the name Bellboy, is the first personal communications device to become a standard tool for business and industry. ■■A new average schedule is developed. 1965 ■■ OPASTCO 1963 ■■ Representatives of 12 telephone companies and seven manufacturing companies meet in Memphis, Tennessee, to discuss their dissatisfaction with the Schedule B toll settlements average schedule formula. The “Memphis Plan Group” begins a small telephone company industry effort that within 10 months would formally be known as the Organization for the Protection and Advancement of Small Telephone Companies (OPASTCO). p OPASTCO is formally created and holds its first general membership meeting. Later in the year, the certificate of incorporation of OPASTCO as a Delaware corporation is signed. formally resolves to create an associate membership category with a formal dues structure so that a variety of suppliers to the independent telephone company industry may participate as members. Prior to this resolution, only certain suppliers were invited to participate in the association. ■■ OPASTCO has 39 paid members, including both telephone companies and suppliers. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   13
  13. 13. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The United States counts its 100 millionth fixed telephone line. ■■IBM builds the first floppy disk.  IBM introduces the first disk storage system, the IBM RAMAC 305. It holds 5 MB of data on 50 2-foot wide platters. 1966 p The world’s first scientific desktop calculator, the HP 9100, is introduced by Hewlett-Packard. ■■The first Consumer Electronics Show is held in New York City. ■■ The FCC adopts the Carterfone Decision, striking down existing interstate telephone tariffs prohibiting attachment of connection to the public telephone system of any equipment or device that was not supplied by the telephone companies. ■■Motorola launches its Quasar television, America’s first all-transistor color television set. u ■■The Group 1 standard for facsimile trans- 1967 first headquarters are located in Jackson, Tennessee. President Fred McGehee testifies before the House Agriculture Committee on the formation of the Rural Electrification Administration’s (REA) Rural Telephone Bank. McGehee testifies in favor of the Bank bill, saying it would provide necessary financing to independent companies in rural America. u ■■ OPASTCO’s ■■ Over mission over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is issued; transmitting an 8 ½ x 11" size page takes six minutes. 1968 ■■ OPASTCO  Jim Blackhall becomes OPASTCO’s first executive vice president. He takes a leave of absence from ITT-Telecommunications to dedicate full-time attention to OPASTCO. His role is to increase membership and serve the needs of the association’s members. Blackhall drives from town to town recruiting members across rural America. ■■ OPASTCO’s first official publication, “Member Letter,” is launched. The monthly publication covers the activities of the OPASTCO board, members, executive vice president and industry. ■■ Telephone company involvement in cable television and private financing are the focus of OPASTCO’s third annual meeting. ■■ By the end of 1966, OPASTCO has close to 100 telephone company members. 14  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 concern about an increase in mergers and acquisitions of small telephone companies, OPASTCO presents education sessions on property and casualty insurance, tax planning and antitrust laws at its annual fall meeting. ■■ For the first time, OPASTCO’s board goes on the record to recognize that the existing three independent telephone associations, OPASTCO, the National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA) and the United States Independent Telephone Association (USITA), should work together when possible. ■■ OPASTCO begins working on behalf of its members on a growing problem with extended area service (EAS) settlements.
  14. 14. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■CompuServe Information Service launches in Columbus, Ohio, as a computer time-sharing service. ■■Corning announces it has successfully made ■■Intel announces a 1 kilobit RAM chip, a quartz glass fiber useful for long distance communication. which has a significantly larger capacity than any previously produced memory chip. ■■The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPAnet) is the first packet switching network and the progenitor to the Internet. One node is added to the ARPAnet each month. ■■Man walks on moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon are relayed to Earth by a Motorola radio transponder aboard the Apollo 11 lunar module. The transponder provides telemetry, tracking, two-way voice communications and television signal transmissions between Earth and the moon. u ■■The world’s first digital telephony system is installed in Lannison, France. ■■The FCC announces its plans for regulating the cable television industry. 1969 ■■ OPASTCO files its first petition with the FCC, asking the Commission to reject ATT’s revisions to its long distance message telecommunications service tariff. OPASTCO argues that the proposed rate reductions and revisions were determined by the FCC and the Bell System “without any consideration of the operation and earning requirements of the other participating independent telephone companies,” many of which would be adversely affected by the changes. This petition establishes OPASTCO’s position of opposing negotiations between ATT and the FCC at the exclusion of small companies. ■■ OPASTCO members lobby their senators to support a bill to establish a federal-state joint board at the FCC. q At the Fall Annual Meeting, OPASTCO members learn about the impact of cable television and interconnection on independent telephone companies, the trend in independent telephone company acquisition, and the role of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in the telephone industry. 1970 ■■ OPASTCO joins the “Telephone Group, a ” number of companies and organizations that, at the request of the FCC, join to speak for the interests of the independent telephone industry. William Corman is appointed as OPASTCO’s representative. u ■■ OPASTCO forms an Extended Area Service (EAS) Committee to gather information and unite OPASTCO members against inequitable settlements procedures, and a Resource Committee to assist small companies that believe they must sell their businesses. ■■ Roland Nehring writes a series of articles, “Televalues, to help members ” in the valuation of their companies for purposes of estate planning, federal taxes, or proposed mergers and sales. ■■ As part of the Telephone Group, OPASTCO works on the Ozark Plan, which allocates a significantly greater portion of the costs of local plant to interstate jurisdiction. This reduces the local revenue requirement that has to be recovered through local rates. This increase in revenues allows many independent telephone companies to make major upgrades to their rural networks. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   15
  15. 15. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The Rural Telephone Bank is created and signed into law. ■■Direct telephone dialing, as opposed to operator assisted calling, begins between parts of the U.S. and Europe. t IBM introduces the “memory disk,” or “floppy disk,” an 8-inch floppy plastic disk coated with iron oxide. ■■Intel develops the 4004 microprocessor, the world’s first computer on a chip, performing 60,000 operations per second and able to address 640 bytes of memory. ■■The ARPAnet has 19 connected nodes. 1971 ■■ OPASTCO holds its first ever winter meeting, delaying its annual meeting from September 1970 to January 1971. At the annual meeting, the membership votes down the proposal to change OPASTCO’s name to the “National Association of Telephone Company Owners.” ■■ President Richard Nixon appoints 11 directors to the Rural Telephone Bank, including two OPASTCO members: the current OPASTCO Second Vice Chairman Jean Brandli of Coosa Valley Telephone Co. in Alabama, and Glenn Bergland of Winnebago Cooperative Telephone Association in Iowa. ■■ Leadership at the National Telephone Cooperative Association approaches OPASTCO’s leadership about the possible merger or federation of the two associations. p Atari is founded by Nolan Bushnell and ships Pong, the first commercial video game. ■■Hewlett-Packard introduces the world’s first handheld scientific calculator, the HP 35. ■■5.25 inch diskettes/floppy disks first appear. ■■Steve Wozniak, later cofounder of Apple, builds a “blue box” tone generator that cancels the toll ticketing in ATT’s long distance network. ■■ITT launches its first installation of a stored program computer-controlled automatic telephone exchange, the Metaconta system. 1972 ■■ After developing a committee to address a possible federation of OPASTCO and NTCA, the OPASTCO board, later in the year, passes a resolution emphasizing “the desire of OPASTCO to retain its own identity and autonomy. ” ■■ OPASTCO President William Ditto appears before the Price Board in Washington, D.C., and testifies that small telephone companies receive adequate regulation and should be exempt from further federal price regulation. ■■ OPASTCO EVP Jim Blackhall retires, and John Reynolds,  u publisher of Telephone Engineer and Management magazine, takes over as executive vice president. ■■ OPASTCO establishes a Cable Television Committee. ■■ OPASTCO begins publishing its first magazine, Telco Digest. u 16  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 p NASA launches Skylab I. ■■Motorola researcher Martin Cooper makes the first handheld mobile phone call to his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs. ■■The Ethernet is first described in a doctoral student’s PhD thesis. ■■The first international connections to ARPAnet are created in England and Norway. ■■The New York Times Information Service provides online search of six databases via telephone access. 1973 membership grows to 203 telephone company and 27 supplier members. ■■ OPASTCO u Dorothy Sietsema is added to the OPASTCO staff as the executive assistant. ■■ OPASTCO Director William Ditto presents a statement to the Rural Telephone Bank concerning legislation to change the Rural Electrification Act. Ditto reiterates OPASTCO’s position against the recent action ending two percent REA loans to the Rural Telephone Bank. OPASTCO urges its members to support the House version of the Humphrey-Akins Bill calling for re-establishment of the frozen REA funds.
  16. 16. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■ATT installs its first digital telephone ■■The FCC adopts rules to allow manufac- ■■First Use of term “Internet” appears in a conference paper by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn. turers to sell equipment for connection to the telephone network if they demonstrate to the Commission that the equipment does no harm. ■■The Group 2 standard for facsimile trans- ■■IBM introduces the IBM 5100 portable ■■The FCC rules that a portion of the TV data each day. computer, having 16 kB RAM expandable to 64 kB, priced between $8,975 and $19,975, featuring the IBM 5100 data cartridge tape, storing 204 kB on 300 feet of 1/4 inch tape. ■■The U.S. Department of Justice files an ■■Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates, age 19, ■■The ARPAnet moves 3 million packets of antitrust suit against ATT. The suit will not be settled until January 1982, when ATT agrees to divest itself of the wholly owned Bell operating companies that provided local exchange service. and Paul Allen, age 22, in Gates’ dorm room at Harvard. Its first product is BASIC, a simple programming language.  q Intel receives a patent for a “memory system for a multichip digital computer.” 1 9 74 ■■ OPASTCO begins publishing a monthly newsletter, “OPASTCO’s Newsletter. ” ■■ OPASTCO studies the need for representation on the USITA Separations and Settlements Committee. switch. mission over PSTN is issued, transmitting a page in only 3 minutes; scanning density is 100 lines per inch. signal can be used for teletext. ■■Retail chain Radio Shack begins making plans to develop and sell a microcomputer. ■■Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporate Apple Computer and introduce the Apple I as a kit. It is based on the 1 MHz Mostek 6502 CPU, with 8 kB RAM expandable to 32 kB, and optional floppy. Priced at $666.66. u 1 9 76 1975 ■■ OPASTCO forms a committee to explore how the association can secure representation in Washington, D.C. ■■ OPASTCO President Glenn Bergland announces plans to schedule a meeting of the national telephone trade associations to discuss the formation of the National Telecommunications Coordinating Council. Consisting of OPASTCO, USITA, NTCA and the National REA Telephone Association (NREATA), the council would function on an informal basis to study and develop workable solutions in areas of common concern. p OPASTCO elects Arne Haynes as its representative to the USITA Telephone Separations and Settlements Task Force and names a five-member backup committee to assist him. Haynes takes a seven-month leave of absence from his telephone company to move to the East Coast to assist in the development of a database, which is instrumental to the telephone industry. ■■ The Consumer Communications Reform Act (CCRA) is introduced in Congress. OPASTCO lobbies Capitol Hill to protect rural customers from the impact of competition. OPASTCO produces a brochure explaining the possible ramifications of the FCC decisions on the future course of telecommunications. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   17
  17. 17. OPASTCO  n   Timeline t Philips and Sony unveil the music CD. ■■Federal and regulatory policymakers allow the REA to lend to telephone companies for cable TV operations. ■■Hayes begins to sell the first commercial ■■Northern Telecom introduces its DMS line of digital switches. ■■Radio Shack introduces the Tandy TRS-80 personal computer. ■■An experimental Motorola cellular phone system designed to employ both portable and vehicular phones begins construction in the neighboring cities of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. p Photographs of Saturn taken by Voyager 1 are returned to Earth over a distance of 1 billion miles. Voyagers 1 and 2 use Motorola equipment as their primary communications link with Earth during their 12-year tour of the solar system. ■■Dow Jones opens Dow Jones News/ Retrieval. It provides access to a database of Wall Street Journal articles and information on publicly held companies. 1977 ■■ OPASTCO continues to track legislative proposals to address competition in the telecommunications arena and play an active role in presenting the concerns of small independent telephone companies to members of Congress. Reynolds, OPASTCO’s executive vice president, loses his battle with cancer. ■■ John ■■ The “Younger Generation Program” is launched to provide support and advice to those contemplating taking over the family business.  ■■ Executive Assistant Dorothy Sietsema assumes all OPASTCO administrative duties from her home in Wheaton, Illinois. ■■ Four OPASTCO members meet at the White House with a member of President Carter’s Domestic Council to discuss telecommunications. The OPASTCO representatives discuss the problems faced by small companies and a report of their concerns is submitted to the President. modem, capable of 300 baud. ■■Apple introduces the Apple II, the first computer in a beige plastic case and first to display color graphics. Priced at $1,298. ■■Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss launch a computer bulletin board system in Chicago. ■■IBM introduces the IBM 5110 computer, having 16 kB RAM expandable to 64 kB, and diskette storage. 1978 ■■ OPASTCO hires the services of Washington consultant Nicholas Miller, on a part-time basis, to help represent the association in Washington, D.C.  OPASTCO Director Glenn Bergland testifies before the House Communications Subcommittee on the Communications Act of 1978. Bergland urges legislators to be aware of the specific needs of rural companies as competition is introduced into the common carrier market. OPASTCO members also participate in regional hearings on the legislation, and the small telephone company provision of broadband services becomes a major part of the bill. ■■ OPASTCO representatives participate in the FCC’s hearings on ATT’s Exchange Network Facilities for Interstate Access (ENFIA) tariff. By fall, a memorandum of understanding is reached specifying a basis for agreeing on the interim charges for interstate carrier settlements to the local exchange plant. 18  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013
  18. 18. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■A digital facsimile transmission over PSTN transmits a page of text in less than one minute with a scanning resolution of 200 lines per inch. ■■The FCC issues its Computer Inquiry II decision, which differentiates between basic and enhanced services. Basic services require regulation. ■■IBM begins assembling a team to design the PC, including Microsoft for the creation of an operating system. p Motorola introduces its first 16-bit microprocessor, the MC68000. Capable of completing two million calculations per second, it is used both to run and to write programs for scientific, data processing and business applications. ■■The VCR is introducted by Matsushita. 40,000 U.S. homes will have one within a year. ■■ OPASTCO testifies seven different times on Capitol Hill addressing toll settlement charges, REA, terminal equipment and cable television. ■■ The Rural Telephone Coalition is created by OPASTCO, NTCA and NREATA. ■■ OPASTCO appoints a committee to investigate establishing a Washington, D.C., headquarters and forms OPASTCO LAP (legislative action plan), a program designed to provide complete coverage of members’ legislators, both at home and in Washington. ■■National Science Foundation backbone goes up to connect U.S. universities to the ARPAnet. ■■Chemical Bank begins trials of Pronto, a space shuttle Columbia. u ■■Usenet newsgroups communicate between 1979 to exempt some rural areas from the cable television cross-ownership ­restrictions. ■■The first flight of NASA’s programs, WordStar and dBase II, hit the market. ■■July 11, Skylab falls to Earth. ■■The FCC adopts rules telebanking service, in 200 New York homes. It goes commercial in late 1983 as part of Covidea. ■■Two extremely successful early PC software the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Duke University. u President Ronald Regan attempts to slash the REA budget. p The video game Pac-Man is released. ■■The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio becomes the first newspaper to offer an electronic edition via CompuServe, which has 3,600 total subscribers. 1980 ■■ OPASTCO elects its first woman president, Eleanor Haskin of Waitsfield-Fayston Telephone Co. monthly newsletter is revamped and relaunched as News Digest. 1981 ■■ OPASTCO’s ■■ At the OPASTCO convention, Ivo Bauman of Mt. Angel Telephone Company and Eugene Cole of Canby Cooperative, brainstorm together and come up with the formation of U.S. Intelco Networks to manage the credit-card calling database. OPASTCO members are invited to join. ■■ OPASTCO opens a Washington, D.C., office and names James G. Mercer as OPASTCO’s new executive vice president. u ■■ With the introduction of the Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1981, OPASTCO addresses the small company perspective on toll settlement charges, universal service, cable television, terminal equipment deregulation and service deregulation on Capitol Hill. Many of the concerns of OPASTCO and the Rural Telephone Coalition eventually are amended into the legislation. ■■ OPASTCO retains the services of Washington, D.C., law firm Fager and Singer. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   19
  19. 19. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■Commodore Computer announces the Commodore 64. It has 64 kB of RAM, sound and color graphics when hooked to a color TV. Priced at $600. u t Time magazine names no “Man of the Year.” Instead, the computer is dubbed “Machine of the Year.” ■■ARPAnet begins using TCP/IP. ■■The largest U.S. online services are ■■The FCC closes its investigation into its Dow Jones, with 90,000 users, CompuServe, with 63,000 users, and The Source, with 36,000 users. proposed access charge system and prepares to release its decision. ■■Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP 9000 workstation, “the first desktop mainframe.” 1983 ■■Eleven U.S. newspapers begin daily transmission of “electronic versions” via CompuServe, which now has 10,000 subscribers. ■■Compaq Computer Corporation is founded. The first product is an IBM PC clone portable personal computer able to run all the software being developed for the IBM PC. ■■The United States Justice Department announces a consent decree has been reached, in which ATT agrees to divest itself of the wholly owned Bell operating companies that provide local exchange service. 1982 ■■ OPASTCO and the Rural Telephone Coalition meet with Justice Department officials to discuss the effect the breakup of the Bell Systems would have on independents. ■■ OPASTCO holds its first tradeshow at its summer convention in Dearborn, Michigan. At this convention, attendees are read a personal note of welcome from President Ronald Reagan and watch a videotaped greeting from Vice President George Bush. 20  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 ■■ With small companies having only 40 days from the FCC’s access charge ruling to decide whether or not they would concur with the access tariff filings of the Exchange Carrier Association, OPASTCO holds regional access charge workshops to assist its members. The FCC decision includes many of the safeguards OPASTCO and the Rural Telephone Coalition had sought to ensure cost recovery and continued service in rural America. ■■ OPASTCO Past President Evan Copsey testifies before a joint hearing of the Senate and House committees to testify in support of legislative proposals that would address universal service and reverse the FCC’s access charge ruling.  ■■ OPASTCO celebrates its 20th anniversary at its summer meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The theme of the meeting is “An Exciting Future—A Proud Past.” ■■ Four OPASTCO members are elected to the Exchange Carrier Association’s board of subset 3 directors: Ivo Bauman, Warren French, Arne Haynes and Alan Pedersen. Rather than join the ECA tariff, several OPASTCO members file their own billing and collection tariff as SETCO, Small Exchange Telephone Companies.
  20. 20. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The $1 end-user access charge goes into ■■The divestiture of ATT marks the end effect on June 1. of the Bell System. In its place is a new ATT and seven regional telephone holding companies. ■■The National Exchange Carrier Association is created to administer fees long distance carriers pay to access local telephone networks. p Gateway Computers is founded. Located in rural America, its mission is to sell more affordable personal computers. ■■Philips and Sony introduce the CD-ROM, an optical disk that can store very large amounts of digital data. ■■The Internet connects 2,000 hosts. 1985 ■■ OPASTCO p Michael Dell founds Dell, selling personal computers by mail order. ■■Compaq introduces its first desktop, the Compaq Deskpro. Its first year revenues are $111.2 million—a U.S. business record. The company shipped more than 53,000 portable PCs. ■■CompuServe charges 13 cents per minute daytime and 10 cents at night for its online service. Dow Jones is $1.20 daytime and 20 cents at night. p In its famous Superbowl commercial, Apple introduces the Macintosh based on the 8 MHz Motorola MC68000 CPU, 16 bit datapath, 64 kB ROM, 128 kB RAM, built-in 400 kB 3.5 floppy, built-in 9 monitor, BW graphics screen, and 8 bit mono sound. Priced at $2,495. Within 75 days, 50,000 are sold. 1984 ■■ FCC Chairman Mark Fowler addresses the OPASTCO convention to report on the access charge issue. ■■ OPASTCO members vote at the annual meeting to increase OPASTCO’s eligibility for independent telephone companies with less than 25,000 access lines to those with less than 50,000 access lines. ■■ OPASTCO and NTCA begin discussing the benefits of merging to create the “American Rural Telecommunications Association. ” Later in the year, both boards approve a resolution to move forward with the merger and a vote is planned for the next annual meeting of the memberships. ■■ OPASTCO and the RTC form an industry study group to assist the FCC in its decision on alternatives for the access charge plan and the Universal Service Fund. advocates on behalf of small, rural telephone companies for policies formed in the creation of the National Exchange Carrier Association, the organization created to administer access charges paid by long distance carriers. members vote down the proposed merger with NTCA to create the “American Rural Telecommunications Association.” The vote is 143 members against the proposal and 94 members in favor. Two days prior to the vote, OPASTCO Executive Vice President Jim Mercer submits his resignation to the board. ■■ As EAS issues heat up again, OPASTCO files a petition with the FCC asking for a more equitable division of revenues. u Andrew Mulitz is appointed OPASTCO’s new executive vice president. Previously, Mulitz joined the OPASTCO staff as a law clerk in early 1984 and served as acting VP after Mercer’s resignation. q The new OPASTCO logo is introduced. ■■ OPASTCO ■■ OPASTCO advocates on behalf of its members on issues including the rewrite of the Uniform System of Accounts, ATT’s plans to take over its own billing services, equal access requirements for independents, increased regulatory activity at the state level, rate of return changes and telecommunications trade problems. ■■ OPASTCO’s Telco Digest newsletter begins distribution as a weekly newsletter. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   21
  21. 21. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The first fiber optic cable is laid across the Atlantic Ocean. ■■New York Times photographers use a Macintosh and 9600 bps modem to send Dodgers-Mets photos from L.A. to New York. ■■Intel launches its 386SX microprocessor, capable of addressing 4 GB of memory. p Microsoft ships the 1 millionth copy of Windows. ■■The first Subscriber Line Charge goes into p The United States Supreme Court rules, preventing the FCC’s pre-emption of depreciation for intrastate ratemaking. effect. It is $.60. It increases to $3.50 over a three-year period. ■■The Internet connects 30,000 hosts. 1987 ■■The FCC adopts a proposal for the separation of joint costs between regulated and non-regulated activities of telephone companies. p Hewlett-Packard introduces the Deskjet printer, HP’s first mass-market inkjet printer, offering plain-paper printing and industrystandard print resolution. 1988 ■■The five NSF supercomputing centers are connected by a 56 kB backbone network. This sparks an evolution of regional networks around each center. t John Rose replaces Andrew Mulitz as OPASTCO executive vice president. ■■Congress passes the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 1986 ■■ OPASTCO files jointly with the REA, USTA, NRTA and NTCA asking the FCC to allocate radio frequency for Basic Exchange Telecommunications Radio (BETR) service as an alternative to wire local loops in remote areas. Board members vote to support Unity 1-A, the industry agreement recommending changes in the Universal Service Fund, subscriber line charges, and other non-traffic sensitive cost issues. u OPASTCO ■■ OPASTCO p OPASTCO lobbies Capitol Hill to allow CoBank to make loans to the telecommunications industry. ■■ The U.S. Justice Department releases its long-awaited recommendations to ease the Modified Final Judgment (MFJ) restrictions on ATT. OPASTCO advocates on behalf of small, rural carriers and is pleased when the MFJ restrictions are, for the most part, maintained. ■■ The OPASTCO Benefit Trust is created. 22  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 launches a new bi-monthly magazine, OPASTCO Roundtable. ■■ The OPASTCO Board of Directors votes to establish the Fund for Rural Education and Development (FRED).
  22. 22. OPASTCO  n   Timeline t Quantum Link, which provided a dedicated online service for Apple, parts ways with Apple and rebrands as America Online, a walledgarden online service available for Apple and PC owners. ■■The World Wide Web is invented when Tim Berners Lee proposes the introduction of a networked hypertext system. ■■Prodigy begins rolling out an online service in various metro areas. Pricing is unique—a flat rate of $9.95 per month plus a $49.95 start-up kit. It also sells modems for $100. By the end of the year, Prodigy has 100,000 customers in households in eight major metro areas. ■■The Internet connects 160,000 hosts. ■■Compaq introduces its first notebook PC, the Compaq LTE. 1989 ■■ OPASTCO holds its first Legislative and Regulatory Conference. Fund for Rural Education and Development (FRED) begins operations. ■■The NSFnet finally allows internetwork p NASA launches the Hubble space telescope. ■■The FCC lowers the rate-of-return (ROR) for local exchange carriers from 12 percent to 11.25 percent. ■■Motorola unveils the Iridium System low-Earth orbit satellite concept for global personal communications. ■■The ARPAnet is formally closed, having been replaced by NSFnet and interconnected networks. The era of the Internet begins. ■■A large part of ATT’s telephone network crashes from a software bug. 1990 t OPASTCO begins development of its PR Idea Kit. ■■ The ■■ OPASTCO builds a strong relationship with the National State Telephone Executives Association. OPASTCO President John Rose begins to speak 8 to 10 times each year at various state association meetings. ■■ OPASTCO First Vice President Margaret Goacher testifies before the Senate Agriculture Committee in support of REA. q ■■ OPASTCO creates the Average Schedule Committee to help members obtain more participation in the average schedule process. ■■ OPASTCO advocates on its members’ behalf for a rural exemption for cable television cross ownership, tariffs and FCC audits. routing with commercial networks. The NSFnet backbone is completely upgraded to T3 speed (45 MB). ■■Bell Labs develops photonic switching. ■■The Internet connects 600,000 hosts in more than 100 countries. 1991 ■■ OPASTCO resolves to make technology deployment and small company input at various industry meetings critical to the association’s mission. ■■ OPASTCO advocates for its members on potential loss of rate-ofreturn replaced by price caps for all local exchange carriers, NECA pooling, REA, spectrum auctions and cable television cross-ownership rules. ■■ OPASTCO President Don Bond testifies before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit and Rural Development in support of REA. u ■■ OPASTCO’s Annual Winter Convention in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, has more than 800 registrants, a record-breaking number of attendees. p OPASTCO Director Louise Brown testifies before the House Appropriations Committee in support of REA. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   23
  23. 23. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■ The first digital mobile network is established in the U.S. ■■First text message sent phone to phone occurs in Finland. u 1993 Veronica, a search service for Gopher is released by University of Nevada. (The name is a pun on Archie, the file transfer protocol search service. Archie and Veronica appear in the same comic strip.) p advocates on a wide range of issues, including 800 database, transport rate structure, PCS, cable television, collocation, spectrum auctions and infrastructure. ■■ OPASTCO ■■The Multicast Backbone (MBONE) for the first time carries audio and video. ■■The Internet connects one million hosts. u 1992 ■■ The FCC creates the Network Reliability Council and invites OPASTCO to represent small, rural local exchange carriers on this new technical advisory group. OPASTCO member Warren French of Shenandoah Telephone Company becomes OPASTCO’s first voting representative to the group. ■■ OPASTCO works on a broad range of regulatory and legislative issues ranging from taxes to access, universal service, cable television issues and personal communications services. ■■ Crossing the United States in a route that covers more than 13,600 miles, the OPASTCO staff and driver Lou Bilodeau, retired from Northern Telecom, visit more than 70 companies in 40 states. Each stop along the OPASTCO Van Tour brings OPASTCO staff, local telephone companies and their customers together to tell the story of small, independent telephone companies and their crucial role in rural communities. The Van Tour finishes in Washington, D.C., with the celebration of OPASTCO’s first Small Telephone Company Week on Capitol Hill. q ■■ Small Telephone Company Week’s name is changed to National Small Independent Telephone Company Week. ■■ Don Bond and Bob Halford lead the “Keeping Rural America Connected” toll de-averaging study project and paper. The group working on this important effort develop the concept, fundraise to cover the study’s costs, perform research and economic analysis of the data, and draft the final paper. The study’s consultants are Manny Staurulakis and Patricia Lum; OPASTCO staff coordinating the effort are John Rose and Linda Buckley. The data collected from this study has a profound and positive effect on rural telecommunications policymaking by members of Congress as they work through 1994 and 1995 to draft the Telecommunications Act of 1996. p OPASTCO sends six delegates to Finland to study that country’s independent telephone companies, their innovations and regulatory policies. Results of that fact-finding mission are shared with the OPASTCO membership. 24  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013
  24. 24. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance is formed to represent mid-sized telephone companies. ITTA is open to companies with 50,000 access lines or more, up through the size of GTE. ■■Yahoo! opens service from the Stanford office of two graduate students. ■■The FCC begins RF spectrum auctions. ■■America Online reaches one million members. ■■REA is renamed the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). ■■Bells Labs develops Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), which tremendously increases the capacity of optic fiber as a carrier of data. ■■“Cable modems” are introduced. These q Netscape Navigator is launched. high speed digital connections over cable television networks are primarily used for Internet connectivity. ■■America Online reaches 4.5 million members. q p President Bill Clinton signs the Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law, heralding a new era in telecom competition. ■■The first webmail service, Hotmail, is launched. ■■The first high-definition television broadcast is made in the U.S. 1996 ■■Amazon.com is founded. p 1994 ■■ OPASTCO addresses issues affecting OPASTCO members, including access, universal service, PCS, rate de-averaging, FBI wiretap, the North American Numbering Plan administration, and the Internet. ■■ “Keeping Rural America Connected, the toll de-averaging study ” and series of papers, is published. The data results from the study provide solid evidence, which OPASTCO and members of Congress use to insert language into the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that represent the realities of providing local exchange service in rural America. u ■■ OPASTCO works closely with members of the Senate Farm Team, a group of Senators from rural states, on language that will be adopted in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. ■■ OPASTCO begins active advocacy to privatize the Rural Telephone Bank. ■■ OPASTCO 1995 ■■ Number portability, REA/RUS, universal service, rate averaging, DEM weighting and cable crossownership are all issues OPASTCO addresses on behalf of the membership. begins the slow, meticulous work of advising the FCC on interpretation and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and how their proposed rulemakings affect rural carriers and the communities they serve. ■■ OPASTCO changes its name from the Organization for the Protection and Advancement of Small Telephone Companies to the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies and introduces a revised logo. OPASTCO Roundtable gets a makeover as well. t ■■ OPASTCO is invited by the FCC to hold a voting seat on the North American Numbering Council, a federal advisory committee created to foster efficient and impartial number administration. OPASTCO continues to hold a voting seat to the present day. ■■ OPASTCO launches the Indy Awards Competition for Excellence in Publications. The competition is sponsored by the OPASTCO Roundtable magazine and is a project of the Public Relations Committee. ■■ OPASTCO started. Retirement Trust is 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   25
  25. 25. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■America Online surpasses 15 million t Apple Computer introduces the teal-and-​ translucent iMac, which is hailed as a revolu­ion t in computer design— inside and out. ■■Forbes magazine names Compaq its 1997 Company of the Year. members. ■■Compaq introduces the world’s first broadband-ready Internet PCs with Pinacor, Inc. ■■   is founded. ■■Ericsson launches Bluetooth wireless unique members, 18 world properties and completes its first profitable year. technology for personal area networks. Bluetooth operates in the license-free 2.4 GHz band and promises speeds up to 1 Mbps in ranges up to 10 meters. ■■Compaq co-develops with Panasonic ■■Compaq introduces a video conferencing ■■Yahoo! ends the year with 50 million ■■The District Court enters a preliminary injunction banning Microsoft to tie Internet Explorer to Windows. world’s first high definition digital television tuner-decoder for personal computers. t Intel introduces its Pentium II microprocessor, operating at 300 MHz, having a 64 bit bus, 7.5 million transistors, and able to address 64 GB of memory. 1997 ■■ OPASTCO continues to advise the FCC on interpretation and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and how their proposed rulemakings affect rural carriers and the communities they serve. ■■ As a result of the Telecom Act of 1996, the FCC makes rules for the four distinct funds: High Cost, Low Income, Schools and Libraries, and Telemedicine. Schools and Libraries, commonly known as the “E-rate” program, grants discounted rates for “telecommunications services, Internet access, and internal connections,” including “installation and maintenance.” Later, the E-rate program, as well as the CETC program, cause the USF program to balloon in size. 1998 ■■ OPASTCO continues advocating for rural America as the FCC interprets and implements the Telecommunications Act of 1996. ■■ To help create greater awareness and understanding of how rural ILEC regulation has evolved to its current state, Congress’ intentions for the Telecommunications Act, the importance of rural telecommunications on economic development and why universal service must be strengthened, OPASTCO begins publishing a series of white papers under OPASTCO’s white paper brand, “Keeping Rural America Connected.” ■■ Recognizing the increased speed in technological advances, members’ need for a technical resource, and the value of including technical expertise in a variety of advocacy efforts, OPASTCO adds a full-time technical director to the staff. The technical director’s role quickly expands beyond liaison to the Technical Committee and advisor to include acting as OPASTCO’s representative on a variety of federal technical advisory groups, educational programming, and drafting comments and magazine articles. ■■ OPASTCO begins to address the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which creates potential and significant costs for OPASTCO members. 26  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 kit and high-capacity diskette drive for portable PCs. ■■ Local number portability heats up, and OPASTCO advocates for policies that will not adversely affect OPASTCO members’ universal service support or create undo hardship to implement the capability before there is significant rural consumer demand. ■■ OPASTCO and the Rural Telephone Coalition address advanced wireline telecommunications, including the Internet and IP communications. ■■ OPASTCO recognizes the new directions the rural industry is facing and adds the CLEC and ISP committees. ■■ In conjunction with OPASTCO’s convention in Toronto, the association builds strong ties with Canada. Canadian telephone company membership grows, OPASTCO meets with the Canadian Regulatory Telecommunications Commission in Canada, and Canadian regulators later visit OPASTCO in the United States. OPASTCO meets with and speaks before the Ontario Telecommunications Association and the Association des Compagnies de Téléphone du Québec on multiple occasions. Later, in 2003, OPASTCO adds a Canadian seat to its board.
  26. 26. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■America Online surpasses 19 million members. q Yahoo! is added to the SP 500. ■■The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sues Napster, an online peerto-peer file sharing service, in federal court in San Francisco, alleging copyright infringement. ■■Apple introduces the iBook, a portable computer designed like the iMac, weighing 6.6 lbs. with a built-in 56 kbps modem and built-in 3.2 GB hard disk. ■■Intel introduces its Intel Mobile Pentium II processor, operating at 400 MHz. Two models are made, one based on a 0.25 micron process, the other on a 0.18 micron process. Both having 27.4 million transistors, intended for use in mobile PCs. ■■Compaq announces the new Aero 8000, a handheld PC. p America Online merges with Time Warner. ■■By the end of the year, 7.1 million U.S. homes and businesses have high-speed Internet connections, a 158 percent increase over the previous year. Of these, 5.2 million were homes or small businesses, 4.3 million were faster than 200 kbps in both directions (up 118 percent), 3.6 million were cable modems (up 153 percent), 2 million were DSL (up 435 percent). ■■Paypal is founded. commercially. t TiVo, a digital video ■■Intel introduces its Pentium III processor, operating at 450 or 500 MHz, having 9.5 million transistors, based on a 0.25 micron process, 100 MHz bus, 64 bit bus, intended for use in business and consumer PCs, oneand two-way servers, and workstations. 1999 ■■ OPASTCO addresses universal service, truth in billing, CALEA, calling party pays and competition on behalf of its membership. ■■ The Fund for Rural Education and Development (FRED) changes its name to the Foundation for Rural Education and Development and unveils its new logo. Wall Street as stock prices start to plunge for IT and e-business companies. 2000 ■■WiFi is first offered recorder, is launched. p The “Dot Com” bubble bursts on ■■ At a strategic planning session, OPASTCO adds the Video and Broadband Committee. In addition, OPASTCO designated certain board members to represent the CLEC, ISP, and Video and Broadband interests of those committees. ■■ OPASTCO continues to advocate on behalf of its membership to ensure the FCC’s rules designed to enhance local competition and advanced telecommunications services do not have unforeseen negative consequences for rural carriers. ■■ FCC Chairman William Kennard addresses attendees at the OPASTCO Summer Convention. ■■ OPASTCO is invited by the FCC to participate in the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, an FCC advisory council to address issues such as disaster preparedness and recovery, IP networks, IPv6 and next-generation public safety networks. ■■ OPASTCO and its rural association allies work to address high interstate access rates. The groups come together to form the Multi-Association Group (MAG). The MAG Plan proposes to staunch access revenue losses by moving certain parts of access to the Universal Service Fund. By lowering the access rates and moving the associated revenue requirements to the USF, the MAG Plan ultimately saves the rural industry significant regulated revenue that otherwise would have been lost. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   27
  27. 27. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■New models of the Intel Pentium 4 ■■T- 3G wireless service becomes ■■America Online membership surpasses ■■Camera phones are introduced. processor operate at 1600 and 1800 MHz. 29 million worldwide. ■■Vonage, the broadband phone service, is launched. ■■The term “Exaflood” is coined. It commercially available in the U.S. ■■Bluetooth technology becomes commonplace, causing many of us to think a lot of crazy people are walking the streets talking to themselves. u describes the exponentially increasing amount of data transmitted over the Internet each year. 2002 t Apple releases the iPod, a portable media player. ■■The WiMAX standard is released. 2001 ■■ Following the MAG Plan, OPASTCO continues to advocate for access charge reform on behalf of its membership. The association also addresses universal service, spectrum allocation, customer proprietary network information rules, local number portability and CALEA. ■■ OPASTCO’s legislative efforts address estate tax, reallocation of wireless spectrum in rural areas to create a secondary market, a separate rural exemption for voice and advanced services, numbering resource optimization, jurisdictional separations, and broadband deployment. ■■ The Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service Rural Task Force, working closely with OPASTCO and allied associations, releases its recommendation to the FCC on what is necessary to create a good foundation for a rural Universal Service Fund. p OPASTCO creates OPASTCorp, a limited liability corporation mandated to help OPASTCO members through new business opportunities and cost-reducing services. OPASTCorp’s first offering is its Roam-to-Home service, making it possible to connect to an ISP when outside the customer’s service area. Discount domain name registration and discount credit card processing offers follow. 28  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 ■■ OPASTCO and rural association allies begin advocating for a sustainable High Cost Universal Service Fund that is not affected by ballooning growth created by competitive local exchange carriers. ■■ OPASTCO members Tom and Jan Lovell of Clear Lake Independent Telephone Company testify before the Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight about the costs and burdens associated with federal estate tax compliance. ■■ In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, OPASTCO and its charitable foundation, FRED, organize a 9/11 disaster relief fund. OPASTCO member companies and their employees raise $60,303 and donate the funds to the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department, which responded to the crash site of United Flight 93. The fire department was unable to bring its failing fire engine to the crash site. The fire department is in need of a new fire engine, and the donation goes toward that purchase. q u ■■ OPASTCO Member Don Bond of Public Service Telephone Company testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee in opposition to the Connections Plan. ■■ OPASTCO continues to address ongoing issues such as estate tax, universal service, intercarrier compensation, number portability, RUS, and broadband implementation. ■■ OPASTCO launches new website to provide greater information to its membership.
  28. 28. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The social networking site, Facebook, is ■■NASA receives its last signal from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft (launched in 1972), approximately 7.5 billion miles from Earth. ■■Skype VoIP and software service are released. p Apple launches its iTunes Music Store. ■■The United States National Do Not Call u OPASTO Board ■■ OPASTCO and NTCA file a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, calling for a review of the FCC’s wireline to wireless (intermodal) portability. advocates on a wide range of issues, including universal service and CETC costs, intermodal local number portability, government networks, customer proprietary network information and numbering. ■■ OPASTCO ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO, ITTA, NTCA and the Western Telecommunications Alliance (WTA), OPASTCO member Robert Orent of Hiawatha Communications testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications regarding the increasingly serious threats the Universal Service Fund currently faces and the need for stepped-up congressional oversight. 2004 Registry enrolls almost 750,000 phone numbers on its first day. 2003 p OPASTCO publishes the “Universal Service in Rural America: A Congressional Mandate at Risk” white paper. Written by OPASTCO’s Stuart Polikoff, the paper is conceived and developed by OPASTCO’s Universal Service Committee. launched at Harvard by Mark Zuckerberg and his college friends. Member Robert Williams of Oregon Farmers Mutual Telephone Company testifies before the House Small Business Rural Enterprises, Agriculture and Technology Subcommittee at “The Future of Rural Telecommunications: Is the Universal Service Fund Sustainable?” hearing. ■■ Representing OPASTCO and NTCA, Sid Shank of Bloomingdale Telephone Company testifies before the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee “The Future of Universal Service” hearing. q In Boston, OPASTCO holds its firstever Technical Symposium. ■■ OPASTCO advocates on a broad range of issues, including universal service, IP-enabled services, CALEA, rate-of-return regulation, video competition, RUS, USAC audits and intercarrier compensation. ■■ OPASTCO Chairman Arturo “Archie” Macias of Wheat State Telephone testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Regulatory Freedom Act. u ■■ OPASTCO Member S. Michael “Mick” Jensen of Great Plains Communications testifies before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet “Voice over Internet Protocol Services: Will the Technology Disrupt the Industry or Will Regulation Disrupt the Technology?” hearing. ■■ OPASTCO Member Gene Johnson of FairPoint Communications testifies before the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service at an en banc hearing regarding the basis of support in areas served by rural areas. Nixon v. Missouri League, the Supreme Court rules that states can block local governments from providing telecom service. This is a huge win for OPASTCO and other rural allies who participated in the petition. ■■ Regarding ■■ The Universal Service Fund receives a 12-month reprieve from Antideficiency Act requirements. OPASTCO members lobby hard for this reprieve and continue to advocate for a permanent exemption. ■■ OPASTCO adds a non-voting associate member seat to its Board of Directors. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   29
  29. 29. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■Senator Obama raises the issue of net neutrality during a presidential campaign speech. t Twitter is launched. It is an online service with a limit of 140 characters per post. Twitter’s use of @ and # enter mainstream culture several years later. 2006 p YouTube.com is founded to share video files and create personalized video channels. t The Xbox 360 game console is launched. It has gaming, Internet, live chat, and video capabilities. 2005 ■■ OPASTCO addresses telecom policy issues on behalf of its membership, including universal service and the Antideficiency Act, pre-paid calling cards, intercarrier compensation, wireless roaming, local number portability, DTV, and Vonage. ■■ OPASTCO ■■ Following ■■ OPASTCO OPASTCO and NTCA’s participation in a Petition for a Partial Stay and Clarification with the FCC on its intermodal local number portability orders, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit recognizes that the FCC failed to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act’s requirement to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis regarding the order’s impact on small entities. u OPASTCO, NTCA, WTA and ITTA found the Coalition to Keep America Connected, the start of a broadbased effort to ensure that both the public and policymakers understand how decisions made regarding the Telecommunications Act of 1996 rewrite affect rural consumers. Member Kevin Hess of TDS Telecom testifies before the House Rural Caucus Telecom Task Force regarding regulatory issues that must be addressed to ensure rural consumers have continued access to a broadband network. joins the Intercarrier Compensation Forum, an industrywide group of rural phone companies, long distance companies, cable TV providers, wireless providers and Bell companies working together to negotiate a consensus plan to be submitted to the FCC. ■■ OPASTCO becomes a voting member of the DSL Forum (now known as the Broadband Forum) to address the challenges of deploying broadband DSL solutions in rural areas. OPASTCO’s representative to the DSL Forum/Broadband Forum is OPASTCO Technical Committee Member Lynn Merrill of Monte R. Lee Company. ■■ OPASTCO advocates on a broad range of issues, including universal service contribution methodology, reverse auctions, USAC audits, video competition, IP transport, number pooling, phantom traffic, RUS, separations reform, and roaming. ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO and the Coalition to Keep America Connected, CenturyTel CEO Glen Post testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the Universal Service Fund contribution mechanism. ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO and the Coalition to Keep America Connected, NTCA’s Shirley Bloomfield testifies before the Congressional Rural Caucus on the importance of the Universal Service Fund and telecommunications challenges facing rural America. ■■ The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Intercarrier Compensation Taskforce files the Missoula Plan with the FCC. The Rural Alliance, of which OPASTCO is a member, supports the plan and holds a series of telebriefings to educate the rural industry about the plan and the FCC’s rulemaking process. ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO and the Coalition to Keep America Connected, OPASTCO’s John Rose testifies before the Congressional Rural Caucus on the “Consumer Choice and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006.” ■■ OPASTCO’s Technical Committee establishes a relationship with the University of New Hampshire in an effort to get first-hand vendor interoperability test results for carriers attempting to deploy new technologies in rural networks. t OPASTCO Roundtable introduces a new design. 30  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013
  30. 30. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The FCC adopts an interim Universal ■■The open source smart phone operating system, Android, is developed. ■■The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upholds the FCC’s Order to preempt state regulation of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services. p Netflix begins offering video streaming over the Internet. ■■Apple introduces its first smart phone, the iPhone. ■■Hulu, the subscription streaming video service, is launched. advocates on a broad range of issues, including high-cost Universal Service Fund stabilization, reverse auctions, video set-top boxes, retransmission consent reform, access stimulation, USAC audits, DEM weighting, broadband deployment and funding, video competition, customer proprietary network information, and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). ■■ OPASTCO Legislative Policy Committee Chair Brent Christensen of Christensen Communications testifies before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship regarding how many rural communities depend on small, rural carriers to provide the rural telecommunications network necessary to provide broadband access. ■■Apple opens the Apple Apps Store, offering applications (apps) downloadable to the iPhone. 2008 ■■magicJack is invented; widespread commercial marketing begins a year later. ■■The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholds the FCC’s classification of DSL as an information service under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. 2007 ■■ OPASTCO Service Fund cap for competitive eligible telecommunications companies (CETCs). This cap prevents the further upward spiral of high-cost fund growth by CETCs. t Representing OPASTCO, ITTA, NTCA and WTA, OPASTCO Chairman Roger Nishi testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s hearing on assessing the recommendations of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to temporarily cap high-cost Universal Service Fund support for competitive local exchange carriers. ■■ OPASTCO launches a new, redesigned website to provide its members with increased access to resources and tools, a document library, and other member benefits. q ■■ OPASTCO Chairman Keith Oliver of Home Telephone Company (S.C.) testifies before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology in support of the DTV transition, and access to spectrum and content for small carriers. u ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO, NTCA and WTA, Raymond Henagan of Rock Port Telephone Company testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on phantom traffic. ■■ OPASTCO advocates on a broad range of issues, including high-cost Universal Service Fund stabilization, USF audits, intercarrier compensation, broadband reporting, broadband investment, video competition, DTV outreach mandate, spectrum, call signaling, and phantom traffic. ■■ OPASTCO is invited to meet with members of President-elect Obama’s FCC transition team. ■■ OPASTCO and WTA make major rural gains to the FCC’s universal service and intercarrier compensation reform plan. The associations stay at the negotiation table long after other associations have backed away. Through almost daily negotiations at the FCC, significant concessions are gained. Although the FCC’s reform plan ultimately fails to be adopted, relationships between the FCC and OPASTCO are greatly strengthened. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   31
  31. 31. OPASTCO  n   Timeline ■■The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is signed into law and includes $7.2 billion in funding for broadband build-outs to under- and unserved communities. ■■The FCC releases a Notice of Inquiry seeking comments on the development of a National Broadband Plan. 2009 advocates on a broad range of issues, including universal service and intercarrier compensation reform, broadband stimulus, comprehensive rural broadband strategy, and separations access freeze. p Apple introduces its first iPad tablet. ■■The first non-English-character domain names launch. ■■Facebook reaches 500 million members and Twitter reaches 145 million users. Chairman Mark Gailey testifies before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet’s hearing on the Universal Service Fund. u ■■ OPASTCO First Vice Chairman Catherine Moyer testifies before the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet on the Universal Service Reform Act of 2009. ■■ Representatives of OPASTCO and WTA testify at seven public roundtables hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and RUS, to discuss rural broadband providers thoughts on how broadband funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 should be awarded. ■■ OPASTCO is invited by the FCC to participate on its Technical Advisory Council, which advises the FCC on technical considerations that need to be addressed in the transition of current PSTN networks to all-broadband IP networks. 32  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 ■■YouTube turns five years old. ■■The 10 billionth song is downloaded through iTunes. ■■Consumer 3D TVs are introduced. 2010 ■■ OPASTCO ■■ OPASTCO ■■“.com” turns 25 years old. ■■ OPASTCO focuses the majority of its resources to address the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and the potentially harmful consequences to rural broadband infrastructure if adopted. ■■ Representing OPASTCO, NTCA and WTA, Hill Country Telephone Cooperative’s Delbert Wilson testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications for the “Universal Service: Transforming the High-Cost Fund for the Broadband Era” hearing. ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO, NTCA and WTA, NTCA’s CEO Shirley Bloomfield testifies before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet to explain how the “Universal Service Reform Act of 2010” helps update the universal service program to reflect the critical shift from voice to broadband. ■■ OPASTCO is invited to participate as a member of the National Coordination Center for Communications, which answers to the Department of Homeland Security and is the single point of coordination for communications carriers to report network status or to get relief assistance in case of natural or other disasters. OPASTCO uses this relationship to get member companies in touch with federal aid organizations, such as FEMA, prior to and after a disaster. q FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski addresses attendees at the OPASTCO Summer Convention and Tradeshow.
  32. 32. OPASTCO  n   Timeline p Netflix has 24.4 million subscribers for its streaming-video-over-Internet and DVD-by-mail services. ■■Facebook users start making live voice and video calls via Facebook Chat. ■■Ultra HDTV, with four times the resolution ■■iPhone users can make video calls using a of standard 1080p HD models, is introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. mobile version of Skype. ■■Skype is purchased by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. There are more than 600 million users worldwide. ■■Skype partners with Comcast to offer video chat to Comcast customers via their highdefinition televisions. 2011 ■■ OPASTCO advocates for universal service and intercarrier compensation reform to ensure consumers everywhere have sustainable access to broadband as it pertains to support of existing broadband networks, and underserved and unserved areas. Additionally, issues such as call completion, access to video content, retransmission consent, RUS, truth in caller ID, carrier customers’ tariff obligations, and estate tax are addressed. ■■ OPASTCO, in partnership with NTCA and WTA, creates the Save Rural Broadband campaign to increase rural America’s understanding of how the FCC’s universal service and intercarrier compensation reforms could affect their access to high-speed broadband, and to generate grassroots action. ■■ On behalf of OPASTCO, NTCA and WTA, NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield testifies before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in the matter of “Universal Service Reform—Bringing Broadband to All Americans.” p Intel begins mass-production of processors based on 3D transistors. 2013 ■■Wireless connections surpass 6 billion with 90 percent using 3GPP technologies ■■Mobile broadband HSPA and LTE connections reach one billion. 2012 advocates for universal service and intercarrier compensation reform to ensure consumers everywhere have sustainable access to broadband, as well as new broadband service to underserved and unserved areas. Additionally, issues such as call completion, access to video content, retransmission consent, and RUS are addressed. ■■ OPASTCO ■■ OPASTCO and NTCA’s boards further explore and formalize a process to unify the two associations. The boards vote to legally bind the two organizations to a unification vote by the memberships, which is scheduled for February 6, 2013. p On February 2, OPASTCO celebrates its 50th anniversary and the retirement of OPASTCO President John Rose after 25 years of service to OPASTCO at a gala in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. ■■ OPASTCO and NTCA jointly hold the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting EXPO in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, February 3–6. The joint meeting brings both commercial and cooperative telcos together under one roof for the largest industry meeting of its kind. q ■■ OPASTCO and NTCA’s boards begin to explore whether or not ongoing unified efforts between OPASTCO and NTCA should be formalized so that resources to advocate for the industry may be combined. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   33
  33. 33. OPASTCO  n   50th Anniversary Lt. Cmdr. Rose with sons Matthew and Jack. 34  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 John and his wife, Cathy, soak up the warmth at a winter convention in Hawaii. John speaks to members during OPASTCO’s 30th anniversary year.
  34. 34. OPASTCO  n   Tribute 1988 – 2013 John Rose OPASTCO’s President and Industry Leader For 25 years, John N. Rose has been the steady hand guiding OPASTCO and its membership through the highs and lows of rural telecom industry change. From the days of network expansion to regulatory reforms and leaps in technology, Rose has kept OPASTCO members looking forward to prepare for future challenges. Rose the Naval Officer Looking back on his career, Rose can directly connect many of his strengths to his time in the Navy. As a young naval officer, Rose learned the discipline necessary to set goals and follow through on them. He enjoyed a series of quick promotions, and within three years was a lieutenant on a minecraft support ship, responsible for 26 minesweeper boats and 125 men. Rose recalls his proudest moment in the navy; he used all of the information at his disposal and was confident his instincts were correct. One night, Rose was the officer on the deck, in charge of a cruiser-size ship, one hundred miles out of Rio de Janeiro making top speed for Norfolk, Va. It was pitch-dark with no moon, and orders were to move the ship at top speed. There were many small blips on the radar, but the crew assumed the blips were waves. Rose’s instincts told him that he should slow down and shine a floodlight on his course. From everything he had seen during his time in Rio, he didn’t believe that all of the blips were waves. When the ship slowed, the captain came to the bridge of the ship to find out why Rose had slowed down. He was annoyed by the slowdown and the floodlight, and wanted to stay on schedule. Rose prevailed and at that moment, the floodlight began to show that the blips on the radar were dozens of small fishing boats in the path of the naval ship. If the ship had proceeded at speed, it would have plowed through the Brazilian fishing boats. Rose had prevented an international incident and loss of human life. Rose used the skills he honed in the Navy, after he left for a life on shore. During his years at Chesapeake Potomac (CP) and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), Rose continued to serve in the Navy Reserve. Stationed at the Pentagon, as a Lieutenant Commander, during the Reagan years, Rose worked Upon John’s retirement, we reflect on his 25 years at the helm of OPASTCO M artha K . S i l v e r on the strategic planning of national resources in the event of World War III and used the early Internet as part of his work. From Renegade to Rural Industry Expert Once his years in the Navy were over, Rose returned to a life on land. He had a growing family and was ready to build his civilian career. At CP, Ma Bell trained him well on switching, transmission, traffic and cost accounting. Rose worked in accounting, auditing, and separations with independent companies. During his seven-year tenure at CP, Rose became known as a bit of a renegade. He performed many unpopular audits on CP people— several who later became his bosses. After seven years at CP, Rose was ready for something new. He found it at the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). He joined as a public utility specialist, quickly moving up to branch chief and then director of the telecommunications management division. Rose found himself involved in many different areas of REA, where he absorbed a huge body of knowledge covering all aspects of loan administration, toll separations, and toll deaveraging. He regularly interacted with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Communications Commission, and wrote Congressional testimony for REA’s administrator, as well as providing his own testimony to Congress. Rose’s range of knowledge was so broad, he once attended a meeting where he spoke on six topics; ATT was at the meeting and sent six different experts. Leveraging the knowledge he gained from seven years working at REA on the complexities of the independent telephone company industry, Rose moved on to the United States Telecom Association (USTA). 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   35
  35. 35. OPASTCO  n   Tribute Rose as an Industry Leader One of the most frequently mentioned attributes that John Rose has brought to his success as an industry leader is his ability to bring divergent groups together to find common ground and reach agreement. As a consensus builder, Rose often found that industry parties, regardless of size, could see the long-term benefit of a prosperous rural telecom industry. With the small and rural telecommunications industry, Rose used these same skills to bring many uniquely situated and diverse small telecommunications companies and their trade associations together to support policy positions that looked beyond the immediate needs of a single company to ensure that the rural telecom industry as a whole was best positioned to address the challenges of a changing competitive environment. In the face of striking industry changes, Rose has surprised many with his calm demeanor in the face of heated debate and seemingly impossible challenges. In these situations, the uninitiated might think Rose was unconcerned about the debated issues or consequences; nothing could be farther from the truth. In times when tempers ran high and talks at the negotiation tables became emotional pleas, Rose fell back on the basic truths of strategic thinking he learned during his years in the Navy. Staying cool and calm in the face of a crisis is the only way to see above the fray to plot a successful course. 36  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 At USTA, John worked for four years on behalf of the rural industry before he was recruited to head OPASTCO as the association’s executive vice president in 1988. His title was changed to president in 1996. Rose Reinvigorates OPASTCO and Its Mission Under Rose’s leadership, OPASTCO grew as an association, reaching out to its members, offering new member benefits, and strengthening its relationships with other industry organizations, the FCC and Capitol Hill. For the next 25 years, Rose dedicated himself to the time and travel necessary to make OPASTCO an influential advocate for rural telecommunications. In his first year at OPASTCO, 1988, he launched OPASTCO Roundtable magazine and paved the way for the Fund for Rural Education and Development (FRED) to grow into a successful 501(c)3 charity. The following year, OPASTCO held its first legislative and regulatory conference and began to build a strong relationship with the National State Telephone Executives Association. Over the next few years, OPASTCO developed the PR Idea Kit, added the Average Schedule Committee, advocated on significant cross-ownership and regulated revenue issues, and testified before Congress. By 1991, Rose created significant momentum for OPASTCO and its winter convention had a record-breaking number of attendees. The momentum continued with the 1992 Van Tour, visiting more than 70 small, rural telephone compa-
  36. 36. OPASTCO  n   Tribute John Rose: A talented leader, gifted facilitator, patient educator, dedicated emissary, and always a good sport nies in 40 states; the first Small Telephone Company Week; the groundbreaking and influential “Keep Rural America Connected” toll de‑­ veraging study; Peoplea to-People visits by staff to the member­ hip; OPASTCO s seats on the Network Reliability Council and the North American ­ umbering Council; the creation of the N OPASTCO Advocate monthly issues-focused newsletter; the addition of ISP, CLEC and Video and Broadband Committees; OPASTCO’s Indy Awards Competition for Publication Excellence; work with the Farm Team on Capitol Hill to get rural-friendly language in the Telecommunications Act of 1996; the addition of full-time Technical and Legislative Affairs directors; building strong ties with companies and regulatory bodies in Canada; the creation of OPASTCorp; and advocacy for a sustainable Universal Service High-Cost Fund. In addition to orchestrating the creation of new member benefits and functions for OPASTCO, Rose was crucial in OPASTCO’s long history of working together with other groups that share common goals or members, including the Rural Telephone Coalition, the Network Reliability Council, the National State Telephone Executives Association, the National Association for Rural Utility Commissioners, the National Exchange Carrier Association, Canadian associations and the Canadian Regulatory Telecommunications Commission, the Multi-Association Group, the Intercarrier Compensation Forum, the Coalition to Keep America Connected, the High-Tech Digital Television Coalition, Fair Access to Content and Telecommunications, Coalition for Competition in the Media, American Television Alliance, Coalition for Competitive Access to Content, the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and many more informal groups. Through all of these industry connections, Rose ensured OPASTCO was well-positioned to be a part of the significant conversations for the rural telecom industry. Rose’s Next Chapter: Retirement As Rose retires Feb. 28, 2013, our industry says thank you to a man who had the vision, dedication and leadership to think strategically above the fray and prepare OPASTCO members for the challenges of tomorrow. Congratulations and thank you, John Rose, for all your hard work on behalf of the rural telecommunications industry. May you have a well-deserved happy and healthy retirement! 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   37
  37. 37. OPASTCO  n   50th Anniversary John Rose’s Top 10 Telecom Advocacy Efforts by OPASTCO For the past 25 years, OPASTCO President John Rose has been leading the association and spearheading its advocacy efforts. Here are 10 overarching telecom policy advocacy efforts that have had profound effects on the rural telecommunications industry. OPASTCO… Supported the legislation to allow CoBank to lend to rural communications providers and supported the creation of RTFC by NRECA to lend to small rural communications providers. OPASTCO continues to support REA (RUS) funding at maximum levels. 1  Promoted before all policymakers and members alike the need for small telephone companies to provide services such as wireless, CATV, USINTELCO (SS7), and other services and businesses. 3  negotiated continuously with the FCC and industry to maximize DEM weighting in order to pay for rural switch upgrades. Worked for the creation of NECA and small company representation on the board to replace the Bell settlements system. Pushed for the creation of per minute IXC access charges, flat rate subscriber charges, and a universal service fund. 38  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013 2  4 
  38. 38. OPASTCO  n   Advocacy Lobbied the Senate “Farm Team” throughout 1994–95 to codify universal service and funding. OPASTCO published the study “Keeping Rural America Connected: Costs and Rates in the Competitive Era, 1994,” which influenced the 1996 legislation. 5  6  Aggressively supported the Multi Association Group (MAG) plan, which moved revenue requirements from per minute access to the Universal Service Fund. This was a controversial issue which eventually proved beneficial to small companies. 7  ADVOCATED for ten years promoting privatization of the Rural Telephone Bank, which yielded significant funds to upgrade rural networks. 9  10  ACTIVELY LIAISED, on behalf of rural telcos, with the “Rural Task Force,” which stabilized the Universal Service Fund and reinitialized the cap on the USF. APPOINTED voting members of all the FCC Technical Advisory Committees from the early 1990s to present in order to influence policy and ensure that recommendations were small company friendly. 8  Aggressively promoted at all venues the roll out of broadband in rural America and the modernization rural networks. 1963–2013 n O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars   39
  39. 39. OPASTCO  n   50th Anniversary 1988 – 2013 The History and Mission of FRED Providing resources for rural ­ ommunities has c always been important to OPASTCO members. In 1988, Everette Kneece, from South Carolina, and a group of his fellow OPASTCO members wanted to strengthen their efforts to help their home towns. They had a vision of a nonprofit organization that would help improve rural education and community development. ­ uring that year, D plans were put in place to establish a new organization, and in 1989, the Fund for Rural Education and Development or FRED was created, thanks to a $5,000 donation from Mr. Kneece. In 1991, FRED created the first of two endowment funds through a $25,000 donation from Everette and Martha Kneece. That next year, FRED awarded its first two scholarships worth $1,000 each. In 1998, after a decade of success with its scholarship program, FRED began to provide new publications and programs. To reflect this evolution, the FRED board changed the name from “Fund” to “Foundation,” updated the logo, and implemented a strategic plan to further expand programs and funding for OPASTCO member communities. Those efforts have made FRED the national foundation that it is today. Throughout the last 25 years, FRED has awarded $2.6 million in scholarships, grants and other funding through its programs. As OPASTCO’s ­ xclusive e foundation, FRED has helped the members gain leverage within their local communities by providing them with a competitive edge against larger providers. While FRED has evolved over the last two decades into a full foundation, it remains deeply rooted in tradition and is driven by the concepts and principals of the founding OPASTCO members. With a healthy endowment worth $1.6 million and generous supporters, FRED is able to provide more than $125,000 in funding each year through scholarships, awards and grants. FRED is proud to be part of OPASTCO’s rich history, and salutes the many accomplishments it has made for rural companies and individuals during the last 50 years. —Melissa A. Korzuch, Foundation Director Nation’s Ford received a Technology Grant for $4,800. 2 5 Y ea r s FRED Has Given Back to Rural America $1,129,070 Scholarships $475,433 Community Development Grants $275,000 Youth Leadership Grants $740,000 Technology Upgrade Grants $90,000 Hurricane Katrina Relief $60,303 9/11 Recovery Efforts Ethyl Grants provide matching support of up to $2,500 for rural schools and communities. Everette Kneece’s service to FRED was acknowledged by OPASTCO friends during the 2005 summer convention in Boston. 40  O P A S T C O 5 0 y e ars n 1963–2013