NCTC CEO recaps annual show, offers update on MVNO plan

Lou Borrelli, CEO of the National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC), joins the Light Reading Podcast to reflect on the recently concluded The Independent Show in Florida, and reactions to the new name of the organization, which kept the NCTC designation but dropped the "cable" and "television" labels. 

Borrelli, who joined the podcast from his boat moored in Martha's Vineyard, also provided a few updates on the organization's major, new initiatives, including a "Connectivity Exchange" and a plan to offer mobile options to the NCTC membership by the fourth quarter of 2022. 

This year's show, which returned as an in-person event after 2021's all-digital confab, was marked by "pent up energy, for wanting to reconnect," Borrelli recalled. "The Independent Show is really the last standing old school cable show. It's the only one that combines programming and technology, just like the good ol' days. And it had that feel to it." 

And what about that name change? "I think a lot of people felt like it was overdue," Borrelli said. "I haven't had any negative feedback about the name. I think the fact that we kept the acronym the same, to me, was important." 

Borrelli said the NCTC is on track to have multiple mobile options available to its membership of 700-plus operators. "The deal that we're contemplating is flexible. From the members' perspective, they can choose how much or how little they want to actually take on for themselves," he said. 

You can download a lightly edited transcript of the podcast here. If you want to skip around and listen, here's a sampling of topics discussed during this podcast:

  • Reflections on The Independent Show returning to an in-person event, and a recap from the event for those who didn't make the trip to Florida (00:57)
  • Reaction to the recent name change from the National Cable Television Cooperative to the National Content & Technology Cooperative. (09:00) 
  • How and why the NCTC shifted to focus on its collective broadband base rather than its historical focus on collective video subscribers. (11:00) 
  • On the opportunity and challenge to get hundreds of independent operators – big, medium and small – focused on similar projects and goals. (13:41) 
  • How mobile became a priority at the NCTC and updates on the organization's plan to have multiple mobile service options available to members by the fourth quarter of 2022. (18:45)
  • An anticipated timeline on when NCTC members will be able to take advantage of a new "Connectivity Exchange" that will enable independent operators to participate in national RFPs for last-mile connectivity. (25:30) 
  • Borrelli participated in the podcast from his sailboat. How does he stay connected from the water? (30:30) 

—Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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