NYSWA “Village” Educates Stakeholders at Grassroots Level

Originally published by the Wireless Infrastructure Association

The New York State Wireless Association (NYSWA) has been able to engage and educate a variety of stakeholders across the New York telecom ecosystem, said NYSWA President Tom Marciano, Chief Growth Officer at inRange Solutions. That grassroots-level of education at the board and committee level has helped the state association develop partnerships, and open dialogs for wireless siting discussions – and sometimes winning outcomes for all stakeholders throughout the state.

“It takes a village and that is what NYSWA has,” Marciano noted. Marciano will lead a panel discussion about State Wireless Associations and their grassroots outreach at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6 as part of Connect (X) in Orlando, Fla. Please join NYSWA, the New Jersey Wireless Association (NJWA), Pennsylvania Wireless Association (PWA) and the Maryland/DC Wireless Association (MDDCWA) in an exciting discussion about their grassroot outreach efforts to improve the wireless industry.

NYSWA formed in 2007 to provide an official forum for the cultivation of relationships and exchange of ideas among wireless telecommunications professionals, government officials and the public, and to create a platform for a unified voice for the wireless industry.

NYSWA has evolved through the years to educate elected officials, Marciano commented. “Initially there was a lack of information and we helped educate people on the positions of the wireless industry.” While relationships with many government entities have improved, some municipalities can be contentious. “In some areas, no one has been able to change that contentious relationship, including the federal government.”

​NYSWA’s Regulatory Committee, led by Robert Gaudioso of Snyder & Snyder LLP, is the primary liaison to municipal and state government agencies in New York. The State and Local Affairs Advisor role aims to advance NYSWA’s mission by building constructive and effective relationships with government, as well as community and business leaders. That group is led by Chris Fisher of Cuddy Feder. Marciano said Jane Builder of T-Mobile, Leslie Snyder of Snyder & Snyder LLP, Doug Dimitroff and David Bronston of Phillips Lytle have also spearheaded the association’s advocacy efforts.

Despite the communications success the association has had educating people, the work is ongoing, Marciano noted, pointing to some people wrongly thinking that 5G causes COVID-19. WIA has been a valued partner, leading advocacy efforts at the federal level, Marciano added.

“We continue to educate and advocate in our communities whenever the opportunity arises, most recently at the NY State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM.org) where my predecessor, Chris Fisher, graciously represented NYSWA as a speaker.”

NYSWA last year partnered with the SUNY (State University of New York) Impact Foundation to start the NYSWA/SUNY Impact college scholarship for students interested in pursuing careers in the wireless telecom industry (Donations can be made here). Already, eight scholarships have been awarded and plans are underway to award more in 2022. Along with advocacy decisions, telecom is increasingly becoming an employment opportunity, which is part of the reason NYSWA developed the scholarship program. Indeed, today the wireless industry supports more than 4.7 million jobs and contributes $475 billion to the U.S. economy.