In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepared to overhaul federal funding for rural wireless communications. U.S. Cellular, the nation’s fifth largest wireless carrier, brought Grisko on board to fight the proposal that would have crippled funding for wireless deployment in rural communities. Telecom experts considered the proposal a done deal, but Grisko and U.S. Cellular proved them wrong.
Grisko led a highly successful three-month, 14-state public affairs campaign and formed a coalition of business leaders, elected officials and first responders. The coalition rallied local and national support for wireless funding in rural areas, while providing a powerful, unified voice in key congressional districts. Grisko also created and managed the campaign’s branding and website, and encouraged supporters to contact members of Congress about the need for dependable, high-speed mobile broadband. Advocates sent several thousand letters to Congress expressing the need for dependable wireless networks in rural areas. The Grisko team also designed creative and impactful advertising targeted at key decision makers in industry publications, as well as Facebook ads targeting rural citizens to take action.
Through a tremendous outpouring of public support and key editorials and stories in community, statewide and national media outlets, the campaign succeeded in pressuring the FCC to pass reform that helped secure more than $600 million in federal funding per year for mobile broadband – double the amount expected by telecom experts.