Agenda

Make Sure You Support Mountain Connect’s Sponsors AND Connect With Attendees

Monday, October 26

Tuesday, October 27

All times MDT and subject to change

Main Stage Sessions

11:00am

Main Stage

Conference Welcome Message

Jeff Gavlinski, CEO, Mountain Connect

Carl Meyerhoefer, Senior Director Strategic & Solutions Marketing, Calix

Description

Welcome message for our 2020 Virtual Conference.

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11:05am

Community Development

Keynote: Prioritizing Home Access for K-12 Learning: The Chattanooga Story

Deb Socia, President & CEO, The Enterprise Center

David Wade, EVP & COO , EPB Chattanooga, TN

Andy Berke, Mayor, City of Chattanooga, TN

Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent , Hamilton County Schools, TN

Description

Like most school districts, Covid-19 created a dilemma for Hamilton County Public Schools: far too many of our students lacked home access. Chattanooga’s local utility (Electric Power Board), the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, local philanthropy, the schools, The Enterprise Center and other nonprofits connected to find a solution. The result of that collaboration is the recent announcement of “HCS Ed Connect powered by EPB” that will provide 100mbps+ symmetrical to all families of children who are eligible for the federal school lunch program. Having local options for broadband provision has long been a game changer in our community: equally important is how the community came together with a shared vision to eliminate the digital divide and how they were able to work side by side to find a long term solution. During this presentation, the main collaborators will discuss their process, their progress, and the fundraising necessary to ensure all Hamilton County School students can access the internet at home.

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12:00pm

Main Stage

Sponsor Networking Break

Description

Please network with our Sponsors and refresh yourself for the start of our breakout sessions!

12:30pm

Community Development

Colorado Broadband Deployment Fund: History, Accomplishments and Future

Brian Martin, Acting Broadband Fund & Deployment Director, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

Stephen Gould , Grants Specialist Broadband Fund, CO Department of Regulatory Agencies

Description

Access to broadband service has a strong correlation with economic development and well-being. The Broadband Fund exists to connect communities with providers and cooperatives, and fuel economic growth in rural and isolated areas across Colorado. There has always been a need for broadband service in rural areas; however, recent events have exposed the lack of availability to some of the more vulnerable parts of this state. The Broadband Fund works with the Broadband Deployment Board to mitigate these disparities of access through its disbursement of grant funds in competitive grant cycles. It is a unique funding opportunity for eligible applicants to bring last-mile connectivity to isolated areas and enhance the lives of Coloradans. The small but mighty Broadband Fund is there to provide the Broadband Deployment Board with guidance, information and support that will help ensure the best equitable funding outcomes that will contribute to resolving the digital divide. In addition, the Broadband Fund aims to regularly engage with the public and stakeholders by keeping them apprised of activities through information sharing and public engagement with an emphasis on transparency. Since 2016, the Broadband Deployment Board has awarded $34.1 million in grants to 43 projects. As a result, over 21,473 rural households across Colorado will benefit from Broadband Internet access. The Broadband Fund is having an impact on thousands of Coloradoans across the state by supporting projects that provide residents of rural areas the opportunity to access services and resources to enhance their economic and civic lives."

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12:30pm

Community Development

Fiber Deployment - Some Starting Questions for Munis and Co-Ops

Tony Ostrander, Business Development Manager – Professional Services, OFS

Description

Power utilities, including municipalities and electric coops, have increasingly begun to deploy fiber optic networks, both for internal use as well as to provide service to end users. Since utilities typically don’t have an installed base of copper or coax cable and expect high subscription rates, their choices of network cable type and network architectures can look significantly different than those deployed by incumbent telephone companies. This presentation will provide a relatively quick overview of the pros and cons of cable types and FTTH network architectures available for utility-based fiber networks, potentially setting the stage for a deeper discussion with network operators.

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12:30pm

Emerging Technologies

Digital Government Strategy in the Age of COVID

Lori Sherwod, Render Networks: Director, Commercial and Market Development, Render Networks

Ernie Staten, Director of Public Service, City of Fairlawn, OH

Mike Lynch, Boston Dept. of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) Broadband & Cable, City of Boston

Description

The global pandemic is disrupting government operations and requiring cities to revisit how they’re operating on a day-to-day basis. Many have or are thinking about implementing a comprehensive a digital government strategy to encompass everything from cybersecurity (ransomware) to virtual citizen engagement, shared cloud services, digital project management tools and more. This panel will focus on new solutions available and recently developed as a result of 2020 realities. The panel will also discuss best practices and why it is so critically important for cities of all sizes to have a digital government strategy."

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12:30pm

Wireless

5G Fact and Fiction for Local Officials

Bob Knight , Executive VP & COO, Harrison Edwards

Roger Timmerman, Executive Director, Utopia

Francella Ochillo, Executive Director, Next Century Cities

Description

Wireless carriers have begun small cell deployments and municipal officials are facing a barrage of opposing pressure from states, industry, and citizen groups. With health and aesthetic concerns rising, and the public pushing back, officials are grappling with how to separate 5G fact from fiction. This dynamic panel will help you understand the landscape, explain the important relationship between 5G and fiber, and help communities overcome myths to move fiber-broadband projects forward. "

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1:00pm

Community Development

What Is Our National Broadband Infrastructure Policy?

Mike Romano , SVP, NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association

Thomas Cohen, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Description

This discussion will examine how policymakers in Washington have approached broadband policy to date, the challenges that remain in overcoming the digital divide, and the funding programs and other policies being debated to tackle these remaining challenges.

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1:00pm

Emerging Technologies

San Mateo County's Approach to Digital Equity and E-Learning

William Pugh, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Smart Connections

Benny Lee, Director SMC Public Wi-Fi Program, County of San Mateo, CA

Description

San Mateo County decided in the midst of this pandemic to be proactive in preparing for E-Learning should schools not reopen. We will discuss the drivers behind the initiative and how the decision was made to deploy the wireless technologies (CBRS+WiFi) that are now supporting E-Learning in East Palo Alto and what next steps look like Take away – We want the participants to take away the notion that new and emerging technologies are important when solving these types of challenges. Technology should serve the people, not the other way around

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1:00pm

Emerging Technologies

Future Applications Network Impacts

John George , Senior Director, Solutions and Professional Services, OFS

Barry Walton, Solutions Architect, Corning

Michael Render, CEO, RVA LLC.

Description

This session will explore future applications and their impact to network infrastructure. We will explore how 8K Cloud Gaming and Video Streaming, 360 Degree Video Augmented and Virtual Reality as well as Robotics will: Require Fiber at the edge Require low latency and low jitter to support application use Symmetrical gigabit plus connections will be required to support these applications Application data usage considerations Additional Speakers to be added to this session soon!

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1:00pm

Wireless

The Ultimate Customer Experience - Is Wi-Fi 6 and Managed Wi-Fi Enough?

Carl Meyerhoefer, Senior Director Strategic & Solutions Marketing, Calix

Scott Stinson, Smart Home & Business Solutions Global Sales, Calix

Description

Probably not! Wi-Fi 6 and Managed Wi-Fi are quickly becoming “table stakes” when looking to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Today, progressive service providers are leveraging these technologies and capabilities to take the customer experience to the next level while creating a new revenue opportunity for their business. Happy customers, lower churn and additional revenue. Learn how to achieve this Win, Win, Win.

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1:30pm

Main Stage

Sponsor Networking Break

Description

Please visit with our Sponsors and refresh yourself!

2:00pm

Community Development

How a Municipal FTTH Network Helps Its Community Thrive

Kip Tibbitts , National Sales Manager, Momentum Telecom

Zachary Magid, Engineering Manager, Matrix Design Group Inc.

Description

Even before COVID, there was an ever growing need for rural broadband. In today’s world, it is more important than ever before. We will be discussing how a municipal fiber network helps enable both residential and commercial growth for cities during normal times, how they have helped during COVID, and how to make sure you find the right partners along the way to help accomplish your goals.

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2:00pm

Community Development

Lessons Learned From Government Owned Broadband Networks (GONS) and Implications For Solving 'Digital Divid' Problems

Ron Rizzuto , Endowed Professor of International Executive Education & Professor of Finance, University of Denver

Description

In this presentation, I review the performance of GONs. I highlight the insights I have gained in my 20+ years studying GONs. Key insights from my research include the following: Most often the GONs are not “sustainable”—services are priced such that GON cash flow is < costs (operating, debt service and capital reinvestment). The GON cannot “pay its bills”. Many of the GONs with negative cash flow continue to operate because they borrow funds from ‘sister utilities’—power, water, sewer, etc. Eventually one of the following things happen: 1) the GON is sold; 2) the GON continues to borrow from the sister utility; 3) the GONs debt to ‘sister utilities’ get restructured—the sister utility cancels the debt; or 4) the GON achieves ‘sustainable cash flow”. The presentation will explore some of the reasons for the above outcomes. The discussion will also consider the role of GONs in addressing the ‘digital divide’ problem and the opportunity for public/private partnerships in addressing this problem.

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2:00pm

Emerging Technologies

5 Year Review - A Reflection On What Fast Company Magazine Calls "The Best Fiber Optic Network In America."

Jeff Christensen, President, EntryPoint Networks

Bruce Patterson, Technology Director, CIty of Ammon, ID

Description

The Ammon Network was launched in 2016. Over these five years, Ammon has been the subject of more than 75 articles, one short documentary, a visit from a sitting FCC Chairman, a speech extolling the model from a former FCC Chairman, a Harvard research paper, and recognition from the 2020 Cost of Connectivity Report as the least expensive fiber network in the world. In 2019, Fast Company magazine published an article describing the Ammon Network as the “Best Fiber Optic Network in America.” This presentation will be an interview of Bruce Patterson, the Technology Director of the Ammon Network, and the person credited, along with Robert Peterson at EntryPoint Networks, with developing and implementing the vision for Ammon. This interview will explore lessons learned, encouragement for other cities, regrets, and innovation yet to come.

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2:00pm

Wireless

Best Practices of Small Cell Deployment in the Rights of Way

Irena Stevens, Management Analyst for the Fiber and Broadband Services, HR Green

Ken Price, Municipal Services Manager, HR Green

Description

Many cities in the country and in Colorado have been prompted to develop small cell wireless permitting processes. In the last year, as required by the Order, many cities have had to draft and adopt aesthetic design guidelines to regulate the look and placement of small cells. Our panel of experts have been collecting and comparing these guidelines and will share their analysis. They will also discuss other administrative, regulatory, and cooperative best practices.

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2:30pm

Community Development

What's Driving the Need for 10G PON Networks?

Greg Luhman , Business Development Manager, ADTRAN

Description

The need for bandwidth has never been greater, as the network is now our lifeline to work, school, healthcare, and more. Not all fiber networks are created equal however, and in this talk we will explore the changing landscape of fiber access technology, the many reasons to consider 10G PON solutions, and the best approaches for existing network upgrades and new network build-outs.

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2:30pm

Emerging Technologies

Access, Equity, and inclusion - Missing Bidges Across the Digital Divide

Doug McCollough , CIO, City of Dublin, OH

Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Kaleem Musa, Head of Data, PopCom

Description

If you don’t know you have access to broadband Internet, you don’t have access. Significant portions of communities that have broadband infrastructure in place still do not have access due to lack of knowledge, resources, devices, and skills. Join Angela Seifer of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Doug McCollough and Kaleem Musa both of Black Tech Columbus and Rising Communities LLC for a discussion of how to bridge this gap with advocacy, skills development and community education.

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2:30pm

Wireless

Rio Blanco County - A Success Story For Rural Municipal Broadband

Brett Bonomo, CEO, Castle Rock Microwave

Description

Rio Blanco County’s Cody Crooks and Castle Rock Microwave’s Brett Bonomo reveal a model for successful public/private partnerships for rural broadband highlighting a fool-proof middle-mile focus, managing outside funding, enlisting good help, an innovative approach to maneuvering permitting/zoning

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2:30pm

Wireless

5 Steps to Get Your Subscribers to Fall In Love With You

Josh Wehe, Director of Operations, Jade Communications

Jordan Wehe, Marketing Director, Jade Communications

Description

Tired of building pipes? GOOD. So are we! Join Josh & Jordan as they discuss strategies to transform your business from network plumbers to offering unique subscriber experiences. The end result? Customer affection.

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3:00pm

Main Stage

Sponsor Networking break

Description

Please visit with our Sponsors and refresh yourself for the last breakout sessions of the day!

3:30pm

Community Development

Digital Equity Data

Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Brian Whitacre, Sarkeys Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

Roberto Gallardo, Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, Purdue University

Description

The pandemic has drawn attention to the lack of broadband service in homes. The biggest barriers are lack of affordable broadband and digital literacy skills. Join us for a robust discussion of the barriers and potential solutions. This session will cover what increased broadband adoption can do for the economy, the impacts of digital redlining, and what recent studies on adoption-oriented policies can tell us.

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3:30pm

Community Development

Canada's Intertwined Regulatory and Funding Regimes for Rural Broadband

Amedeo Bernardi , CEO, Amedeo Bernardi Consulting

Amber Crawford, Policy Advisor, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)

Dr. Rob McMahon, Assoc. Professor, University of Alberta, First Mile Consortium

Alyssa Moore , Sr. Policy & Advocacy Advisor, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Greg O'Brien, Editor and Publisher, Cartt.ca

Description

The Pandemic has applied renewed pressure on all levels of government to address the digital divide. The panel will take a critical look at the current Federal regulatory regimes vis-à-vis the public funding programs available (and contemplated) to address the rural divide in Canada.

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3:30pm

Wireless

The Benefits of Multi-Band Backhaul

Zach Hubeck, VP Sales & Marketing, WAV, Inc.

Peter Cousins, Senior Director of Business Development, WAV, Inc.

Matt Musial, Senior Business Development Executive, WAV, Inc.

Mark Billets, Senior Sales Engineer, WAV

Jason Petrillo, Senior Product Evangelist, WAV, Inc.

Steve Kielley, Regional Sales Manager, Cambium Networks

Description

In this session, you will provided a comprehensive overview on the benefits of wireless backhaul. Questions to be covered include: What is Multi-band Backhaul? Why is it important? Benefits? What are the use cases? What are the limitations? TCO of Micro/mmWave vs. Fiber Why does rain effect Microwave and mmWave differently? Why is Multi-Band key to 5G installations worldwide?

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