2017 Abstracts

2017 Mountain Connect Abstracts


How Chattanooga Became a Gig City
Colman Keane: EPB

It’s a fair question. How does a mid-sized southern town challenged by a trend of creeping decline in the last half of the 20th Century become the standard for 21st Century Internet connectivity and smart power distribution? To begin with, one must understand that it is not so much what Chattanooga has accomplished as much as how they have accomplished it.

Joint this conversation with one of the architects behind this massive change, Colman Keane to learn:

  • What motivates a city and a utility to make such a big change
  • How EPB of Chattanooga revolutionized their system reliability by deploying a fiber optic communications network and over 1400 intelligent switches across their entire system… in just two and half years.
  • Facts and results from the years of the system being online
  • The lessons EPB and the city learned that will help you plan and prepare for your own system
  • How to leverage a system to improve quality of life and promote economic development

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.


FirstNet Presentation
Brian Shepherd: Governor's Office of Information Technology


Fujitsu Presentation



Achieving Rapid Deployment of Broadband to Stay Ahead of the Curve
John Honker: Magellan Advisors

Community leaders are faced with many decisions concerning how to bring leading edge broadband services to their communities. This session will break down what appears a monumental task into five key steps that can fast track the process, enabling communities to see real improvement in local broadband within 18 months and take fiscally responsible steps to do so.

This session will present innovative case studies on communities that have raised awareness of broadband issues and taken innovative steps to solve them through economically viable approaches that marry public and private capabilities.

Every community is unique and no single approach to resolving broadband issues exists. Learn how to identify the near-term opportunities and low-hanging fruit that create the catalyst to expand broadband on a community-wide basis.


Comcast Smart City Presentation


AT&T Presentation


Colorado Telehealth Panel
Moderator: Randy Reznik: Colorado Telehealth Network
Panel: Charlie Wick: Colorado Telehealth Network, Alex Telhorst: Colorado Fiber Community, Mike Brazell: Park County


Panel Debate
Moderator: Phil Weiser: Silicon Flatirons, Christopher Mitchell: Institute for Local Self Reliance, Blair Levin: Brookings Institute


David vs. The Goliaths: Developing a Winning Video Strategy 3.0
Mark Chambers: NRTC, Frank Scotello: Pulse Broadband

Deploying fiber is a big investment and becoming an ISP is daunting enough. With end users streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon, how do you effectively create and deploy a video strategy while monetizing this opportunity? Is it possible to successfully enter the video market against these Goliaths? The answer is…

Join NRTC’s Mark Chambers for a valuable discussion about the steps you need to take to build a successful video offering. You’ll learn about the current video environment and how various content delivery platforms are viewed by programmers, from local affiliates, to regional sports networks, clear up to national content providers. At the end of the session, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to determine the video strategy that will work best for your business.


Public Private Partnerships Demystified
Lori Sherwood: VantagePoint
Doug Adams: The Think Agency
Chris Kennedy: Region 10 Council of Governments
Chris Perlitz: Municipal Capital Markets

Public Private Partnerships (P3s) are “trending” bigly in municipal broadband – but are they a proven method to build and maintain a muni network? This session explores the different types of P3s and discusses the benefits and pitfalls of different P3 options. What are the key steps to take? What are the go/no go decision points? What does the financing look like? What is the timeframe? How realistic is this option?


Where to look for your Private Partner
Bruce Patterson, City of Ammon, ID

Public Private Partnerships are at the forefront of building community networks.  The new administration has indicated that they want to pursue public private partnerships for all infrastructure.  For a local loop infrastructure provider they should be looking towards their property owners rather than a provider.


Transportation and Technology Trends - Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Advanced Mobility
Michelle Maggiore, Cisco

Advanced technologies for connected and driverless vehicles are being developed rapidly as are IoT sensors for smart and connected cities.  There are significant benefits that will be experienced from their deployment such as increase in roadway safety, efficiency in operations, and more sustainable models for transport and city management.  Michelle Maggiore from Cisco will discuss the importance and current developments from a public sector implementation perspective.  The presentation will also address how cities should plan and prepare for the change in the mobility landscape to be better prepared and to help facilitate the deployment of all smart and connected solutions.


Zayo Presentation
Jack Waters: Zayo


Public Private Partnerships (P3)
Jim Baller: Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

For a community seeking affordable access to advanced communications networks today, a P3 may be the best option.  For some communities, it may be the only option.  P3s come in many shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.  This presentation will address the key business and legal considerations involved.


Funding Challenges & Opportunities for Rural Community Anchor Institutions
Moderator: John Windhausen: SHLB Coalition
Panel: Carrie Coogan: Kansas City Public Library
John Chisom: Education Superhighway
Denise Atkinson-Shorey: e-Luminosity

Community anchor institutions are playing an increasingly important role in the broadband ecosystem. The Federal E-rate program rules are encouraging greater investment in fiber networks serving schools and libraries, and several school systems and libraries around the country are benefiting from lower costs and more competition.  The FCC's Rural Healthcare program, however, is in a bit of crisis, as the demand for funding has outstripped the $400 M cap on available funds for the first time.  Several states are increasing their commitment to fund network deployment to rural anchor institutions.  This session will explore how funding challenges and opportunities are allowing libraries, schools and health providers to expand their use of broadband to serve the entire community.


Dublin, OH Smart City Initiative
Doug McCollough: City of Dublin

Municipalities now occupy a nexus connecting the technologies that will enable the interconnected lifestyles and operations of individuals and businesses. As the broader development of innovations in the realms of Connectivity, Automation, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and Mobility accelerate and merge, uncertainty arises regarding the practical application of the new technology based opportunities. When we include more specific impact points, such as blockchain, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, autonomous vehicles, and predictive analytics, the uncertainty can turn to fear. This is where government can contribute to the advancement of innovation. As a society, we need to consider policy, standards, legitimacy, authenticity, and the "rules of the road" in the new arena's of innovation.

The City of Dublin, Ohio has been a center of innovation in the realm of connectivity with the implementation of the Dublink fiber optics network; a 125 mile fiber conduit system connecting the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARNET), the Ohio Super Computer, and the State of Ohio's only GENI Rack. Becoming a Broadband community led to recognition as a Top 21 or Top 7 award seven times with the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF), and the founding of the Global Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in Dublin Ohio; one of only two such institutes in the world. Now, with the NW 33 Smart Mobility Corridor Federal Grant, Dublin is poised to extend it's activities as a full innovation ecosystem with forays into Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Predictive Analytics, and Smart Cities, all resulting from a broadband economy strategy.

As a leader in the Smart Mobility implementation project, the ICF Global Institute, and partner with larger initiatives such as Smart Columbus, Doug will discuss how communities must connect enabling technologies with research, policy, Public-Private Partnerships, Grants, and direct investment in order to realize the hoped for future of Smart and Connected communities.


NTIA Wireless Presentation
Glenn Reynolds: NTIA


How Fiber-to-the-Home Networks are built throughout Rural America
Jonathan Chambers: Conexon

Rural electric cooperatives were formed to bring electricity to areas of the country unserved by investor-owned utilities. Today, those same cooperatives are building fiber-to-the-home networks to their members. Learn how cooperatives provide broadband, and how your rural community can be served with gigabit internet access.


The Messiness of Innovation: How emerging technology infrastructure demands new types of civic order
Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive

Much has been made about the power of cities—that they’re the place where innovation happens, that they are where the real work of government gets done, that they hold some less partisan antidote to Washington gridlock. It is at the city scale that technology infrastructure, like Google’s ambitious fiber-to-the-home project, are deployed. But the resulting confluence of the digital and physical worlds differentiates such projects from other civil engineering projects, like sewers and roads. The way the digital world alters our sense of place and the restrictions of geography also forces us to reorient the way our communities make decisions about their future.


Developing an IPTV Product
Layne Sisk, ServerPlus & Real Choice TV

IPTV is the VoIP of 5 years ago. Deciding whether or not to get into IPTV and whether to do it yourself or resell an existing solution is a big challenge.  Layne has spent the past couple of years helping to develop Real Choice TV, and has the bumps and bruises to prove it.  Layne will discuss the intricacies of developing an IPTV product, including such things as equipment (hardware/software) required, retransmission agreements, set-top boxes, bandwidth requirements, and pricing.


Wednesday Keynote
Ernie Staten, City of Fairlawn, OH


Connect America Fund - Citizen's Band Radio Service - Long Term Evolution Broadband Wireless Access
Steve Coran: Lerman Senter, Ted Osborn: WISP Partners, Matt Larsen: Vistabeam, Drew ClarkBroadbandbreakfast.comJimmy Carr: All Points Broadband,

How will the convergence of the Connect America Fund, Citizen’s Band Radio Service, and Long Term Evolution innovate broadband access for rural America?

The FCC has adopted the highly-innovative shared use model for putting under-utilized spectrum to work on Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) applications. Under the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS), affordable spectrum assets are becoming available to a wide range of existing and new entrants who serve broadband access to rural markets. This new Spectrum Access System (SAS) is driving innovation in radio technology using Standards based (LTE) equipment that promises to deliver 100Mbps performance to Internet users soon. Notably, the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Reverse Auction promises to bring $2.15 billion of capital to bear for serving up to 1.5 million rural locations. Capital, spectrum, and technology coming together in 2017 will change how rural Americans become connected with true broadband access.

Our panelists of experts will provide insight and commentary on these converging developments.


City of Centennial's Fiber Commission
Moderator: Tim Scott, City of Centennial
Panel: Ken Lucas, City of Centennial
Stephanie Piko, City of Centennial
CJ Whelan, City of Centennial

We will provide project background, policy steps and the background to the creation of the Fiber Commission. Commission members led by CJ Whelan talk about the Commission creation, objectives, balancing with City Council etc.


3 Paths to the three layer Public Private Partnership Model
Ben Bawtree-Jobson, SiFi Networks

SiFi Networks CEO, will discuss live examples of projects in development, the issues and the solutions found to getting these projects to a financial close and the role that the public sector can play  in making FTTP a reality. Alternative financial models to achieving world leading infrastructure will be examined as well as operations, service provision, the role of Smart City applications and what barriers remain in the way.


Fujitsu Smart City Presentation


Radwin Presentation


Why Open Access is the Right Choice for Communities
Isak Finer: COS Systems

An increasing number of US cities are considering a deployment of fiber networks to ensure job creation, economic development and quality of life for their residents. Community leaders realize that the younger generations and businesses of the future will not accept inadequate broadband access. What they also realize is that the incumbent providers will prioritize their investments to the bigger markets where the business case is the most favorable. It’s simply how the market dynamics work. For the US to reach its national broadband target and to stay competitive in an increasingly connected world, cities need to build networks.

This session, which will end with an audience involved discussion will elaborate on what an open access network is and why it’s the right model for a city building a network. It will exemplify the difference between a last mile and a middle mile open access network and deep dive in the model that has proven to be very successful in many markets, especially in Sweden. The session will also look into demand aggregation, letting future subscribers pre-register in neighborhood zones, and why that is quickly becoming the natural first step of fiber deployments. While there is a lot of technical focus in this industry for obvious reasons, this session is not for the techies, but those who want to find the right model to build an economically sustainable network and a model that will ensure high adoption and reasonably priced services to subscribers.


Fiber Everywhere!
Heather Gold, Fiber Broadband Association

Each community needs more fiber -- and we will explore the trends in the US which are forcing such a response in order to stay part of the competitive economy, the growth of Smart Cities, 5G and IoT.  Heather will provide details on the new brand launch of the FTTHC and how they plan to serve all consumers that need and want more fiber in their communities.


Truck Smart Parking - Intelligent Transportation Solutions
Kevin Glynn: eX2 Technology


A Phased Approach to Feasibility
Curtis Dean, Todd Kielkopf: Smart Source Consulting

For communities that have been authorized to do so by voters, the next logical step historically has been conducting a comprehensive feasibility study and business case. These studies can cost many tens of thousands of dollars, which is barrier for communities that first want to know “can a municipal telecom utility make a meaningful positive impact to our community and would our community support it?”

An alternative concept is to take a phased approach to feasibility. The process is divided into two logical steps:   (a) community engagement and education including stakeholder interviews, with an analysis tailored to determining the likelihood that a feasibility study would result in a positive outlook on the formation of a utility, and then (b) the remaining traditional feasibility steps (design, cost estimate, business and financial plan, etc.) that builds on the information gathered in the first phase.

The pre-feasibility phase measures consumer attitudes about incumbent providers, support for the concept of a community fiber broadband network, and community barriers to forming a utility. Methods used include social media engagement, surveys, one-on-one stakeholder meetings that identify key pain points at anchor entities, and group discussions with citizens. Economic development and quality of life impacts are points of emphasis, which is important to begin defining measures of success if the telecom initiative proceeds. This is also a means to identify potential partners, local allies, and detractors.

If the pre-feasibility study finds that conditions are favorable for further exploration, community leaders more-confidently move forward with a full feasibility study. The consultant that performs it is able to utilize the data collected during pre-feasibility in making their business case assumptions. If the pre-feasibility phase doesn’t provide this confidence, they stop the process and avoid or postpone the additional expense.


Diane Kruse: Neo Connect


The Link between Open Access & Smart City
Jeffrey Christensen: Entry Point Networks

The Open Access model of the past was largely about providing ISP options for fast Internet. The Open Access Model of the Future will be about enabling Smart City, Smart Home, Smart Education, Smart Healthcare, Smart Transportation, Smart Public Safety, and Fast Internet. It will also be about dynamic options and competitive services. Broadband networks can provide much more value - beyond just delivering fast internet. Technologies including Software Defined Networking, Network Virtualization, and Network Automation make it possible to deliver new applications that make a difference in people’s lives from open and secure clouds. The transportation to and from those clouds will be through automated virtualized networks.


Making the Business Case for LTE Technology
Chris Daniels: Telrad

Every telecom operator and ISP faces the same challenges – how to increase revenues, while decreasing costs. There are different strategies an operator may take on, trying to maximize subscribers on the network, upgrading the technology, finding equipment that can overcome non-line-of-sight (NLOS) challenges, and many more. LTE is now emerging as the best solution for fixed broadband applications. The business case has been proven - it is the most appropriate solution for service providers. LTE is standards-based, best meets FCC guidelines, addresses CBRS requirements and outperforms proprietary solutions in many real-field applications. Find out how LTE can work for your business.


Collaborative Network Security & Design: A School District Perspective
Erik Moore: Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Embedding security early into collaborative regional network designs.  this presentation addresses the responsibilities and risks of the Confidentiality, Integrity, and availability of data running through collaborative networks and reviewing the options for maintaining information security by using the characteristics of network design at the contract/policy, multiplexing, switching, and application layers.


Samsung Presentation


Broadband Adoption & Utilization: Keys to Success
Bill Coleman: Community Technology Advisors

Broadband infrastructure is like a health club membership.  Broadband networks must be used to provide value.  Just like there are all kinds of reasons to go to the gym, there are powerful discouraging forces as well.  Bad habits, lack of resource, fear, more comfortable short-term alternatives.  All of these retraining forces are even more powerful when you go it alone.  But by moving forward with friends, or in the case of broadband, as a community, many of these forces are overcome through group learning, best practices, positive reinforcement and immediate rewards.  This presentation will describe a process used in more than rural 30 communities at a variety of geographies - towns, cities, counties, tribal reservations and economic development regions - that has demonstrably increased the rate of broadband adoption, addressed digital inclusion, spurred training of youth, elders and business owners.  The process engages a wide range of community stakeholders, preferably in partnership with one ore more area broadband providers to quickly benchmark the community on a number of critical competitiveness elements and then to implement collaborative projects that will bring them closer to their community vision.  In communities where broadband infrastructure is a critical issue, this process stimulates use of existing infrastructure and builds consensus around the need for new infrastructure investment.  With new networks  in place, momentum builds to realize the network’s full potential, sweeping away the myriad of other inhibitors to sophisticated community-wide technology adoption.


Colorado Educational Broadband Coalition
Denise Shorey: e-Lumosity, Tim Miles: Steamboat Springs Schools, Jarred Masterson, Arlene Salyards

A group of K12 educators have been working together to bring affordable broadband to rural parts of Colorado.  In 2016 districts were paying more than $35/mb in some areas of Colorado when Education Superhighway lists the national benchmark price per mb at $3.00. With projected demand for bandwidth in schools growing at 65% a year, what can schools do to make the internet connections affordable?  How can districts work with providers to make robust, reliable and affordable connections for students?  There are some of the topics this panel will address.


Making Municipal Fiber a Success
Roger Timmerman: Utopia

UTOPIA Fiber has turned the corner and is now building out new communities with a sustainable model that covers all debt and operating expenses, while providing the fastest speeds and most competitive service provider environment in the country.  Come learn how your project can benefit from a proven model, established designs, financing models, and service provider environment of the 11 city UTOPIA Fiber project.



The Power of Voice in Broadband Bundles
Kevin Dundon: Alianza

There is still significant revenue still in fixed voice—it’s a $60 billion a year market for residential and business services—and the VoIP portion of that is growing fast each year. Multi-play and bundling is also key to winning and retaining certain customers. Using the right solution, new fiber broadband providers can easily and profitably win share in the fixed voice market.

This session will explore:

  • Residential voice drivers and benefits to muni and utility broadband providers
  • Addressing the growing SMB opportunity
  • Solution and technology choices and trade-offs: softswitch, NFV VoIP, wholesale white label and cloud voice platforms
  • Case study example of the impact of newly launched voice
  • Go-to-market considerations for success

Broadband is not enough and ISPs need a broader portfolio to maximize the value of their fiber investments. Learn more about the power of voice and how it can positively impact the bottom line.