Kent Blackwell is Chief Technology Officer for Delta Montrose Electric Association in western Colorado and heads the technology advancements in support of the electric distribution grid as well as the broadband services division.
Kent has spent 31 years in the telecom industry and has paid witness to many groundbreaking transitions from the outer effects of divestiture, the transition period to digital telephone switching, to the early fiber optic deployments for t-span replacement and distance learning applications, and even participation in the cellular expansion frequency license auctions for PCS communication frequencies.
With the Telecom act of 1996, the introduction of CLEC’s (competitive local exchange carriers) came into focus, and Kent helped start one of the first CLEC’s in the state of Oklahoma in 1996 and helped oversee its growth into a multistate operation.
Kent has spent 20 years with rural electric cooperatives leading their telecom service offerings and participating in deep network deployments of fiber optics and the distributed uses for next-generation digital loop carriers, hybrid fiber coax, fiber to the premise, carrier backhaul, and tower transmission aggregation. Kent has experiences leading service delivery solutions using at-the-time leading-edge technologies DOCSIS (1.0 through to 3.1), DSL, Fixed Radio PTMP Wireless, Point-to-Point Microwave transmission, fiber optic transmission technologies, and Fiber to the Premise networks.
The design and implementation of wireless networks, beginning with cellular PCS design-work in the 90’s, as expanding opportunities were emerging for added cellular carriers, microwave PTP long-haul transport solutions, and distributed fixed radio WiMax technologies that evolved into big bandwidth LTE solutions, paired with experiences of advancing wireline technologies that fiber optics technology leads, allows for blended opportunities in the industry that can deliver future visionary solutions that exceed even the imaginations of those that have spent so many years in the industry.