2013 Broadband Communities Summit
Rural Broadband Program
Thursday, April 18

8:00 am – 8:15 am
Keynote Address: You Can Justify FTTH With Just Eight Customers Per Mile
Service providers have become so focused on capital costs that many consider FTTH a luxury. But the game has changed. Fiber may cost 10-20% more to build, but it gives providers a chance to double or triple revenue per customer -- many are already doing it. And all the new revenue comes from high-margin services! FTTH has proven less churn, cutting marketing costs and boosting ARPU (fewer customers on promotional pricing). Proven fewer truck rolls. Given the FTTH advantage, you can make a good business case with only eight customers a mile -- and if you can borrow at less than 10%, you can make a profit with even less than that!

Steve Ross – Corporate Editor, Broadband Communities

9:10 am – 10:00 am
Collaborate to Access Funding for Rural Broadband
Seeking funding for broadband projects requires needs assessment, demand aggregation, data gathering, commitment building and finally creation of a business plan. In this session, panelists will present the collaboration strategies they used to successfully finance broadband projects through federal grants, private capital or self-funding mechanisms. Learn how they did it so you can do it, too.

David Salway – Program Director, New York State Broadband Program

Galen Updike – President, Rural Telecommunications Congress
Frank Ohrtman – President, WMX Systems, LLC
Jason Whittet – Deputy Director, Massachusetts Broadband Institute
Drew Clark – Executive Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois

10:10 am – 11:00 am
Rural Collaboration Models: New Technologies, Business Models and Partnerships
The most successful rural broadband initiatives build broad community support to foster collaboration among many kinds of entities. This session will showcase projects that demonstrate collaborations around broadband to effectively utilize today’s new technology tools. The session will focus on what it takes to make the most of the broadband in ways that stimulate demand for new broadband-powered technologies that benefit rural organizations and individuals. Each case study will include:

- Why the projects were developed, the needs they met, and the innovations that occurred
- What technologies were adopted and utilized through broadband, and how they led to success
- How the projects were funded, and how they achieved operational sustainability

Eric Ogle – RTC Treasurer, The Howard Baker Center for Public Policy

Joel Mulder – Senior Director of Business Development, G4S Technology LLC
Leon Conner – Chairman, South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority
Frank Odasz – President, Lone Eagle Consulting
Kathy Johnson – State Broadband Initiative (SBI) Director, EdLab Group

11:10 am – 12:00 pm
Collaborating for Rural Broadband - Leading with Applications
The Rural Telecommunications Congress will showcase projects that exemplify collaboration and partnerships at the 2013 Broadband Communities Conference. The Collaboration for Broadband program will focus on what it takes to get advanced broadband and to make the most of the technology. Get the inside view of what makes for a high-impact rural broadband technology project. There will be lots of opportunities to discuss practical solutions to real world problems. You will take away useful lessons about what works, and what doesn't. Each case study will include:

  • How the projects were funded, and how they achieve operational sustainability
  • What the projects' business model is, and how collaboration fits into the model
  • The applications of the network, how it is used to increase productivity and innovation

Jane Patterson – President, The View Forward - Go Forward

Michael Golden – Director of Broadband Planning, State of Arizona
Michael Curri – Founder and President, Strategic Networks Group, Inc.
Ron Walters – Executive Director, PANGAEA Internet
Tara Thue – State Broadband Mapping and Planning Coordinator , Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Utah

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Keynote and Working Lunch
Sponsored by Ciena

John Padalino – RUS Acting Administrator

1:00 pm – 2:10 pm
Rural Keynote and General Session: A Revolution in Precision Agriculture With Broadband For The Farm, Gary Evans and Dr. Milda Hedblom.
The competitive importance of broadband reaches to every sector of an increasingly global economy. Agriculture is a key competitive resource for the US in the global economy. A revolution in precision agriculture and food production now depends on bringing big broadband access to the farm and to the tractor as an essential competitive resource. This program willdiscuss how broadband makes the difference for surviving and thriving in rural America. Click to see Summit General Sessions.

Galen Updike – President, Rural Telecommunications Congress

Gary Evans – Senior Consultant, Former President and CEO, Hiawatha Broadband Communications
Chris Batdorf – Product Marketing Manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group
Milda Hedblom – Connectivity Consultant, Hiawatha Broadband Communications

2:30 pm – 4:45 pm - full session time
FirstNet: A Major Two-Part Session on the Status and Future of the $7-Billion Interoperable Public Safety Network Initiative

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Part 1

FirstNet experts will provide an overview of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) vision and goals, as well as outline the FirstNet State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the availability of $121.5 million in grants through SLIGP. The grants will aid U.S. states and territories in planning for deployment of a wireless LTE public safety broadband network operated by FirstNet. Over the next 12 to 18 months, public safety, state and federal officials will assess their public safety needs and assets for developing an interoperable FirstNet network for their states and regions. Eventually, a total of $7 billion, now set aside by federal statute, will be spent to create the FirstNet interoperable First Responder network.

Keith Montgomery – RTC Board Member, Senior Program Director Broadband, ICF International

Mike Barney – Technical Services Coordinator, Texas Department of Public Safety
Chuck Robinson – Director, Shared Services, City of Charlotte
Daniel Phythyon – Sr. Telecom Policy Specialist, Off. of Public Safety Communs., NTIA, Dept of Commerce

3:40 pm – 4:45 pm
Part 2

Panelists will discuss areas of collaboration between FirstNet planning activities and what has been accomplished and learned via the State Broadband Initiative (SBI is a five-year, $350 million initiative resulting in the creation of a National Broadband Map, state broadband maps and substantial broadband planning in the 50 states). A cross-section of these state broadband leaders will address how their regional and local understanding of broadband conditions can assist federal and state public safety officials in their efforts over the next 12 to 18 months. Collaborative efforts between FirstNet and SBI planning, especially at the state level, will lead to a better understanding of how to build a nationwide interoperable LTE wireless network. That network will improve rural public safety and lead to increased rural broadband availability for decades to come.

Keith Montgomery – RTC Board Member, Senior Program Director Broadband, ICF International

Drew Clark – Executive Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois
Mike Wilson – Vice President of Professional Services, CostQuest Associates
Bill Vallee – Broadband Policy and Programs Coordinator and Principal Attorney, Office of Consumer Counsel
Karen Jackson – Deputy Secretary of Technology, Commonwealth of Virginia

4:50 pm – 5:10 pm
RTC Conference Wrap Up:

Galen Updike – President, RTC; Broadband Development Manager, Arizona Department of Administration

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