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Economic Development Conference

Hands-On Financial Modeling For Community Networks
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Workshop Leader:
Steve Ross
— Editor-at-Large, Broadband Communities

Six Customers Per Mile!
Your community may be able to justify a fiber network with as few as six customers per mile! But before you hire an expensive consultant, run the numbers with our free, widely used, comprehensive financial models. Gain the financial confidence you need in the best way possible – by understanding the math firsthand. This in-depth session for network builders, public officials, consultants, private cable operators, CLECs, ILECs, and economic development professionals will explore public and private financing options and show attendees how to use the Broadband Communities FTTH financial modeling tools. These tools include financial models for revenue, cash flow, multi-dwelling buildings, rural and municipal networks. We’ll concentrate on the rural model in this workshop but will introduce you to all of them. Download them and modify them for free at Participants get the models and detailed documentation on a thumb drive to use during the workshop on their own laptops. Take them home, free!

Legal Issues Affecting Broadband and Economic Development Projects
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Sean Stokes
— Principal, The Baller Herbst Stokes & Lide, PC
Casey Lide — Principal, The Baller Herbst Stokes & Lide, PC

Legal and regulatory issues can profoundly affect community broadband initiatives, and in some cases can threaten the economic development objectives of such projects. In this workshop, drawing on their experience with dozens of community broadband projects of all kinds, Sean Stokes and Casey Lide of the Baller Herbst Law Group will share their insights on how community leaders can navigate the key legal issues as productively, painlessly, and inexpensively as possible, while maximizing opportunities to turn a community network into an economic development engine. Among other things, they will discuss coping with state restrictions on community broadband initiatives; developing the most appropriate business and involvement models; acquiring pole attachments and other infrastructure issues; complying with applicable federal, state, and local requirements; taking advantage of universal service and other incentive programs; and much more. They will also bring attendees up to date on the latest legal developments at the FCC, in Congress, in the states, and before the courts.

Broadband in the Bluegrass
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Brian Mefford
— CEO, Connected Nation Exchange (CNX)

Exciting things are happening for public-private broadband partnerships in Kentucky and communities across the Commonwealth should be taking steps now to make the most of these opportunities. Brian Mefford, founder and CEO of Connected Nation Exchange (CNX) will lead a team of experts to equip community leaders with a very practical approach to position their community to compete with best-of-class broadband infrastructure. By participating in this workshop, community leaders will be able to 1) understand the latest developments stemming from the KY Wired project; 2) identify the various opportunities for your community; 3) discuss potential public and private participants who can help ensure local success; 4) define a timeline and next steps for owning the opportunity; and 5) map out a course of action that fits your community.

Funding Rural Networks
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Hilda Legg
— Former RUS Administrator, Vice Chair, Broadband Communities
Kenneth Kuchno — Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy and Outreach, USDA Rural Utilities Services

This RUS workshop will detail the agency’s new requirements for applying for broadband loan and grant funds, highlight successful RUS applicants, and give examples of economic development in the communities where RUS-funded networks were deployed.

Marketing Broadband: Stop Peddling Speed. Start Driving Relevance
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Workshop Leader
Michael Curri
— President, Strategic Networks Group

No matter your budget, you need to make your network and the ultra speed broadband relevant to your community’s homes and businesses. While the industry norm is to sell “speed,” this goes against one of the basic laws of marketing – people buy benefits, not features.

In this two-hour workshop we’ll take a look at innovative ways communities are marketing their networks and accompanying benefits. If you’re struggling to understand why network uptake is not high enough or how you’ll drive uptake when your network is built, we’ll cover marketing in three phases: marketing during the build-out, the launch, and marketing the network and services the first year. We will have an interactive exchange of ideas and provide attendees with tools to take back to their community.



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