Hank Blackwood

Chief Technology Services Officer
Dalton Utilities

 

Hank Blackwood is a seasoned professional with more than twenty-five years’ experience in the utility and telecommunications’ industries. Hank possesses a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech University.

Upon graduation in 1993, Hank joined Dalton Utilities as an Engineering Technician, and gained experience working in the Natural Gas, Water, and Sewer and engineering departments. Over the next several years, Hank gained extensive experience in utility operations, overseeing a major natural gas rehabilitation project, both water and sewer extension projects and crucial plant rehabilitation.

In 1999, Hank was promoted to Assistant Vice President and moved to the newly formed Technology division to assist in modernizing utility data systems: billing, meter reading, customer information systems, geographic information systems, and data connectivity between all facilities. In this role, Hank led the redesign of the utility’s supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) for remote control and monitoring of all plants and facilities including security and building automation. This included building fiber connectivity between substations for SCADA communication and laid the foundation for growth of a new market segment for Dalton Utilities, providing voice and high-speed data services to large industrial customers.

Building on the vision to deliver better quality services and support to their local community, Dalton Utilities launched one of the first municipally owned residential Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments in the United States in 2003, passing approximately 20,000 homes and businesses. Hank was instrumental in the launch of voice, video and high-speed data services over this all fiber network, overseeing operations, product development, customer service and technical support services. With hard-work, dedication and a commitment to superior customer service, OptiLink exceeded expectations, achieving an overall take rate of 62% while entering a competitive environment for the first time in Dalton Utilities history.

Under Hank’s leadership, Dalton Utilities remains one of the most successful FTTH projects in the U.S. OptiLink successfully launched 10 Gigabit residential internet in 2019 and is currently upgrading their video system to deliver next generation streaming services in a very competitive video marketplace.

Pastimes include sporting clays, amateur radio, astronomy, and off-roading.

Fiber: Building A Gigabit World

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August 10 – 13, 2020

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Houston, Texas

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