2024 Cornerstone Awards


About the Cornerstone Award

Each year, a committee of industry leaders, analysts, and writers selected by Broadband Communities votes to bestow a half dozen or so Cornerstone Awards to private developments, municipalities, communities, companies, and individuals with outstanding accomplishments in the area of delivering telecommunications for the benefit of the end user. Since 2004, Cornerstone awards have included recognition for the most notable deployments of Fiber-to-the-Home in the U.S. and abroad.

Cornerstone Awards were originally established in 1989 as the Diamond Tier Awards and presented as recognition of achievement to companies providing cable services to the MDU industry (condominiums, apartments, hotels).

The Cornerstone Awards have been expanded to include and recognize achievements in broadband and telecommunications for all communities and municipalities, including residential multifamily (apartments, campus housing, active adult communities) and planned communities (multi-home developments, renewed urban areas).

Send nominations to Nancy McCain of Broadband Communities at nancym@bbcmag.com no later than February 11th.


Award Winners by Year:

2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

2023 Awards

PCs for People / Dominium
Recognizing Dominium’s determination to level the broadband playing field at Austin-area Stoneridge Apartments, partnering with PCs for People, which utilized existing fiber over coax to retrofit the affordable housing complex with free community-wide Wi-Fi and in-home broadband.


PCs for People / Dominium utilized existing fiber over coax to retrofit the 13-building affordable housing complex with free community-wide Wi-Fi and in-home broadband. In a true case of doing well by doing good, Stoneridge, whose occupancy rate had dropped to 50 percent when COVID hit, now stands at 90 percent. “Going to free Wi-Fi was the icing on the cake,” says Dominium.


City of Pharr, Texas
Saluting the South Texas border town’s do-it-yourself spirit and resolve to create an affordable citywide fiber network to enhance educational opportunities and attract business to a locale once named the worst connected city in the country.


Pharr, Texas for its do-it-yourself spirit and resolve to create an affordable citywide fiber network to enhance educational opportunities and attract businesses. Pharr, once labeled the worst connected city in the United States, is now about one-third to one-half of the way to connecting all its citizens to affordable, reliable high-speed broadband services.


aSteamVillage / William Wells
Honoring the astounding efforts William Wells and his student workforce at aSteamVillage have made to expand high-speed, reliable internet service to their district in Kansas City, setting up and running a network and even stringing the fiber for their users.


William Wells and his student workforce at aSteamVillage expanded learning center focused on STEM subjects, plus art. District 3, where aSteamVillage is located, is the poorest area in a city rich in internet resources in its other districts. Thirty-one percent of the people in District 3 don’t have access to the internet. The answer to providing internet to his neighbors, Wells, a trained engineer decided, was to provide the network himself. And the people he used to make that possible are the kids who attend aSteamVillage. His group of 13- and 14-year-olds came in and did the work, setting up and running the network themselves and even stringing the fiber for their users. Please welcome the truly remarkable William Wells.


Myakka Communications / DZS
Celebrating the partners’ delivery of symmetrical gigabit “broadband to the boonies,” after major local carriers said it would be decades before they brought broadband services to the rural southwest Florida town of Myakka City.


With all the talk about the difficulty of connecting rural America, Myakka Communications and its decade-long technology partner DZS is delivering symmetrical gigabit “broadband to the boonies” after local telephone and cable carriers said it would be decades before they brought broadband services to the rural southwest Florida town of Myakka City. Not that it’s all been easy. Just ask Myakka Communications President Charles Matson about his “adventures” in fixed wireless and Florida’s notorious summer thunderstorms – and the havoc wreaked on the system’s wireless transceiver and on the company’s bottom line what with having to replace a number of $1,800 transceivers after lighting strikes. “Maybe there is a reason no one else is doing this in Florida,” Matson thought about his first attempt to bring decent internet to his community. But he persisted, and today Myakka Communications boasts a 100 percent fiber optic network, with a 95 percent take rate.


Honoring the service provider’s creation of the Vistabeam Empowerment Center in Torrington, Wyo., where residents can get assistance from a full-time digital navigator with ACP paperwork, digital equity issues and digital skills and training as well as access a community meeting room with video conferencing capabilities.


Vistabeam Internet, a pioneering wireless service provider with coverage that spans an incredible 40,000 square miles across three states and 100 towns in rural Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. On its website, Vistabeam states it “believes in maintaining connections with our community.” Today we are honoring the service provider’s creation of the Vistabeam Empowerment Center in Torrington, Wyoming, where residents can get assistance from a full-time digital navigator with ACP paperwork, digital equity issues and digital skills and training as well as access a community meeting room with video conferencing capabilities. It’s Vistabeam’s first such center, but hopefully not its last.


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Scott Casey, President & CEO, ROVR Score
To a groundbreaking advocate and collaborator who is deeply appreciated in the multifamily broadband world.


For being an outstanding force in helping owners and developers understand the tangled web of choices when it comes to broadband service decisions.

Scott advocates for multifamily owners in every way possible by working with providers at a consultative level so that they can better serve developers, owners, and residents.

He is changing perceptions and closing gaps by providing data needed to measure broadband services, ensuring that owners receive their services as contracted.

Scott has spent much of his life in the multifamily business and has constantly been the most valuable person in every role he has served.



2022 Awards

Greenlight Networks
Celebrating Greenlight Networks' expansion of fiber to the home in multiple neighborhoods in Buffalo, N.Y.


Greenlight Networks exemplifies the doing well by doing good philosophy. When the network provider looked for its first FTTH partner in the West Side area of Buffalo, it made an unusual choice: opting to provide 500 Mbps internet service to the repurposed rectory and campus of faith-based nonprofit 716 Ministries. Greenlight is also helping neighborhood residents with signing up for the FCC's Emergency Broadband Benefit program. In return, Greenlight is using the partnership to help forge other community partnerships and expand its business. "We're proud of the community commitment and are identifying other communities to hook up with the internet," says Greenlight's Government, Community and Public Affairs Manager Lori White.


Fort Pierce Utilities Authority
Saluting Fort Pierce Utilities Authority's efforts to close the digital divide by expanding reliable, affordable high-speed internet to the entire community.


When FPUA decided to build the infrastructure to become a smart city, it chose to begin its extension of high-speed internet in the older neighborhood of Lincoln Park. The goal? To bring reliable, affordable internet as well as public Wi-Fi to a community with a high poverty rate and one that historically had the lowest broadband adoption tracks in the county. And residents are only one part of the equation. FPUA wants to draw businesses to relocate there as well. The utility's plans don't stop there. FPUA is ready to expand its reach and target small businesses in other areas of the city as it works to close the digital divide.


Fort Collins / Connexion
Recognizing the utility for its thoughtful planning and dedication to expanding gigabit fiber to all Fort Collins residents and businesses, and its efforts to bring its FTTH service to its neighbors.


After years of thoughtful planning and community feedback, which began in 2010 when Fort Collins applied for the Google Fiber challenge, continued in 2014 when broadband discussions were incorporated into the Fort Collins Strategic Plan and led to approval of a $120 million bond in 2017 to provide the funding, the Colorado community began building a FTTP network in 2019 that it expects to complete this year. The community-owned Connexion broadband utility service will bring gigabit-speed internet, phone and video to all Fort Collins residents and businesses. Now Connexion is working to help surrounding communities navigate the securing of federal grants available through the infrastructure bill, with an eye to being able to reach residents outside the city limits with its FTTP service.


Snip Internet / Sustainable Community Associates
Honoring Snip Internet’s efforts to transform Cleveland with gigabit broadband, partnering with Sustainable Community Associates to focus on revitalizing urban areas in socially responsible, sustainable ways.


SCA, with its commitment to adding to the viability of one of Cleveland's oldest neighborhoods, found the perfect partner when it joined forces with local player Snip Internet to provide instant-on gigabit broadband to the residents of The Tappan, its new multifamily mixed-income development. Evidence of the successful match-up? The two are now partnering on other projects in Cleveland, including a mix of new construction and older properties being rehabilitated into multifamily dwellings.


Bristol Broadband Now
Recognizing the town of Bristol, N.H., for its determination and perseverance to bring better broadband to the community and to expand the service to the wider area of Grafton County.


Overcoming multiple obstacles to bring reliable, high-speed internet to the residents and businesses of a rural northern New Hampshire community is a testament to the power of persistence and of local broadband champions' keeping their eye on the prize.


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Kevin Donnelly – Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Strategic Initiatives
To a collaborative partner who is deeply appreciated in the multifamily broadband world.


Recognizing someone whose strategic intellect, broadband policy knowledge, and multifamily expertise make him an asset to any organization he touches. For being an engaged collaborator and advocate, whose positive attitude, knowledge, and work ethic make him an invaluable partner in the multifamily broadband industry and beyond.



2021 Awards

Grant County PUD
For the leadership and advocacy of a pioneer of open access networks in bringing fiber broadband service to rural Washington State.


As communities across the country, especially rural ones, scramble to get connected, back in 2000, Grant County PUD (Public Utility District) pioneered one of the country’s first open access fiber optic networks. Today Grant offers its customers speeds of up to a Gigabyte and is dedicated to extending the network to every resident and every business in the community. The judges also noted the key role played by Russ Brethower in guiding the project and praised him for his willingness to share his knowledge with the open access network builders who have followed in his footsteps.


Saddleback Communications
For upgrading to fiber to provide access to all homes in the community, create new opportunities and to provide a blueprint for tribal broadband.


When it came time to replace its fragile copper network, Saddleback recognized the importance of world-class infrastructure, leapfrogging over any interim hybrid solutions and upgrading to fiber. The Phoenix area provider now delivers 500 Mbps speeds to every home in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The exceptionally reliable, secure and innovative services now being offered to residents, students and businesses are helping to drive economic development and create new opportunities. Saddleback’s success also provides a blueprint for tribal broadband, and President and General Manager Bill Bryant says the company is keen on helping other tribal communities develop similar broadband plans.


United Communications / Project UNITE
For finding innovative ways to accelerate fiber installation to help its Middle Tennessee neighbors in need.


When COVID-19 took hold last year, the already pressing need to provide adequate internet access to rural Tennessee took an urgent turn, and United Communications rose to the challenge. Initiating Project UNITE, which was committed to bringing high-speed internet to every under-connected home and business in Middle Tennessee, United leveraged community partnerships, federal and state funding, and its own investments to accelerate fiber installation throughout the area. The millions in funds that United has applied for and received on behalf of Project UNITE has already resulted in projects bringing connectivity access to close to 4,000 new locations.


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Steve Sadler – Vice President Multifamily Development, RealPage, Resident Technology Services
To a partner who is deeply appreciated in the multifamily broadband world.


For someone who has more than three decades of telecommunications design, specification and project management experience in the multifamily industry. For being a pioneer in the MDU industry and a true partner to your customers.


2020 Awards

Cullasaja Country Club, Highlands, North Carolina
For using broadband technology to create a great connected community


Cullasaja is a mountaintop retreat for Southerners escaping the summer heat – but residents couldn't count on reliable broadband. After years of discussions with service providers, the homeowners association took matters into their own hands. They invested in a fiber-to-the-home network, hired a service provider to manage it, and helped residents learn how to use streaming services and upgrade their home Wi-Fi networks. Now, the HOA’s broadband champion says, ‘I can’t walk from one end of the clubhouse to the other without someone telling me how great the internet service is.’


Mont Belvieu, Texas
For conceiving and building a high-speed network to serve the needs of a community


Mont Belvieu’s growth was stymied because no providers would serve any new subdivisions – or even some existing neighborhoods. So the city built its own gigabit fiber network. To do that, it went to court to establish its right to deploy broadband. The result: It enabled Mont Belvieu to grow, and paved the way for other Texas cities to provide broadband for their residents as well.


For leadership and vision in building a fiber network to support economic growth


EUGNet is the centerpiece of a technology upgrade that brought 25 high-tech companies to Eugene in a two-year period and brought millions of dollars in venture capital to the city. The network has been celebrated as one of the most successful economic development projects in the history of the city. We agree!


For completing its mission of bringing high-speed internet access to every public-school classroom in America


EducationSuperHighway worked with state leaders, partners, providers, and school districts to get high-speed internet access to about 41 million students. Today, 99 percent of schools have high-speed connections that can allow students and teachers to use technology in the classroom. Mission accomplished!


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Matt Ames, Founding Member, Hubacher Ames & Taylor
For advocating for property owner interests and building trade group coalitions


Matt isn't the sort of person to call a lot of attention to himself, which is why it’s gratifying for us to be able to honor him. He's one of the few telecommunications attorneys with experience as a transactional attorney, a regulatory attorney and in Federal courts. Matt represents the National Multi-Family Council and other trade groups, and for years he has helped keep us up to date on what the FCC is doing. Property owners also see him in his transactional practice, where he helps negotiate and draft contracts with broadband and wireless providers.

And, as one of my fellow property owners pointed out, he especially deserves our appreciation for the phenomenal job he did recently, representing the NMHC and owners with comments submitted to the FCC – when he met the deadline even though he had a broken leg!


2019 Awards

Republic Property Group
For breaking the gigabit speed barrier and making 2 gigabits a standard amenity.


Walsh is the largest new residential community close to a U.S. downtown area – in this case, Fort Worth. It’s a walkable community where everything is close by – offices, retail space, medical facilities, restaurants and entertainment, pools, parks, athletic facilities, food trucks, nature trails – and baseline 2 Gbps internet access is included in the homeowners association fees. Residents can upgrade to 10 Gbps for less than $200 per month. The deployment was technically ambitious and challenging, but it will serve the community for many years to come.

RPG wants Walsh to become a center of innovation for Texas and the nation. The company considers internet connectivity a fourth utility, just as important as reliable water, gas and electricity. Technology was central to its vision, and all community features were built around a technology infrastructure that could support decades of innovation.


Longmont Power and Communications / NextLight System
For leadership in broadband independence.


Something is brewing in Colorado – and it isn't just the famous craft beers. Cities and counties all across the state – about a hundred of them ­– have now opted out of the law that restricts them from building their own broadband networks.

The leader in this parade is the city of Longmont, whose electric utility built the NextLight fiber network and launched services in 2014. NextLight was the first ISP in Colorado to offer symmetrical gigabit broadband services, without data caps or contracts, and at the best prices in the state. As of the end of 2018, more than half of residents with access to NextLight have signed up for it – and nearly all of them chose the gigabit tier.

Longmont’s NextLight service is not just community-owned but community-focused. This utility is dedicated to making life better for Longmont’s residents and enabling businesses to start up, grow and stay in the city.


BARC Electric Cooperative
For a deployment aimed at closing the digital divide.


Something is brewing in Colorado – and it isn't just the famous craft beers. Cities and counties all across the state – about a hundred of them ­– have now opted out of the law that restricts them from building their own broadband networks.

Electric co-ops are often the best hope for broadband in rural areas. In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, it was BARC that stepped up to provide broadband to residents who had no other options. BARC was the first electric co-op in Virginia to launch a fiber-to-the-home network and provide gigabit speeds to residents.

And we love their advertising slogan: BARC if you want broadband!

By building a world-class broadband network to serve all 13,000 members in its five-county area, BARC demonstrates how rural communities can retain their populations and sustain their way of life. Residents who used to spend 10 to 15 minutes downloading the local newspaper now have the whole world open to them.


Bryan Rader, President, UpStream Networks
For raising the bar for customer experience in multifamily broadband.


Bryan is one of the stalwarts of multifamily broadband. He founded MediaWorks, a private cable company that grew to more than 40,000 units before being sold in 2006. He then spent a decade as a consultant to the MDU broadband industry – both to property owners and to providers. Recently, he joined Access Media 3, a large private cable operator based in Chicago, which has now re-branded as UpStream Network. During all this time, he's been a guiding force in the Independent Multifamily Communications Council and its successor organization, the Multifamily Broadband Council – and, not least, a regular contributor to Broadband Communities magazine.

Bryan advocates for professional, high-quality multifamily broadband that works for residents, owners and providers. His attention to customer experience has helped focus the industry on this goal.


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Art Hubacher, Managing Member, Hubacher & Ames
For being a pioneer in the MDU industry and a true partner to his customers.


Art has worked as an attorney for property owners and developers for many years. We know him as a problem solver who tries to keep disputes from arising and resolves them when they do arise. He also has an amazing breadth of knowledge – whether it’s service contracts, or right-of-entry documents, or marketing agreements, or rooftop agreements – whatever it is we need assistance with, Art is always there to help.


2018 Awards

Huntsville Utilities
For positioning a city as a center of excellence for technology-enabled businesses.


Huntsville is famous for its space industry. It also has an up-and-coming biotech industry. It has the highest concentration of engineers in the United States. But it didn’t have broadband powerful enough to support that tech sector.

So Mayor Tommy Battle announced a Gig City initiative, saying, “If Huntsville is to remain a technological leader in this hyperconnected global world, we must be able to offer broadband access that can accommodate the growing demands of business, research institutions, entrepreneurs, residents and public safety.”

Huntsville built open-access fiber into every neighborhood, all but the final drop to the home, and it hit the jackpot, signing up Google Fiber to deliver services over the network. Now it has unlimited capacity that will allow its tech sector to flourish.

Here's what our judges said: “Huntsville was willing to take a risk for the future of the city, by pioneering a new kind of partnership model. It executed beautifully, and the gamble paid off.” 


McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority in Atlanta
For use of broadband for transformational redevelopment


When the U.S. Army closed the old Fort McPherson base in Atlanta, it threatened to devastate an already troubled neighborhood. Instead, a new redevelopment authority emerged. It sold part of the space for a movie studio and is making the rest into a fiber-connected, mixed-income/mixed-use community of the future.

This project involves many partners, but two of the leading ones, in addition to the local redevelopment authority, are Macauley Investments and (amazingly) the Prince’s Foundation – as in Prince Charles of Great Britain.

Our judges said, “Fort Mac aims to be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and resilient. And the redevelopment authority understood that a fiber network would be critical for that sustainability.”


Heather Burnett Gold, CEO and President of the Fiber Broadband Association
An outstanding leader for her tireless advocacy of and impact on fiber broadband deployment.


Heather has been a strong and consistent voice advocating for fiber deployment. She's helped the industry grow by commissioning research about the benefits of fiber and providing toolkits for fiber deployers. And not least, she's been a regular contributor to Broadband Communities magazine, a sponsor of our Fiber to the Home Primer, and a partner and speaker in many of our events.

Our judges remarked, “There's no question Heather is one of the key reasons the fiber-to-the-home industry is thriving.”


Outstanding Multifamily Partner Award

Robert Grosz, Chief Development Officer, Elauwit
Bob was one of the first to bring DOCSIS cable modem solutions to MDUs in 2000, he invented the PCO program for DISH, he brought Ruckus to student housing and he's been a continual supporter of private broadband in MDUs for the past 25 years. He’s known by everyone, and he is an influencer in our space.

2017 Awards

RS Fiber
Dedication, persistence and vision in securing the benefits of broadband for their communities


The citizens of Renville and Sibley Counties in Minnesota needed better broadband. Local officials came up with a plan for a multi-municipal system – and educated the community about it with help from our FTTH Primer.

But bond attorneys didn’t think the plan would work. So the RS Fiber proponents came up with a new approach – a cooperative organization. And they came up with new funding, which included every financing mechanism you can think of, and then some. And a new rollout plan.

Here's what our judges said: “RS Fiber overcame more obstacles than anyone should have to overcome to get broadband for the residents of Renville and Sibley Counties. And their efforts are paying off.” 


City of Wilson, NC Greenlight Community Broadband
Forging new paths for community fiber networks


Greenlight is one of the most successful of all municipal networks, and the magazine has published several articles about things like its creative use of GIS. But here's one quick story: When told it could no longer sell internet service in the little town of Pinetops, Greenlight gave it away for free. (No one said they couldn't give it away!)

Our judges said, “Greenlight’s dedication to serving local citizens is undeniable.”


Valley Electric Association (Pahrump, Nevada)
Stepping up with creative solutions to help its electric customers get broadband


Valley Electric, like most electric companies, laid fiber for smart-grid applications. Because it’s a cooperative, it also decided to use that fiber to support its residents, businesses, farms and schools. As the CEO said, “If Valley Electric wouldn’t have stepped up, who would have?”

Our judges remarked, “This locally owned company understands the importance of broadband in maintaining the relevance and vitality of its communities.”


Outstanding Multifamily Partner Award

Ian Davis, Founding Partner, Davis, Craig & Taylor PLLC
In Recognition of his deep expertise and dedication to his clients
Awarded by Multifamily Owners at the Broadband Communities Summit

2016 Awards

Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative and Owsley County School District (Kentucky)
For bringing the benefits of FTTH to rural America


Only a few incumbent phone companies have built fiber to every premises in their service areas, and PRTC is one of them. And in the mountains of Kentucky, that meant using mules to pull the cable through terrain where vehicles couldn’t go – so you can imagine how determined these people are.

Our judges were impressed not only by PRTC’s determination but also by its commitment to make Jackson and Owsley Counties “places where kids don’t have to leave home.” Part of that mission involves using the network for economic development, and part involves using it to improve education. One of the many creative things the school system has done is to hold online school days when it snows and the teachers and students can’t get to school. The mountain roads may not be passable in winter, but the fiber optic network never goes down!


Walton County, Florida
Demonstrating the power of partnership for better broadband


We’re especially proud of this award because it’s a Broadband Communities Summit success story. Last year, Rick Wilson attended the Summit and was inspired by what he learned here to go back home and say, “We can do this, too!” The county commissioners, the school system, the Sheriff’s office, and other agencies all got on board to become the anchor tenants for a new fiber network, and they found a private partner, Southern Light, willing to invest.

Our judges said, “Creative solutions to improve broadband are available, but they require cooperation and planning – which Walton County amply demonstrates.”


Metro Development Group
Visionary leadership to create a Smart Gigabit Community


This is yet another “partnership” story. To create a new, technology-centered community in Pasco County, Florida, Metro Development Group partnered first with the county to create a special planning district, and then with US Ignite for ideas about how to build a smart community from the ground up. You can read all the details in the current issue of Broadband Communities.

Our judges said, “A smart community involves more than connecting homes and businesses to the Internet … it uses technology effectively throughout all of its infrastructure. Metro Development Group understands this principle and is making it a reality.”


Outstanding Multifamily Partners Award

Richard Holtz
Expertise, integrity and innovation in multifamily technology
Awarded by Multifamily Owners at the Broadband Communities Summit

2015 Awards

PANGAEA Internet
For bringing the world closer together through the power of the Internet


PANGAEA Internet, the pioneering nonprofit network in the foothills region of North Carolina. It’s very unusual – maybe unprecedented – for the same organization to receive two Cornerstone awards. In 2004, PANGAEA received an award for its vision and promise. Today, it’s receiving a second award for fully delivering on that promise. The Cornerstone judges noted that the network now connects customers at some 140 locations throughout Polk and Rutherford counties, including businesses, health care facilities, government offices and all the public schools, and has “contributed to dynamic economic development and helped to overcome the digital divide.”


For its renovation of the Lincoln Place Apartments


Aimco recently transformed its 63-year-old Lincoln Place property, an architectural gem that was in need of rejuvenation, into a 21st century model of style, sustainability and communications perfectly suited to its location in the center of what is today called “Silicon Beach.” Our judges commended Aimco for being in the forefront of responding to the burgeoning interest in and demand for technology manifested by today’s apartment residents. They also noted the “elegant blending of historic style and beauty with the leading edge of digital convenience.”


Mayor Eddie Fulton of Quitman, Mississippi
For being a broadband champion who rallied an entire community to support FTTH


This award also has a bit of history. Last year, we presented a Cornerstone Award to C Spire Fiber, which is building out fiber to the home throughout Mississippi. To prioritize its build, C Spire used the “fiberhood” approach, asking communities to demonstrate interest in fiber services.

For the 2015 award, the judges turned their attention again to the C Spire initiative, this time to recognize leadership from C Spire’s partner communities.

The judges said, “Mayor Eddie Fulton is representative of other engaged and inspiring community leaders in the C Spire partnership. He also deserves special recognition as a dynamic champion of fiber to the home who rallied the citizens of Quitman to qualify for C Spire’s multimillion-dollar investment in their community.”

Thanks to the army of volunteers Mayor Fulton recruited, Quitman was the only town where the entire community qualified for fiber service.

2014 Awards

North American Properties
For vision and commitment in building technology infrastructure for the future – the new Avalon mixed-use development in Alpharetta, Georgia


The Cornerstone judges extolled Avalon for the “far-sightedness of its technology solutions, which allow for unconstrained bandwidth growth and flexible service delivery in the future, and the unprecedented vision and commitment to customer satisfaction behind the development.”


C Spire Fiber
For innovation in public-private broadband partnerships


The judges noted the ambitious nature of the C Spire “Get Fiber First” Challenge and the way in which C Spire has worked with communities throughout Mississippi. They praised C Spire for its “creative engagement with the communities it serves.”

The judges wrote, in part:
“In leading the nation’s first and only statewide rollout of 1 Gbps service, C Spire is disseminating the valuable message that fiber to the home has the power to raise property values and transform communities into hubs for technology investment and economic growth. The town hall meetings created excitement and inspired government, community and business leaders to rally their towns to participate.”


Camden Properties
Recognition of fiber broadband services as essential amenities For Camden NoMa and Camden South Capital - two brand-new luxury apartment communities that opened in 2013 in sought-after Washington, DC, neighborhoods.


“From the outset, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identified libraries as vital community institutions. It led the effort to help libraries fulfill their potential through the use of digital technology – as well as through high-speed connectivity to digital resources.”


National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the NTIA
Removing barriers to broadband deployment.


The judges praised Camden for decisions that were “unusual but apt.” They noted that “we don’t typically see luxury properties offering Fiber to the Home for everyone in an amenities package,” adding that Camden was “setting a great example in the real estate community” in recognizing that an up-and-coming generation of tech-savvy young professionals like those in the NoMa and South Capital properties “now see FTTH as essential.”

2013 Awards

The Virginian
A retirement community whose creative use of advanced broadband enhances quality of care for its residents.


The Cornerstone judges extolled The Virginian as a “premier Continuing Care Retirement Community where a friendly, caring atmosphere blends seamlessly with the best amenities technology can offer.”


The Honorable Sylvester (Sly) James of Kansas City, Missouri
The Honorable Joe Reardon of Kansas City, Kansas

In connection with the Google Fiber project, for great leadership in mobilizing collaboration for broadband within their two communities.


The judges noted both the historic impact of the Google Fiber project and the fact that it was “an incredible achievement of communities.” And they recognized the vital role played by both mayors, who are named as the recipients of the award “on behalf of their communities.” The judges wrote, in part: “The mayors put their leadership skills behind this genuinely great accomplishment … These two engaging and effective leaders summoned the resourcefulness of their communities … the most inspirational and aspirational telecom project anywhere … an undertaking that will ultimately improve the quality of life for millions …”

2012 Awards

LUS Fiber
Improving citizens' quality of life.


“By providing every subscriber with 100 Mbps in-network service; by deploying the network equitably across the city; by helping local schools reap the educational benefits of high-speed connectivity; by giving off-campus students direct links to their university network; by becoming one of the very few U.S. providers to offer gigabit Internet access – LUS Fiber has consistently aimed to use its fiber assets for the benefit of the larger community.”


Ivan Seidenberg
His visionary leadership resulted in the first large-scale deployment of FTTH in the United States.


“FiOS was a $23 billion bet on new technology and services. There were naysayers on Wall Street, and there were naysayers in Verizon itself. Ivan Seidenberg made the decision that FTTH was essential to the future of the company, and he was not dissuaded.”


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bridging the access gap.


“From the outset, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identified libraries as vital community institutions. It led the effort to help libraries fulfill their potential through the use of digital technology – as well as through high-speed connectivity to digital resources. ”


National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the NTIA
Removing barriers to broadband deployment.


“The NTIA has worked to create the conditions that are needed to make universal broadband possible.”

Award Recipient: Lawrence Strickling administers the agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy. A technology policy expert with more than two decades of experience, he leads NTIA initiatives to expand broadband Internet access and adoption and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and growth.

Larry oversaw the development and implementation of a $4 billion Recovery Act broadband grants program. Under his leadership, NTIA launched the first public, searchable nationwide map of consumer broadband Internet availability and crafted a 10-year plan to double the commercial spectrum available for wireless broadband.

Previously, Mr. Strickling led the FCC Common Carrier Bureau and the FCC Competition Division. In the private sector, he held senior positions at competitive communications providers and at Ameritech Corp. He was also a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

Mr. Strickling earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.

2011 Awards

Lev Gonick
Using Fiber to build an inclusive society and empower individuals.


“Lev Gonick is the guiding spirit behind two extraordinary community networks. First, he helped launch One Community, which has made the educational, health care and cultural resources of Northern Ohio accessible to all the area’s residents. Last year, he started the Case Connection Zone, a gigabit fiber-to-the-home project that aims to demonstrate how ultra-high speed access at home can improve the quality of life for the residents in a low-income community.”


Jane Smith Patterson
Driving rural economic development with broadband.


“Jane Patterson’s impact on public policy for rural broadband cannot be overstated. She is the leading voice of experience on making broadband available to all Americans, and she has been unfailingly generous in sharing her experience and wisdom with others in the field.”


Inspiring a city with gigabit fiber.


“EPB says it created its fiber optic network as a ‘tool for smart people to create smart things.’ That’s why it is bringing fiber to the homes of rural as well as urban residents; that’s why it’s offering gigabit service to everyone today -- not some day in the future -- and that’s why it’s using the network to create a smart electric grid throughout its service area.”


Horizon Bay
Using broadband to help senior citizens stay active and engaged.


“Horizon Bay’s philosophy is to help the residents of its retirement communities feel at home while staying fully connected and full of life. By deciding to make its flagship property, Horizon Bay at Hyde Park, a fiber optic community, Horizon Bay has given its residents new ways to stay connected with one another, with their extended families and with the wider world.”

2010 Awards

Reaffirming the Value of Community-Owned Fiber


Two years ago, many observers were writing off UTOPIA, and with it the whole experiment of municipal fiber to the home. Today, UTOPIA is leading the way in developing new financing methods and attracting cutting-edge services to its network.


Rybovich Super Yacht Marina and Refit
Preserving a Rich History With Cutting-Edge Technology


Yacht owners aren't an easy group to impress - but the managers of Rybovich Marina did it. Overcoming wind and salt water, they brought fiber to the slip to give their clients reliable Internet service while they were in port.


The Residences at Oella Mill
Reaffirming the Value of Community-Owned Fiber


By transforming a 200-year-old textile mill into a fiber-connected apartment community, Southern Management Corporation helped preserve both the history and the future of the town of Oella, Maryland.


Rural Utilities Service USDA
60 Years of Service To Rural Communities


Sixty years ago, when President Truman launched the rural telecommunications program, only one in three farms had telephones. Today, thanks to the RUS, fiber to the farm is a reality. Broadband helps to keep our rural areas connected and vital.

2009 Awards

Greenfield Communications Inc.
For Executional Excellence in Deploying FTTH


"Despite the downturn in new home construction, Greenfield continues to do well by selecting locations wisely; employing a network design that allows it to deploy infrastructure quickly and relatively inexpensively; working closely with homeowners associations; and providing great customer support."


Connexion Technologies
Retrofitting Existing Communities with Fiber


"Connexion Technologies successfully expanded its business model by cost-effectively deploying fiber to existing communities. To accomplish this, the company re-engineered its infrastructure configuration; deployed an innovative 'headend in a can'; and shortened its deployment time by half, now activating customers within 60 days of contract execution."

2008 Awards

BEK Communications Cooperative
Bringing next-generation broadband services to rural residents


"BEK proves that it's possible to bring customers the benefits of fiber to the home even in a service area with only one person per square mile. Their well-crafted business plan hit the small town centers first. They showed ingenuity in their rollout plan and their marketing efforts, and delivered exclusive local content that drove home the value of their offering."


Hiawatha Broadband Communications
Deploying broadband to improve lives and communities


"Hiawatha Broadband Communications has a vision of how broadband can improve the quality of life in small towns. Not only has it helped bring new employers to the towns it serves in southeastern Minnesota, it has also helped drive educational advancements in the high schools and colleges, and spearheaded an innovative town-wide online health service."


Tim Nulty, President of Valley Fiber
Helping Vermont communities achieve true broadband


"The citizens of Vermont wanted fiber to the home, and they knew that no one was planning to build it for them. So first the city of Burlington and then the ValleyNet nonprofit group, representing two dozen towns, brought in the one man who could make it happen - Tim Nulty."


Trump Organization
Providing residents with the ultimate in advanced, fiber-powered technology


"The last year has marked at the beginning of a new direction in broadband, the deployment of fiber to the premises in residential high-rise buildings. Leading the way is the Trump Organization. Led by Donald Trump, this company is known for its willingness to take bold steps, and its use of fiber is certainly a bold and visionary move."


Jointly overcoming the hurdles to IP video


"MFH3 is an elegant solution that demonstrates the synergy between satellite and fiber. It gives MDU owners the opportunity to provide virtually unlimited television channels over an in-building network."

2007 Awards

Bristol Virginia Utilities
Outstanding Customer Service


"BVU has been doing triple-play longer than any other Muni network in the country - and doing it very well. New customers can be on line in hours."


Far-Sighted Planning, Plus Bold Action in Delivering FTTH


"Home run wiring in a rural area? Think about it. No splitters in the field... and fiber cable is cheap."


Waterfront Toronto
Developing A World-Class Concept For An Ultra-Broadband Community


"The massive Toronto waterfront development will be a city within a city, planned from the ground up not only to use broadband services. The broadband availability shapes the development, just as transportation networks shape all cities."


Helping Top Developers Deliver the Future, Today


"So you want to add broadband to your MDU or subdivision. Where do you plug in? Paxio's unusual business plan has brought ultrabroadband to the Oakland area, across the Bay from San Francisco. They have gigabit customers... and eyes for the rest of California."


Innovation of the Year for the MDU Market


"An improved twist on bend-tolerant fiber expands the segment and brings the day of everyday routine installation closer."


Affarsverken Karlskrona AB
Most Advanced Broadband Network


"The potential of open access networks is highlighted in this old naval town - nonprofit medical establishments make the concept of triple play seem quaint."


Hafslund Telekom, City of Oslo
Most Advanced Strategy for an Open-Access Network


"The Norwegians got it right, and on a large scale in Oslo."


Mosaic of Houston
Most Exciting Fiber Optic Condo Project Of The Year


"Mosaic shows how broadband technology sells condos."


Kellswater Bridge Development
Best Marketing of FTTH in a Connected Community


"Kellswater is not only a great project, it also shows a great marketing plan. There, fiber really does compete with countertops in customer eyes."

2006 Awards

Interfibra (provider) & Tierra Urbana (developer)
Best Use of Fiber to Bridge the Digital Divide
For a development in Monterrey, Mexico


"Here is a superbly innovative business model that brings voice, video and data to low-income workers . . . Workers can buy the services they can afford on a month-to-month basis through a web interface."


Rockfire-On-The-Lake Development near Topeka
Best Midwest Development with FTTH


"Kudos to a developer who understands the value of fiber to home buyers . . . Rockfire on the Lake will have the first open access FTTH network in Kansas . . . Mr. Santaularia has committed to use open access in all of his future developments."


Tradition Development – Biloxi
Special Category: Post-Katrina Recovery
Best Use of New Urbanism Design with FTTH


"Arising out of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, this mixed-use community fulfills a vision of what FTTH can mean for residents and businesses."


Carbine Development & Crystal Clear Technologies For Tollgate Village
Most Visionary TND – Traditional Neighborhood Development - with FTTH


"Tollgate village was created in true partnership with the community of Thompson Station, Tennessee, thanks to the leadership and vision of Carbine Development."


ComSpanUSA & Ledcor Technical Services
First Full-Rate GPON Fiber-to-the-Premises Network


"ComSpan and Ledcor are rolling out fiber to the premises in a small coastal city in Oregon."


St. Joe Valley Metronet
City of South Bend, Indiana

Community Fiber Backbone


"Immediate MAJOR benefits resulted from this public/private partnership. We hope it becomes a model for many others in the US."


Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
FTTH and FTTB with Advanced IP Services


"EIT has the largest IT infrastructure in the Middle East, with a focus on innovative services for the present and future needs of its customers."


VolkerWessels Telecom
FTTH Network, City of Nuenen


"This is the largest FTTH deployment in the Netherlands . . . We were highly impressed with the technology behind this fully automated, open access network serving 8,000 households."


Verizon Enhanced Communities & Verizon
Nimble Execution of Mass FTTP Deployment


"For fiber installation that displayed not only technical prowess but agility all but unheard of in companies of this size."

2005 Awards
Michael Render, RVA
Public Policy Award For FTTH Research


Jackson Energy Authority
Best FTTH Public Utility Network


Brambleton, VA
Best FTTH Private Development


Loma Linda, CA
Most Creative FTTH Deployment


Mälarenergi Stadsnät AB
Most Advanced FTTP Network


City of Manassas, VA
Best BPL + FTTx Project


Verizon Avenue
Provider of the Year: Multi-Family Communities

2004 Awards

Verizon Avenue
Provider of the Year


"2004 was the year of the first Verizon FTTH deployment in Keller, Texas, in August and BBP recognized the company for that historic event at its Summit."


Cheney, Washington
Municipal Fiber Network of the Year


"During Sooy's tenure fiber optics came to Cheney and connected all the city buildings and city wells. Cheney now had its own telephone system and new computers to transfer information."


Ken Rossen, PANGAEA Internet
Community Fiber Network of the Year


"Brought fiber to a rural area."

MAY 6–9, 2024

The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas

Photo Gallery

Here's a glance at the last Conference & Expo.

Look who you'll meet at the Summit

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