Editor's Note: An Issue for All Seasons

The Broadband Communities Summit brings together participants in the multifamily, rural, economic development, technology and policy worlds. This issue of the magazine has something for all of them.

  • Community Broadband
  • Economic Development
  • Law and Policy
  • Multifamily Broadband
  • Rural Broadband
  • Technology

“Putting Your Gigs to Work” is the theme of the 2018 Broadband Communities Summit. It’s coming up very soon – April 30 to May 3 in Austin (we hope to see you there)! To help you get ready, we’ve included in this issue a cross-section of the subjects the conference will address. The Summit will have about 150 speakers, so we couldn’t cover everything. But no matter what intrigues you – rural broadband, multifamily broadband, economic development, local choice or cutting-edge technology – there’s something for you in this issue.

Are you a multifamily owner or provider? Find out why IP video might be right for you (p. 10 and p. 60), and learn how to satisfy residents who want everything now and are too busy to wait for the “cable guy” (p. 8 and p. 14). For clues about how to satisfy the coming generation of broadband customers, who speak technology as a native language, see p. 12.

Concerned about the challenges of providing rural broadband? Learn about Westfield Gas + Electric’s plans to build out fiber infrastructure to small rural towns throughout Western Massachusetts (p. 18). Discover why even small, local providers have to get serious about marketing – and how to make that happen (p. 28). Find out about new funding (p. 62) and proposed new funding (p. 34) for rural broadband.

Want to know how a city can leverage its assets for economic development? Check out this story about fiber conduit in Lincoln, Nebraska (p. 24). The project began as a small “dig once” effort, evolved into Lincoln’s becoming a gigabit city and is headed toward full-scale transformation of the local economy and government service delivery.

How about local choice? See our section on 5G wireless policy (p. 32), which has become a contentious issue as providers, localities, and state and federal regulators jockey for position to set the ground rules for this massive, fiber-rich deployment.

If technology is your passion, get the answers to everything you always wanted to know about fiber (especially its role in 5G deployment) on p. 68, and learn how and when cable companies will transition toward the all-fiber “endgame” (p. 64). Be sure not to miss the annual listing of hot products for broadband deployers of all kinds (p. 48).

Ensuring that broadband is available to everyone who needs and wants it – and using it for the benefit of all – is the goal the public and private sectors should be working toward. Though much progress has been made, there’s always more to do.

In this issue and at the Summit, find out how to put your gigs to work.

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