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Home > Technology List > 2015 Rural Broadband Workshop - New Orleans

2015 Rural Broadband Workshop - New Orleans

Update Time: 2019-12-20 15:07:38

2015 Rural Broadband Workshop - New Orleans

Overview and abstract.  Many utilities are deploying fiber-optic broadband networks to isolated communities and rural unserved areas all across the country.  As more utilities consider providing broadband to their communities and members, UTC is offering them guidance from business experts and technology company partners, as well as regulatory attorneys to help them get started and then continue to succeed going forward. This program is designed to provide utilities with the practical information that they will need to make informed choices, from developing a successful RFP, to choosing the right technology solution, service packages, pricing, and ongoing support and maintenance.   It will also feature case studies from utilities who have a wealth of experience to share with other utilities.  Learn from their successes and their challenges.  Then, hear how the FCC and other agencies are looking for ways for you to expand the opportunities to provide broadband to schools and libraries, hospitals and other institutions, as well as to retail customers.  This program will also feature a strategic analysis of how utilities can work together going forward to create synergies that will make them even more successful. 


At-A-Glance Preliminary Program

July 27
9:00am – 9:45am | Opening Keynote
If you needed to get excited about broadband and how you can get access to funding from the FCC, this keynote will give you the lift you need.
Speaker: Jonathan Chambers, Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Federal Communications Commission

10:00am – 11:00am | Getting Started: Create an RFP that Gets Results 
The first step for utilities is getting board approval and part of that is developing a successful RFP to present to the board. This session will take you through the process and introduce you to experts in the field who can guide you about how to develop the RFP so that you get the quality responses that you need. It will examine this not only from the perspective of consultants who have drafted RFPs, but also from the technology partners who have responded to them. It will also provide perspectives from utilities who have had to go to their boards for approval and explain how they did it and what worked.
Moderator: Alyssa Clemsen

  • Joanne Hovis CEO, CTC Technologies
  • Dave Russell, Solutions Marketing Director, Calix
  • Randy Klindt, General Manager, Co-Mo Connect (A Subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative)
  • Dave Allen, Vice President, Regulatory Compliance & Community Development, Midwest Energy Cooperative
11:00am – 12:00pm | Getting Funding: Leave No Stone Unturned
The next step for utilities after obtaining board approval is getting funding for the project, and there are a range of various different state and federal programs to help utilities deploy networks. For utilities that are fully prepared to offer retail broadband, including voice, video and data; there is the Connect America Fund and the Rural Broadband Experiments program. While there is $1.8 billion annually that is made available from the FCC, some of that money will be earmarked for the incumbent carriers. Moreover, there are requirements for obtaining and continuing to receive funds under these programs. So for utilities that are not fully prepared just yet to meet these requirements and provide retail broadband, there are other programs that would enable access to funding for more targeted deployments, such as for schools and libraries. There is actually more money available under these programs, and there are fewer regulatory requirements that go along with them. Finally, there are other options from private sources, who can provide quicker access to funding without any regulatory requirements. This session will look at those options.
Moderator: David Allen, Midwest Energy Cooperative
  • Joe Freddoso, CEO, Mighty River, LLC
  • Jon Claffey, USDA, Rural Utilities Service, Electric Program
  • Cliff Bolstad-R.V.P., CoBank-Electric Distribution
12:00pm – 1:00pm | Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm | New Issues and Opportunities
Choosing the right technology, business model and regulatory approach is a challenging task. The right technology may vary depending on the type of services that you intend to offer and the characteristics of the area that you are proposing to serve. The right business model will depend on the level of risk you are willing to assume and the basic needs of the customers that you are trying to serve. Finally, know the rules of the road are critical to assessing the regulatory construct that would best fit your business. All of this is constantly changing; so this session is designed to provide you with fresh information about new opportunities and challenges for utilities that are considering providing broadband services.
Moderator: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC 
  • Tommy Harmon, Sales Manager, Adtran
  • Bailey White, Senior Partner, Civitium
  • Shannon Heim, Attorney, Dykema
2:00pm – 3:00pm | Case Studies: Because Experience Teaches Us
Lessons learned from your peers are always better than lessons learned the hard way. The good news is that there are a lot of very experienced utilities that have deployed broadband networks who are willing to share their experiences to help other utilities succeed. We’ve assembled some of the foremost utilities in broadband to explain from a municipal, co-op and investor-owned utility perspective how they were able to successfully deploy, operate and maintain a broadband network to provide services to isolated communities, rural areas and more developed areas, as well. 

Moderator: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC
  • Randy Klindt, General Manager, Co-Mo Connect (A Subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative)
  • Todd Way, Douglas County PUD
3:00pm – 3:15pm | Networking Break

3:15pm – 4:00pm | Challenges for Future Growth
Although we’ve made progress on many of the issues for utilities to provide broadband, there are still challenges that lie ahead for utilities. This session will identify those challenges and assess their impact on the overall opportunity for utilities to provide broadband.
Moderator: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC
  • Jonathan Hager, Tri-State G&T and Chair of the UTC Public Policy Division
  • Alyssa Clemsen, Ozarks Electric Cooperative
4:00pm – 5:00pm | Spotlight: Leveraging Broadband to Improve Electric
This session will focus on how Chattanooga was able to leverage its broadband network to improve electric reliability and operational efficiency. During this session you will hear from representatives from Chattanooga describe the benefits that were achieved and the cost of achieving those benefits. 
Moderator: Mark Madden, VP - North American Utilities, Alcatel-Lucent or (Michael Brayen, ALU)
  • Jim Glass, Manager of Smart Grid Development, Chattanooga EPB
5:00pm – 5:30pm | Closing Thoughts

This session will summarize the key points of the day and look ahead to the issues that will be addressed during the second day of the program.
Presenter: Brett Kilbourne

July 28

9:00am – 9:30am | Keynote

9:30am – 10:30am | Brainstorming: Striking Inspiration
This session is going to discuss how the RBC plans to help its members in the coming year on issues like funding, business modelling, technical and regulatory support, and overall information, education and networking opportunities. It will also discuss opportunities for outreach to new stakeholder groups, which will also potentially open opportunities for the members to partner with others and also raise awareness about all the great things that utilities are doing to promote rural broadband in their communities.
Moderator: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC
  • Dave Allen, Vice President, Regulatory Compliance & Community Development, Midwest Energy Cooperative
  • Randy Klindt, General Manager, Co-Mo Connect (A Subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative)
10:30am – 11:30am | Technical Issues for Rural Broadband
Utilities that are considering providing broadband services need to know about the technical issues for deploying a network. This session discusses the different technology options that exist and strategic approaches for network deployment and how different technology options are positioned to support different services and applications. It also discusses the relative costs of these options and balance these costs in terms of the long-term. 
Moderator: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC
  • Rob Cook, Sr Sales Engineer, Zhone
  • Scott Jackson, National BDM-Smart Grid, Graybar
  • Bill Beesley, Principal Solutions Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.
11:30am – 12:00pm | Closing Thoughts
A wrap-up and a look ahead to the 2015 Rural Broadband Summit which will be held in Arlington, Virginia on September 15, 2015.
Presenter: Brett Kilbourne, VP & Deputy General Counsel, UTC and RBC

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