I spent some time this past week with 2,000 other technology fans at the Calix Connexions Innovation and User Conference trying to get my hands on the trends that are key to the broadband industry, including providers and their consumers. Sessions on public-private partnerships, where the access network meets the edge network and staking a claim to the smart home were all under discussion with a vision of “Connecting Everyone to Everything” for the gathering.
Mike Romano and I had the opportunity to participate on the program where the audience was comprised of many NTCA members, larger Tier 1 and 2 carriers, cable providers, WISPs, electric utilities and municipal networks. It was the perfect platform for me to discuss the rural/rural broadband divide, how community-based providers are a model for how to bring broadband and more to areas that would otherwise be unserved and how creative partnerships and collaboration might play a role in getting networks built out further and faster—with the additional scope and scale, and might to generate new business to boot. I enjoyed sharing the stories of CTC in Minnesota, Citizens in Wisconsin, and Wabash in Illinois who have all found ways to partner and expand their revenue base as well. Mike was on a few panels (pulling double duty) as he set out items on the regulatory horizon as well as next steps for performance testing requirements under consideration by the FCC.
I always find at an NTCA meeting, it’s hard to really enjoy all the activities, sessions and expo, so it was actually a nice opportunity to be a “student” and take my limited time there to learn as well.