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Broadband Breakfast Club Video on Smart Grid Initiative Plays Up Fiber and Wireless Role for Advanced Energy

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WASHINGTON, June 28, 2013 – The status of the development of the national smart grid and its relationship to broadband buildouts was the center of discussion at the June 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club.

The concept of smart grid is a marriage of intelligence and communications, said David Wollman, Deputy Director of the Smart Grid and Cyberphysical Systems Program Office in the Engineering Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in his keynote speech.

He discussed NIST’s role in leading the development of smart grid interoperability standards and protocols, as well its charge to help develop a roadmap and advanced energy systems advancements toward a national smart grid rollout.

The event was entitled, “Advanced Energy, Smart Grid and Fiber to the Home: Using Advanced Energy to Jumpstart Fiber Builds.” (Story continues below the videos.)

Event Highlights

Complete Program

Stemming from a Presidential Directive and the Energy Information and Sustainability Act of 2007, the Department of Energy is the lead smart grid office, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the overall industry convener, and NIST was tasked with the role of smart grid standards, protocols and systems development, Wollman said.

NIST is working to mesh standards and protocols for technologies already in place in the utility and telecom systems, as well as to develop new standards and protocols for interface in the home. Woolman also spoke about broadband fiber as a gateway to the home, replacing traditional electricity meters.

Consumers can be engaged to take advantage of the high-bandwidth capability that broadband offers through efforts like the Green Button Initiative. In it, utilities collect data on energy usage, consumption and performance on a continuous basis. Building managers can click and download the data. This could enable new services that account for energy usage patterns, such as home security systems.

In the panel discussion that followed, John Hewa, Vice President of Technology and Research at the National Rural and Electric Cooperative Association, said that utility cooperatives are taking an active role in the smart grid rollout. Co-ops are already pushing beyond simple smart meters and addressing in-utility facility advancements toward energy conservation with regard to conductors, feeder switches and other technologies that interface, shape and reduce load.

By contrast, James Salter, CEO of Atlantic Engineering, said utilities’ focus has been on wireless solutions for smart grid applications. That, he said, misses the key benefit: the ability to take advantage of changing consumer demand for energy. The current low cost of electricity disincentivizes companies, and consumers, to push for new “demand-response” applications concerning energy usage.

C. David Hudgins, President of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, said today is just the beginning of the smart grid revolution. He referred to the slow pace of change as the fact that the industry is still operating on “utility time.”

Additionally, Hudgins highlighted a growing movement in Virginia to reject smart meters as privacy invasions. A recent before the Virginia General Assembly would have shifted the burden for consumers to “opt-in” to obtaining a smart meter, instead of “opting out” of receiving such a meter. Although the measure was defeated, Hudgins said the battle set back adoption of the smart grid.

Malcolm Woolf, Vice President of Government Relations for Advanced Energy Economy, agreed that we are at the tip of the iceberg for both advanced energy and smart grid.

The old utility-based model of centralized electricity generalization is under assault by a whole array of disruptive technologies, including demand response, distributive generation, electric vehicle charging, and many forms of consumer engagement providing an array of services. Woolf’s organization, Advanced Energy Economy, aims to bring players together to develop the disruptive technologies and that will drive the smart grid.

Hewa said that rural electric utilities have thousands of smart grid projects involving “demand response,” together with safety, reliability, and consumer convenience implications showing that electric co-ops are “innovating at the pace of value.”

In describing his cooperative’s work on broadband build out, Hudgins described how Old Dominion has worked hard to turn around southern Virginia’s economic decline by effecting hundreds of millions of dollars in fiber-optics in the ground: that every school, community college, training center etc. has a fiber connection. That has helped to attract a Microsoft data center, among other businesses.

Salter said that some municipalities have been able to amortize the cost of fiber build outs through electric system improvements. He noted that utilities’ investment – just to bring electricity to the home – is at $12,500 per home, versus the cost of a fiber build out of up to $2,500 per home. The savings that could be realized through cutting costs for electricity generation would pay for the cost of bringing fiber to ever home, said Salter.

Woolf said that all of these issues and challenges show that we are in the early stages of this smart grid evolution. Although meters have been adopted quickly as a means of reducing response times in the case of outages, to truly capture the value of the smart grid, he said, real-time pricing will be necessary to incentivize consumers to conserve.

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The Moderators of 4 Panels at Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021 Preview the Mini-Conference

Want a sneak peak of Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021 on Monday? Moderators for the event’s four sessions preview their panels.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the September 22, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 12 Noon ET — Last Call for Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021

Join us on September 22, 2021, for this special Broadband Breakfast Live Online as we get ready for Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021. In this session, we’ll hear from the moderators of each of the four Topics that we’ll consider at the mini-conference! As a reminder, Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021 is taking place IN PERSON at the Broadband Communities Summit in Houston, Texas, and also LIVE ONLINE. See below for registration information.

Panelists for the event:

  • Joan Engebretson, Executive Editor, Telecompetitor
  • Mari Silbey,  Senior Director of Partnerships and Outreach, US Ignite
  • Chris Mitchell, Director, Community Broadband Networks Initiative
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast

  • Joan Engebretson (Moderator of Topic 2) has been writing about technology and telecommunications since 1992. She is currently executive editor for Telecompetitor, a news website focused on broadband. Joan has a BA in journalism and an MBA from the University of Michigan. She has won awards for her commentary from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and in min’s Editorial and Design awards.
  • Mari Silbey (Moderator of Topic 4) is Senior Director of Partnerships and Outreach for US Ignite, and Program Director for the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program, a $100 million initiative funded by the National Science Foundation and a consortium of more than 30 wireless companies and associations. Mari has 20 years of experience in communications and technology. She has worked previously as a writer, analyst and consultant in the private sector, and as a journalist covering broadband and wireless infrastructure.
  • Chris Mitchell (Moderator of Topic 3) is Director of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Broadband Network Initiative. His work focuses on helping communities ensure that the telecommunications networks upon which they depend are accountable to the community. He was honored as one of the 2012 Top 25 in Public Sector Technology by Government Technology, which honors the top “Doers, Drivers, and Dreamers” in the nation each year. Originally published on MuniNetworks.org, this piece is part of a collaborative reporting effort between Broadband Breakfast and the Community Broadband Networks program at ILSR.
  • Drew Clark (Moderator of Topic 1, and of this preview session), Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast, also serves as Of Counsel to The CommLaw Group. He has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers negotiate telecom leases and fiber IRUs, litigate to operate in the public right of way, and argue regulatory classifications before federal and state authorities. He has also worked with cities on structuring Public-Private Partnerships for better broadband access for their communities. As a journalist, Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband, and – building off his work with Broadband Census – was appointed Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois under Gov. Pat Quinn. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021 will take place at the Broadband Communities Summit, and online, on Monday, September 27, 2021. 

Join the Broadband Breakfast Club and Register for the LIVE ONLINE version of Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021 for the Member’s Rate of $149. First month of Broadband Breakfast Club Membership included.

REGISTER NOW

This pathbreaking event brings the broadband infrastructure and financial services communities together to focus on the digital infrastructure and investment asset profile, including fiber, small cells, towers and data center assets required to support a 21st Century information economy.

The annual Digital Infrastructure Investment conference unites infrastructure investment fund managers, institutional investors, private equity and venture capitalists with senior broadband leaders and brings clarity to the next business model for advanced digital infrastructure.

Agenda for Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021

  • Introduction and Logistics for In-Person and Remote Attendees – 1:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. CT
  • Industry Keynote: What is Digital Infrastructure Investment? – 1:10 p.m. ET / 12:10 p.m. CT
  • Topic 1: Infrastructure Investment Funds – 1:35 p.m. ET / 12:35 p.m. CT
    • How will the Biden Administration’s broadband infrastructure package influence institutional investors? Will mergers and acquisitions accelerate in telecom?
    • Panelists:
      • Ryan Carr, Partner, MC Partners
      • Tom Coverick, Managing Director, Keybanc Capital Markets
      • Lindsay Miller, Partner, Ice Miller LLP
      • James Wagar, Partner, Frontbridge Capital
      • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: Lit Communities – 2:20 p.m. ET / 1:20 p.m. CT
  • Topic 2: Last Mile Digital Infrastructure – 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. CT
    • Ownership models are evolving. Who will play the lead role in constructing? What entities, including cities, will own digital assets? Who will manage the networks?
    • Panelists:
      • Monica Webb, Senior Director, Market Development and Strategic Partnerships, Ting Internet
      • John Burchett, Head of Public Policy, Government and Community Relations, Google Access and Google Fiber
      • Carter Old, Co-founder, President and Chief Growth Officer, Tachus LLC
      • Ramiro Gonzalez, Director of Government and Community Affairs, City of Brownsville
      • Julie Wheeler, President Commissioner, York County, PA
      • Joan Engebretson (moderator), Executive Editor, Telecompetitor 
  • Interactive Session with Broadband Breakfast and BroadbandNow – 3:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. CT
  • Break (10 minutes) – 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT
  • Policy Keynote Address: A Vision for Digital Infrastructure Investment – 3:40 p.m. ET / 2:40 p.m. CT
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: Render Networks – 4:05 p.m. ET / 3:05 p.m. CT
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: California Emerging Technology Fund – 4:10 p.m. ET / 3:10 p.m. CT
  • Topic 3: Public-Private Partnerships – 4:15 p.m. ET / 3:15 p.m. CT
    • Municipalities are becoming a leading voice in new digital infrastructure projects. How has their role changed the conversations around public-private partnerships?
    • Panelists:
      • Matt Schmit, Director, Illinois Office of Broadband
      • Chris Walker, Senior Executive Director of Infrastructure Strategy, Northwest Open Access Network
      • Nate Walowitz, Regional Broadband Program Director, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments
      • Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund
      • Chris Mitchell (moderator), Director, Community Broadband Networks Initiative
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: UTOPIA Fiber – 5:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. CT
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: SiFi Networks – 5:05 p.m. ET / 4:05 p.m. CT
  • Broadband Breakfast Presentation: Positron Access – 5:10 p.m. ET / 4:10 p.m. CT
  • Topic 4: The Future of Shared Infrastructure – 5:15 p.m. ET / 4:15 p.m. CT
    • Cellular towers were once proprietary, before carriers partnered with infrastructure owners. Will 5G deployment accelerate the deployment of shared real estate facilities?
    • Panelists:
      • Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO, Wireless Industry Association 
      • Deborah Simpler, Co-founder and CEO, Althea Networks
      • Mari Silbey (moderator),  Senior Director of Partnerships and Outreach, US Ignite
  • Conference Conclusion – 6:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. CT

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 — A ‘Consumer Confidence’ Survey for Broadband

BroadbandNow launches a “consumer confidence” survey.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the September 15, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 12 Noon ET — BroadbandNow Presents a ‘Consumer Confidence’ Survey for Broadband

As part of its efforts to provide the latest research on the social, economic and political issues contributing to the digital impact and the impact of broadband on everyday life, BroadbandNow is launching a new survey among broadband leaders enthusiasts. Think of this as a “consumer confidence” survey for broadband.

Recently, there have been many changes regarding broadband at the federal, state, local and industry levels. BroadbandNow and Broadband Breakfast aim to launch the survey at a presentation during Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021, a mini-conference at the Broadband Community Summit in Houston, Texas, from September 27-30, 2021.

Join us on September 15, 2021, for this special Broadband Breakfast Live Online preview of the survey with John Busby, Managing Director of BroadbandNow, and Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast.

Panelists for the event:

  • John Busby, Managing Director of BroadbandNow
  • John B. Horrigan, Senior Fellow, Benton Institute on Broadband & Society
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

  • John Busby is the Managing Director of BroadbandNow.com, where millions of consumers find and compare local internet options and independent research is published about the digital divide. Prior to BroadbandNow, John held senior leadership positions at Amazon and Marchex. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University.
  • John B. Horrigan, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow at the Benton Institute on Broadband & Society, with a focus on technology adoption and digital inclusion. Horrigan has served as an Associate Director for Research at the Pew Research Center and Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute. During the Obama Administration, Horrigan was part the leadership team at the Federal Communications Commission for the development of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).
  • Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast, also serves as Of Counsel to The CommLaw Group. He has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers negotiate telecom leases and fiber IRUs, litigate to operate in the public right of way, and argue regulatory classifications before federal and state authorities. He has also worked with cities on structuring Public-Private Partnerships for better broadband access for their communities. As a journalist, Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband, and – building off his work with Broadband Census – was appointed Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois under Gov. Pat Quinn. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

BroadbandNow is a data aggregation company helping millions of consumers find and compare local internet options. BroadbandNow’s database of providers, the largest in the U.S., delivers the highest-value guides consisting of comprehensive plans, prices and ratings for thousands of internet service providers. BroadbandNow relentlessly collects and analyzes internet providers’ coverage and availability to provide the most accurate zip code search for consumers.

See also:

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on September 1, 2021 — What’s Next for Broadband Infrastructure Legislation?

The bipartisan infrastructure framework faces hurdles before it because law. We’ll discuss the process in Congress.

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See “Citing Flexibility, Broadband Breakfast Panelists Double-Down in Support for Infrastructure Bill,” Broadband Breakfast, September 1, 2021

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the September 1, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 12 Noon ET — What’s Next for Broadband Infrastructure Legislation?

Though it may have passed in the Senate, the bipartisan infrastructure framework still faces hurdles before it can be put into law. How much money can broadband expansion expect to see? Will we see a return of reverse auctions? What kind of obstacles will the bill face?

Join us on September 1, 2021 where we will discuss all of this and more during our Broadband Breakfast Live Online event!

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • Molly O’Leary, Director of Government Affairs, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association
  • Jonathan S. Adelstein, President and CEO, Wireless Industry Association
  • Matthew Polka, President and CEO, ACA Connects
  • Chip Pickering, CEO, INCOMPAS
  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

  • Molly O’Leary serves as Director of Government Affairs, NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, and advocates in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to influence legislative and regulatory policy on behalf of NTCA members. Prior to joining NTCA, O’Leary worked in the U.S. Senate as a policy advisor to Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., on telecommunications, appropriations and native affairs. She previously served as a legislative aide to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) for his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Jonathan S. Adelstein has headed Wireless Industry Association since 2012, representing the businesses that build, develop, own, and operate the nation’s wireless infrastructure. He is a former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. He previously served 15 years on the U.S. Senate staff, culminating as a senior legislative advisor to Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
  • Matt Polka is the President and CEO of ACA Connects – America’s Communications Association (ACA), a 700-member Washington, D.C., trade and federal advocacy association of independent, smaller- and medium-sized broadband, cable and phone businesses.  ACAC members serve more than 10 million subscribers in smaller/rural markets and competitive areas in all 50 states.  Matt has been with the organization since 1993.
  • Chip Pickering is the CEO of INCOMPAS and has done so since 2014. He is also a former representative of Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district. He holds a BBA from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from Baylor University.
  • Gary Bolton serves as president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association — the largest trade association dedicated to all-fiber-optic broadband. Prior to FBA, Gary held executive management positions at two successful venture-backed high-tech start-ups as well as at large publicly traded companies in marketing, product line management and public policy. Gary is currently an adjunct professor in business administration and management science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and he holds an MBA from Duke University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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