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Why to Attend | Broadband Communities Summit

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MDU PROGRAM REFLECTS HUGE CHANGES
Owners and managers of multiple dwelling unit properties will be hearing about how the changed carrier lineup, new technology, new regulations, expanding needs to accommodate in-building cellular reception, and yes, new ways to make deployments profitable, have changed things for the better in 2016 — but have set new traps for the unwary. Kept up with emerging agreements on home run wiring and net neutrality? Thinking of succumbing to entreaties of one locally dominant cellular provider to handle your building? Planning to serve that new college dorm just as you did the last one? Realize that cable companies are expanding fiber deployments in 2016?

Checked the new advantages many providers using the “private cable operator” model can offer property owners of all sizes?

We’ve already been discussing this exciting new environment with our team of MDU experts — staff working for owners and managers, people that sign or review contracts with providers every day before breakfast. At the Summit, the legal, technical, and financial experts we’re lining up will give it to you straight: What works best for today’s tenants and unit owners, in various diverse situations.

Can you afford NOT to be in Austin this April?
Meet The Mayors With Deb Socia

Next Century Cities founder Deb Socia will host a panel of mayors who have made broadband access a reality in their communities. Get all the details of how their leadership led to success – how they involved stakeholders, educated (and listened to) other officials, residents and business owners, lobbied state and regional power brokers, and explored all the alternatives. The panel is selected from among mayors from communities of all sizes, in all parts of the country. You don’t have to be an elected official to benefit from the mayors’ insights on regulation, marketing, finance, and the potential for cooperation with incumbents.

Student Housing Workshop
It will take a 2-hour deep-dive workshop to get through all the new technical and financial challenges faced by developers of on-campus student housing. David Daugherty will lead a table full of experts who have been walking the walk at colleges and universities across the country. From large institutions to small, public and private, students need – and demand – more broadband, in more ways, and with more reliability than ever before. Colleges need to be, well, educated about what student fees might be necessary to pay for the infrastructure and why various features are needed. Not doing student housing now? Consider attending anyway. Student housing is the canary in the broadband coal mine. It’s an early warning system for what everyone will want in a few years.
Rural Telecommunications Congress Explores New Funding Opportunities And New Needs

State, Federal and private funding opportunities for broadband to enhance rural healthcare, small businesses, and education highlight this year’s RTC annual meeting, held in conjunction with Summit 2016.

The best source of funding for rural broadband might be at the EPA, HUD, DOE or Justice! On the agenda are two panels explaining how to identifying potential partners and best practices for broadband spending under 18 federal agency programs due for Broadband Opportunity Council rule revisions that are scheduled to be finalized in 2016. Those agencies spend $10 billion a year on activities that could be enhanced with broadband, but that have typically ignored funding broadband up to now.

There’s also a panel on leveraging the evolving Connect America Fund rules, and another on extending middle mile networks to homes in rural areas. Two panels focus on the details of justifying — and funding — broadband deployments in tribal areas. Those areas have traditionally relied on Rural Utilities Services loans, but RUS money is somewhat sparse these days.

Mark Johnson, CTO of MCNC, will moderate a panel on how the emerging Internet of Things will impact rural America, both financially and socially.

Summit registrants can attend all RTC sessions free! There’s no extra charge.

 

MDU Deep-Dive Workshop
Multiple Dwelling Unit construction and greenfield broadband opportunities are at a 10-year high, while MDU residents craving gigabit access and seamless cellular have continued to grow in number as well. MDU broadband is not just for students and employees of high-tech companies anymore! MDUs now must accommodate cord-cutters, work-at-home professionals in fields ranging from medicine to teaching piano, and even 4K TV watchers. Building upon his wildly acclaimed Summit workshops over the past years, Richard Holtz and a panel of innovative deployers and technical experts will take you on an enlightening journey. They’re prepared to answer your toughest questions, too. No holds barred.

Catch The Wave!
New buildings to Gigafy: Greenfield housing construction has recovered, with MDU builds leading the way.
New Fiber-to-the-Home and Fiber-to-the-Basement technology: Better DSL, clever G.fast, the cable industry’s impressive DOCSIS 3.1, 10 Gig Ethernet and GPON…
New Interconnections: Fiber to cell towers, Stimulus- and now state-funded middle-mile support network builders offering gigabit access.
New Deployment Tricks: Modern software-defined networks (SDN) make it easier to serve new giga-hungry business customers and flexible intermixing of fiber with copper and point-to-point wireless.
New Services to Offer: Tele-medicine, health care, education, security and entertainment offerings continue to expand, driven by giga-nets, new technology, and demographic trends. Now add data centers to the mix. They scale small – small enough to add to a central office or network operating center.
New Management: Organizations are emerging to guide deployers and property owners from concept to construction to financing to ongoing management.
New Money, New Business Cases: It is easier than ever for even small operators and communities to fund new projects.
We’ve Got Your Back!
No one covers it all like we do at Broadband Communities. So of course we’ll be bringing the latest to Summit 2016. Detailed workshops. Wide-ranging panels. Super-star keynoters. Plenty of time to ask questions and connect with your peers!
Property Owners And Managers, Financial Experts, Network Deployers, Municipal And State Officials, Economic Development Specialists
Our staff, our original research, and our blue-ribbon user (not vendor!) advisory committees will make sure you get the legal, technical, and financial information you need. You’ll hear the best advice, from people who are already in the swim.
Greenfield Opportunities Multiply
US housing starts rose to 1.2 million in 2015, best since 2007. But what’s really exciting is that annual multiple dwelling unit starts are running well over 600,000 with another bump expected in 2016. That’s an all-time high! Before the recession, MDUs were less than a third of new housing. Now they are more than half. Most are rental units, most are being occupied by broadband-savvy tenants under 30, and most are well-positioned to fatten franchise broadband providers’ bottom lines or to attract CLECs, traditional private cable operators, and current cable franchise operators (MSOs).
More opportunities and choices for property owners and managers, even as MSOs and RBOCs consolidate! More care needed when writing the service contracts! More ways to differentiate buildings on what our surveys say is the number one amenity tenants and owners want: Great Broadband.

Summit 2016 will cover all that, of course. But what about the financing options? New companies (and plenty of evolving old ones) that can manage – and even build and finance – projects? Deep dives into regulatory and contract issues? New services such as security, energy management, and cellular access? We’ve got your back there as well!

Workshop On Broadband Business Modeling
Step your use of our free business modeling and cash flow analysis tools up a notch – or more – by attending our free pre-conference workshops. Editor-at-large Steve Ross, the models’ author, will take you through the process, concentrating on use of our tool for determining the return on various broadband investments in a subdivision or multiple dwelling unit environment.
Attendees get free thumb drives with all five models, documentation, and real-world use examples as well. Join hundreds of property owners and managers, ISPs, private cable operators, consultants and investors who already use these tools to build a business case or track monthly cash flow.

One example pursued by a 2013 attendee at this 2-hour workshop: An owner of four MDU properties got bank financing to install fiber-to-the-basement with Ethernet delivery over copper in the building with the best wiring. He’s been using the great cash flow to bootstrap full fiber-to-the-tenant unit in the other MDUs, intending to swing back and upgrade the first building in about 5 years. This year, that strategy looks better than ever, with DOCSIS 3.1 or G.fast in the mix.

Cable Is In The Gigabit Game!
Cable companies now have a clear upgrade path for fiber all the way to customers. DOCSIS 3.1, out of the box, ups available bandwidth by 50 percent. Deployments started in 2014, as we first announced. They’ll be mainstream in 2016. But wait! There’s more! DOCSIS 3.1 has an FTTx option – fiber to customers or to equipment rooms in multiple dwelling unit buildings and commercial or office complexes. It’s already being deployed, with customers getting as much as 2 Gbps downloads and 1 Gbps upstream.
Split a DOCSIS node to serve 32 or 64 customers, supply it with fiber running on new 10 GB switches, and it begins to look like a passive optical network as far as bandwidth is concerned, although with generally higher latency and a tad less reliability.

What does it mean for cable companies? Customers? MDU owners and managers? Old municipal hybrid fiber coax systems? Telco competitors? Those questions and more will be discussed in depth at Summit 2016.
New Options For Municipal Builds
No one says muni broadband is easy. But it is becoming easier. There are now more than 200 municipalities served by more than 165 Fiber-to-the-Home systems alone. The secret: Muni systems just have to break even in the long run. Much of the payback is in economic and population growth, quality of life, and “insurance” from the vagaries of a global economy that can put single-industry towns out of business in a heartbeat.
Our Summit and our regional economic development conferences always give municipal and state officials as well as local activists the latest on how to detect what is pie-in-the-sky and what might be a real business plan. And options are exploding in 2016. There’s new technology, a new regulatory outlook with interest by the FCC and the White House, new financial players including state funding, and a revitalized public-private partnership model that many may find attractive.

It all makes Summit 16 a “can’t miss” for state and local officials and broadband activists, existing operators (especially Tier 3 incumbents), electric coop operators, economic development experts, and corporate site selection consultants and staff members.
Strategies For Muni Electrics And Electric Coops
Seems easy enough. You already know your customers. Your community needs broadband. You have assets to pledge. Hah! Korcett CEO David Daugherty will lead a group of experienced coop managers and engineers on a blow-by-blow trip through the technical, regulatory, political, managerial and financial paths that must be navigated.
His blue-ribbon experts – your electric coop peers – will show you how to look ahead to emerging technologies and financial options, and to ways to compete or partner with others in your footprint.
Bridging The Digital Divide
No wonder you can’t define it. The divide and its cures vary from community to community. But aside from the moral issue – it is not a bad idea to use broadband access to raise living standards, to improve job and educational opportunities, and deliver health care – there’s a great business case, too. Network providers get more customers! And better take rates make better networks possible.
Summit 2016 will offer examples and success stories in rural and urban settings nationwide. But it boils down to this: Bridging the digital divide – often with educational outreach, custom services, and special product packages – is worthy of a bit of your marketing budget whether you operate on a Native American reservation, an urban neighborhood, or a community that skews elderly.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bbcmag.com

This exciting program is beginning to take shape! The Rural Telecommunications Congress will play a significant role in the event this April 2016!

See on Scoop.itBroadbandPolicy

Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband's Impact

Broadband Breakfast on October 27, 2021 — When ‘Greenfield’ Fiber Meets ‘Brownfield’ Multiple Dwelling Units

What options do owners of, operators in, and tenants within MDUs have for better-quality broadband?

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the October 27, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “When Greenfield Fiber Meets Brownfield Multiple Dwelling Units”

Bringing fiber to the premises is sometimes only half the battle. For example, bringing fiber to an MDU may not mean that every tenant will get better-quality broadband. In the case of multiple dwelling units or multi-tenant housing, it isn’t easy to completely rewire an existing building with fiber-to-the-unit. Further, the Biden Administration and the Federal Communications Commission are pushing real estate owners to eliminate or minimize exclusive MDU broadband contacts. What options do the owners of, operators in, and tenants within MDUs have to enjoy both competitive and better-quality broadband?

Panelists:

  • Kevin Donnelly, Vice President, Government Affairs, Technology and Strategic Initiatives, National Multifamily Housing Council
  • Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel, Public Knowledge
  • Pierre Trudeau, President and Chief Technology Officer, Positron Access
  • Other Guests have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast

Kevin Donnelly is Vice President for Government Affairs, Technology and Strategic Initiatives at the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and represents the interests of the multifamily industry before the federal government focusing on technology, connectivity, risk management and their intersection with housing policy. Kevin is a part of NMHC’s Innovation and Technology team and leads its Intelligent Buildings and Connectivity Committee.  Kevin has spent over 15 years in the public policy arena at leading real estate trade associations and on Capitol Hill. Kevin received his BA from Rutgers University and his Masters in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University.

Jenna Leventoff is a Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge, where she focuses on broadband deployment and adoption. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Jenna served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) at the National Skills Coalition, where she led WDQC’s state policy advocacy and technical assistance efforts on state data system development and use. She also served as an Associate at Upturn, where she analyzed the civil rights implications of new technologies, and as Manager and Legal Counsel of the International Intellectual Property Institute, where she led the organization’s efforts to utilize intellectual property for international economic development. Jenna received her J.D, cum laude, and B.A from Case Western Reserve University.

Pierre Trudeau is President and Chief Technology Officer, Positron Access.

Drew ClarkEditor 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. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

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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National Non-Profit to Launch Joint Initiative to Close Broadband Affordability and Homework Gap

EducationSuperHighway is signing up partners and will launch November 4.

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Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of Education Super Highway.

WASHINGTON, October 18, 2021 – National non-profit Education Super Highway is set to launch a campaign next month that will work with internet service providers to identify students without broadband and expand programs that will help connect the unconnected.

On November 4, the No Home Left Offline initiative will launch to close the digital divide for 18 million American households that “have access to the Internet but can’t afford to connect,” according to a Monday press release.

The campaign will publish a detailed report with “crucial data insights into the broadband affordability gap and the opportunities that exist to close it,” use data to identify unconnected households and students, and launch broadband adoption and free apartment Wi-Fi programs in Washington D.C.

The non-profit and ISPs will share information confidentially to identify students without broadband at home and “enable states and school districts to purchase Internet service for families through sponsored service agreements,” the website said.

The initiative will run on five principles: identify student need, have ISPs create sponsored service offerings for school districts or other entities, set eligibility standards, minimize the amount of information necessary to sign up families, and protect privacy.

The non-profit said 82 percent of Washington D.C.’s total unconnected households – a total of just over 100,000 people – have access to the internet but can’t afford to connect.

“This ‘broadband affordability gap’ keeps 47 million Americans offline, is present in every state, and disproportionately impacts low-income, Black, and Latinx communities,” the release said. “Without high-speed Internet access at home, families in Washington DC can’t send their children to school, work remotely, or access healthcare, job training, the social safety net, or critical government services.”

Over 120 regional and national carriers have signed up for the initiative.

The initiative is another in a national effort to close the “homework gap.” The Federal Communications Commission is connected schools, libraries and students using money from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which is subsidizing devices and connections. It has received $5 billion in requested funds in just round one.

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Broadband's Impact

Steve Lacoff: A New Standard for the ‘Cloudification’ of Communications Services

The cloudification of communications services makes it easy to include voice, data, SMS, and video within any existing service.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Steve Lacoff, general manager of Avalara for communications

The line of demarcation between what has traditionally been considered a telecommunications service was once very clear. It was tangible – there were wires, end points, towers, switches, facilities. Essentially, there was infrastructure required to relay voice or data from point A to point B.

Today that line is fuzzy, if not invisible. The legacy infrastructure remains, but an industry of cloud-based services that don’t require the physical connections has exploded. Voice, data, SMS, and video conferencing can now be conveniently delivered OTT. Enabled by simple API integrations, businesses can embed just one of these services or a complete communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) into an app, service, or product.

Cloudification is a game changer

This “cloudification” of communications services makes it easy to include voice, data, SMS, and video within any existing application, product, or service. These are essential components for many business models.

Consider these services we have come to rely on in our daily lives: food or grocery delivery, ride services, and business and personal communications. These require multiple methods of communication with shoppers, drivers, co-workers, watch party groups, and external business partners.

The exciting news is there is no end in sight. Use cases will continue to evolve and growth will continue to skyrocket. The scale cloud delivery accommodates is massive. These untethered, easy to embed communications services are a critical differentiator for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer buyers, and the lifeblood of the businesses providing both the end user subscriptions and the APIs.

In fact, one industry juggernaut saw H1 YoY video application service demand grow nearly 600% in 2020.

Not surprisingly, as business demand for these services increases smaller CPaaS players continue to enter the market to quickly snag market share. According to a recent IDC study, “the global market revenue for CPaaS reached $5.9bn in 2020, up from $4.26bn in 2019, and is expected to reach $17.71bn by 2024.”

Merger and acquisition activity is aligned with this hockey stick growth forecast. Large telcos, SaaS providers, and even other CPaaS providers are all on the hunt. Whether they want to add additional features to punch up their products or eliminate the competition in a very tight, nuanced market, the end game is clear – as the market expands, the players will ultimately contract leaving only the most competitive offerings.

Don’t let communications tax take you by surprise

One of the least understood risks when adding cloud-based voice, data, SMS, or video conferencing to an existing product or service is new eligibility for and exposure to the complex world of communications taxation. Making mistakes can get costly very quickly.

Here are some of the key pitfalls to keep an eye on:

  • Expanded nexus: Understanding communications tax nexus is different – and exceptionally more complicated – than sales tax. There are approximately 60,000 federal, state, local, and special taxing jurisdictions, each with uniquely complex rules that tend to change at their own pace. Rules are very different for each service.
  • More complex calculations: The more communications services you provide via API, the more complicated communications taxes will be. Each feature can be taxed at different rates in each individual jurisdiction, or the whole bundle can be taxed at one rate. It’s critical to monitor monthly to avoid audit issues.
  • Maintaining overall compliance: Just as tax rates and rules need to be maintained, so must tax and regulatory filing forms in each jurisdiction. Some of these are very long and require significant detail.  They must be filed in a timely, accurate cadence to avoid additional audit risk.

Bottom line: Don’t assume, be prepared! As these communications services become more pervasive a larger swath of technology providers will find themselves liable for communications tax. The more your business falls behind, the more it can cost you.

It pays to be proactive and prepared. Tax and legal advisory experts can help determine your level of risk, and tax and compliance software providers can help you keep up with changing rules and regulations. Don’t underestimate the ongoing value of networking with peers who are either struggling to answer the same questions or have already overcome the hurdles you’re facing today.

Steve Lacoff is General Manager of Avalara for Communications. With a focus on data, VoIP, and video streaming, Steve has spent 15 years in various product and marketing leadership roles in communications and technology industries, including Disney’s streaming services and Comcast technology solutions. Steve now drives business strategy on today’s changing industry landscape and associated tax impacts. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views expressed in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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