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Interview: Biarri Network’s Paul Sulisz on Broadband Opportunities and Challenges

Derek Shumway

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Photo of CEO Paul Sulisz from Biarri Networks

March 4, 2021 – The broadband industry is better off getting ahead of network builds instead of waiting for government subsidies, CEO of Biarri Networks Paul Sulisz said in an interview with Broadband Breakfast.

That would involve focusing on getting the right people connected with the right leaders to coordinate a response to broadband needs, he said.

Sulisz’s Biarri Networks is coming off a banner year despite a tumultuous pandemic-filled 2020. The company had a stronger-than-expected 2020 with growth and profitability.

The company grew its team over 20 percent to 100 people globally as it had huge increases in broadband projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where inadequate broadband has become a major issue.

The company now has its sights set on bringing fiber to 761,407 more homes across the U.S., which will  provide access to education, healthcare, and jobs, Sulisz said.

Looking forward, Biarri is anticipating another busy year in 2021 as the company is opening an office in Vietnam, in addition to its offices in Australia and the Philippines. Biarri, which is based in Denver, Colorado, and Melbourne, Australia, where Sulisz said his company can take advantage of multiple time zones so customers can connect in real-time with the team.

Things, however, weren’t always rosy, Sulisz said. He said the most difficult challenge facing Biarri during the previous year was maintaining momentum during its record growth while still focusing on keeping his employees happy.

Like virtually every company that had to adapt during the pandemic, Biarri, too, had team members who experienced anxiety about their productivity as some regions of the world were on lockdown.

Power outages, working at night, and other pandemic-related distractions presented noteworthy hurdles to the company, but everyone has been able to adapt quickly, Sulisz said, adding employees were steadfast on their mission for better broadband.

Biarri has an opportunity this year to connect over half a million more homes. More than 30 percent of students still have not returned to school, about a year after the pandemic was declared on March 12, 2020.

If 30 percent of children are not in school, that’s a big problem for the future of America, he said. Parents are struggling getting their children connected online and staying online for school as different home situations can help or hinder the experience of online school.

Even getting his own children connected online for school was a challenge Sulisz needed to tackle, which lit a fire under him to ensure other parents don’t suffer the homework gap, in which students are falling behind schools because of a lack of adequate broadband at home, he said.

The House of Representatives on Saturday morning passed a bill that would fund the expansion of the E-Rate internet subsidy program to households, in addition to libraries and schools. It’s up to a Senate vote now.

Closing the digital divide needs more than the government’s hand, and requires everyone to address current funding models and improve broadband initiatives, Sulisz said. He recognized that school districts hold key information that can produce data-driven decisions in closing the homework gap as they continue to work with broadband players in the market.

Many businesses have been started in garages and homes with high-speed internet, Sulisz said. If industry isn’t creating those opportunities for people, Sulisz said we may not find that hidden talent.

Born in China and adopted to American Fork, Utah, Reporter Derek Shumway graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in international strategy and diplomacy. At college, he started an LED lightbulb company.

Open Access

Open Access Networks Key To Affordability Question, House Committee Hears

The House Energy and Commerce committee heard arguments that open access to networks is crucial for competition and affordability.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Screenshot of Francella Ochillo from House hearing

March 4, 2021 – The broadband industry is better off getting ahead of network builds instead of waiting for government subsidies, CEO of Biarri Networks Paul Sulisz said in an interview with Broadband Breakfast.

That would involve focusing on getting the right people connected with the right leaders to coordinate a response to broadband needs, he said.

Sulisz’s Biarri Networks is coming off a banner year despite a tumultuous pandemic-filled 2020. The company had a stronger-than-expected 2020 with growth and profitability.

The company grew its team over 20 percent to 100 people globally as it had huge increases in broadband projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where inadequate broadband has become a major issue.

The company now has its sights set on bringing fiber to 761,407 more homes across the U.S., which will  provide access to education, healthcare, and jobs, Sulisz said.

Looking forward, Biarri is anticipating another busy year in 2021 as the company is opening an office in Vietnam, in addition to its offices in Australia and the Philippines. Biarri, which is based in Denver, Colorado, and Melbourne, Australia, where Sulisz said his company can take advantage of multiple time zones so customers can connect in real-time with the team.

Things, however, weren’t always rosy, Sulisz said. He said the most difficult challenge facing Biarri during the previous year was maintaining momentum during its record growth while still focusing on keeping his employees happy.

Like virtually every company that had to adapt during the pandemic, Biarri, too, had team members who experienced anxiety about their productivity as some regions of the world were on lockdown.

Power outages, working at night, and other pandemic-related distractions presented noteworthy hurdles to the company, but everyone has been able to adapt quickly, Sulisz said, adding employees were steadfast on their mission for better broadband.

Biarri has an opportunity this year to connect over half a million more homes. More than 30 percent of students still have not returned to school, about a year after the pandemic was declared on March 12, 2020.

If 30 percent of children are not in school, that’s a big problem for the future of America, he said. Parents are struggling getting their children connected online and staying online for school as different home situations can help or hinder the experience of online school.

Even getting his own children connected online for school was a challenge Sulisz needed to tackle, which lit a fire under him to ensure other parents don’t suffer the homework gap, in which students are falling behind schools because of a lack of adequate broadband at home, he said.

The House of Representatives on Saturday morning passed a bill that would fund the expansion of the E-Rate internet subsidy program to households, in addition to libraries and schools. It’s up to a Senate vote now.

Closing the digital divide needs more than the government’s hand, and requires everyone to address current funding models and improve broadband initiatives, Sulisz said. He recognized that school districts hold key information that can produce data-driven decisions in closing the homework gap as they continue to work with broadband players in the market.

Many businesses have been started in garages and homes with high-speed internet, Sulisz said. If industry isn’t creating those opportunities for people, Sulisz said we may not find that hidden talent.

Continue Reading

Fiber

Partnerships And Trust Go Long Way To Securing Financing For Broadband Projects, Panelists Say

Broadband Breakfast panelists wrestle with the challenge of financing broadband infrastructure projects.

Tim White

Published

on

Screenshot taken from Broadband Live Online event

March 4, 2021 – The broadband industry is better off getting ahead of network builds instead of waiting for government subsidies, CEO of Biarri Networks Paul Sulisz said in an interview with Broadband Breakfast.

That would involve focusing on getting the right people connected with the right leaders to coordinate a response to broadband needs, he said.

Sulisz’s Biarri Networks is coming off a banner year despite a tumultuous pandemic-filled 2020. The company had a stronger-than-expected 2020 with growth and profitability.

The company grew its team over 20 percent to 100 people globally as it had huge increases in broadband projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where inadequate broadband has become a major issue.

The company now has its sights set on bringing fiber to 761,407 more homes across the U.S., which will  provide access to education, healthcare, and jobs, Sulisz said.

Looking forward, Biarri is anticipating another busy year in 2021 as the company is opening an office in Vietnam, in addition to its offices in Australia and the Philippines. Biarri, which is based in Denver, Colorado, and Melbourne, Australia, where Sulisz said his company can take advantage of multiple time zones so customers can connect in real-time with the team.

Things, however, weren’t always rosy, Sulisz said. He said the most difficult challenge facing Biarri during the previous year was maintaining momentum during its record growth while still focusing on keeping his employees happy.

Like virtually every company that had to adapt during the pandemic, Biarri, too, had team members who experienced anxiety about their productivity as some regions of the world were on lockdown.

Power outages, working at night, and other pandemic-related distractions presented noteworthy hurdles to the company, but everyone has been able to adapt quickly, Sulisz said, adding employees were steadfast on their mission for better broadband.

Biarri has an opportunity this year to connect over half a million more homes. More than 30 percent of students still have not returned to school, about a year after the pandemic was declared on March 12, 2020.

If 30 percent of children are not in school, that’s a big problem for the future of America, he said. Parents are struggling getting their children connected online and staying online for school as different home situations can help or hinder the experience of online school.

Even getting his own children connected online for school was a challenge Sulisz needed to tackle, which lit a fire under him to ensure other parents don’t suffer the homework gap, in which students are falling behind schools because of a lack of adequate broadband at home, he said.

The House of Representatives on Saturday morning passed a bill that would fund the expansion of the E-Rate internet subsidy program to households, in addition to libraries and schools. It’s up to a Senate vote now.

Closing the digital divide needs more than the government’s hand, and requires everyone to address current funding models and improve broadband initiatives, Sulisz said. He recognized that school districts hold key information that can produce data-driven decisions in closing the homework gap as they continue to work with broadband players in the market.

Many businesses have been started in garages and homes with high-speed internet, Sulisz said. If industry isn’t creating those opportunities for people, Sulisz said we may not find that hidden talent.

Continue Reading

Europe

Openreach Partners With STL For Fiber Build

Openreach aims to get 20 million fiber-to-the-premise connections by later this decade.

Tim White

Published

on

Screenshot of STL's Ankit Agarwal via YouTube

March 4, 2021 – The broadband industry is better off getting ahead of network builds instead of waiting for government subsidies, CEO of Biarri Networks Paul Sulisz said in an interview with Broadband Breakfast.

That would involve focusing on getting the right people connected with the right leaders to coordinate a response to broadband needs, he said.

Sulisz’s Biarri Networks is coming off a banner year despite a tumultuous pandemic-filled 2020. The company had a stronger-than-expected 2020 with growth and profitability.

The company grew its team over 20 percent to 100 people globally as it had huge increases in broadband projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where inadequate broadband has become a major issue.

The company now has its sights set on bringing fiber to 761,407 more homes across the U.S., which will  provide access to education, healthcare, and jobs, Sulisz said.

Looking forward, Biarri is anticipating another busy year in 2021 as the company is opening an office in Vietnam, in addition to its offices in Australia and the Philippines. Biarri, which is based in Denver, Colorado, and Melbourne, Australia, where Sulisz said his company can take advantage of multiple time zones so customers can connect in real-time with the team.

Things, however, weren’t always rosy, Sulisz said. He said the most difficult challenge facing Biarri during the previous year was maintaining momentum during its record growth while still focusing on keeping his employees happy.

Like virtually every company that had to adapt during the pandemic, Biarri, too, had team members who experienced anxiety about their productivity as some regions of the world were on lockdown.

Power outages, working at night, and other pandemic-related distractions presented noteworthy hurdles to the company, but everyone has been able to adapt quickly, Sulisz said, adding employees were steadfast on their mission for better broadband.

Biarri has an opportunity this year to connect over half a million more homes. More than 30 percent of students still have not returned to school, about a year after the pandemic was declared on March 12, 2020.

If 30 percent of children are not in school, that’s a big problem for the future of America, he said. Parents are struggling getting their children connected online and staying online for school as different home situations can help or hinder the experience of online school.

Even getting his own children connected online for school was a challenge Sulisz needed to tackle, which lit a fire under him to ensure other parents don’t suffer the homework gap, in which students are falling behind schools because of a lack of adequate broadband at home, he said.

The House of Representatives on Saturday morning passed a bill that would fund the expansion of the E-Rate internet subsidy program to households, in addition to libraries and schools. It’s up to a Senate vote now.

Closing the digital divide needs more than the government’s hand, and requires everyone to address current funding models and improve broadband initiatives, Sulisz said. He recognized that school districts hold key information that can produce data-driven decisions in closing the homework gap as they continue to work with broadband players in the market.

Many businesses have been started in garages and homes with high-speed internet, Sulisz said. If industry isn’t creating those opportunities for people, Sulisz said we may not find that hidden talent.

Continue Reading

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