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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 September 28, 2022 – Financing Mechanisms for Community Broadband

Community Connectivity Providers present a new paradigm for thinking about digital infrastructure investment for community networks.

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See Private Investors Can Jumpstart Community Networks, Say Broadband Breakfast Panelists, Broadband Breakfast, September 29, 2022.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Financing Mechanisms for Community Broadband

In the world of digital infrastructure financing, it often seems like there’s a “Private Sector is from Mars” and “Non-profits are from Venus” attitude. The conversations have been segmented and distinct. But a new approach suggests change is underway. A report by Connectivity Capital, in association with the Association for Progressive Communication, Internet Society, and Connect Humanity, provides a new paradigm: Community Connectivity Providers. What are they and why are they important? What are the various operational models and examples? What financial mechanisms have been used and how are investors allocating capital to expand broadband access? Join us for a Broadband Breakfast Live Online discussion exploring this new convergence of financing and broadband.

Panelists:

  • Ben Matranga, Managing Partner, Connectivity Capital
  • Steve Song, Telecommunications Consultant & Policy Advisor, Mozilla
  • Jim Forster, General Partner, Connectivity Capital
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Ben Matranga is the Managing Partner at Connectivity Capital, the world’s first impact investment firm focused exclusively on expanding broadband access in emerging markets. Connectivity Capital manages over a dozen investments in digital infrastructure including ISPs operating in 16 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Ben has over fifteen years of experience leading private equity and venture capital investments in emerging markets. Ben previously was an Investment Officer with the Soros Economic Development Fund, a $350 million impact investment fund founded by George Soros, where he led a broad range of transactions co-investing with sovereign governments, Development Finance Institutions, and institutional investment funds.

Steve Song is a Policy Advisor with the Mozilla Corporation; a consultant on access regulation and policy to the Association for Progressive Communications; and a research partner with the Network Startup Resource Center. His blog, manypossibilities dot net, is a popular destination for anyone working on African telecommunications and internet issues. Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of undersea and terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. He is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactured low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service in under-serviced areas. Previously, Steve worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where he led the organization’s ICTs for Development program in Africa, funding research into the transformational potential of ICTs.

In addition to serving as General Partner at Connectivity Capital, Jim Forster serves as the Managing Director of International Network Investments. He has over 35 years of hands-on leadership and technical expertise in networking equipment and Internet infrastructure. He spent over 20 years at Cisco Systems, starting in 1988 as the very first software development Manager, and became Distinguished Engineer leading various initiatives across IOS Software Development, System Architecture, and Business Development. He is a contributing author to Wireless Networking in the Developing World, the pioneering guide to building low-cost wireless network infrastructure in the developing world.

Drew Clark (moderator) is CEO of Breakfast Media LLC, the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of the State Broadband Initiative in Illinois. Now, in light of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, attorney Clark helps fiber-based and wireless clients secure funding, identify markets, broker infrastructure and operate in the public right of way.

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 21, 2022 – Broadband Mapping and Data

The future of the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act depends upon the FCC’s maps.

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See “Panelists at Broadband Breakfast Event Urge the FCC Mapping Fabric Be Made Public,” Broadband Breakfast, September 22, 2022

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Broadband Mapping and Data

Much hinges on the success or failure of the Federal Communications Commissions’ updated broadband maps. This fall the agency is entering into a period of intensive updating in which it is assessing an address-level “fabric” of locations and comparing internet service data received from providers. Now comes the hard part: Providing a framework for broadband users and providers to understand and challenge the FCC’s map. The future of the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act depends upon it.

Panelists:

  • Scott Wallsten, President, Technology Policy Institute
  • Bryan Darr, Vice President of Smart Communities at Ookla
  • Dustin Loup, Program Manager, Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Don’t miss the Broadband Mapping Masterclass! You can navigate the treacherous waters around broadband mapping by participating in this 2-hour Masterclass for only $99. Enroll TODAY in this LIVE Masterclass on Tuesday, September 27, at 12 Noon ET

Bryan Darr is the Vice President of Smart Communities at Ookla. He coordinates Ookla’s outreach to local, state and federal governments and serves on CTIA’s Smart Cities Business & Technology Working Group.

Scott Wallsten is President and Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute and also a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. He is an economist with expertise in industrial organization and public policy, and his research focuses on competition, regulation, telecommunications, the economics of digitization, and technology policy. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Dustin Loup is an expert on internet governance and policy and program manager for the Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition. Much of his work centers on improving digital inclusion and establishing transparent, open-source, and openly verifiable mapping methodologies and standards.

White House photo from August 2021 by Adam Schultz

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.

Continue Reading

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Broadband Breakfast on September 14, 2022 – How Can Cities Take Advantage of Federal Broadband Funding?

There is an increasing worry that cities may be left out of the wealth of resources for broadband infrastructure spending.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12 Noon ET – How Can Cities Take Advantage of Federal Broadband Funding?

As the nation eagerly awaits the release of updated national broadband maps from the Federal Communications Commission, there is an increasing worry that cities may be left out of the wealth of resources made available through the bipartisan infrastructure funding measure. Will the focus on “unserved” and “underserved” communities – even if broadband in cities is not affordable or reliable – impede local governments’ ability to access Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding? Join us for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online event to air cities’ concerns.

Panelists:

  • Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Office, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Brieana Reed-Harmel, Fiber Manager, Loveland Pulse
  • Andrew Butcher, President, Maine Connectivity Authority.
  • Nathan Hoople, Senior Project Manager, Ditesco Project & Construction Services
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Upcoming resources:

Scott Menhart, the chief information technology officer for Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP), has more than 20 years of experience in technology and broadband industries. He has been actively involved with multiple fiber to the premise deployments and recently launched TCLPfiber, a full municipal community network. TCLP currently serves nearly 13,000 electric customers and is currently working to expand TCLPfiber services to these customers.

Brieana Reed-Harmel is the Municipal Fiber Manager for Pulse, the community-driven and city-owned 100% fiber-optic broadband network in Loveland, Colorado. Brieana brings over 20 years of utility experience in engineering and leadership roles, spanning both the public and private sectors. Brieana was officially named Municipal Fiber Manager in December 2018 after leading the city through assessment and feasibility study of publicly owned broadband. In her current role she oversees all aspects of the construction and operation of Pulse, making fiber-optic internet service a reality for every home, business, and school in Loveland.

Andrew Butcher is the inaugural president of The Maine Connectivity Authority a new quasi-governmental agency serving as the primary entity charged with achieving universal access of affordable high-speed broadband in the state of Maine. By balancing investments in projects, places and people MCA is advancing digital equity for all.  Butcher has over 15 years in community and economic development, social entrepreneurship and connected infrastructure. Prior to his role at MCA he founded an internationally recognized non-profit, served as director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and helped advance numerous innovation and resilience initiatives in Maine.

Nathan Hoople is a Senior Project Manager for Ditesco. He brings over 17 years of experience in the telecommunications, construction, energy, control systems and program management industries. Prior to joining Ditesco, he was responsible for a variety of large infrastructure projects for the National Science Foundation’s United States Antarctic Program including data center design and fiber network installation. He is currently managing Ditesco’s broadband portfolio including overseeing the FTTP build for Pulse in Loveland, CO and providing support for Fort Collins Connexion, as well as feasibility and strategic planning for Larimer County and the Town of Timnath.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative in Illinois. Now, in light of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Attorney Clark helps fiber-based and wireless clients secure funding, identify markets, broker infrastructure and operate in the public right of way. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of Austin skyline from the Brookings Institution.

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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