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Digital Infrastructure Investment 2020

Visit Broadband Breakfast’s Digital Infrastructure Investment page for an up-to-date listing about DII 2022

Digital Infrastructure Investment 2020

Digital Infrastructure Investment 2020 took place online on August 10, 2020, from 1 p.m. ET to 5:30 p.m. ET. It was broadcast at the Broadband Communities Virtual Summit on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Digital Infrastructure Investment 2020 Sponsors

Digital Infrastructure Investment Agenda

1:00 pm ET
Welcome, Ground Rules for the Conference, and Framing Remarks: What is Digital Infrastructure Investment?
Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

1:20 p.m. ET
Interactive discussion and questions designed to bring our digital audience together.

1:30 p.m. ET
Sponsored Presentation – SiFi Networks

1:40 p.m. ET
Topic 1: Last Mile Digital Infrastructure
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?

See “Ownership Models Are Evolving to Serve the Unserved, Say Panelists at Digital Infrastructure Investment,” Broadband Breakfast, August 11, 2020

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  • Roger Timmerman, CEO, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Monica Webb, Director of Market Development and Government Affairs, Ting Internet
  • Peggy Schaffer, Executive Director, ConnectME
  • Christopher Mitchell (Moderator), Director, Community Broadband Networks, Institute for Local Self Reliance

Roger Timmerman has been serving as UTOPIA Fiber’s Executive Director since 2016 and has been a technology management professional in telecommunications and information technology for over 15 years. Roger has been designing and building networks throughout his career in various roles including Vice President of Engineering for Vivint Wireless, CTO for UTOPIA Fiber, Network Engineer for iProvo, and Network Product Manager for Brigham Young University. Roger earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Information Technology from Brigham Young University.

Monica Webb is the head of market development & strategic partnerships at Ting Internet, working with local stakeholders in existing Ting towns and evaluates existing and prospective gigabit network locations and related business projects. Webb spent her early career working in marketing and management in the financial services industry, where she launched channel marketing platforms that continue to dominate channel strategy in the mutual fund industry today. In 2002, she spearheaded efforts in Massachusetts to create a regional municipal fiber-to-the-premises network in unserved towns.

Peggy Schaffer is the Executive Director of ConnectME, which aims to facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Maine households and businesses. She was previously the Small Business Advocate for the Secretary of State’s office, and served as the Co-chair of the Maine Broadband Coalition, a statewide group advocating for high speed broadband. Schaffer also previously served as the Chief of Staff in the Senate Majority Office and the Senate President’s office.

Christopher Mitchell is the director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Mitchell’s work focuses on telecommunications — helping communities ensure the networks upon which they depend are accountable to the community. He is a leading national expert on community broadband networks and speaks at conferences across the United States on the subject, occasionally to directly debate opponents of public ownership.

2:30 p.m. ET
Industry Keynote Address: The Vision for Digital Infrastructure Investment
Greg Mesch
, CEO, CityFibre

2:50 p.m. ET
Q&A for Greg Mesch, CEO, CityFibre

See “CEO Greg Mesch Recounts How CityFibre, UK’s Third Major Telecom Provider, Grew With Wholesale Network,” Broadband Breakfast, September 22, 2020

Greg Mesch founded CityFibre in January 2011 and as its CEO has since raised over £1.6bn in capital, completed five acquisitions and established full fibre infrastructure projects in more than 50 towns and cities across the UK. In 2018 CityFibre was taken private by a group led by Goldman Sachs and Antin for £538m and has subsequently announced an up to £4bn investment program to establish the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform reaching up to 8 million premises. In 2019, Greg was awarded the Charles Kao Award from the Fibre To The Home Council, recognizing his huge contribution to the rollout of full fibre infrastructure across Europe.


3:10 p.m. ET
Topic 2: Infrastructure Investment Funds
Infrastructure financing is available for broadband. Will it dwindle or accelerate with the coronavirus pandemic? What is the experience of institutional investors?

See “Open Access Infrastructure Important, But Difficult to Develop, Say Digital Infrastructure Investment Panelists,” Broadband Breakfast, August 11, 2020

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  • Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO, SiFi Networks
  • Mike Faloon, Co-Founder and Vice President of Finance & Operations at
  • Chris Perlitz, Managing Director, Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc.
  • Jase Wilson (Moderator), Founder and Vice President of Growth at

As CEO of SiFi Networks, Ben Bawtree-Jobson was involved in the formation of the company and continues to direct all aspects of its public-private-partnership offering in the fiber to the premise sector. Ben’s experience touches on every facet of FTTP development with core skills residing within the structuring and financing of sustainable fiber infrastructure projects and the strategic formation of framework partner alliances. Prior to SiFi Networks, Ben established his financial career at Close Brothers in the City of London before joining the Pickstock Group where he was responsible for evaluating new business opportunities and expanding core businesses in the UK and internationally.

Mike Faloon is the co-founder and vice president of finance and operations at, which helps local ISPs grow, operate and finance network upgrades. Faloon served as a member of the Green Bond Principles Executive Committee and is board member of Our Katahdin, a community-based crowdsourcing platform. He is a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals and holds a Financial Risk Manager certification.

Chris Perlitz serves as an investment banker with experience integrating technology and finance to innovate in the public and private sectors. He continues to work to achieve optimal terms for issuers leveraging the Federal lending programs, Capital Market securitizations and private placements. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and actively works with non-profits in the Denver area.

Jase Wilson is the founder and vice president of growth for, which helps local ISPs grow, operate and finance network upgrades, to ensure rural Americans can access network-dependent remote services like telehealth. Jase’s early education was concentrated on applied mathematics and engineering, and then as an undergraduate he immersed himself in the study of urban planning and design. At MIT, Jase continued his deep focus on cities and technology at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). He previously founded civic technology firm Luminopolis and fintech startup Neighborly.

4 p.m. ET
Sponsored Presentation – UTOPIA Fiber

4:10 p.m. ET
Topic 3: The Future of Funding for Shared Infrastructure
Cellular towers were once proprietary, before carriers partnered with infrastructure owners. Will shared infrastructure also take over small cells and 5G? What role will federal funding play in supporting wireless and other shared infrastructure facilities?

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  • Dean Bubley, Disruptive Analysis
  • Blair Levin, former executive director of the National Broadband Plan
  • Oliver Pilco, View Capital Advisors, LLC
  • Drew Clark (Moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Dean Bubley is the Founder of Disruptive Analysis, an independent technology industry analyst and consulting firm. An analyst with over 20 years’ experience, he primarily specializes in wireless, mobile, internet and telecoms fields, with further expertise in certain aspects of the broader technology industry. He was formerly an equity analyst, covering communications and software stocks with Granville Baird, the UK arm of U.S.-based investment bank Robert W. Baird.

Blair Levin is a nonresident senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. He serves as the executive director of Gig.U: The Next Generation Network Innovation Project, an initiative of three dozen leading research university communities seeking to support educational and economic development by accelerating the deployment of next generation networks. Previously, he worked with the Communications & Society Program with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, following his departure in 2010 from the Federal Communications Commission where he oversaw the development of a National Broadband Plan.

Oliver Pilco of View Capital Advisors specializes in the development, management, and funding of wireless infrastructure assets including cell towers, in-building wireless solutions, small cell, and rooftops. He seeks to create value by bringing together educated property owners and community planning boards with wireless service providers to create positive bottom line results and enhanced coverage.

Drew Clark is the editor and publisher of Broadband Breakfast. He was appointed executive director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois under Gov. Pat Quinn, where he led a combined federal and state effort of fiber-optic and wireless infrastructure investments, including broadband mapping, economic development and digital literacy training. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress, a co-host of the annual Broadband Communities Summit.

5 p.m. ET
Interactive Wrap-up and Conclusion no later than 5:30 p.m. ET

Broadband Breakfast Live Online ‘preview’ sessions

Broadband Breakfast also hosted four Live Online preview events for Digital Infrastructure Investment.

  • Wednesday, June 3: Last-Mile Digital Infrastructure
    • Isak Finér, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President, North America, COS Systems
    • Darrell Gentry, CEO, Next Level Networks
    • Roger Timmerman, CEO, UTOPIA Fiber
    • Monica Webb, Director of Market Development and Government Affairs, Ting Internet
    • Drew Clark (Moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast
  • Wednesday, June 10: Infrastructure Investment Funds
    • Greg Mesch, Founder and CEO of CityFibre
    • Matteo Andreoletti, Head of Infrastructure Equity, Europe and North America, Smart City Infrastructure Fund
    • Chris Perlitz, Managing Director, Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc.
    • Jase Wilson, Founder and Vice President of Growth at
    • Drew Clark (Moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast
  • Wednesday, June 17: Federal Funds and Opportunity Zones 
    • Blair Levin, former executive director of the National Broadband Plan
    • Graham Richard, former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana
    • Carol Mattey, former Deputy Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau
    • Drew Clark (Moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast
  • Wednesday, June 24: Shared Infrastructure and Small Cell Deployments 
    • Amandus Derr, Crown Castle
    • Dean Bubley, Disruptive Analysis
    • Oliver Pilco, View Capital Advisors, LLC
    • Drew Clark (Moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

About Digital Infrastructure Investment 2020 Sponsors

Created by a group of Utah cities, the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) is a community-owned fiber optic network that uses the Open Access model to promote competition by giving customers the freedom to choose which telecommunication services they want.

SiFi funds, builds and owns FiberCity™ networks for use by Internet Service Providers, 4G/5G carriers and other service providers wishing to deliver ubiquitous high-speed broadband services to business and residential properties as well as connectivity for city-wide Internet of Things applications.

See Broadband Breakfast’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Archives for a complete list of prior DII events.


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