Broadband Communities Summit 2020 Goes Virtual, Running September 22-24

This year’s Broadband Community Summit has gone digital to adapt to the ongoing public health crisis, but will still offer a wealth of information on and seasoned experts speaking to all sorts of topics relevant to community broadband networks. It runs this week from Tuesday to Friday, and interested parties can register here.  

Something for Everyone

Note that the Coalition for Local Internet Choice program has two panel sessions on partnerships of all colors and one on federal and state incentives on the first day of the summit. Other topics include:

  • Financing
  • Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships
  • Telehealth
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Broadband Mapping


The program also features a wide-ranging list of industry folks, equipment manufacturers, consultants and legal advisors, and others experts. See the full list here, but some notable names include:

  • Deb Socia — President CEO, The Enterprise Center
  • Roger Timmerman — CEO, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Jim Baller — President, CLIC
  • Dorothy Baunach — CEO, DigitalC, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Matt Dunne — Founder and Executive Director, Center on Rural Innovation
  • Ben Fineman — President & Co-Founder, Michigan Broadband Cooperative
  • Nancy Werner — General Counsel, National Association of Telecommunications Officers Advisors
  • Dr. Christopher Ali, PhD — Assistant Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia

What is Chris Up To?

Our own Christopher Mitchell will be moderating two sessions — one on last-mile infrastructure, and another on municipal broadband success stories. The first, on Tuesday from 11:20a-12:15p:

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?

Roger Timmerman — CEO, UTOPIA Fiber

Monica Webb — Director of Market Development and Government Affairs, Ting Internet

The second is on Wednesday from 2:45-3:35p, where he’ll be joined by representatives from municipal fiber networks to hear lessons learned:

More Muni Broadband Unfamiliar Success Stories: This panel features municipal fiber networks that arrived at the retail-service-model using different methods and assets. Some were incremental, some had other muni utilities, and they used different strategies with contracted help. We'll talk about what worked, what didn't, and why these networks have been important and valuable investments for their communities.

David Williams — Technology Services Director, Ponca City, OK

Carole Monroe — Chair of the Board, Community Outreach, ValleyNet, Inc.

Dwight W. Thomas, Jr. — Director, Broadband & IT Services, City of Mont Belvieu, TX

Nathan Watkins — City Manager, City of Mont Belvieu, TX

We look forward to hearing the latest updates and diving deep into the issues this week. Register here, and check out the full agenda for more.