The Future of Fiber Takes Center Stage in Nashville at Fiber Connect 2022

With a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) boom sweeping across the nation as communities look to build or expand access to ubiquitous, reliable, high-speed Internet infrastructure, Fiber Connect 2022 is poised to bring together leading network operators well versed in a multitude of technologies, local government and public sector leaders, network builders, and an assortment leading industry experts later this month.

Coming on the heels of last year’s gathering – the largest Fiber Connect conference to date – this year’s event will return to Nashville from June 12 – 15. It promises a more expansive agenda with more exhibitors, special events, receptions, and networking opportunities, as well as a bigger showcase, which includes a new feature this year that presents six innovative Proof of Concept (PoC) Demonstrations that will be on display in the Fiber Connect 2022 Expo Hall. 

This year’s conference will also feature a daily class on the FBA OpTIC™ Course, which is designed to “Train the Trainer” as the FBA ramps up its effort to cultivate future fiber technicians. 

“The event will feature executives from a broad scope of industry sectors — traditional audiences as well as new audiences — commercial network operators, mobile network operators, electric cooperatives, municipalities, digital infrastructure asset owners and developers, investors, technology suppliers, enterprises and more,” says Gary Bolton, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, the host for the annual conference.

Conference attendees, Bolton added, will get an opportunity to network and learn from the “primary driver(s) of investment, deployment, and operation of next generation gigabit broadband networks.”

Registration is still open here.

Day 1

The first day of the conference will welcome registered participants and exhibitors, and include several pre-conference sessions – including a Broadband Starter Kit Workshop, a session on on Community Broadband Assessment, and several that cover the various preparatory phases of building community networks (from Building Community Support and Political Will to exploring a Fiber Playbook for State Broadband Officers). The first day will conclude with a welcome reception sponsored by ADTRAN.

Day 2

The second day is when things really get deep, with a keynote address by Andy Berke, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Special Representative for Broadband and former Mayor of Chattanooga, home to the celebrated municipal broadband network EPB Fiber.

Following Berke’s address, there will be over 20 panel discussions and Q&A’s covering everything from what states are doing to expand fiber connectivity; challenges with building out rural regions; why fiber is crucial for 5G; and how states and local communities can put together compelling grant applications to take advantage of the unpresented amount of funds available for expanding broadband access across the nation – with the later discussion moderated by our own Christopher Mitchell.

Day 3

Day 3 will begin with a keynote address that explores how consumer preferences are linked to fiber connectivity as TiVo’s General Manager Kevin Lenhart will talk about video entertainment and the growth opportunities for fiber broadband operators.

After Lenhart’s keynote, panels and break-out sessions will fill the day’s agenda punctuated by a Women in Fiber luncheon that will focus on the Women in Fiber Member Spotlight series, highlighting the different roles and careers for women in fiber, telecom, tech, and construction. 

Panels that day will include: breaking down the bottlenecks of middle-mile networks; fiber fueling the work-from-home movement; a late morning keynote address from Pew Charitable Trusts Broadband Access Initiative Director Kathryn de Wit; as well as a panel discussion on how fiber connectivity is being used to fight wildfires and why fiber networks are a central of part of creating resilient communities in the face of natural disasters and climate change – with the later discussion moderated by yours truly, ILSR Community Broadband Networks Initiative Senior Reporter/Editor Sean Gonsalves.

Day 4

The final day of the conference offers a handful of panels in the morning, puncuated by a keynote address from University of Virginia Associate Professor and Columbia University Fellow Christopher Ali, author of the recently released book Farm Fresh Broadband: The Politics of Rural Connectivity

See the full agenda here.

Watch highlights of last year’s Fiber Connect 2021 conference below: