We are saddened to learn that two quiet champions of broadband have passed away — one recently and one about a year ago, although we only recently learned of his passing. Drew Davis of Larimer County, Colorado, and Larry Gates from Chanute, Kansas, performed the heavy lifting behind the scenes to help move their communities forward with essential investments. Both men and their quiet determination will be missed in their communities and by us.
Drew Davis and Discovering Larimer County
We spoke with Drew last summer when he came on the Community Broadband Bits podcast for episode 311. As Program Manager for Larimer Broadband, he and Director of Economic and Workforce Development Jacob Castillo and CIO Mark Pfaffinger joined discussed results of the county’s feasibility study survey. Drew was instrumental in developing the county plan as they find a way to bring better connectivity to people in Larimer County.
Drew was always helpful whenever we needed information about what was happening in the Colorado broadband world. He was a leader and strived to help others, including in the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department and Search and Rescue.
We know that folks in Colorado are also grieving his potential as well as the loss of his presence. Colin Garfield, who was one of the leaders of the municipal broadband effort in Fort Collins writes:
"Drew was a trusted adviser, a formidable ally to our efforts, and a local visionary who will be dearly missed. His contributions and leadership for rural broadband and policy flashed local brilliance. As northern Colorado becomes a stronghold for local connectivity, Drew's contributions, vision, and compelling arguments will not be forgotten. I'm grateful for the many enlightening, humorous, and blunt conversations we had over the past three years - I'm lucky to have even had the opportunity to cross paths with him."
Larry Laid the Foundation
When word reached us that the city of Chanute decided to begin developing a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) pilot project,...Read more