The next edition of CBAN's "Lunch and Learn" webinar series addresses a looming issue for cities across the nation: the FCC's 5G and Small Cell Order.
5G and Small Cell: What Cities Need To Know will be held on Thursday, March 28th at Noon CDT. Ken Demlow of HR Green will review the FCC's order outlining what cities must do to enact local control over the siting of 5G and small cell wireless facilities. That order is due to go into effect on April 15th, and many communities may not have addressed the issue yet.
The webinar is limited to 100 attendees and advance registration is required. To register in advance for this meeting, go to the following link:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You are encouraged to register early to ensure your participation. However, the webinar will be recorded and made available afterwards at www.broadbandaction.com.
For more information on the FCC's order and possible impacts on cities, CLICK HERE for an article at www.broadbandnow.com.
Over 150 people - municipal operators, vendor representatives, and speakers - attended this year's IAMU Broadband Conference on March 13 and 14 in Des Moines.
A new and very well received feature of this year's Broadband Conference was the Customer Service Boot Camp. Led by Jeremy Graves of Pivot Group, attendees of the Boot Camp spent the entire day on March 13th taking a deep dive into the telecommunications customer experience. Attendees said the Boot Camp gave them new perspectives on interacting with customers, selling services, and being effective in their jobs. While overall attendance in the Boot Camp was not what we'd hoped, IAMU will explore doing similar customer service training again in the future.
Outside of the Boot Camp, attendees enjoyed 15 informational sessions on a wide range of topics while also taking advantage of ample networking time. As always, the Vendor Show was a highlight of the event. Over 40 vendors were represented.
The IAMU Broadband Committee has already met to begin planning the 2020 Broadband Conference. If you have any ideas for sessions or ways to make the show better, let us know!
The 2nd Community Broadband Summit, sponsored by the Community Broadband Action Network, is in the books. Approximately 50 people attended the day-long event yesterday in Des Moines for informational sessions and networking.
CBAN would like to thank the following vendor and provider members who had exhibit tables at the Summit: ImOn Communications, ALLO Communications, Bear Communications, Calix, FARR Technologies, and Power & Tel.
Two events benefiting community-owned broadband networks take place next week in Des Moines. And time is running out to participate!
The 2nd Annual CBAN Community Broadband Summit is March 12th at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines. It's free to attend for CBAN members, including community leaders looking for ways to improve broadband in their community.
IAMU's annual Broadband Conference is back and better than ever! For the first time we're providing a day-long track designed for customer contact personnel to hone their skills. The Customer Service Boot Camp features instructor Jeremy Graves with Pivot Group, one of the top telecommunications trainers in the nation. There is a fee of $50 in addition to conference registration to attend the Boot Camp (even if the person does not attend the rest of the conference). Space is limited! Complete conference information and registration is below.
While a few tweaks are expected to be made over the next week or so, the agenda for the 2019 IAMU Municipal Broadband Conference is set.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Day 1 of the Conference will feature all concurrent (breakout) sessions. A total of 10 sessions on a variety of topics will be held in the Minnesota and Wisconsin Rooms on the lower level of the Holiday Inn and Suites. Day 1 also features our annual Vendor Show. As of this writing, 24 vendor tables have been reserved. A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Power & Tel and our Gold Sponsors, Calix, Bear Communications, and ADTRAN.
Wednesday also features our Customer Service Boot Camp, a separate day-long training designed to sharpen the skills of your customer contact personnel. It's a great training at a great price...don't miss out on this opportunity to help your team improve their customer relations' skills!
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Day 2 of the Conference features a mixture of general and concurrent sessions. A highlight is the presentation of the 2nd Annual IAMU Broadband Vanguard Awards, recognizing persons or organizations that have worked to make municipal broadband in Iowa a reality. The Awards will be presented during lunch on March 14th.
Don't Delay...Register Today!
Save us a bit of heartburn and register early for the Conference. It really helps to have firm numbers at least a week ahead of time to make final arrangements with the hotel for food and beverage. Plus, if you wait you might miss out on the amazing $65 per night room rate we have with the IAMU room block at the Holiday Inn & Suites. We had attendees who registered late last year and had to pay the normal rate of over $100, so take advantage of the discounts that we've arranged for.
Registration is available exclusively on the IAMU Events page of the website.
Arkansas's status as one of the states with tight restrictions on municipal broadband is coming to an end. A bill lifting the a prohibition on municipal networks is headed to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk after passing the state's House of Representatives and Senate this week. Hutchinson is expected to sign the bill into law.
The move in Arkansas is a refreshing change of pace from efforts over the past several years (supported, of course, by entrenched incumbent providers) to ban or severely restrict municipal networks.
You would think that a state capitol with a population of over 200,000 people would be among the "haves" when it comes to superior broadband. Well, that's apparently not the case in Boise, ID.
As this article in the Idaho Statesman outlines, Boise suffers from the same type of duopoly that many medium-sized cities do. A single incumbent phone company (CenturyLink) and a single incumbent cable company (CableOne) have few incentives to upgrade their facilities to meet the community's needs.
Fortunately Boise has an example to follow in its own state. Ammon, Idaho has invested in a community-owned fiber network that's bringing consumer choice in advanced services for the first time in that much smaller community.
CBAN Provider Member ALLO Communications has finished primary construction of its fiber-to-the-home network in Lincoln, Nebraska. The project began in March 2016 and was made possible in part by a partnership with the City of Lincoln, which gave ALLO access to the city's existing network of fiber and conduit.
“ALLO, in partnership with the City, has made Lincoln a national leader in internet speed, which makes our great city even more attractive to those looking to live and do business here. I want to again thank ALLO for this tremendous investment, which truly represents an investment in the future of Lincoln.” -- Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler
ALLO President Brad Moline will be sharing his company's experiences during the CBAN Community Broadband Summit on March 12, 2019. He will be on a panel discussion, "Partnering for Progress", along with Dave Fyffe with ImOn Communications. That session will be held at 11:00am at the Summit.
Hint hint: Register to attend the CBAN Community Broadband Summit. Admission is FREE but registration is required. CLICK HERE to order your tickets!
In a recent guest opinion published several newspapers around the state, former Iowa legislator Chip Baltimore used several tired (and untrue) arguments against municipal broadband. Baltimore, who did not run for re-election in 2018, is now a Senior Fellow for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. That group has been running anti-municipal editorials and opinion pieces around the nation this year, including one criticizing plans for a municipal fiber network in Traverse City, Michigan.
In a fantastic response, Osage Municipal Utilities Manager Josh Byrnes countered Baltimore's claims and dispelled many of the myths that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has been promoting. Here's an excerpt from Byrnes' guest column:
"There are significant advantages community-owned utilities have when implementing rural broadband access. Community-owned utilities already have established relationships with their customers and can communicate with them directly and in a timely manner. The employees are the friends and neighbors of the community and serve with a sense of purpose." -- Josh Byrnes, Osage Municipal Utilities General Manager
Brynes' insight on the issue of municipal broadband comes not only from his experience as manager of a community-owned utility. He also served in the Iowa Legislature prior to taking on the manager position at Osage.
Thank you to Josh for setting the record straight!
Providers, community representatives, broadband advocates, and solutions providers will gather in Des Moines on March 12th for the 2nd Annual Community Broadband Summit, presented by the Community Broadband Action Network (CBAN).
Registration is free to CBAN members (and CBAN membership is also free for providers, communities, and advocates). CLICK HERE to reserve tickets for the Summit. If you'd like to join CBAN, CLICK HERE.
Program and Agenda
9:00am – 9:30am
Registration and Networking
9:30am – 10:15am
Developing a Community Broadband Strategy
(Moderator: Jon Anne Willow, CBAN. Panelists: Ken Demlow, HR Green; Todd Kielkopf, Kielkopf Advisory Services; Curtis Dean, SmartSource Consulting)
Your community is suffering from inadequate broadband services. Maybe the internet’s too slow; maybe the service is unreliable due to aging infrastructure or neglect. Maybe citizens are fed up with long wait times for repairs and poor customer service. You want something better. You need a strategy for how to get there. During this panel discussion, we will talk about steps your community can take to develop a broadband strategy from people who’ve helped communities in those efforts.
10:15am – 11:00am
Networking and Vendor Tables
11:00am – 11:45am
Partnering for Progress
(Moderator: Curtis Dean. Panelists: David Fyffe, ImOn Communications; Brad Moline, Allo Communications)
During this panel discussion, we’ll talk about some of the potential partnerships that communities may be able to leverage to improve broadband services.
11:45am – 1:00pm
Lunch & Speaker
Rural Economic Development and Broadband
(Bill Menner, The Bill Menner Group)
Economic development leaders in rural areas are faced with many challenges in maintaining economic vitality and growth. For many small towns, inadequate broadband is identified as a key barrier. Bill Menner, former Iowa Rural Development Director for the USDA, will discuss the vital link between broadband and the economy in rural America.
Networking and Vendor Tables
Sustaining Momentum for Community Broadband
(Kurt Karr, iVinton and Monkeythis)
The election to form a communications utility can be challenging, but looking back, it seems like running a sprint at a track meet -the goal is defined and the way is clear. The year, or two, or three it takes to get the utility designed, funded and built is like running a marathon through a jungle full of wild animals. During this session I will share some of the successes, and a few of the mistakes we've made along our marathon journey.
Attendees will break into groups and make the rounds to different topic tables to discuss various aspects of better broadband.
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Networking and Vendor Tables
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.