Broadband Communities Summit Opens in Austin, Texas

AUSTIN, April 5, 2016 - The Broadband Communities Summit opened on Tuesday with a remembrance of Scott DeGarmo, the former CEO of the company that hosts the conference, and which has blossomed into a celebration of the impact of broadband on the lives of everyday citizens. 

Kicking off the conference was a panel discussion about the role of "Internet of Things" and its impact on urban and rural communities. Led by a presentation made by Florence Hudson of Internet2, the discussion focused heavily upon the benefits -- and risks -- of the Internet of Things.

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The Rural Telecommunications Congress' track of panels in the programs begins at 3 p.m. in the Wedgewood Room, with a Session on "Ensuring State Involvement in Broadband Development: A Blue Ribbon Panel of State Broadband Leaders."

Moderating the event will be Michael Curri, president of the Strategic Networks Group, and a member of the board of the RTC, with panelists from the states of Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.

On Tuesday, RTC and SNG released the results of a survey of state broadband offices. The report is titled "The 50 States of Broadband: A state-by-state study of the state of broadband investment and activity in each American state."

Of the 48 states responding the survey, 25 of them have a state broadband office. But only 28 percent surveyed said the state had annual funding to support broadband initiatives. However, only nine states are funding planning and support activities going forward.

Following the blue ribbon panel will be a session on "Extending Middle-Mile Fiber Networks to Last-Mile Homes in Rural Areas."

Moderated by Joel Muler of ex2 Technologies and a member of the RTC Board, it will include, as panelists, Sandeep Taxali of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Chief Technology Officer Rob Henry of the City of Davenport, Iowa; Chris Janson, a board member of OpenCape and the RTC; and Brad Moline of Allo Communications.

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