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Fiber Connect Keynote Panels

From industry leaders to respected experts in the fiber industry, our guest keynote speakers, experienced fiber providers, innovators and unbiased experts will help you expand your thinking, discover, and learn. From Everything that Fiber Connects to the State of the States, you’ll hear about the successes and hurdles service providers of all kinds are faced with and how to overcome them leading you to the path of smarter deployment decisions.

Building on the success of Fiber Connect 2021, we are accelerating the move toward the last mile, bridging the gap in digital equity, improving lives, and building economic value through fiber networks.

Federal Focus: Bridging the Digital Divide

Monday, June 13, 2022 | 9:05 – 9:45AM

With the passage of the historic bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in 2021, all eyes will be on how these funds are leveraged to bridge the digital equity gap for all Americans. This moderated keynote panel discussion will provide insight into the intent of these programs, the resources available to ensure operators what is needed to reach every home and discuss what remains to be done over the next decade by all the stakeholders involved in the fiber broadband ecosystem.


  • Radha Sekar, CEO, USAC
  • Jim Stegeman, CEO, CostQuest Associates
  • Xochitl Torres Small, Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA Rural Development
  • Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO Fixed Networks, Nokia
  • Charlie Vogt, CEO, DZS

State of the States: Ensuring Fiber Reaches Everyone

Monday, June 13, 2022 | 10:10 – 10:50AM

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to delivering broadband. State and Tribal governments are setting customized objectives and strategies to deliver broadband to their citizens, considering their unique challenges in geographies, existing infrastructure, and underserved/unserved regions. Learn about the hurdles states are facing and the solutions they are building to fulfill their commitments, which include selecting fiber to fulfill critical mid-mile and last-mile requirements supporting all-fiber deployments in greenfield expansion builds, last-mile modernization in legacy cable and copper service areas and providing compulsory backbone support for alternative last-mile fixed-wireless networks. expanding existing cellular coverage and delivering 5G services.

Sean Buckley, Editor-in-Chief, Broadband Communities Magazine

  • Godfrey Enjady, President, National Tribal Telecommunication Association
  • Tamarah Holmes, Director, Office of Broadband, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Michel Langlois, CTO, Calix
  • Peggy Schaffer, Executive Director, Connect Maine
  • Jessica Simmons, Georgia Technology Authority, Deputy CIO, Broadband & Special Projects
  • Laura Spinning, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, NTIA

Keynote Address: Meta

Monday, June 13, 2022 | 10:50 - 11:20AM

  • Randy Brogle, Manager, Fiber Infrastructure Solutions, Meta

Keynote Address: TiVO

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 8:25 - 8:55AM

  • Kevin Lenhart, SVP and GM of PayTV, TiVO

Everywhere Fiber Connects

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 8:55 – 9:35AM

Everywhere Fiber Connects, is intended to be a conversation about the what is possible when fiber broadband is deployed universally - what services and applications will become commonplace, how will it impact innovation and how/where we live, interact with healthcare providers, attend school and work, and how it improves the standard of living. 

Stephen Hardy, Executive Editor, Lightwave

  • Chris Altomari, VP of Integrated Broadband Build Planning, AT&T
  • Trent Fellers, Vice President, Head of State Government Affairs, Windstream
  • Reed Nelson, Senior Director, Construction and Engineering, Frontier Communications
  • Jimmy Todd, CEO GM, Nex-Tech

Fiber and the Social Good

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 10:00 – 10:40AM

Fiber broadband creates opportunities for economic and community growth that go far beyond the capacity created and deployed. This represented a new level of commitment that is based in the belief that operators have a responsibility to make the communities they serve even better. During this interactive panel discussion, participants will share how their fiber broadband platform can also be an agent of the social good in terms of impacting lives on the individual level.

Joseph Jones, Fiber Connect 2022 Conference Chair, OnTrac

  • Cheri Beranek, CEO, Clearfield
  • Hu Meena, CEO, C-Spire
  • Ji Soo Song, Broadband Advisor, Office of Educational Technology
  • Ritchie Sorrells, CEO, GVTC Communications

Building the Fiber Future, Today

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 10:40 – 11:10AM

America’s future relies on fiber. From economic development to telehealth and remote learning, fiber is foundational to most policy priorities lawmakers are focused on today. Recent pandemic relief spending by the federal government recognizes the essential role fiber will play in expanding broadband access to the nation’s communities by prioritizing federal spending on projects involving this technology. And while fiber alone won’t ensure economic prosperity and equal access to health care and education, adapting to virtual activities during the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us we certainly won’t get there without it. Fiber is the only technology that meets the needs of modern life in America today, and is scalable to meet the needs of tomorrow. While federal and state policy are both very favorable to fiber, states are key actors in implementing broadband expansion plans. They are the ones creating broadband plans and preparing to administer billions in federal and state funds bring high-speed connections to more communities. As they work toward that goal, states will increasingly look to you--the fiber industry—for help. Fiber producers, providers, and their partners will be crucial to our nation’s efforts to connect every American to reliable, affordable broadband. And while this landscape of opportunity may be overwhelming, understanding the state role in broadband expansion and how to best work with these government actors will be critical in employing fiber to help the nation build a stronger economy, better schools, and more accessible healthcare.

  • Kathryn de Wit, Project Director, Broadband Access Initiative, Pew Charitable Trust

The Utility of Fiber: Looking Beyond the Smart Grid

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 8:10 – 8:45AM

Fiber broadband has been leveraged by innovative utility companies and cooperatives to modernize the grid by improving the flow of communications across the entire transmission and distribution infrastructure. As federal focus shifted to ensuring everyone had access to better broadband, utilities are in an ideal position to take a byte out of this market by adding fiber broadband to their existing service offerings. This moderated panel discussion will focus on the opportunities, challenges, myths and realities of developing and delivering a competitive fiber broadband service offering, as well as innovative ways smart utilities are further leveraging the efficiencies fiber communications provides to move their businesses forward.

Bernie Arnason, Publisher, Telecompetitor

  • Steve Bandy, General Manager, OzarkGo
  • Tim Culpepper, CEO, Cullman Electric Cooperative
  • Jeffrey Dykes, CEO, BrightRidge
  • Lance Irwin, VP, Research & Portfolio Optimization, 7States Power Corporation
  • Jeremiah Sloan, COO, Craighead Electric Cooperative

Fiber Broadband: Economic Enablement at Light Speed

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 8:45 – 9:20AM

Public infrastructure investment generates jobs, creates new businesses, and improves existing ones, and increases the local and state tax base, as well as improve property values, be it better roads or broadband.  Deployment of gigabit-class fiber in one city has generated billions of dollars of economic value over a decade, producing a substantial return on investment. Increasing fiber speeds and decreasing costs in fiber deployments, and broadband infrastructure funding will deliver substantial fiscal benefits in the years to come. Learn how fiber is an accessible economic engine of growth.

Linda Hardesty, Editor-in-Chief, Fierce Telecom Group as Moderator

  • Tarryl Clark, Chair of NACO Telecommunications & Technology Steering Committee; Commissioner, Stearns County, Minn., National Association of Counties
  • Kevin Comstock, Smart City Director, City of Chattanoga
  • Robert Conger, Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy, ADTRAN
  • David Wade, CEO, EPB
  • Jay Winn, Chief Commercial Officer, Lumos/NorthState

Farm Fresh Broadband

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 9:35 - 10:00AM

  • Christopher Ali, Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Industry Leaders Roundtable

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 10:00 – 10:25AM

Connectivity has become fundamental to the way we live, work and play. This interactive panel discussion brings together industry leaders from a variety of stakeholders in the digital transformation and equity ecosystems – from the core infrastructure that creates connections to the devices that leverage capacity to allow people and businesses to interact with the world around them – across Main Street or around the globe. With a focus on the role unlimited capacity will play in how devices are built, services are delivered, and connections are enabled, this conversation will discuss challenges, opportunities, trends and timelines.

Thomas Cohen, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren

  • Shirley Bloomfield, President and CEO, NTCA
  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO, FBA
  • Paul Breakman, Vice President, Cooperative Business Solutions, Business & Technology Strategies, NRECA
  • David Grossman, VP of Regulatory Affairs, CTA
  • Matt Polka, President and CEO, ACA

Municipal Fiber: How Communities Use Fiber to Thrive

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 10:25 – 11:00AM

Fiber networks provide substantial benefits to neighborhoods far beyond simply delivering broadband to households and businesses. Modernized, future-proof, 100 Gbps+ symmetrical capable media provides faster, more secure, and efficient IT operations for local government operations while providing revenue opportunities through the lease of dark fiber. As the basis for SmartGrid and SmartCity, fiber is the cornerstone for transformative services offering considerable long-term economic benefits to municipalities. The panel will discuss how fiber delivers value to government far beyond simple broadband delivery.

Mari Sibley, Senior Director, Partnerships and Outreach, US Ignite

  • Taylre Beaty, State Broadband Director, Tennessee Economic & Community Development
  • Chad Crager, Broadband Executive Director, City of Fort Collins
  • Jeff Gavlinski, Global VP of Telecom & Wireless Associations, Plume
  • Pete Hoffswell, Superintendent of Broadband Services, Holland Board of Public Works
  • Monica Webb, Senior Director, Market Development, Strategic Partnerships, Ting Internet