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Why We're Attending Virtual Fiber Connect 2020

October 15, 2020

This year, Fiber Connect is going virtual. Our new venue, Virtual Fiber Connect 2020, will offer the same high-quality education all from the comfort of your own home. Optics sat down with two FBA board members to see why they're excited about attending this year's conference.

Gary Bolton - ADTRAN (Vice President - Global Marketing) and FBA Board Vice-Chair

Optics: What are you most looking forward to at Virtual Fiber Connect 2020?

Gary Bolton: The Fiber Broadband Association Fiber Connect conference is always the top conference in the industry and this year it will be even better!  While I will miss seeing everyone in person, this year’s virtual conference has the best line up of speakers and panel discussions for the top industry leaders and experts.  This will be the one virtual conference that no one can afford to miss.

Optics: What do you think people can expect at this year’s event?

GB: The Fiber Broadband Association has done an amazing job in pulling together a world class virtual conference on a state-of-the-art virtual platform.  Not only will attendees be able to attend awesome keynotes and panel sessions but the engagement potential will be better than a live event.  Further, you don’t have worry about missing great sessions as all the content will be recorded and available for 30 days after the conference.  Further, you’ll be able to see who is attending each session and be able to engage on the virtual platform and in chatrooms.  The virtual environment will take engagement with speakers, attendees and exhibitors to the next level!

Optics: Why do you think it’s valuable for those in the fiber industry to attend?

GB: We are at the beginning of a new fiber investment cycle.  The FCC’s $20B RDOF broadband subsidy program prioritizes funding for fiber networks, the 5G buildout needs massive amounts of fiber to be deployed, after the election Congress will pass an infrastructure bill that will include billions of dollars for fiber deployment.  The pandemic has further accelerated the desperate need for fiber connectivity as people work from home and their kids are attending school online.  If there ever was a time to attend the Fiber Connect conference, this is the year!!

Optics: Why do you think it’s important—now more than ever—to come together?

GB: The Fiber Broadband Association brings together all the stakeholders in the fiber industry, from service providers of all sizes, communities providers, utility providers, fiber broadband equipment manufacturers, fiber construction and deployment companies, fiber optic manufacturers, engineering consultants, financiers and anyone and everyone in the fiber echo system.  The Fiber Connect conference is the opportunity for everyone to come together to hear from industry leaders and industry experts and to connect with everyone in this echo system with a common goal of deploying fiber broadband to every community, every home, every business and every institution across our nation.

Mark Boxer - OFS (Applications Engineering Manager) and FBA Board Member

 Optics: What are you most looking forward to at Virtual Fiber Connect 2020?

Mark Boxer: I’m looking forward to seeing more content than at a live conference.  At a live conference, I need to carefully choose what to see since I can only be at one place at a time.  I always miss something interesting due to competing timeslots.  At Virtual Fiber Connect, sessions will be available on demand, so I won’t miss a thing!   From fiber funding basics, from regulatory updates to construction and operations tips, there’s something for anyone who touches a fiber network.  

Optics: What do you think people can expect at this year’s event?

MB: People can expect world-class content and engagement with exhibitors, giving excellent value for money (and time) for all involved. The FBA Conference Committee has heard feedback from conferences earlier in the year.  We’ve learned from those experiences and are planning a different virtual conference experience.  It’s going to be a great venue for attendees and exhibitors of all types to help fiber network operators find solutions to problems. 

Optics: Why do you think it’s valuable for those in the fiber industry to attend?

MB: It’s fiber’s time.  After being an “invisible technology” for decades, the world is very quickly awakening to the benefits that fiber brings to daily life. The industry is a hotbed of innovation, and Fiber Connect is the venue to become educated or to stay up to speed on the latest in the fiber world.  

Optics: Why do you think it’s important—now more than ever—to come together?

MB: The fiber world isn’t stopping just because there’s a pandemic.  Quite to the contrary, the need for fiber is speeding up and more important than ever!  Fiber Connect is the place to connect with fiber experts in all fiber-related disciplines.  The knowledge gained and contacts made at Fiber Connect will provide benefits for years to come.


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Fiber Broadband Association

 
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