Last week, the Fiber Broadband Association hosted its Colorado Regional Event—an educational workshop series for members across the country to explore FBA’s Fiber Broadband Toolkit—on Nov. 5 in Fort Collins, Colo. This event, which had more than 100 attendees, brought people from the Rocky Mountain state and beyond to discuss the impact of implementing fiber.
“You can’t get more reliable networks than fiber,” said FBA Chairman and Clearfield Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Morgan during his opening remarks. “That’s a fact.”
At the meeting, speakers covered everything from the basics of fiber funding to implementation of fiber networks in municipalities. At the event, speakers and attendees discussed what it takes to build and maintain a fiber network, and how it can transform a community for the better.
One of two keynote speakers was Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. An advocate of fiber in his state, Weiser said connectivity is necessary for advancing cities in Colorado and beyond.
“I’m terrified of a world with information haves and have nots,” he said. “Those who have access to process and use information are going to be in so much better of a situation. If communities don’t have broadband, they won’t last.”
In order to create communities that thrive in the 21st century, Weiser said it’s imperative for government on all levels to work with community stakeholders and private companies to ensure broadband is deployed in a smart way. He said it’s especially important for entities like the Attorney General’s office to ask tough questions and support progressive policies while examining how they can best serve their communities.
“The reality is we have to continue learning and evaluating how things are working,” he said. “We can’t say, ‘We’ve made a plan so we’re locked in.’ We need to keep changing and evolving the plan—and that’s a different way for a government to traditionally operate.”
Also at the meeting, Colman Keane was honored with the first-ever Dr. Charles Kao Award for Community Broadband. Keane is the executive director of Fort Collins’ city-run broadband network, Connexion, and has been integral in building out the city’s fiber network.
The Fiber Broadband Association created the Dr. Charles Kao Award for Community Broadband to honor Dr. Kao and celebrate the lasting impact he continues to make on the fiber industry. Dr. Charles Kao, regarded by many as the “Father of Fiber Optics,” revolutionized the transmission of data and laid the foundation for fiber connectivity around the world. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, or companies that honor Dr. Kao’s innovation and connect communities with fiber optic technology.
“Internet is essential today,” Keane said. “The thing we have to ask ourselves is the big ‘why.’ What does this mean to our community?”
In the future, FBA hopes to continue building on the success of events like this and previous educational workshops.
“We want to educate members and non-members what it takes to do a fiber optic build,” Morgan said. “We want to be true advocates for you and serve you through this process. We want you to understand the importance of fiber.”