TelecomDrive.com | Spotlight on Fiber Connect 2022
Fiber Connect 2022 – the flagship event of Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) is coming up in Nashville, Tennessee June 12-15. The event is set to put spotlight on the possibilities fiber broadband for unserved and underserved communities, in way of access, innovation, economic growth, and delivering critical services.
Gary Bolton, CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about this year’s Fiber Connect, what can we expect at the event and how is the event going to shape up for year 2023.
What is the big focus or theme for this year’s Fiber Connect?
We are at a historic moment for the fiber broadband industry as we begin the largest infrastructure investment cycle we’ve ever seen. The opportunity and challenges ahead of us will reshape our industry, and more importantly, the way underserved communities will grow, learn and thrive.
Our theme is “if capacity is unlimited, the possibilities are limitless” and the industry is coming together at Fiber Connect 2022 to discuss, debate, share best practices, see innovative new products and services, and hear from leading experts from within our community, as well as representatives from NTIA, USDA Rural Development, USAC, and several leading state broadband officers. Fiber Connect 2022 is where everyone involved in closing the digital equity gap is meeting this year and we couldn’t be more excited to kick things off on June 12, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.
How is this year’s Fiber Connect going to be different?
This year’s event comes during a pivotal time in our industry as we look to take fiber further in the United States with the current multi-billion-dollar federal investment. Fiber Connect 2022 will bring together the best minds from all aspects of the fiber broadband ecosystem to deliver the right tools, insights, and expertise needed to ensure every community reaches its full potential.
Our program will provide resources, research and templates to help service providers adopt the programs and processes that ultimately realize the best results in terms of broadband infrastructure.
To help our industry rise to the challenges ahead, we’ve expanded our programming to include five pre-conference workshops, 14 breakout sessions, topical general session speakers, and panels. We’ve also added several new networking events and opportunities, and a robust vendor-led Expo Hall Theater. To highlight the applications and services driving demand for unlimited capacity in the access network, we’ve introduced the Fiber Connect Proof of Concept (PoC) program. FBA members will provide demonstrations to showcase how operators can leverage the limitless capacity that fiber delivers to support applications such as smart city, smart home, telehealth, 5G, and IoT.
We’ve also added a Train the Trainer workshop for our new OpTIC training program to help develop the instructors that can help train new optical field technicians in their home communities as operators move to expand fiber broadband services.
This year’s event will also discuss the current challenges that the fiber industry faces, including workforce development and the skilled technician shortage in both panel discussions and with a new training program. The conference features a “Train the Trainer” program based on the Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC™ Training course. The course was developed after we saw the need to expand the fiber workforce in order to keep up with broadband demand.
The course is an intensive 144-hour training program to help ensure no state is left behind in the digital equity gap. At Fiber Connect, attendees will have the opportunity to become an FBA OpTIC™ Course Trainer and join our team of instructors as we grow the program into community colleges, veteran organizations, and vocational schools across the country.
This is our moment as an industry and Fiber Connect 2022 is where everyone should be June 12 – 15, 2022.
What kind of fiber related trends can we expect to be discussed during this year’s event?
Fiber broadband is the only communication infrastructure capable of supporting the long-term connectivity goals of the nation’s communities and the capacity-intensive services and applications consumers want and need in their daily lives. We’ll hear from demand drivers, the company’s delivering the capacity consuming applications and services, such as Meta and TiVo on why fiber broadband is a critical part of each company’s development plans and how it impacts how each moves forward.
Another trend you’ll hear discussed at Fiber Connect 2022 is how fiber broadband creates opportunities for companies to give back to the communities they serve. Joseph “JJ” Jones, our conference chair and EVP at On Trac Inc. is moderating a panel discussion on Fiber and the Social Good during Tuesday’s general sessions.
We’re also going to dive deep into the economic impact that fiber broadband can have on communities once deployed. We’ll look at this topic during several panel discussions, as well as hear it discussed during some of the standout individual keynote presentations from industry leaders like Kathryn de Wit of The Pew Charitable Trusts and Dr. Christopher Ali, author of “Farm Fresh Broadband.”
How many industry professionals and from which segments are expected to attend the event?
We are expecting up to 3000 attendees from the fiber broadband industry including incumbent and community operators, vendors, system integrators, and suppliers. We also expect to have a large contingent of state broadband officials in Nashville to participate in sessions, attend workshops and meet and interact with our community.
Our expo hall show floor is sold out with over 180 booths so anyone that wants to learn about the latest innovations, newest products and technologies, or just attend one of our many networking events, needs to register today so they don’t miss what will absolutely be the networking event of 2022.
Can you share a bit of details about next year’s event?
Yes, planning for Fiber Connect 2023 is well underway. The theme is “What Fiber Disrupts Next,” and it will highlight the critical role fiber broadband plays in enabling the applications and services driving the Multi-Gig economy. We have plans to expand our content, add new programming elements, bring in additional industry partners and look at new and emerging issues such as sustainability, diversity and fiber as an economic enabler and platform for innovation.
Fiber Connect 2023 is planned for Orlando, Florida from June 11-14, 2023.