Leaders in all areas of the advanced broadband industry will gather one month from today in Danville to share their expertise on how fiber networks can be used as a catalyst for economic development.
Registration is under way for the conference, which will be held Nov. 8-9 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The conference is expected to draw more than 200 industry executives and professionals and local and state government officials from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina and beyond.
Danville residents can attend for a reduced fee of $75. To register, visit the conference homepage at www.TownsAndTech.com, click on the registration link, then enter the discount code: DanCity75.
The Danville conference is the first in a series being held in response to growing interest on the part of communities in obtaining their own fiber networks – as Danville has done. The series is planned by Broadband Communities, which is a national trade magazine that serves as a leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for communities.
Broadband Communities selected Danville to serve as host for its first conference because of the city’s success in building a fiber network and using it to attract businesses and individuals seeking advanced telecommunication services.
“We are working on all fronts to bring positive attention to Danville,” City Manager Joe King said. “As host, this conference will be another opportunity for us.”
Mayor Sherman Saunders, King and city staff will lead off the conference on Nov. 8 with a presentation on “The Danville Story.” The story will share information on the benefits of a fiber network for municipalities and how nDanville and the regional fiber network are being used to enable economic development. This fiber network was essential, for example, in bringing the Cray XMT2 supercomputer to Danville.
Ted Sojourner, regional vice president for Essel Propack, Dr. Chris Payne, a dentist with Danville Dental Associates, and Dr. Frank Maddux, the founder and a principal shareholder of Gamewood Technology Group, will relate their experiences in using the fiber network.
Tad Deriso, president and chief executive of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative in Virginia, also will make a presentation.
In total, the conference will feature 40 speakers.
Jim Baller, president of the Baller Herbst Law Group, will serve as program chairman for the conference. Baller Herbst is a national law firm that specializes in communications and related matters, and Baller has been recognized as the nation’s most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters.
Earlier this year, Danville received national attention when King served as a presenter at a fiber technology summit held in Dallas and hosted by Broadband Communities. Summit organizers held up Danville as a model for how small cities can use a fiber network.
The summit attracted nearly 1,000 participants, including broadband system operators, network builders and deployers, major property owners and real estate developers, independent telecommunication and cable companies, municipal and state officials, community leaders and economic developers.
Danville’s high speed fiber network operates under the name of “nDanville.” Danville builds and maintains the network, and then allows private businesses to travel and sell services over it. In contrast to networks operated by many cities, nDanville does not compete directly with cable and telephone companies as a retailer for Internet, television and telephone services. These services must be supplied by separate retail providers.
NDanville serves all of Danville’s municipal and utility facilities, 27 schools and 93 businesses. NDanville connects local businesses to northern and eastern Virginia, the North Carolina Research Triangle, and points beyond over the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative’s regional fiber network.
NDanville’s first phase of fiber-to-the-home deployment to 400 houses in central Danville is under way. The fiber network is self-sufficient financially, operating on fees charged to its users. It is being expanded on a pay-as-you-go basis and carries no debt.