Connected Nation

Unveiling the hybrid network model: GeoLinks' vision for connectivity

March 06, 2024 Jessica Denson Season 5 Episode 7
Connected Nation
Unveiling the hybrid network model: GeoLinks' vision for connectivity
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

On today's episode of the Connected Nation podcast, we welcome Ryan Adams, the President and Chief Operations Officer of GeoLinks, a California-based telecommunications company.

Ryan shares what he believes in standing in the way of helping millions more Americans, AND we explore the hybrid network model he says can connect the hardest to reach communities in the U.S.

Recommended Links:
GeoLinks Website
Ryan's LinkedIn 

Jessica Denson (00:09):

This is Connected Nation, an award-winning podcast focused on all things broadband from closing the digital divide to improving your internet speech. We talked technology topics that impact all of us, our families, and our neighborhoods. On today's podcast, we talk with the chief operations officer of Geo Links who says there's a distinct bias that's perpetuating the digital divide. We'll find out what he believes is standing in the way of helping millions more Americans and explore the hybrid network model he says can connect the hardest to reach communities in the us. I'm Jessica Denson, and this is Connected Nation. I'm Jessica Desen, and today my guest is Ryan Adams, president and Chief Operations Officer of Geo Links, a California based telecommunications company that's also the largest holder in the United States, a fixed wireless licensed spectrum, and the 29 31 gigahertz band, which we'll ask you to explain that later. But welcome Ryan. Ryan Adams (01:10):

Well thank you Jessica for having me on here at G Links, big bands of the show and what you guys have been producing. Love what you're doing and very happy to be here. Jessica Denson (01:21):

Oh, we will take the compliment and run with it. We appreciate it. We appreciate you joining us. We did have a little bit of technical issues getting started, so I appreciate your patience today. Worries, worries. Before we jump into No worries, worries. Before we jump into what Links provides, let's talk about your background. Ryan, are you from the California area? Is that where you grew up? Ryan Adams (01:42):

I am born and raised here in Southern California. Very happy to be here. I've had a chance to visit all parts of the United States and across the world, but I got to tell you, nothing beats home here in Southern California. Jessica Denson (01:57):

And when you say southern California, what is that, the San Diego area or further Ryan Adams (02:02):

South? Oh, so Los Angeles County to be exact is where I was born and raised and grew up in Los Angeles County. Moved around quite a bit when I was younger. Ended up settling here in Ventura County, which is basically the northern part of southern California here near our headquarters of Geo Links here in Camarillo, California. Jessica Denson (02:24):

So California really is known as a tech hub all through there, the Silicon Valley. Of course. It's nothing surprising. Why do you think that is? Is it just a great place to be and why is there so much innovation there? Ryan Adams (02:38):

I think it always comes back to me. It always comes back to a few different factors. Obviously the climate is second to none here in Camarillo, it's a very Mediterranean climate doesn't get too hot or too cold. So even here in the winter, we're wearing shorts and sandals. I think there's something about that kind of lifestyle that attracts certain types of talent as well. But again, California, it's such an amazing place. There's so much to do. It's so diverse in types of cultures and different ways of life. Everything from the technology side to food. There's so much diversity out here. We absolutely love it. But I think that attracts a lot of folks as well. I can't say enough about our beaches and you have everything from the nightlife to things to do with families. There's just so many different opportunities and options here in the state. Jessica Denson (03:27):

So it makes it a fun place to live. Ryan Adams (03:30):

It does. It does. Jessica Denson (03:31):

Absolutely. I am jealous of your warm weather because my pipes froze last week. I had to drip my water and the plumber had to come and unfreeze them. So I love the idea of walking around right now in January with flip flops. Have you Ryan Adams (03:47):

Always, I'm sorry to hear that, Jessica, because again, I have family in all parts of the United States and they tell me that their horror stories of winter and out here over the weekend, it was 80 degrees and we're playing outside, like I said, shoes and sandals. So I feel free. Watch Jessica Denson (04:04):

Out. I'm going to come visit you Ryan Adams (04:07):

Anytime. Anytime. Go for it. Jessica Denson (04:10):

So let's get into your background professionally. Have you always been interested in tech and the broadband industry? Ryan Adams (04:18):

I have, but it kind of came to me later in life. Growing up, I had an opportunity to work some pretty diverse jobs and come from a pretty diverse background. But I was always, I should say, I was always excited about the opportunity of technology and I am old enough to remember the rise of the internet and the connectivity piece, and I remember the dial up days and I remember days before there was even a computer in my home. So it was something I was always interested from a young age playing with old solar calculators and old Nintendos and Ataris, but really getting to witness the rise of connectivity and broadband services. So it was always something I was interested, but I didn't necessarily have a career path. Very early on I worked at Call Centers, the PR work and really worked myself in a position where I got to be in position of leadership and management for different organizations.
But I always kind of came back to what I saw was a necessity, and that was really high-speed connectivity and broadband. And as I was able to progress through my career, realizing just how important it really was from my businesses and places that I worked at depended so greatly on that type of technology. But it was always something I was geared towards and something I was always interested in. But I definitely didn't come from this space before. I joined Geo Links pretty diverse background of running different management and executive teams across different industries, but I always kind of saw connectivity in high speed internet as, I don't want to say my true calling, but it was something I was so interested in. So when an opportunity arose to come work at Ingston, that was nearly 10 years ago. I jumped on it pretty quickly. Jessica Denson (06:07):

And in the role that you have now, your president and COO, which is Chief Operations Officer, we talk about the c-suite in business and what that is, but can you really explain what you do in your role as COO and how you approach the work there at Links? Ryan Adams (06:23):

Yeah, so I am absolutely blessed to be working with the best team here in the C-suite and my direct reports, and that's a combination of our different directors and other managers in the organization along with the other C-level folks here. So really my job as president and COO is I get to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization, work very closely with the different department heads, and at the same time work directly with my board as well to again, come up with different business initiatives and oversee our major projects that really allow us to have inroads in this space. And so again, my job is really to work with the teams and really preside over the day to day. And I've always said, surround yourself with people smarter than you and get out of the way. And I've been truly blessed to really work with some of the best folks in the business, from our directors to our field techs, to our customer success folks. We really do have a great team here. It makes my job very easy. Jessica Denson (07:18):

Yeah, I always say as a manager, you hire great people to make you look great and they'll help you. Absolutely true, Jessica. It's really true. What were you going to say? Continue? I'm sorry. Ryan Adams (07:31):

Oh no, I was going to say you nailed it. I've always been a firm believer in hiring the best and brightest and letting them come up with different solutions. Sometimes as executives and folks that have been here for a while, sometimes we're too close to seeing. So it's always great to get a unique perspective from our staff. And I think one of the big things, and one of the reasons for the success here at Linx has been our mission to really work with our folks and adapt the best idea wins mantra, which has been very successful for us in this space and allows us to be creative because we're getting unique voices here within the organization that really allows us to get informed of business decisions, but also think outside the box. Jessica Denson (08:14):

Well, let's talk about links and its overarching mission. What is the company really focused on doing right now? Ryan Adams (08:22):

So a great question. So while a founding mission and commitment has always been around closing the digital divide and that remains steadfast, we've always been about offering innovative telecommunication solutions that are tailored for businesses, communities, and anchor institutions. Simply put, our mission is really about connections and that's connecting people businesses and allow them to thrive today and tomorrow. So it's really all been for us, it's about connecting folks. Jessica Denson (08:49):

And I think it's interesting that you really make a point to call out not just the residential and the business, but also those anchor institutions. Can you talk a little bit about why those are so critical to this work? Ryan Adams (09:06):

Yeah, so I mean the work that we do in this space, to me, I mean it's been such a professional highlight that we've been able to again, connect hundreds schools, centers of education, libraries and hospitals and just really other anchor institutions. Really over the last 10 years. We're talking about facilities that have had zero access to high-speed broadband or maybe waiting for years for carriers to come in to bring in solutions that never came to be for us. Bridging that digital divide and connecting these folks is really, it's a huge part of our business. It's just as important as our business class clients to our residential, to these anchor institutions because of our innovative ways of engineering. Geo Links has a unique opportunity that we can really assist in these anchor institutions and getting them connected. Jessica Denson (09:53):

And is there a different approach you have to take when you work with those? Are there a different set of rules or regulations or is it just you work with them as you would any other customer? Ryan Adams (10:05):

Yeah, so I mean, look, we take a look at what the actual need is, and for some of these locations we're talking about the reason why maybe they don't have access to that high speed connectivity is for the geography. And so there's sometimes a different set of metrics that we use, different construction that we'll utilize to get these clients up and running. But for us, it's again, we look at the opportunity, we see how we can help. If I'm looking at a location that's in a very rural spot that is maybe hindered by trees and mountains and there's no access to fiber or anything else, we're going to find an innovative way of engineering a solution to that client. So it's maybe not as straightforward is what we do with say, a typical business client in our footprint, but if we're building a custom network solution, we're working pretty closely with the different counties and cities and these anchor anchor institutions as well to come up with innovative solutions Jessica Denson (10:58):

And innovate. You have, you've also won some interesting accolades I'd like to explore with Geo Links. There was the Innovations and Networking and Corporate Partnership Award from the California Education Network initiatives in California, which is also called Scenic. Explain what that honor was for and I'd like to explore another one that you guys have received. Ryan Adams (11:21):

Yeah, absolutely. I can't say enough wonderful things about Scenic. The work they do in this educational space is second to none when it comes to finding solutions for schools, libraries, and other anchor institutions. We were honored with the Innovations and Networking in Corporate Partnership award for the work that we've done in providing internet circuits for schools and libraries. Again, we're talking about very hard to reach locations and schools, folks that again, maybe been waiting years for some kind of solution to connect the schools back to centers of education. So that award was honoring G Links and the work that we've done in bringing that high speed internet to these locations. The thing is, if you look at Geo Links, we'll probably have a diverse makeup of clients who trust us with their telecommunication needs from Fortune 500 companies, the local delis down the street, the popular restaurant chain chain. We realized pretty early on that we could apply the same engineering principles and technologies that we use to support these types of clients, apply that to the anchor institutions to bridge the digital divide. And again, we're talking about unserved and underserved institutions that have had historically not a lot of options. Jessica Denson (12:31):

So often some of the smaller schools and facilities, that type of thing. Ryan Adams (12:38):

Absolutely. Some of these places are very small or maybe have been overlooked in the past, and that's really where the work that Scenic does by really matching up companies like Geox to these locations is really key. And I think that award is representative of all the achievements that we've done in terms of, again, coming up with innovative solutions where there may not be a fiber play path or fiber play in the path of bringing the connectivity portion to that location. And so again, that's where we've come up with, again, using our history of engineering and design, able to come up with a custom solution to bring that high speed broadband to that location. Jessica Denson (13:19):

You also received a Geo Links also received the Christine Huska, hopefully I'm saying that correctly, distinguished service award for donating lifesaving services during natural disasters there in California. It sounds like you took some timely and critical steps to help others, but could you explain what you did and why it was so important to G Links to take some action? Ryan Adams (13:42):

Oh, absolutely. During the 2017 Thomas Fire here in California, it was a absolutely destructive force. It was a wildfire that unfortunately claimed burned a lot of acres and a lot of damage here to the state. During that time, a lot of critical infrastructure was actually cut off because of the fire we're talking fiber paths that folks depended on. For that connectivity piece, we realized that Geo Links, we had an opportunity to really assist here during that fire in making sure that first responders and emergency crews had access to communication tools. So utilizing the Geo Links network, again, that stayed up during these fires. Again, because of the redundant nature of the engineering work that we do, we had multiple paths. And so during the 2017 Thomas Fire, we had a lot of folks that unfortunately lost connectivity Jillian's clients were remained on during that critical time when communication was so key. And during that time, we assisted fire crews, first responders, emergency crews that were responding. We brought internet service to makeshift locations that set up basically mobile HQs that needed access to high-speed internet. And so knowing that most of the fiber lines or all the fiber lines out here in Ventura town are basically covered because of Fire geox was able to remain on and active and actually bring circuits to those folks so that they can communicate with one another and set up a base of operations here in Ventura County. Jessica Denson (15:12):

Yeah, I don't want to step over this too quickly because I just imagine being in a natural disaster and then not having access to information or being somebody, a firefighter who needs access to coordinate services. How difficult was it to know where to go, what to do? Were you in constant contact with different groups to know what to do to respond to Ryan Adams (15:41):

That? Yeah, so yeah, great question, right, Jessica, because again, this is something that we see quite a bit in our state. Unfortunately, the state of California, we don't really have a fire season unfortunately. The state is just, we are on high fire alert all year round. So when you see mass events like this, it's important that you partner with the right folks. And so scenic early on, again, realized our speed to delivery and again, our engineering prowess in this space, that when the opportunity came up for us to service this basically mobile HQ that popped up, they called us and we were able to get that site fully operational within, I believe it was within four to five hours from getting the first call. And that's again, having the resources, the redundancy. And again, as we build our network across the state, we're always building it for true redundancy in the event that there isn't kind of outages or emergencies. And so we were able to utilize existing assets and be able to deploy rather quickly to those locations that Scenic needed to make sure that people had that connectivity option. And again, this goes back to something that we designed our network in mind for is the ability to not only service clients, but in the opportunity arises if there's any kind of disaster, what can links do to help? And that was something that we were proud to offer to Scenic and to those first responders. Jessica Denson (16:59):

Well applause for you and all of your staff for something that had to be very difficult living there and working there and going through that. I'm sure that's why you were given the award. Please pass it along to everyone in my opening comments. I shared that. Great. We're stepping on each other a little bit. I'm sorry about that. In my opening comments, Ryan Adams (17:22):

I shared my fault. I'm new to this. I'm so sorry, Jessica, I'm so sorry. I'll stop. Jessica Denson (17:27):

No, you're fantastic. In my opening comments, I shared that your company believes hybrid networks can really help reach the hardest to reach areas. Explain what you mean by a hybrid network and why that's important and does that play a role in some of what you're talking about about having redundancies? Ryan Adams (17:45):

Yeah, so I think as the state and really not just the state, but here across the United States, I think it's important to be agnostic when it looks at the technologies that are going to bring people together. I think that's so important. And so when we believe in the hybrid network, we think that you have to take a look at every type of technology to really bridge the digital divide. I don't think that there's one tech technology that is going to work for every single solution. So I think a hybrid approach, I'd say in most instances, or if not all instances, I think you can look at utilizing Fiber and Microwave as a viable hybrid build to bring high speed internet to folks. And I've seen this time and time again over the last 10 years, I've been at the forefront of working on major projects that use the hybrid strategy to bring high speed connectivity to our clients, anchor institutions and just folks in unserved and underserved locations.
And so the hybrid approach of utilizing, let's say both fiber on both microwave is such a key component to really bridging the digital divide. There's just going to be, in most instances, fiber is not going to be viable if you are living in the middle of nowhere, especially in some of these rural locations. Or you have an area that's just, you're not going to get fiber into the ground or aerial drops just because of the environmental nature of our state. And so I think you have to look at all available technologies and take an agnostic approach because I think at the end of the day, the most important thing is making sure that the end user is connected as opposed to the delivery method itself. Jessica Denson (19:15):

I love that idea, the agnostic approach where you take all these different pieces and we talk about closing the digital divide a lot at Connected Nation and the importance of partnership. Maybe another way to say that is an agnostic approach. I really like it. I mentioned also at the top of the podcast and I promised an explanation to our audience. So I've mentioned that Links is the largest holder in the United States, a fixed wireless license spectrum in 29 31 gigahertz band. What is that? What does that necessarily mean and why is that important? Ryan Adams (19:51):

Well, great question, and again, this is something that we get all the time is what is Spectrum exactly, especially here in the microwave space. Well, spectrum is a very limited commodity, and there's only so much of it that's truly available. And percentage wise, geo links, we own a nice part of that usable spectrum. So the LMD of Spectrum, I should say, is high enough in frequency to have high capacity and goods durability and low enough to get decent range. This allows us to control different patterns for high density deployments. And again, geox is the only, again, we're the largest holder of this, and the areas that we have the spectrum, we're the only one utilizing it. So for us, this spectrum will provide a more range at higher speed than any of our competitors are currently able to offer, which is very, very key. And again, this is something that the spectrum is very important to us as part of our future plans to deployment. We have this spectrum over 40 plus states here in America, and currently right now we are utilizing and looking to utilize this across our current footprints here in California, Arizona, Nevada, while also future planning what we're going to be doing with the Spectrum in those other states. Jessica Denson (21:01):

And you guys have dealings as won a lot of federal funding. I say a lot. I'm not sure if it's a lot, but with the rural digital Opportunity funds, CAF funds, some other things like that. Correct. Am I right? Some of that funding is helping with that? I know since you're working in a lot of rural areas, that's a big thing right now at the federal level. What are some challenges and or opportunities you see with this type of funding? Some lessons learned maybe are words of wisdom, words of wisdom that you would offer to others. Ryan Adams (21:34):

So the spectrum, and it is quite separate than the stuff that we're doing, say in the big Rural Digital Opportunity Fund or the Connect America Fund two, which were the two big grant programs that we won. And again, these are fantastic programs that really allow us to build network and really we talk about bridging the digital divide, but this is something that really allows us to go out there and build high speed networks through those census block groups that we won in these underserved and unserved locations. For us, this was a huge opportunity. I first looked at CAF two many, many years ago, and we're actually now in year five of our network build out. And we've hit every single milestone ahead of us, and it's been such a wonderful opportunity. It's allowed us to really grow our network, but also, again, we are connecting all different types of folks.
It's not just those residents in those census block areas that we won, but also the corresponding adjoined census block, the businesses in those locations as well. And so for us, this was a unique opportunity to bid and win subsidy, but also at the same time, we got a chance to really take a step back and take a very educated approach on our build out strategy. And this was something that was done intentionally when we first looked at CAP and RDO. We could have been very aggressive and bid on every single opportunity out there outside of our state in multiple states, and I know a lot of folks did, but we wanted to take something that we know that we could do well and also utilize our expertise in this space in terms of engineering against solutions that we know would work. And so that's where you see we enduring cap. We were the fourth largest winner overall in the project in the United States in terms of subsidy. And that's allowing us to build in very rural parts of California and Nevada. And then when it comes to RDO, again, very happy with the winds that we got there, which will allow us to bring high speed internet to the folks of Arizona and Nevada. Jessica Denson (23:35):

How critical would you say it is for federal or state funding for these types of projects to reach rural areas? There's not really a strong business model to do it otherwise, correct? Ryan Adams (23:46):

Absolutely. I think it's very important, and I think the FCC acknowledges as well that the federal government has a huge role to play in making sure that the funds are available again for these folks, because at the end of the day, because of the geographies and the role nature of these buildouts, you're just not necessarily going to see a lot of companies going out there and be able to again, build network to those folks without the subsidy. Jessica Denson (24:11):

I'd like to touch now on Forbes magazine opinion piece that you wrote regarding the digital divide and how businesses can help. You said some pretty really interesting things in it that I'd love to explore. First. You pointed to the divide limiting business opportunities, but not just in rural areas, also in low income urban areas. Explain your point of view on that. Ryan Adams (24:36):

Absolutely. So most people think the digital divide really only affects rural communities. I mean, a lot of folks have that kind of preconceived idea, but really the reality is that the digital divide is also disproportionately affecting low income and urban communities across the country. We're talking about communities that have already faced numerous disadvantages, but the reliance on digital technology for education and for business only intensified with these issues. As a result, we're seeing small business operating within these communities. They're facing major setbacks in their ability to operate effectively in this digital age. And this is something that we've seen firsthand in this space servicing Southern California and Northern California. Again, when you think of Los Angeles, you're not thinking rural, but we've seen the digital divide really had an effect in these low income urban communities really across California. Jessica Denson (25:34):

And you argued that it's really an impact on education as well. Impact Ryan Adams (25:39):

Education, yes. Yeah, and education. I mean, we've seen serious hits as a result of Digital Divide. I mentioned this in my recent Forbes article, but in 2021, research by the common Sense in Boston Consulting Group found that up to 16 million K through 12 public school students lacked adequate internet or devices to sustain effective distance learning at home. I mean, then that was during the pandemic. And to me, that was just such a hard thing to understand, right? 9 million lacked both. So with remote and digital learning persisting students without adequate internet access, they fall further and further behind. And we're seeing this and we're very closely, again with scenic in different communities as well. And we're finding that, again, this not only affects the students, but also the parents who have to navigate childcare, find ways to ensure their children have access to the necessary resources.
And we talk about the digital divide, which I think is important, but I think we also talk about digital equity. And I think digital equity is very important because digital equity refers the concept that every individual should have equal access to digital technologies and resources, including broadband. And this should go beyond internet connectivity should also encompass other aspects such as digital literacy, the affordability of essential digital tools, plus the elimination of barriers that might hinder participation in the digital world. And I think this is something that really should be highlighted when not just bridging the digital divide, but also again, when we're talking about digital equity. Jessica Denson (27:12):

Yeah, we would echo that for sure. We always talk about it in three buckets. That's access, adoption and use access being having it adoption. Can you afford it? Can you get it? Do you understand how to use it? So I would echo that we agree with you and applaud that. You also wrote that the digital quote I'm quoting here, the divide is further perpetuated. Word I have a hard time with the divide is further perpetuated by bias and funding. Explain what you mean by that and what can be done to change it. Ryan Adams (27:44):

Yeah. This kind of goes back to what I was saying about the hybrid approach and being agnostic, right? Because in recent years, we've witnessed a surge in federal and state level funding programs aimed at expanding network infrastructure and connecting under connected or under connected customers. One thing that I will highlight, the Biden administration's bipartisan infrastructure law is providing 65 billion for improving broadband access. I mean, it's amazing, right? Broad programs like the broadband equity access of deployment, or be it's aim is to help expand high spend internet access. However, some is the law of folks have actually critic, I should say, there's been strong, or I should say there's been strong criticism on focus on fiber only solutions. And this goes back to what was speaking about earlier. When it comes to the hybrid approaches, I think you have to look at all different options because you're not going to be able to bring fiber to certain folks. And then again, you're limiting another generation about having access to high speed internet. Again, in my experience, fiber is not always practical or cost effective for every location. We've also observed that alternative technologies like fixed wireless, though proven successful, can face resistance due to misconceptions about their quality. Eliminating funding allocation bias and adopting inclusive technologies really should be essential to assure equal access to broadband services for all. Jessica Denson (29:02):

Love that. Also, you said that you believe business owners should play a role in making broadband accessible. Do you mean ISPs or just business owners in general, or what are your thoughts on that and how so? Ryan Adams (29:16):

Yeah, so I think it's, if you look at the telecom industry, the leaders in the space can drive access and fair competition by adopting price and speed transparency, while also really spearheading public and private partnerships such as collaborative investment projects with government entities participating in programs designed to extend broadband services to understand area provides companies with the necessary resources to competitive and innovative. These partnerships empower mid-size carriers to enter the market, expand their capacity to deliver services effectively, and increasing accessibility for businesses in underserved communities. So again, I think in this space it's important to be transparent, but also I think it's up to the telecom industry to be at the forefront of this movement. Jessica Denson (30:02):

And really, I think it benefits both sides. Business being connected, businesses, helping people be connected, leads to more customer. I mean, it's a circle, really. Right, Ryan Adams (30:14):

Absolutely. Jessica Denson (30:15):

Okay. I'll include a link to that Forbes article, by the way, for our audience in the description of this podcast. Before I let you go, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you what's next for links and if there are any big plans that you can share. Ryan Adams (30:30):

Absolutely. Well look, we're looking to continue to upgrade and advance our network across the areas, California, Nevada, and Arizona. And again, taking a look at other opportunities across the country. At the same time, we're looking to advance and grow our staff as we continue to grow in these areas. The glink continues to grow internally as well. And so our commitment, again is to our clients, but also making sure they have access to the best technologies. We're always in the midst of an r and d project. We're always testing. We work very closely with manufacturers as well. So for Geox, looking into 2024, it's been very exciting for me. The last 10 years being here has been very exciting, but the energy that I see here internally and things that we're focusing on are so exciting that 2024 looks to be another banner year for the company, not just in terms of growth, but also opportunities for our clients and for our employees as well. Jessica Denson (31:28):

What about the technology? Are there things that you're seeing on the horizon over the next five, 10 years or even further, that you think are coming that you're super excited about? Ryan Adams (31:39):

Yeah, I mean, I'm so excited to see whether companies and manufacturers are doing this space to really push the technology. I feel we've seen more of an evolutionary jump in this space in the last 10 years than we did the previous 50 years before it, and I'm so happy to be at the forefront of that and leading the charge and making sure that these technologies are available and offered to our clients. But in this space, I'm seeing what folks thought weren't possible in terms of distance and speeds even five years ago is now reality now and on store shelves. So it's a very exciting time and watching folks really push the envelope, but also seeing providers such as Geo Links taking what these folks are doing and running with it as well. Jessica Denson (32:23):

Well, any final thought that you want to share, or what is the one thing that you hope the listeners take away about links from today? Ryan Adams (32:32):

Well, again, we're very happy beyond this show, Jessica. The work that you guys do is absolutely fantastic. The thing I'd like for folks to take away is that we all have a role to play when it comes to the digital device. It's important that we educate ourselves on options and technologies so we can make informed decisions for ourselves in our communities. Going back, and again, I know I don't want to be a broken record here, but I think it's important to be agnostic and look at what is going to be the end result. What is going to ultimately be the thing that bridges the digital divide? It shouldn't be about the delivery method. It's about what works. And I think it's important that folks listening and the folks who are out there that, again, I should say educate themselves. Be aware of what these technologies, the pros and cons of everything, and make informed decisions for themselves. Jessica Denson (33:20):

Alright, we will leave it there. Thank you, Ryan. I really appreciate you joining us today. Ryan Adams (33:26):

I appreciate it too, Jessica, thank you so much. Jessica Denson (33:28):

Yeah, enjoy that nice weather. Ryan Adams (33:31):

Alright, I'll try. Thank you Jessica Denson (33:39):

Again. I've been talking today with Ryan Adams, president and Chief Operations Officer of Geo Links, a California based telecommunications company. I'll include a link to the company's website in the description of this podcast. Still ahead this season on Connected Nation, we'll talk with the CEO of Ora Health about addressing a critical need in rural America, offering mental health services. Plus, you'll meet a filmmaker who was forced to leverage technology in new ways to make her art. I'm Jessica Denson, thanks for listening. If you like our show and want to know more about us, how to connect the or look for the latest episodes on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Google Podcast, Pandora, or Spotify.

Ryan's background
Ryan's role at GeoLinks
GeoLinks' current focus
GeoLinks' accolades
Hybrid networks
The role of state and federal funding
Impact on education
Business owners role in broadband access
Conclusion + Outro