Connected Nation

Inside the 2024 Broadband Communities Summit (Part One)

May 07, 2024 Jessica Denson Season 5 Episode 14
Inside the 2024 Broadband Communities Summit (Part One)
Connected Nation
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Connected Nation
Inside the 2024 Broadband Communities Summit (Part One)
May 07, 2024 Season 5 Episode 14
Jessica Denson

This week, the Connected Nation podcast is on the road covering the 2024 Broadband Communities Summit in The Woodlands, Texas. The event serves as a hub of collaboration and innovation for some of the biggest names in broadband, all working towards a shared mission of closing the Digital Divide.

On today's episode, Jessica Denson welcomes on a variety of guests from varying backgrounds. From a company helping peers navigate red tape, another company helping ISP's scale up and skill up their workforce, a company pioneering mesh networking PLUS a surprise guest appearance from a Connected Nation employee.

Recommended Links:
Kendall Communications
Cielo Systems
Connected Nation teams up with eero to bring faster, more reliable internet to underserved homes
Heather Gate's LinkedIn

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This week, the Connected Nation podcast is on the road covering the 2024 Broadband Communities Summit in The Woodlands, Texas. The event serves as a hub of collaboration and innovation for some of the biggest names in broadband, all working towards a shared mission of closing the Digital Divide.

On today's episode, Jessica Denson welcomes on a variety of guests from varying backgrounds. From a company helping peers navigate red tape, another company helping ISP's scale up and skill up their workforce, a company pioneering mesh networking PLUS a surprise guest appearance from a Connected Nation employee.

Recommended Links:
Kendall Communications
Cielo Systems
Connected Nation teams up with eero to bring faster, more reliable internet to underserved homes
Heather Gate's LinkedIn

Jessica Denson (00:08):

This is Connected Nation, an award-winning podcast focused on all things broadband from closing the digital divide to improving your internet speeds with talk technology topics, and impact all of us, our families and our neighborhoods. In this special edition of the Connected Nation podcast, we are in the field at the Broadband Community Summit, talking with those who are making strides and closing the digital divide among those we talk to today. A company helping others navigate Red Tape, another company that can help scale up and skill up ISPs, workforce and some pioneers in mesh networking. I'm Jessica Denson and this is Connected Nation. I am Jessica Denson and I'm at the Broadband Community Summit taking place in the Woodlands in Houston, Texas. Well, just outside of Houston, Texas. It's early May and it is hot outside. We are inside at the Marriott Marriott Convention Center, and I am with Frank DeVito. Did I say your name right, Frank? Yes, you did. Thank you. He is the president and general counsel for Kendall Communications. Welcome. Thank you for joining me today. I really appreciate it. Frank DiVito (01:12):

Well, thank you for having me, Jessica. I appreciate it. Yeah, Jessica Denson (01:15):

You are breaking the ice for us at this event. You're our first interview, so I'm super excited Frank DiVito (01:21):

That someone, oh wait, I promise to set a very low bar. So all the other attendees that you interview can definitely exceed what I am about to present. Jessica Denson (01:30):

I don't believe you. I think it's going to be a high bar, high bar set. So let's get into it. First off, tell us a little bit about Kendall Communications and what that organization does. Frank DiVito (01:38):

Sure. I appreciate that. Yeah, Kendall Communications, so we're a site acquisition firm that's based out of Columbus, Ohio, and really our experience for the last, I'll say 25 plus years and has been in the wireless industry, but recently in the last several years, we have done a lot of projects in the wireline industry and helping to ensure that the deployment of broadband is expedited throughout this country. Obviously, there's been a great focus in the last couple years with bead money, et cetera. So we are finding that a lot of clients need help with permitting right of way work, right of entry agreements, et cetera. So that's what Kendall communication does. Jessica Denson (02:31):

I hear a lot of need out there when it comes especially to with smaller providers and navigating that space. What are some maybe tips or tricks of the trade that you would offer to help those groups navigate that come to Kendall Communications first, but then what? Frank DiVito (02:50):

Well, I think really for providers, and there's a lot of new entrants in the space and obviously a lot of money that's flowing from the government. I think one of the keys always is community engagement, and we find that getting your message out, regardless of what you're doing within the community, the sooner that you engage with community leaders and telling them that the awesome services that you're going to provide, the community and the connectivity that you can offer, I think that helps in getting your message across to all levels of, whether it's property owners, whether it's residents, et cetera. It's like, okay, because a lot of these communities, again, have just typically underserved and now they have this company coming in and it's like, wow, it's almost like a bright news shiny object and what's going on here. But I think that the sooner that you engage with community leaders, the better. And typically when on the wire land side, if you're doing new construction within a community, not only you have the permitting challenges, but the construction itself, everybody wants, and we've seen this on the wireless side, everybody wants ubiquitous cell phone code, but no one wants to see a cell tower again. And the same with, oh, everybody wants fiber, but really what they hate is the construction. They don't want to see their lawn turn up, they don't want to see the driveway. Jessica Denson (04:33):

So you really help. It's really important to help communities understand what this means to have this access. Frank DiVito (04:39):

Absolutely. Jessica Denson (04:40):

So what area of the country does Kendall communication serves? Is it across all 50 states or Frank DiVito (04:46):

So? We are primarily in the Midwest and southeast. So we do have resources here in Texas, so it's nice to be in Texas, but I would say that our sweet spot is probably the eastern half of the country. Jessica Denson (05:05):

Are there some things that are unique from state to state that you really have to look for when it comes to this kind of thing? Are there different rules, set of rules every time you cross a border or are there a lot of similarities? Frank DiVito (05:19):

Well, that's interesting. So obviously the federal government, and we had some speakers earlier today, is trying to make that, whether it's a permitting process to make that create a level playing field across all states, but you're still going to have the unique challenges of what's at the state level, what is access to utility boats, different utility providers in different states, they're going to have different rules, for example. And so it does become a little bit challenging to keep track of that and be able to properly file for your permits. And everybody again, wants everything yesterday. Jessica Denson (06:06):

I think it's kind of an American trait, right? It is an American trait, especially a Texan trait. I could say that because a Texan, yeah, Frank DiVito (06:16):

And again, and providers, there is only so much money to go around. It seems like there's an unlimited bucket, so at everybody wants to be efficient and economical in what they do. So we're one of those many, many companies that tries to help them navigate that process. Jessica Denson (06:35):

So let's talk just for a moment about you. Why do you do this work? Do you enjoy it? Is it something you fell into or what brought you to it? Frank DiVito (06:43):

Well, I love this work and it's interesting that you asked that. Yes, everybody has a story of how did they fall into telecom because I did not go into college thinking that I was going to be in the telecom industry. So actually I am an attorney by trade. I was in private practice for three years, and then I was an executive at a national engineering firm, and I was there for 21 years and sold a private equity. And after I left there, I just was looking for new challenges, and that's how I wound up at Kendall because it's a space I've been in 25 years, and I just absolutely love it. Jessica Denson (07:27):

It sounds like people can't see you, but I can. So I can tell 'em you have a big smile on your face as you talk about this, and it's very engaging just to see that you are excited about this work. So one last question and I'll let you go. What do you hope? Well, actually I should ask you two more. Why did you come to the broadband communities conference Frank DiVito (07:49):

So far, and it's been almost one full day here. It's really the educational aspect. How do we better serve multifamily units? That is a big piece, so enjoying to hear. It's kind of a forum that everybody likes to discuss their problems and potential solutions, and you could look at things a different way that you might not be looking at. So always love meeting new people. I've had a pleasure to meet you as an example. So it's a great place to come and network, of course, and learn. Jessica Denson (08:36):

Okay, and now for real, my final question is what do you hope to see comes from the work that's happening now? What do you want to see five, 10 years down the road, Frank DiVito (08:49):

Five, 10 years down the road? I really think that really want to see truly a connected America and your connected nation. And it is amazing because I have been to parts and especially from being in the Midwest, and I've experienced firsthand where you can go to a farm in Indiana and that farmer only has dial up, barely has an internet connection that's got to change. The problem's not going to be solved by fiber alone. I think it's going to be a mixture of fiber and wireless. That's something that, because of my wireless background, that's always interested me. I think that companies will be looking for different fixed wireless solutions, et cetera, and I truly want to see that, hey, you can have underserved America connected once and all somehow some way and make it affordable for everybody because Jessica Denson (09:53):

I think a lot of Hoosier farmers would agree with that, right? Yeah, Frank DiVito (09:57):

Absolutely. There's a lot of, there is, and it's interesting to see that Indiana is one of those states that is investing heavily, heavily in broadband. So it's great to see, I know Texas has a large investment going on, and I think it'll be interesting to see over the next couple years how quickly that money is actually distributed to providers and how they can execute on their plans. Jessica Denson (10:27):

Yeah, that's the big question. How long will it all take? Frank DiVito (10:30):

And everybody's waiting for that. Jessica Denson (10:32):

Well, I really appreciate you sitting down with me and talking with me today. Well, Frank DiVito (10:36):

Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for making me your initial, Jessica Denson (10:40):

My inaugural interview of the conference Frank DiVito (10:43):

Interview. Right. And like I said, a low bar, but hopefully you have a lot of other attendees that spend some time with you because I've certainly enjoyed spending time with you. And I'll make a testament to all. Jessica Denson (10:55):

I'll include a link to your company in the description of this podcast when we publish it, and I'll also send it to you. And again, I have been talking to Frank DeVito, who is president and General counsel with Kendall Communications. Thank you, Frank. Frank DiVito (11:09):

I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time, Joseph. Have a great day. Jessica Denson (11:11):

You too. I'm at the Broadband Community Summit in the Woodlands, which is just outside of Houston. I am sitting with Allison Lafferty, who is with CLO Systems. She is the director of operations. Thank you for joining me, Allison. Allison Lafferty (11:25):

Thank you for having me. Jessica Denson (11:27):

Let's begin by learning a little bit about your company. Tell us what CLO systems is and what it does. Allison Lafferty (11:33):

Sure. So Cielo Systems, we started in 2007 as a var, so a reseller of equipment, and we have really kind of changed our dynamic a little bit. And so we are more on the services side. We have about a hundred technicians nationwide where we are doing network upgrades, installing access points, any low voltage cabling, anything of that sort. Jessica Denson (11:56):

So you said you were across the country Allison Lafferty (11:58):

With Yes, we are nationwide. We are based in Lubbock, Texas, but we are nationwide. Jessica Denson (12:02):

So how is that as a director of operations, handling that state to state, where are your people going? What's next? Is that kind of a chaos that's controlled chaos, I guess? Allison Lafferty (12:14):

Controlled chaos, of course. Lots of organization, lots of moving parts. So we have lots of team members helping in every aspect, and it works great if you have organizations. So Jessica Denson (12:26):

What are some of the challenges that you face with that? Allison Lafferty (12:31):

Definitely I would say just a lot of moving parts. So everyone has to know their role and complete their role. It's just like a puzzle piece. If one piece is missing, it can't be completed. So everyone just kind of has to make sure that they're, they're organized. Jessica Denson (12:50):

Is labor a tough thing right now? Is it hard finding people who are skilled in that area? I know you told me, don't ask me the big tech questions, Jessica, but so it is difficult right now, correct? Allison Lafferty (13:01):

It is difficult. It's a difficult market. And we were actually just talking about that because there was a session earlier about workforce and how difficult it is to keep the turnover low and keep people employed for years. I mean, they were just talking about how 20 years ago people wanted to work for 50 years and stay at that company and retire, and now it's totally changed. And so the labor is probably the most difficult part. Jessica Denson (13:29):

And with a new approach to workplace from new generations, I bet even just training a younger generation must be difficult. Allison Lafferty (13:37):

Yes, definitely difficult. And just kind of learning their ropes and what they're needing and wanting. I mean, they're different wants now. Jessica Denson (13:47):

So how did you get involved with CLO Systems? What brought you to the company? Allison Lafferty (13:52):

Funny story. I just kind of landed here. I played college softball and I was going to, oh, Jessica Denson (14:00):

Wait for who? Allison Lafferty (14:01):

I played in New Jersey for a D two school, Bloomfield College, and then I wanted to move back to Texas. I grew up near Austin. My parents still lived here and all my family lives here, but I didn't want to move back to Austin. And so I was like, okay, I'm going to go live in Lubbock. I'm going to do do all of my LSAT and all of that kind of stuff. So I did the lsat. I got into law school and I decided it wasn't for me and I had just went to Cielo and was wanting to just get a job for the time period until I got into law school and I've been here ever since. Oh Jessica Denson (14:33):

Wow. So how long has it been now? Seven Allison Lafferty (14:36):

Years. Jessica Denson (14:36):

Seven years. So you like it then you enjoy it? Yeah, I do. And is Lubbock enough of a buffer from Austin for you? I don't think people who haven't grown up in Texas don't realize how big it is. Allison Lafferty (14:45):

It's huge. We've been talking about that all conference when people say, oh, you're eight hours away and you're still in Texas. Jessica Denson (14:51):

Yes. Allison Lafferty (14:53):

Yeah. So it's definitely, Lubbock is not too big and not too small. You have everything you need, but it's not as big as Dallas or Houston or Austin. Jessica Denson (15:02):

So why did you come to the Broadband community Summit? Allison Lafferty (15:04):

Sure. We love just connecting with people in different customers, and I feel like it's a really good spot where you can call people all day and email people all day, but getting that face to face is different and talking to people and getting their personalities and just connecting in that way is different than just being on the phone, Jessica Denson (15:26):

Especially when you consider 2020, I shouldn't even mention that year, but it changed everything. We all need human connection again, right? Allison Lafferty (15:35):

Yes, exactly. We can't just sit behind the computer screen all day. Jessica Denson (15:38):

Right. So does CLO systems work with providers to help with the networking? Is that directly how that works or they work in a different way? Allison Lafferty (15:47):

Yeah, so our customers are the service providers, and so when they're taking over a network, they're needing someone to install their equipment. And so that's what we do. We install the equipment, access points, switches. Jessica Denson (15:59):

Got it. I just didn't know if I made, if we made it clear that you look directly with service Allison Lafferty (16:03):

Providers concept, so Jessica Denson (16:06):

You help provide some of those skilled technicians that they really may lack because of that workforce challenge. Yes, ma'am. So what do you hope comes from the work that's happening now? There's a lot of money out there, there's a lot of broadband's, the big thing right now, a lot of federal dollars, state dollars. What do you hope to see happens over the next five, 10 years? Allison Lafferty (16:28):

Just continue to see it grow, and I feel like if you're not in this industry, then you don't truly understand it. And so making everybody kind of understand what broadband is and what it comes with. So just get it out there more. Jessica Denson (16:44):

Alright. Well thank you Alison for talking with me today. I really appreciate it. Allison Lafferty (16:47):

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Jessica Denson (16:49):

Again, my guest is Alison Lafferty. She is the Director of Operations with CLO Systems in Lubbock, Texas, correct? Yes. Although you operate all over the country. Yes, ma'am. All right. Thank you Allison Lafferty (17:00):

Again. Awesome. Thanks. Jessica Denson (17:04):

I am at the Broadband Community Summit and I've walked into the exhibitor hall and I am with Maxwell Matthews, who is with Eero, an Amazon company. He's the senior solutions architect, which we will ask him what that means. Hello Maxwell. Maxwell Mathews (17:21):

Hi, Jessica. Nice to meet you. Jessica Denson (17:23):

So Max, thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about EO and what the company is and what makes it unique. Maxwell Mathews (17:29):

Sure. Yeah. So we are pioneers in mesh wifi systems. We provide whole home coverage, reliable coverage for lots of different types of buildings, homes, et cetera. Jessica Denson (17:41):

So necessarily it's not the entry point, it's more of a coverage type thing. Maxwell Mathews (17:48):

Exactly, yeah. So you have internet coming into your home from your ISP, and then we make sure that it gets all around your home with really strong wifi signals, making sure that you can get connected anywhere in your home, that all of your devices have strong signals and get the best service and quality in terms of connection when they're online. Jessica Denson (18:10):

So say if I have a three story home, it would be something that would have something on each level, or does it just depend on how it's done? Maxwell Mathews (18:18):

It sort of depends, but yeah, that does sound like it would qualify for say, a three node network. Each of our different models here has different coverage. So let's say you have a home with say, 2000 square feet on each floor. You might have three of these Pro six E models, one on each floor. Jessica Denson (18:38):

So there are three models that I can see right here about the shape. It's a square shape, but it's about the size of a softball, and then you go up and it's about the size of two softballs, and then you have a little tower. So are they just more powerful the bigger they get? Maxwell Mathews (18:55):

Yeah, that's at a broad level, yes. So this is the six plus. It has two radios on the 2.4 gigahertz band and two radios on the five gigahertz band. The Pro six E has similar specs, but it also has two radios on the six gigahertz band. This is the Max seven. This is our first wifi seven product, and it actually has four radios on five gigahertz and six gigahertz, and actually has the maximum coverage of all our products. This covers up to 2,500 square feet, Jessica Denson (19:31):

And I'll include a link to the company's website so people could look at what you're talking about. But essentially they're the three different sizes to someone like me who's not a tech person. So your official title is Senior Solutions Architect, so explain what that is. Maxwell Mathews (19:46):

So I work really closely with our ISP partners to make sure they understand our product line. I also worked at ERO for a long time as a cloud engineer. So basically we have a lot of management software for ISPs and their customer service representatives to be able to debug, troubleshoot networks on behalf of customers. So that software suite, which is called Eero Insight, I demo to customers, help them get it set up, perform any API integrations so that they can do billing system integrations, any sort of support and monitoring that they need to do for their fleet of heroes. Jessica Denson (20:31):

So would I be correct in saying that you're kind of a techie, you love technology and stuff? Maxwell Mathews (20:37):

Yeah, I do. And I think a big part of it is taking that passion for technology and trying to communicate it to ISP partners in such a way that they're comfortable using our solution, are confident that they can actually deploy our solution very easily, and then working one-on-one with them so that they're successful going forward. Jessica Denson (20:59):

Do you think the need for something like a mesh system is going to just continue to grow as we get more and more modernized, I guess, as technology evolves? Maxwell Mathews (21:10):

Yeah, I think going forward we're going to see more and more need for reliable coverage, just like wifi routers have increased in quality. I think the need for more coverage and the ability for more clients to connect to the internet is really going to require systems like these that have different types of radios. We integrate with ECHO devices that increase wifi coverage. So I think you're going to see more and more of a general sort of mesh system in a lot of homes. Jessica Denson (21:42):

So why did you guys decide to come to the Broadband Community Summit? Is it just to network in a human sense, or what? Yeah, Maxwell Mathews (21:50):

So a big reason we're here is that last year we released a product called Euro four communities, which is our MDU solution. So it's trying to get into the managed wifi space and provide an easy way for companies to deploy in MDUs other dense environments and give you a really easy way to organize devices together and manage them as buildings or individual properties. Jessica Denson (22:22):

I do want to mention one pretty cool thing. Eero just launched a thing with Connected Nation. We partnered with y'all to help 5,000 households. It's a pretty awesome thing to do for communities and especially low income families. What do you really hope to see for the future of, and it's what is being done in communities, the future of technology, just in the broadband space in general. Maxwell Mathews (22:44):

I'm really excited to increase our participation in broadband access, working with Connected Nation and other partners to make sure that we get in more homes. I'm really excited to see how we're expanding our offerings for regulatory compliance, especially CAF and RDOF, so that we become a really huge part in terms of providing broadband access to a lot of folks around the country. Jessica Denson (23:13):

Alright, well, Maxwell Matthews, thank you for joining me today. I really appreciate you talking with me. Maxwell Mathews (23:18):

Thank you, Jessica. Really appreciate it. Jessica Denson (23:20):

Again, our guest has been Maxwell Matthews, who's a senior solutions architect for Eero, which is an Amazon company. I'm at the Broadband Community Summit and I'm walking through the exhibit hall and who do I see? But Heather Gate, who's the executive vice President of Digital Inclusion for Connect Nation. Hello, Heather. Hi Jessica. How are you doing? Nice to see you here. Nice to see you. It's nice to see each other in person and not just over a Zoom meeting, huh? Heather Gate (23:45):

Exactly. I know you're not an avatar. Definitely. Jessica Denson (23:49):

Yeah. You may hear the band warming up in the background. That is because there's going to be a reception that's going to be happening in a couple of hours. How has the Broadband community Summit been so far for you? Is there been anything interesting that you've heard talk about during this? Heather Gate (24:06):

Yes, it's been a very fruitful event. Lots of, I think there's about 150 speakers here, so there's a lot of diverse range of expertise and information coming from many different points of view. We had an opening panel that talked about the different funding opportunities as a representative from NTIA, from FCC and from treasury talking about the different projects and funding opportunities. And then I had the opportunity to attend a panel on digital equity. As you know, that's the core of my, Jessica Denson (24:46):

It's what you love, it's Heather Gate (24:47):

What I love. A very good discussion on digital equity and why it's important for service providers to pay attention to digital equity. I think the most important and most interesting thing I learned about in that discussion was that digital equity, we should not only just break it down to numbers, because a lot of times we are talking about the data, but it's a human story. And at times, those opportunities that people get for engagement for even that moment to watch Netflix after a long day of work, all those things are good opportunities for quality of life that sometimes we often overlook for people that come from low income communities. It's everybody deserves a quality of life. So mental health and other considerations should be part of your digital equity strategy. Jessica Denson (25:43):

I like that, that people are starting to talk about it in a human sense and not just the data is what you're saying. Heather Gate (25:49):

Absolutely. It's really understanding that the things that most of us, you and I, Jessica, take for granted, a really quality of life, things that keep us happy in a good mental state. And when we think about digital equity, it is important to point out the economic opportunities and the different things that we think of, but it's also important to recognize those things that we talk about as a throwaway luxury. And yet when people are in a good state of mind that makes them do better, their jobs, that makes them better parents, and that just makes them a better citizen. Jessica Denson (26:33):

So I know that you're speaking on a panel again tomorrow, right? Is this the second panel you're on or were you on one yesterday? I say this because been on flights after flights after flights that have been moved and things. So I've missed half of this. So catch me up. What have you been doing? You personally, did you speak already and you're speaking tomorrow, right? Heather Gate (26:56):

I was actually speaking tomorrow. Today I've had a great opportunity to listen to others but also network and meet and greet and catch up with fellow broadband advocates and service providers and a lot of stakeholders that really care about the same things that we care about. So it's been a very excellent event so far. So tomorrow I'm going to be talking on a panel, and the panel that I'm going to be talking on is about affordability, and you can't talk affordability without talking about the Affordable Connectivity Program. So I will be talking about a little bit about that. Just listening today about the non-data discussion points. I'm going to add that to my talking points because oftentimes I understand the data points, but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and think of the human stories. So I'm excited to be part of this panel to talk about what can be done, because we can't give up on a CP, but if we have to, what are the different options that people have? What are the different things that we can do to keep people connected in the next couple of months, once a CP wraps up Jessica Denson (28:13):

And we will be covering this Connect Nation podcast will be covering that panel, but just to set the stage a little bit, it is 23 million households that'll be affected. And to be even part of that program, you had to be at the poverty level SNAP programs. These are people that are struggling to make a choice between food or can they have the luxury or the opportunity to have internet? Correct? Heather Gate (28:39):

Correct. Correct. Yep. 23 million being connected through a CP is a very big achievement over a short period of time. And that's just a testimony to the fact that the program came at a timely, at a time after Covid, where we started recognizing what the need was. And so it is very unfortunate that we're here at a time where we think we won't have it in a couple of months. I think it was a big achievement for everybody that worked hard for Congress to sign that legislation. It was a good thing that FCC did in launching and running that program. It was a good thing for all the community organizations and everybody that worked to get people signed up. And it's also good that we're all coming together to try and save it. And today, more than a few months ago, there's more people talking about it and Congress may be paying more attention now. So we're hoping for a big surprise in the next few days. So yes, we cannot afford to take steps backwards. That would be very devastating. Jessica Denson (29:57):

Agreed. Steps forward. Let's move forward. Not back. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that you lead a committee that advises the Federal Communications Commission and you were just reappointed again to lead that same committee. Can you talk a little bit about what's going on with that, what that committee does, and maybe what we could hope for the future? Heather Gate (30:19):

Yeah. Thank you, Jessica. First, I just want to say that it's always an honor to be recognized and to be invited to participate in the Council by the chairwoman. I think right now we are working on determining, putting together what our agenda is. We just literally had our first meeting in March, the launch meeting. And so in the next year you'll see some interesting and exciting news on the things that the CEDC will be working on. And everything that we do works towards offering recommendations to the FCC that makes sure that we continue to advance equity in communications, whether it's radio, whether it's television, or whether it's broadband. Jessica Denson (31:06):

Well, again, I've been talking with Heather Gate, who's executive Vice President of Digital Inclusion for Connected Nation. Thank you, Heather. And let's talk about dinner next. Okay. Heather Gate (31:15):

Yes, I am looking forward to dinner today to break bread and talk to people that I don't get to see a lot, but I get to do a lot of work in the trenches with, it's always exciting. So I look forward to seeing both you and Grant who's standing next to me smiling at dinner. Jessica Denson (31:33):

We'll be there. We'll be there again. Thank you, Heather. I do have one programming note before I let you go. I am joined by Grant Al Brandand, who is our associate producer. He is helping us in the field this week. And you may not have heard his voice, but you've heard his work. He is our editor who continues to make us sound great again, we'll continue our special coverage for the Broadband Community Summit tomorrow. Until then, I'm Jessica Denson, and this is Connected Nation.

Frank DiVito joins
Allison Lafferty joins
Maxwell Mathews joins
Heather Gate joins
Conclusion + Outro