It was fitting that, with the announcement of the impending retirement of one of its co-founders, Max Huffman, INDATEL kicked off its 10th anniversary of its annual symposium with a brief history of an organization that was truly built from a grassroots effort. Another INDATEL co-founder, Scott Hoffmann, explained how INDATEL germinated with a phone call from three leaders of state fiber associations, which led to a trade association that evolved into the largest nationwide rural Ethernet network.
Kory Patrick of the FBI and Todd McDermott of Substentio showed the surveillance challenges that law enforcement has in a world where customers have gigabit connections and most of the data is noise (e.g. streaming entertainment swamps illicit communications in terms of data consumption). Additionally, with criminals routinely using encryption to cloak their data transmission, it is not like the days when law enforcement could tap into and listen to an analog voice line.
And the criminals are often able to exploit the gaps in surveillance and are increasingly difficult to track. The sage advice given by the panelists is to do a good job keeping the criminals out in the first place. It was suggested that the best way to evangelize this idea is by setting a good example, such as using a password manager or a two-factor authentication solution.
Waller Capital Managing Director, Steve Soraparu’s presentation regarding fiber valuation was well received and demonstrated that infrastructure investments in fiber are being highly valued by the market. MEF Director Communications & Research, Stan Hubbard, provided an update on the Metro Ethernet Forum and talked about the importance of the standards process and having certified personnel to ensure that operators get the most out of their fiber investments. The MEF 2.0 certification goes beyond equipment and services and the importance of certification of people was emphasized.
David Saxby, president of MeasureX, pumped up this largely technical audience with an interactive presentation that literally got people on their feet, discussing the essence of selling as well pondering thought-provoking questions, such as asking for ideas about how state networks can help their RLEC members generate new business.
August Zehner of the Indiana Fiber Network (IFN) talked about the importance of focusing on verticals, particularly in the healthcare segment which promises double-digit growth. A key to success is working with local economic development personnel. The case studies that he and fellow panelists, Tom Beem of Aureon Networks and Ryan Punt of SDN Communications, reflect the peer-to-peer learning that made this conference so valuable. As Scott Hoffmann alludes to in the above video, a huge value of this event was the face-to-face networking that this type of event enables; similar to the original phone call that started INDATEL not too long ago.
[Symposium coverage brought to you by INDATEL and Viodi, LLC]