Business Models for Rural Broadband

October 27, 2006

Columbia University
207 Warren Hall
New York, New York

Broadband is increasingly available in rural areas around the globe. How does rural broadband availability in the US compare? What factors determine its economic viability and which technologies are being deployed? What do case studies of rural broadband reveal about costs and business models, the providers, the technology and government involvement?


9:30 AM Welcome

Darcy Gerbarg
Conference Organizer, Senior Fellow CITI
Robert Atkinson
Director of Policy Research, CITI

9:45 AM Rural America's Demand for Broadband Services

What are rural America's broadband needs? Do rural communities' broadband needs differ from urban America's? Who in Rural America has Broadband today? What is the value proposition for rural communities?

Bob Rowe
Senior Partner, Balhoff & Rowe, LLC
Victor Glass
Director of Demand Forecasting and Rate Development, National Exchange Carrier Association
Rick Schadelbarer
Economist, Legal & Industry Division, National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
Bruce Egan
Chris Savage
Wyoming Telecommunications Council
PJ Louis
Author: Broadband Crash Course and Telecom Management Crash Course: A Telecom Company Survival Guide

11:15 AM International Perspective

Broadband access is a global issue. Which technologies hold the most promise and what business models seem workable in remote and sparsely populated areas? Who is funding deployments and what impact on communities are these deployments having?

Charles (Charlie) Watts
World Bank
Heather Hudson
Professor, Director, Telecommunications Management and Policy Program School of Business and Management, University of San Francisco

12:00PM Lunch

1:30 PM The Business Case for Broadband in Rural Areas

A number of companies are successfully providing broadband to rural communities. Who are they and what is the secret of their success? Are multiple broadband infrastructures sustainable in rural communities? Or is a "monopoly" more likely? What are the cost and performance characteristics of various technologies? Which best "fits" various rural geographies and demographics?

Don Helms
Bresnan Communications
Brett Glass
Lariat Communications
Eugene (Gene) B. Johnson
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, FairPoint Communications, Inc.
Jack Hoffman Chairman, Vermont Broadband council
James Stegeman- INVITED
President, CostQuest
Jim McKenna - INVITED
President, Red Zone Wireless
William H. Berkman- INVITED
Chairman and Co-founder, Current Technologies

3:30 PM Public Policy Implications

Will market forces be able to bring broadband to all of rural America or is government intervention necessary? Where the market fails, should government subsidize multiple competing broadband infrastructures, regulate a monopoly infrastructure, provide broadband services directly, facilitate or subsidize infrastructure build out and/or service providers?

Jay Etta Hecker
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Sharon Cates-Williams
CIO and Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Information Technology
Larry Landis
Commissioner Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission - Vice Chairman Inter-Carrier Compensation Task Force for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), member universal service joint board

4:30PM Concluding remarks


Please register online at Corporate rate: $75. Academics, government officials, ITS Members, and non-profit attendees: $25. CITI Affiliates: please contact Ben Bloom at 212-854-4222 for special registration arrangements.