A Few Words from Jim – October 2023

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This is the special Broadband Edition of the Southern Oregon Business Journal. I started producing this special edition for the Oregon Connections Conference a couple of years ago to provide stories about broadband in Oregon to all of you readers as well as the attendees of the conference. It’s been well received and I always look forward to publishing this edition. 

Pages 4 to 16 are dedicated to Broadband. Even the book review (“Breaking the Internet: How One Community is Working Toward Digital Equity“ on Page 4)  this month is relevant and inspired from last years OCTC conference. 

This is the 27th annual Oregon Connections Conference and it will be held in Ashland this year on October 26 and 27th. Our keynote speakers are Senator Ron Wyden and Adam Geisler, President/COO of Tribal Ready PBC and former Division Chief Tribal Connectivity at the National Telecommunications & Info Administration (NTIA). The conference is filled with topics that range from the fun “Broadband 101” to deep dives on funding and overbuilding. Over 200 attend each year including service and technology providers, community leaders, as well as state and federal government politicians and employees charged with deploying broadband in Oregon. 

With over $689M in BEAD funds coming to Oregon to help deploy broadband, the conference aims to focus the conversation for the next couple of years on funding Broadband(people, projects and progress).

Find out more at https://oregonconnections.info/

It’s also the first year of the conference under the newly formed Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference 501(c)3 non-profit that I currently serve on as president of the board.

The entire conference is volunteer run and our chair this year, Krystal Stone, is amazing. 

It takes about 10 months of work to pull off a conference of this size and importance and a lot of time from volunteers. I’m always impressed with how much passion they bring to the project. It takes a lot of work to pull off a conference and it’s exhausting but very rewarding. If you want to get involved and serve on the board or help put on the conference next year please fill out the application on the website. 

Speaking of putting on a conference, I attended the Global RedwoodJS conference in Grants Pass last month and Trever did an amazing job. I learned a lot and was moved by the science behind internet & loneliness. Read about it on page 18

Thanks for reading…


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