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OIT’s Recap of Mountain Connect 2014

posted Jun 24, 2014, 2:36 PM by Megan Chadwick Gernert - OIT   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 2:36 PM ]

The 2014 Mountain Connect Rural Broadband Conference was an overwhelming success!  Thank you to Audrey Danner and Jeffrey Gavlinski for dedicating their time and efforts to organize this event.  Mountain Connect has helped raise awareness of broadband and Colorado and will continue to play a significant role in how we move forward as a state.

Mountain Connect 2014 was very well attended - with over double the number of participants as last year - and brought a wide variety of speakers from all geographies and industries.  Session topics ranged from “Health Care Drivers for Broadband Utilization” to “Fiber to the Home: Building Blocks for Last Mile Planning” to “Regional Economic Development Opportunities”.  The theme for the conference - “Progress through Education” - was demonstrated in every session with opportunity to expand our knowledge base by learning from local Coloradans as well as experts from across the country.

While the conference is a great place to learn and to meet others in the Colorado broadband community, the real opportunity lies in what happens next.  We can use the lessons learned at Mountain Connect to take action towards broadband improvement in Colorado communities.  OIT will be working with Jeff, Audrey and other key stakeholders to identify ways to maintain the conversations and learning opportunities that were created through the conference.

Below are a few notes from the experiences of the OIT team members in attendance:

From Megan Chadwick:  
“Broadband knowledge and awareness are growing quickly in Colorado and events like Mountain Connect provide us with the opportunity to shape the conversation and direction of our state.  At the conference, I was impressed by the hard work and unique solutions from small communities throughout the state.  There are a lot of great ideas, innovations, and collaboration - and we can continue to learn from their experiences.”

From Kass Rezagholi:  
“I felt that the Mountain Connect conference was overall positive and informative.  It was good to put a face to some of the people I interact with through email.  It also gave me a better understanding of the challenges faced by residents of rural Colorado when it comes to broadband.”

From Monica Coughlin:  
“Mountain Connect was time well spent!  It provided a great forum and opportunity for community broadband leaders, providers, state representatives, and others with a keen interest in improving Colorado's broadband environment to come together, share successes and lessons learned, and talk about what's ahead and what is needed to ensure all Coloradans have access to cost effective and reliable broadband services.”

From Jon Gottsegen:
“It was great being able to interact face to face with many of stakeholders in the industry and the Colorado community. We got many helpful comments on the map and the data. We also had a good discussion on the future of the map in our session. Overall, I thought the energy of the conference was positive and optimistic.”