Hundreds attend broadband conference in Danville [Danville Register & Bee, Va.]
(Danville Register & Bee (VA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nov. 08--Hundreds of people began arriving in Danville on Wednesday to attend a two-day conference focused on the relationship between having a strong broadband network and economic development.
Organized by Broadband Communities Magazine, Danville was chosen to be the first site for a series of conferences because it has been growing a successful fiber network, the magazine's CEO Scott DeGarmo said at a pre-conference reception for early arrivals.
DeGarmo said almost 300 people had signed up for the conference, and they were traveling to Danville from all over the country.
DeGarmo said the goal was to gather broadband professionals, economic development representatives and community leaders to learn about how broadband can improve the odds when courting economic development projects.
"Danville got knocked on its heels a decade ago, but its coming back because of the vision and initiative of city fathers who understood the importance of infrastructure," DeGarmo said.
At the reception, held at the Community Market after taking some conference attendees on a tour of the city, people chatted about their communities and the companies they represent.
Craig Pasek, Gordon Caverly and Ed Fielding were chatting as they watched others arrive. All said they were looking forward to the conference.
Pasek, director of broadband for Huawui Technologies USA in Boston, said the company was participating in the conference because broadband "is an important capability everyone needs" to communicate more effectively. He said the company is the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world, with its base in Shenzhen, China.
Caverly, a vice president at Mid-State Consultants in Lennon, Mich., said he was here to network and meet people. He also writes articles for Broadband Communities Magazine, and is working with the officials in Philadelphia to create a plan to install broadband throughout the city.
Fielding, a county commissioner from Martin County, Fla., said he was there to learn more about broadband systems. He said the county has installed broadband to government offices, schools and medical facilities and he is interested in learning what the next steps should be.
The conference kicks off Thursday morning at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, with City Manager Joe King telling Danville's broadband story, followed by seminars with topics that range from financing to telemedicine to economic development successes.
David Foote, from the University of New Hampshire, chatted with King and other conference attendees as he enjoyed barbeque served up by the Checkered Pig.
"This is a great start to a wonderful conference," Foote said with a smile.
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