Middle mile, cloud will take center stage at FTTH Council 2014

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Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom

FTTH Council Americas will hold its annual FTTH Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., next week, and FierceTelecom will be on site covering the show and moderating panels on key topics, including the middle mile and cloud services.

During the event, I'll be moderating a breakfast panel on the middle mile network concept called Building a Successful Middle Mile Strategy on Wednesday, June 25, from 7 to 9 a.m. in Room 304.

Our panel includes a diverse set of speakers from the traditional telcos, publicly funded entities and network consortiums: Joe Calzone, president, Independent Optical Networks (ION); Curt Frankenfeld, director, Access Strategy and Development, CenturyLink; Brian Lippold, advisor, Massachusetts Broadband Institute; and Scott Mispagel, vice president, Network Planning and Engineering, Frontier Communications.

Network consortiums such as ION grew out of a need to control costs by pooling resources for their internal backhaul needs, but now serve a diverse audience of wholesale clients including the major wireless operators like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). Competitive carriers and community networks have given rise to a new set of service providers focused on delivering broadband services to businesses and residential customers with limited service options.

While definitions of the middle mile vary, it is basically a segment of a network that links its core to the local network plant, which resides in the central office.

Addressing the middle mile concept during an event focused on fiber-based broadband makes sense. Middle mile providers are serving two purposes: providing the necessary backhaul network connections for broadband providers offering FTTH services and higher bandwidth services to local schools--a segment that's been vastly underserved. 

In addition to our breakfast, I will be moderating Providing Consumers with the Cloud Services They Need and Want on Wednesday from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Room 316. I will be joined by a diverse panel of traditional telcos and application providers talking about the growing demand by consumers and businesses for cloud-based services.

Another highlight of the event will be the morning keynote on Tuesday featuring James Feger, senior vice president, Network Strategy and Development, for CenturyLink. The event also features a LATAM panel where a number of Telefonica's Latin American divisions will discuss FTTH deployment in the region, as well as a panel addressing multi-dwelling unit and multi-tenant unit (MDU/MTU) deployments.

But the show is not just about technology trends alone. During the opening day of the conference, the show will address diversity in the telecom industry with the Women in Fiber Panel Discussion and Luncheon: The Path to Success event.

I look forward to seeing you in Fort Lauderdale!--Sean