Baltimore Broadband: Unsung Heroes

February 7, 2011

in Baltimore,Broadband

Dave Troy and I have been well recognized for our efforts related to Google Fiber and Baltimore Broadband in general. Here are many of the unsung heroes:

Google Fiber Response

BmoreFiber team

It all started with Patrick Roanhouse, who  first alerted the local tech community to Google Fiber. In no time, members of Beehive Baltimore and the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) were hard at work. Charles Martucci designed the community website and Google showcase. Jon Lesser and Jim Novak built them. Rob Wray shot and produced videos. Emil Volcheck and crew coordinated support from neighborhood associations and wrote much of the web copy. Gary Davison prepared most of our winning application for Philadelphia’s Gigabit Genius Grant. And on and on: Lokesh Dhakar, Chris Goodman, Howard Libit, Buzz Merrick, Jason Pyeron, Mario Armstrong, Robin Truiett-Theodorson, Gordon Steen, Heather Sarkissian, Chip Dizard, Alison Haygood, John Ferguson, and others.

Andy Frank, Babila Lima – Baltimore City

(Then) Deputy Mayor Andy Frank and (then) Special Assistant Babila Lima led the City’s internal efforts, gathering responses to detailed questions about geography, population, conduit, pole attachments, regulations, and so on. Andy and Babila, and Dave and P.J. and I worked together intensely, nights, Sunday’s and all the rest.

P.J. Glennon

P.J. Glennon was an absolute gift. She took total ownership of the formal response, devising strategy, drafting answers, and herding cats.

Don Fry – Greater Baltimore Committee

Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, worked tirelessly, lining up endorsements from leading area corporations, political figures, and others.

Brad McDearman, Shannon Landwehr – Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore

Shannon Landwehr provided the precise facts and figures we needed just when we needed them. Brad McDearman (now at the Brookings Institute) applied wisdom and wordsmithing talent to hone the “essay” portions of our response.

Baltimore Broadband

Sam Zappas

Though Sam Zappas and Mark Wagner both provided significant support to the Google Fiber response, above, I list them here because they haven’t stopped!

Sam Zappas is a key strategic thinker and champion working quietly and continuously behind the scenes. Sam and Dave are super sharp and the main brains behind our efforts to bring a brighter broadband future to Baltimore. All the best ideas are theirs!

Mark Wagner and BmoreFiber Technology Advisory Committee

Mark Wagner, Managing Partner of Litecast, Baltimore’s largest “dark” fiber provider, has worked tirelessly as chair of the BmoreFiber Technology Advisory Committee, collecting our community’s fiber knowledge and responding to Baltimore Broadband Task Force data requests.

Kaliope Parthemos, Kumasi Vines – Baltimore City

Kaliope Parthemos, Deputy Mayor, and Kumasi Vines, Special Assistant, have been delightful to work with and very supportive of our Fiber Symposium, the Broadband Task Force, and related matters.

Senator Barbara Mikulski

$115M in Federal funds for the One Maryland Broadband Network, to build more than 1,200 miles of ultra high-speed broadband connecting ALL of Maryland’s counties, says it all!

Broadband Task Force

About 20 diverse leaders of the Baltimore community have been gathering regularly since October 2010 to assess the City’s broadband assets, envision a brighter broadband future, and identify a path forward.

Ira Levy – Howard County

Ira Levy, CIO of Howard County, is the “main man” behind One Maryland Broadband Network. Thank you, Ira, for your vision, and for 10 Gbps to Baltimore!

Christopher Thomaskutty, Rico Singleton – Baltimore City

Christopher Thomaskutty, Deputy Mayor (initially a CitiStat analyst under former mayor O’Malley) hired Rico Singleton as Baltimore’s first full CIO in four years. Both “get” it and are pushing for an intelligent, city-wide broadband strategy. They prove the power of public private partnerships.

To you in this list, and others yet unnamed: You are making a major contribution to our city’s future. THANK YOU!

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