Best Broadband & Data Mapping Solution or Initiative
Broadband mapping has been a difficult hurdle to overcome, with significant effort being undertaken at a federal, state and local level, alongside private enterprise, to address it. Fundamentally, the precise mapping of service availability will drive the investment decisions made to connect those that are in most need of broadband. The Best Broadband & Data Mapping Solution or Initiative award will recognize outstanding efforts in mapping broadband availability, analyzing data and making solid contributions to the existing broadband map.
Best Municipal Connectivity Program
Bringing connectivity to an entire city, town or village is a monumental task. Not only is it logistically and economically challenging, but there also has to be great collaboration within the different departments within the municipality’s government, as well as with external partners. The benefit for its citizens, however, can be tremendous, bringing connectivity and broadband services to those most in need, whether it be in public spaces, schools, or even inside their homes. This category will recognize excellence in technical and logistical achievement in deploying a public, municipal network, and award its impact on the local population.
Best Use of 5G FWA For Remote/Rural Connectivity
5G FWA solutions are proving a vital and successful tool in providing reliable, high-speed connectivity to customers. Carriers in the United States have successfully deployed FWA connections with shown success, and the trend is continuing to expand. It is clear that it will play a key role in those scenarios where wireless is the best solution to connect remote or rural communities, as well as populated areas. This award will recognize excellence and creativity in the use of 5G FWA technology, whether in the field or conceptually, to deliver network connectivity to those in need of it.
Excellence in FTTH Deployment
Avoiding copper and bringing fiber straight into the home is crucial between being bale to run a business, work and study remotely. The challenges are inevitably related to the cost and complexity of reaching individual homes and businesses, and installation. The Excellence in FTTH Deployment will recognize over and above efforts in delivering FTTH, technical and customer service efforts, as well as its impact on local communities.
Open Infrastructure & Networking Award
Open Access Networks is gathering interest and momentum both from the private sector as well as public entities looking to deploy networks cost effectively. By allowing providers to compete openly, as well as saving cost on deployment, open infrastructure is enabling rural deployments by making the economics of these scenarios more appealing. The award will recognize the creative and effective use of open infrastructure, or the development of its standards and technology, and how it will enable the use of 5G and modern networks by all.
Public Services Deployment
Emergency services and first responders put their lives on the line to serve and protect communities and individuals every day. The information they are able to receive before arriving at a scene, as well as the reliability of their communications with team members and their base is often the difference between success and tragedy. The Public Services Deployment award will recognize a successful deployment of next generation connectivity technology for the benefit and use of public services.
Enabling Connectivity - Middle Mile award
Middle mile providers provide an essential service to those carriers looking to serve customers cost effectively, especially in those areas where the economics of deployment make reaching these communities difficult. With recent federal funding made available to middle mile operators, the field is ripe for innovation and impact. The Middle Mile award will recognize outstanding service, reach and network efficiency.
Excellence in Wireless Neutral Host Networks
A neutral host network must provide high performance, reliability and security to its customers, whilst providing cost effective connectivity. However, the benefits of neutral hosting for wireless networks goes beyond its cost. The neutral host model allows carriers to address the urban digital divide by avoiding costly deployments in busy areas. Likewise, in rural settings, they are able to avoid huge CAPEX in rolling out networks for small communities. The Neutral Host Networks award will highlight success in both technical and economic achievements, and recognize the solution’s impact on the digital divide.
Excellence in Satellite Connectivity
Satellite connectivity has advanced in leaps and bounds over the past decade. The proliferation of dense satellite networks, with lower cost of deployment and management, has made this technology move from a last resort to a valuable tool in the operator’s toolkit. The Satellite Connectivity Award will highlight not only the technical advancement of the winning solution, but also its impact in connecting, or potentially connecting, underserved communities and geographies.
Innovation in State Broadband Deployment Award
Whilst recent funding has put a particular spotlight on state broadband initiatives, state-wide efforts to connect everyone have been in place for a long time. The Innovation in State Broadband Deployment Award will be presented to the state undertaking essential and crucial work in not only driving network roll-outs to underserved areas, but also working with communities to drive digital literacy and creating opportunities for their constituents to thrive in the online world.
Impact Award - Greatest Technical achievement in connecting the unconnected (Individual)
The Impact Award will celebrate and recognize an individual who has been driving technical achievement and innovation in technology aimed at connecting the unconnected. This person will personify the drive and ingenuity necessary to overcome the challenges presented in building networks and connectivity for those underserved.
Editor's Choice Award
The Fierce Telecom Editor’s Choice Award will be given to the individual, organization or public body seen to be making an extraordinary contribution to bridging the digital divide.
Regional Fiber operator of the year
Fiber is undoubtedly playing a key role in bridging the digital divide. However, incumbent, large ISPs cannot address the demand for connectivity in the entirety of the United States, and regional players with highly targeted footprints are a necessary piece of the puzzle. The Regional Fiber Operator of the Year will have not only provided an affordable, reliable and cutting-edge service to its customers, but will also show innovation in its services and flawless customer service.
Regional Wireless Operator of the Year
The vastness of the United States, along with its diverse terrains, calls for partnerships and a variety of wireless operators to serve all communities. Rural and regional wireless carriers have a fundamental part to play in bridging the digital divide, simultaneously serving their customers with reliable and high-speed cellular services, but also in remaining close to their communities and clients to better understand their needs. This award looks to highlight excellent customer service, reliability and technical achievement in local and rural providers.
Best Converged solution – Cable & Connectivity
In an increasingly fragmented marketplace, there is appetite for converged services to simplify customers’ offerings and services. Combining cable and connectivity is far from new, but certainly an area full of opportunity for innovation, simplification, and superlative customer care. The Converged Solution award will address not only the technical capacity of the converged package or solution, but its affordability, availability, and ease of use.
Impact in Broadband Affordability
Access to broadband is the first step, but the challenge remains in keeping services affordable for customers. The Impact in Broadband Affordability award will recognize efforts in partnership, funding or technical advancements which have driven the cost of broadband down for the end user.