Image of person working on computer next to a wireless router

New College Institute Sponsors Workshop Focused on the Role of Investor Owned Utilities in Bridging the Digital Divide

NCI’s, Utilities Technology Council Panels to cover 5G, Small Cell, and Broadband Topics

MARTINSVILLE, VA – New College Institute (NCI) is proud to sponsor a workshop with the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) to explore ways the country can meet demands from communities for 5G and broadband. The workshop, taking place the week of November 9, will feature industry leaders and key policymakers covering a wide range of 5G and broadband topics and the steps necessary to bring broadband into rural and other unserved areas.

Leading off the discussion will be a panel of investor owned utilities already involved in one way or another in the provision of broadband services including representatives from American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, and Southern California Edison. Later, on a session moderated by a representative of Oncor, participants will also hear from Southern Company on how investor owned utilities can enable more 5G deployment.

Karen Jackson, NCI’s interim director, will moderate a panel of public and private representatives from the broadband provider community, Office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and West Virginia’s Broadband Office. Together they will explore how best to engage with investor owned electric utilities to create effective partnerships to serve more residents.

“Today’s reality invites and, dare I say, demands that we rethink economic development strategies and concentrate efforts to bring economic revitalization for residents in communities of all sizes and locations,” said Jackson. “I jumped at the chance to be part of conversation to explore new collaborations and partnerships, and a willingness to look beyond traditional incentives.”

Additional panels during the UTC Workshop will cover topics including how to secure and maintain the infrastructure necessary to safely and securely deliver electricity to all communities, and will explore innovative ways to offset the high cost of bringing broadband to rural and other under-served or unserved areas. Speakers and panelists will discuss various models offering win-win scenarios that can balance the needs of utilities, communities, and wireless providers.

“UTC’s mission is to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and influence public policy with the goal of delivering secure, reliable and affordable services,” said Sheryl Ovie Riggs, president and CEO, Utilities Technology Council. “Utilities empower broadband deployment and we look forward to what will be a tremendous conference on these issues. We thank NCI for their support in making these important sessions possible.”

About New College Institute (NCI)

The team at the New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville works vigorously to position itself, through industry relevant programming, partnerships, and collaborative relationships as THE training and education destination for next-generation workforce training, certifications, and educational programs. NCI creates opportunities for more people, from more backgrounds, to find the workforce training and education they need to advance their careers. By establishing partnerships across the Commonwealth (and beyond) to offer virtual, hybrid, and in-person education and training, New College Institute is opening doors to employment opportunities in industries including IT/cloud computing, off-shore/onshore wind, drone training, smart cities technologies, telehealth, cybersecurity and more.

About Utilities Technology Council (UTC) 

The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) is a global association focused on the intersection of telecommunications and utility infrastructure. UTC gives voice to the men and women in the utility workforce who create and maintain critical communications systems that help keep the lights and the water flowing.  We represent the hands-on folks in the field and control rooms responding to storms, deploying new technologies, and securing energy and water infrastructure from all kinds of threats. UTC sits at the nexus between the energy and telecommunications industries, which are rapidly converging and becoming more interdependent.