Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Mike O’Connor

I have mentioned the upcoming Blandin Broadband Conference in earlier posts. It is one month away. I’m getting excited for it because I’m actually coming home for it!

To help everyone else get excited I have asked the speakers from the conference to send me a quick bio and to answer a few questions. That way we’d all get a chance to meet them a little bit online before we meet them at the conference.

My friend Mike O’Connor was the first to respond. (Thanks Mike!) I’ll post his intro below and I’ll post the others as I get them.

Mike O’ConnorMike O’Connor

Short Bio
I’m a community organizer, entrepreneur and tech-geek turned business-leader type person. I became moderately famous here in Minnesota as one of the people who popularized the Internet back in the mid-90’s. These days I divide my pretty-retired time between being a “domainer” (I’ve still got a gaggle of great domains to figure out) and serving on the ICANN Business Constituency.

I’ve done a fair amount of civic committee type stuff. A few of the recent things include; the St Paul Mayor’s Y2k Taskforce (chair), St Paul Mayor’s Education Taskforce (chair), Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission Working Group on Taxation of Telecommunications (member), St Paul Mayor’s High Tech Council (founding member), State of Minnesota Information Policy Council (member, Steering Committee), and the Lowertown Cyber Village Association (founding member). (Read more about Mike O’Connor)

What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?)

i’m obsessing about the need for better, and more consistent, methodologies for the studies that determine what municipalities do with broadband. having participated in several such studies, sometimes as a consultant and sometimes as a task-force member, i’m dismayed by how uneven the quality of the work is. my sense is that many municipalities are making pretty important decisions in a pretty haphazard way.

so i’m going to be lobbying for a better understanding of the phases of the planning projects, along with a shared definition of the tasks, deliverables and scale of each phase of the process. i think Blandin could help a lot by advancing this structure, and pointing municipalities at consultants that have a strong delivery track record.

What are you hoping to learn at the conference?

whether PacketFront has indeed hypnotized every broadband policy wonk in the state.

This entry was posted in Speaker Bio by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

1 thought on “Broadband Conference: Speaker Intro: Mike O’Connor

  1. Pingback: Broadband Conference 2007: Mike O’Connor Determining Project Feasibility « Blandin on Broadband

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