Here’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference…
Matt Wenger is President of the Americas for PacketFront, a global telecom solutions company that provides end to end business management and technology solutions for open-access community fiber networks.
Matt’s primary passion is helping communities and governments capitalize on technology to set and achieve their social and economic goals. Over the years he has received a number of recognitions for his work in North American community networking, open-access economics and policy, and ICT-based community development.
Prior to joining PacketFront in North America, Matt served as Vice-President of the Pacific Community Networks Association, as the Director of Information Technology for the Columbia Basin Trust (a large not-for-profit economic development organization) and helped found the BC Community Connectivity Cooperative. Matt also founded and served as President of the Columbia Mountain Open Network, a community networking initiative spanning 137 rural communities over 90,000 sq kms in the Canadian Rockies.
In addition to his role with PacketFront, Matt advises corporate boards and governments throughout North America and Europe on telecommunications management, economics and policy.
What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?)
I’m really concerned about the network neutrality debate as it relates to Community networks. For the most part the debate is dominated by extreme positions held by powerful interests. The stakes are high – the future of free speech, network innovation, and consumer choice (particularly in rural areas) but yet the analysis of the issues as they apply to community networks is virtually non-existent. What is a community to do? What should they support?
What are you hoping to learn at the conference?
Every region has a unique array of assets that can be poured into a successful, strong foundation for community networks. Minnesota is chalk full of well known and respected community activists and organizations. I always learn new things meeting people from different places and backgrounds who share my passion for social change via technology. This conference looks like an excellent opportunity to share across silos and brainstorm new ways forward.