A month or so ago, Pete Kruckenberg, Jim Sorenson and I had lunch and discussed the idea of creating a regionally based conference on next generation networks. There's a national conference called Next Generation Networks but we saw a need to sharing between regional players since much of what can and should be done is regionally flavored. From that lunch grew an effort to create and host a conference called Intermountain eXchange or IX. Today was the first meeting of the program committee
The Intermountain region can be loosely defined as the states bordering Utah plus Montana. These states all have common problems in deploying networks. Chief among them is sparse population. Its not hard to imagine broadband networks being built in Denver, Boise, and Salt Lake. But those places are easy. There are things working in rural areas as well.
IX1 will be held in the Fall of 2003 on the University of Utah Campus for 1.5 days. The format would be single-track and a combination of panel discussions, presentations and keynote addresses. The goal is to help attendees exchange information about things that are working on a regional basis. For example:
- UEN is GigE connectivity for wide area networking fro Salt Lake to the Uinta Basin. Many others probably don't know that possible or that carriers will provide it.
- The Utah Valley Community Network is connecting municipal networks in Utah County. Their experience is relevant.
- UTOPIA is creating a 500,000 subscriber government backed wholesale FTTH project in Utah.
These are just Utah examples, but I've heard of other interesting things in Idaho (like Syringa and IdaCom), Colorado, and elsewhere. We'd like those projects and people to be participants as well. The objectives for the conference are:
- Discuss why broadband matters in the Intermountain Region
- Educate about regional developments in broadband and wide are networking.
- Share success stories, case studies, and ideas
- Develop a common vision and understanding of what is possible.
- As an outcome, define a path for future regional efforts
We're looking for both attendees and people who'd like to present on interesting networking projects in the Intermountain region.