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2023 Second Quarter Results

June 30, 2023

Dear FBA Members,

It has been an exciting week and quarter for the fiber industry. On June 26, the Fiber Broadband Association was honored to attend an “Internet for All” event at the White House, where the NTIA BEAD broadband infrastructure funding allocation was announced to the states and territories. Prominently displayed on stage in the East Room of the White House were multiple reels of fiber optic cable from our members that flanked President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Commerce Secretary Raimondo as they highlighted the benefits that this critical infrastructure will bring to connect every American with quality, affordable high-speed broadband by 2030.

According to NTIA, states, D.C., and territories (“Eligible Entities”) will receive their formal notice of allocation on June 30, 2023. Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Eligible Entities have 180 days from the date of that formal notice to submit their Initial Proposals describing how they propose to run their grant programs. Eligible Entities can begin submitting their Initial Proposals starting July 1, 2023. Once NTIA approves an Initial Proposal, which will occur on a rolling basis, Eligible Entities will be permitted to request access to at least 20 percent of their allocated funds.

Ryan Koontz, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst for Needham, who spoke at our Regional Fiber Connect workshop last week in Lake Tahoe, outlined that each state broadband office can begin making awards based on each office’s readiness to schedule funding. He expects some states will begin making substantial awards in the second half of 2023, with nearly all states completing substantial awards in 2024. Koontz also points out that from the time of the award, it typically takes six to 18 months for operators to begin spending money with vendors on infrastructure, so we remain in line with his previous expectations of early supplier benefits from BEAD in mid-2024 with material benefits in 2025. Koontz’s assessment aligns with FBA’s view on the timing of awards and spending.

On the supply side, the first half of 2023 has been confusing for many of our members. The supply chain shortages and long lead times resulted in operators building up large safety stock inventories. This resulted in a slowdown in demand in 1H2023 while manufacturers ramped up production capacity. Despite slowing demand as ISPs work down their inventories, studies by FBA strategic research partner Mike Render, Principal, and founder of RVA, indicate that fiber deployment has been steady this year and will eclipse last year’s record deployment. This further suggests that the demand slowdown is inventory related. Koontz and other industry analysts predict that inventories and demand will normalize by the end of the year.

From a Fiber Broadband Association operations perspective, the second quarter of 2023 was robust. Net revenue for the organization as of May 31 was $980,000, favorable to budget, while expenses have been tightly managed within $16,000 of budget. While the timing of revenue for the annual conference in August is a contributor, Operations posted a $581,000 favorable variance to the budget based on the strength of the Raleigh, Oklahoma City, and Austin Regional Fiber Connect workshops, continued strong membership growth, and sponsorships for Fiber for Breakfast and FBA’s webinar series. We also expect a strong third quarter, as our Fiber Connect 2023 conference scheduled for August 20-23 is on record pace for registration and is anticipated to be the world’s largest and best fiber broadband conference this year.

While we have seen record attendance at the four Regional Fiber Connect workshops that we have held so far this year, our Fiber Connect 2023 annual conference in Orlando will take our industry to the next level. Due to overwhelming demand and anticipated sellout attendance, we had to move dates to August to expand our capacity with exhibits and educational sessions and maximize the number of on-property hotel rooms. At this year’s conference, we will have over 225 speakers, 5 pre-conference workshops, 7 educational session breakout tracks, and Tech Deep Dives with the Broadband Forum. The conference will culminate with The State Broadband Summit on the final day (Wednesday, August 23). We are also very excited about the 5 Operator Light Talks during the general sessions, where ISP executives will share how they will enable disruption within specific markets and industries once fiber is deployed. Also new for 2023 is the C-Suite Forum, which brings together executives from our premier members for peer-level talks on the issues facing our industry.

Our LATAM Chapter successfully executed the first of two Fiber Connect LATAM conferences in Santiago, Chile, on June 6th and 7th. The 2-day event exceeded expectations with 646 registrants and was followed by 2 days of training and certification programs. The next Fiber Connect LATAM conference will be held in Mexico City on October 10th and 11th. The LATAM Chapter also launched its annual magazine.

During the quarter, I am pleased to announce that we added two new members to the FBA staff. Please join me in welcoming Mia Harris and Kim Rickard. Mia came to us from Princeton University as the Diversity and Inclusion Program Administrator and joined the team in April to serve as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO & Coordinator, Special Projects. Mia is fluent in Spanish and has supported Edna tremendously with our LATAM Chapter and at our recent LATAM FBA event in Santiago, Chile. Kim was previously the Communications Director at a marketing agency in Pennsylvania and joined the team at the end of May to serve as the Membership Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. Some of you may have met Kim at our recent Regional Fiber Connect workshop in Lake Tahoe.

As we close the second quarter, the following is our progress against our 2023 goals.

Execution against our 2Q goals:

  • Successfully executed Regional Fiber Connect workshops in Oklahoma City on April 6, Austin, Texas, on May 16, and in Lake Tahoe on June 21
    • Attendance was 119% of the target for these events
  • Continue to ramp up our OpTIC PathTM Fiber Optic Technician training program nationwide
    • 39 states and 108 learning institutions are currently engaged
  • Promote our Fiber Workforce Development Guidebook in every state in the nation and influence each state’s workforce development plan to include fiber optic technician training
  • Provide the industry with education outreach via our educational webinar series
  • Significantly elevate FBA’s public policy impact on Capitol Hill, the Administration, and key agencies
    • FBA has made material progress during the quarter in its advocacy and impact, culminating with Marissa Mitrovich, our Vice President of Public Policy, representing FBA at the White House on June 26 for President Biden’s broadband infrastructure announcement
  • Continue to socialize our Trusted Fiber white paper with Congress and relevant federal agencies
    • Excellent feedback was received, and the white paper is ready for final release
  • Develop stronger state advocacy and leverage our Fiber Day messaging and assets at the state and local level
    • A Fiber Day at the Texas Capitol, “Donuts with the State Legislature” was held in Austin on May 16, where we welcomed many members, friends, and state legislative representatives.
    • On June 2, Governor Abbott signed SB 1238, authorizing the Texas Broadband Development Office to award grants, loans, and other incentives for broadband expansion projects in the state – with a preference for fiber projects. This legislation was introduced and led by state lawmakers Senators Nichols, West, and Whitmire and Representatives Ashby, Anderson, Rose, Bailes, and Clardy.
  • Successfully executed our LATAM Regional Fiber Connect conference in Santiago, Chile, on June 6 and 7
    • A very successful LATAM event with 646 registrants (vs. a target of 350)
  • Continued to diversify the Association’s revenue
    • “Other” revenue increased from 4% in 2019 to 17% in 2022 and has improved to 21% as of May 31, 2023
  • Prepare for Fiber Connect 2023 in Orlando on August 20-23
    • The agenda is complete, speakers are finalized, and the exhibit hall is sold out

Our goals for 3Q are the following:

  • Continue to ramp and scale our OpTIC PathTM Fiber Optic Technician training program nationwide
  • Promote our Fiber Workforce Development Guidebook in every state in the nation and influence each state’s workforce development plan to include fiber optic technician training
  • Continue to significantly elevate FBA’s public policy impact on Capitol Hill, the Administration, and key agencies
  • Release our Trusted Fiber white paper and work with Congress and key federal agencies to influence legislation and regulatory policy
  • Continue to develop our state advocacy and leverage our Fiber Day messaging and assets at the state level
  • Continued to diversify the Association’s revenue
  • Execute a record Fiber Connect 2023 in Orlando on August 20 – 23

As we head into the third quarter of 2023, the Fiber Broadband Association is in a tremendous position to help lead our nation forward in the deployment of fiber to every American. Our workforce development efforts will ensure that every state has “the boots on the ground” to get fiber deployed.

FBA will continue to focus on advocacy, education, and industry best practices to ensure we maximize this historic opportunity. As our nation invests in building the broadband infrastructure for our future, we are truly grateful for the tremendous support we have received from our board, our amazing staff, and our strategic partners, as well as our committee and working group leaders and volunteers. Without their unwavering dedication, our continued success would not have been possible.

We are now at the moment we have all been working towards for many years. The President has announced the $42.45 billion NTIA BEAD broadband infrastructure funding allocations to each state and territory. It is now up to each of us to ensure that this funding, in addition to the billions of federal, state, and local broadband funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Treasury, USDA/RUS, FCC, and other agencies, is efficiently deployed to help ensure that every America is connected with fiber and no community, household, or business is left behind.




Gary Bolton
President and CEO
Fiber Broadband Association