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BTOP Lessons Learned

BTOP Lessons Learned

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BTOP Lessons Learned

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  1. BTOP Lessons Learned Don WelchMerit Network

  2. Agenda • Project Review • What has worked • Lessons learned • Risk mitigation • Concluding quotes

  3. Projects • REACH-3MC • $41.6 MM ($33.3 MM Grant) • 955 (now over 1000) miles of fiber in 4 corridors • 4 (now 3) commercial sub-recipient partners • 72 strands, 15 access points, mostly aerial • REACH-3MC II • $87 MM ($69.6 MM Grant) • 1272 (now over 1300) miles of fiber in 3 corridors and 3 states • 7 commercial sub-recipient partners (2 also in round 1) • 96-168 strands, 28 access points, half trenched • Total • > 30,000 pole permits • At least 105 community anchors directly attached.

  4. What has worked • Outreach • Community • Political • Managing the project • RFPs • Merit PM with Fiber Construction Experience • Reuse RFPs • Local EA firm • If you haven’t started your EA you are too late • Compliance • Two dedicated staff

  5. Lesson’s Learned • Keep your friends close and enemies closer • There is no such thing as bad publicity • $130 MM opens a lot of doors • Everybody thinks I carry $130 MM in my wallet • And they are entitled to their share • The federal government is hard to work with • Somebody remembers everything you said • Some of it is actually what you said

  6. Risk Mitigation • Environmental Assessment • Incumbents • Change in attitude in the federal government • Loans for us and our partners • Loss of partners • Project overruns • Permitting

  7. Conclusions • "Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else." – Will Rogers • "You can do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.“ - Colette  • "Life is tough, and its even tougher if you’re stupid.“ - John Wayne  • "By definition risk-takers often fail. So do morons. In practice it's difficult to sort them out.“ - Scott Adams  • "Weiler's Law: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself." 

  8. Conclusions • "One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.“ - Bertrand Russell  • “Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.”  - Frederick B. Wilcox • “Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.” -Warren Buffett • “If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure.” - Dan Quayle