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Verizon’s Paul Bates: Broadband opportunities to watch

Verizon's Paul Bates: Broadband opportunities to watch - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Paul Bates
Paul Bates
Paul Bates

As a global communications technology leader, Verizon is building next-generation broadband networks to provide customers ubiquitous broadband connectivity and mobility to meet their future needs.  The appetite for new and innovative broadband services is insatiable, and with the promise of more advanced devices and applications, the company is gearing up to lead the way. For Paul Bates, Verizon Business’ vice president for global enterprise solution, taking the company to the next level means deploying the latest technology. Bates recently spoke to ExecutiveBiz up and coming wireline and wireless broadband services to watch within the federal space.

EB: What are the latest security solutions you are seeing in the federal space?

Paul Bates: I split security solutions into a two areas: cyber security solutions and information assurance, which includes managed security services.  We are seeing more requirements where the government is looking for security partners so they can leverage commercial best practices and efficiencies in managed services.  The work we are doing for DHS is a great example of the kind of partnership I see between government and industry going forward. There also is strong interest in “green“ services like our Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) solution, including our current Converged Fiber-to-the Desktop offering, that I think will be a big player in that world.


“If you want to introduce a new technology, you need to work with the government early in the process. You need to make sure that they see how the technology works, understand it, support it and get sponsorship so the technology can proceed as quickly as possible through the certification testing and receive approval. ” -Paul Bates


EB: How, if at all, do you see the financial downturn affecting research and development?

Paul Bates: As a communications service provider, we really work in two worlds.  We provide Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) solutions offering customer equipment refreshment and maintenance services.  We also work in a world that provides network services.  From the network perspective, we really don't see any impact.  Customers still need new communications networks and network services around the world.  On the CPE side, we may see a few government customers revise their CPE plans.

EB: Many new technologies that a vendor brings to the table are required to go through the government's certification process. Any tips to facilitate that process?

Paul Bates: A new technology introduced to the government can take a while if it needs to go through DOD certification process.  If you want to introduce a new technology, you need to work with the government early in the process. You need to make sure that they see how the technology works, understand it, support it and get sponsorship so the technology can proceed as quickly as possible through the certification testing and receive approval.  It's not quick, but if you understand and follow the process, you can gain certification acceptance and use new technology in a fairly rapid manner.

EB: With Gary Locke recently tapped as Commerce Secretary, what changes do you envision to the telecommunications infrastructure?

Paul Bates:
Secretary Locke understands that broadband is an important part of the economy and can help our nation return to growth to ensure the U.S. stays competitive in the global market. We think broadband is and will continue to be a great success story for the U.S. With Secretary Locke's appointment and additional funds for broadband deployment becoming available, opportunities will just accelerate.  If you look across the globe, the United States is a leader in deploying fiber.  There are only two countries ahead of us — Korea and Japan, so we are significantly ahead of most countries.  Also, it's not like we are starting from scratch. Our industry has tremendous broadband technology expertise and many successes, so I believe Secretary Locke has a great opportunity to leverage the work that's already been done and accelerate it.

EB: What opportunities do you see in the NTIA grant program?

Paul Bates: In terms of broadband deployment, we see the NTIA grant program as an opportunity to help ensure broadband is deployed to all Americans.  There are still unserved pockets throughout the country. The NTIA has a lot of flexibility to shape the program and work closely with industry, consumer groups, local and state governments, education and institutions and others to determine how best to quickly get the money Congress provided to those in most need.

EB: Where do you see the greatest need for broadband?

Paul Bates: Broadband access is critical in this global economy, and everyone has a great need for both wireline and wireless broadband access. Verizon's Long Term Evolution (LTE), the next-generation wireless broadband network, will be a key. GPON technology also plays an important role in broadband success. In addition to deploying broadband services to those who have the greatest need, the new technologies create the opportunity for jobs and the delivery of new services that bring benefits to everyone. There also is a need to rewire some of the existing infrastructure today. For example, looking at hospital initiatives where medical professionals need to be able to transfer large amounts of data within facilities or from a medical facility in one state to a medical facility across the country, broadband services using the newer technologies will allow this to be done with ease.

EB: Some say the excitement around broadband services is reminiscent of the way Americans spoke about going to the Moon in the 1960s.

Paul Bates: I would agree. Broadband technology has changed everything “” the way that we communicate, our social patterns and our approach to operating businesses.  The Internet has provided great opportunities for people and businesses around the world. As an industry, we need to continue deploying the latest technology which will allow everyone to take advantage of the phenomenal opportunities both wireline and wireless broadband services offer. We need to accelerate and stimulate an environment that offers customers greater capacity and new services in more areas than ever before.

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