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Michael Brown Gives NRTC a Network Architecture Advantage

Randy Sukow / Oct 29, 2020

NRTC in October greeted Michael Brown, a long-time telecom industry veteran, who becomes Vice President of Engineering in the company’s Broadband Solutions group. Brown’s main focus is on technical architecture for broadband services, especially “internet services, voice services, and architecting and building the service delivery network,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Michael to our team,” said Jim DaBramo, president of Broadband Solutions.  “He’s an outstanding addition for Broadband Solutions and will be a key leader as we help our electric cooperative and telephone members build the broadband infrastructure to serve their communities now and into the future.”

Brown said that he will concentrate on technical architecture for both wireline and wireless networks from NRTC headquarters in Herndon, VA. But he will get involved in individual broadband projects as needed.

A major part of Brown’s task will be to perfect NRTC’s architecture design procedures during the planning phases. He will also work with vendors to evaluate new technologies and develop strategies for new-technology introductions. Part of that will be “evaluating new technology insertions, like software-designed networking, network function virtualization and 5G,” Brown said.

The rural providers’ contribution to 5G deployment, Brown predicts, “as being the backbone services provider primarily, but with some of the spectrum allocations coming available, we could easily help build and manage private 5G networks.” It is early for carriers to begin investing in private 5G, but Brown is aware of many companies investigating the concept.

“I did a little bit of research in my previous job concerning 5G and how you integrate that into an overall service delivery model,” he said.

Brown held titles program manager, Infrastructure, and later solutions director, Infrastructure Engineering during 10 years with large IT firm SAIC. But throughout his 40-year career he has been working on rural projects and with rural providers. He spent 12 years as chief technology officer for FairPoint Communications where he oversaw a three-state broadband buildout.“

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