CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Dec. 13, 2023) – Members of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), which includes representation from across the industry including Google Fiber, Graybar, OFS and others, elected EPB Vice President, Government and Community Relations Evann Freeman to a three-year term on its Board of Directors beginning in 2024. At the end of 2023, EPB Vice President, Katie Espeseth, known for her critical role in helping to launch EPB’s fiber optic services, completes six years of service on the board. During her tenure on the FBA board, Espeseth served as Chair in 2020 and 2021 and acted as the board liaison for FBA’s Women in Fiber Committee. She also delivered innumerable public presentations about EPB’s experience of launching community-wide fiber optic internet service.
“Participation in the Fiber Broadband Association is important for EPB because it gives us access to industry-leading best practices and allows us to share our experience in deploying a fiber optic network with other community-based providers as they expand broadband in their own communities,” said EPB President and CEO David Wade.
In his new role as a board member, Freeman expands his participation in the nation’s largest and only trade association that represents the complete fiber broadband ecosystem. Prior to joining the board, he worked with FBA’s Public Policy Committee, and he will continue to serve as chair of FBA’s Conference Committee, with responsibility for helping to plan and coordinate the annual Fiber Connect conference, which hosted nearly 4,000 attendees in 2023.
Espeseth is widely recognized across the fiber optic industry both for her important role in Chattanooga’s initial fiber optic deployment and for leading EPB Broadband Solutions which shares EPB’s expertise to help other communities successfully launch and sustain quality broadband services. In 2021, she was named Cablefax “Independent Innovator of the Year.” Espeseth will continue service on FBA’s Senior Council Committee for a three-year term. She is also a board member of the National Content and Technology Cooperative (NCTC).
“The Fiber Broadband Association and EPB are well aligned in the commitment to advancing quality of life and digital equity through the deployment of fiber broadband infrastructure,” said FBA President and CEO Gary Bolton. “EPB’s aspirational story of offering the world’s first Gig-speed community-wide internet service, and how they stay on the global forefront with service up to 25 Gig, is a world-class achievement in our industry, and we appreciate their continued leadership and generosity to help other municipalities and FBA member companies join with them in building the future for generations to come.”
Freeman is a Chattanooga native and serves on several non-profit boards, including the Urban League, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Municipal Power Association, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Tourism Company among others.
Image credit: Fiber Broadband Association
With the mission of “enhancing quality of life in our community,” EPB is a municipal utility that delivers world-class energy and connectivity services to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. In 2010, EPB completed a 100% fiber optic network accessible to all its customers as the basis for launching America’s first community-wide Gig-speed internet. The company still operates the world’s fastest community-wide internet service today at speeds up to 25 Gig. EPB also utilizes Chattanooga’s fiber optic network as the communications backbone for the most advanced and highly automated power distribution system in the United States. In 2022, EPB continued its commitment to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge by establishing our nation’s first commercially available quantum network—EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk, which aligns local job creation efforts with the national priority to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology.
Since switching the lights on for its first electric customer in 1939, EPB has grown to serve a 600-square-mile service area with cutting-edge infrastructure that integrates power distribution and telecommunications. At the same time, EPB keeps customer benefit at the center of all its efforts, earning recognition from J.D. Power as the #1 Mid-Sized Utility in the South for the last seven consecutive years based on customer satisfaction ratings. Learn more at epb.com.
About the Fiber Broadband Association
The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association that represents the complete fiber ecosystem of service providers, manufacturers, industry experts, and deployment specialists dedicated to the advancement of fiber broadband deployment and the pursuit of a world where communications are limitless, advancing quality of life and digital equity anywhere and everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers, communities, and policymakers make informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better fiber broadband networks. Since 2001, these companies, organizations, and members have worked with communities and consumers in mind to build the critical infrastructure that provides the economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver. The Fiber Broadband Association is part of the Fibre Council Global Alliance, which is a platform of six global FTTH Councils in North America, LATAM, Europe, MEA, APAC, and South Africa. Learn more at fiberbroadband.org
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