As we bid farewell to 2023 and extend warm holiday wishes to our valued team members and customers, it’s time to celebrate a year of remarkable accomplishments at NoaNet. In the spirit of gratitude and progress, let’s highlight some key wins, promotions, and pivotal changes of 2023 here at NoaNet. We are thrilled to be in a position to support the continued growth and success of Washington State’s connectivity efforts.
Companywide, we realized some big milestones:
- Awards- U.S. Broadband Award: NoaNet proudly received the U.S. Broadband Award for Public Services Deployment, recognizing our significant contribution to the Washington State Next Generation 911 System. Additionally, we were finalists in the category of Best Broadband & Data Mapping Solution.
- Welcome, Affiliate Members – Marking the inaugural year of our Affiliate Membership Program, NoaNet welcomed members The City of Anacortes, Grays Harbor PUD, and Lewis PUD.
- 2Tbps connection established – We also celebrated the completion of a groundbreaking technological milestone: the provision of a two terabit per second (2Tbps) connection for one of our wholesale customers. This project underscores the power of open access publicly owned networks in bringing cutting-edge technology to serve Washington State. This 2Tbps dedicated wavelength capacity between two strategically important and geographically diverse sites within Washington State promises a significant leap in data transfer capabilities.
New Director Appointments:
- Tina Meier – Director of Operations: Tina previously served as the E911 Director and the Director of Emergency Management for Garfield County Sherrif’s Office. She holds certificates from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) Program and NENA’s Center Manager Certification Program (CMCP). She is an APCO Certified Public-Safety Executive (CPE). She is now based in Spokane Valley and oversees NoaNet’s Network Operations team.
- Natasha Eyler – Director of Strategic Accounts (Sales): Prior to joining NoaNet in September, Natasha spent five years with communications infrastructure company Zayo Group, ascending to the role of Senior Account Director of Strategic Network Sales. Past professional credits include managing cellular backhaul accounts with Wave Broadband as part of her 30 years of telecom industry experience. Natasha now is based in North Bend and supports critical broadband initiatives for Washington communities.
We salute our hardworking ops team, whose Field Service Delivery team turned up 579 orders this year! As we grow, our Network Operations Center (NOC) is leaving the Spokane US Bank Building and moving to Spokane Valley in 2024. Please come tour the new facility in the New Year…we would love to show you around. We’re also pleased to share these team promotions and achievements:
- Kevin Duval, promoted to Operations Manager
- Andrew Frater, promoted to NOC Lead Analyst
- Byron Hagman, promoted to Technical Manager
- Nate Blair, promoted to Analyst II in transport
- Matt Hieb, promoted to Analyst II in transport
- Brandon Kuhn, promoted to Service Assurance/Change Coordinator
- Ken Buska, promoted to Jr. DevOps Engineer
- New certifications/credentials: We congratulate five NoaNet analysts who passed either Net+, CCNA, and/or NRS2: Ben Blair, Net+ and CCNA; Nate Blair, Net+; Matt Hieb, Net+; Hannah Laws, Net+; and Youcef Hattel, NRS2. We also commend Ari Yuki, who completed supervisor-certified training. Great work!
- The NoaNet Professional Services team has been diligently engaged in providing comprehensive support for Broadband Network Development, Consulting, and Engineering Services to communities across the Northwest. The demand for these services has witnessed a consistent upward trajectory, comprising over 10% of NoaNet’s total business conducted in 2023. We anticipate this percentage to further ascend, reflecting the ongoing and escalating need for our specialized expertise in the field.
- NoaNet’s past three years of professional service offerings have helped bring Washington communities more than $450 million through successful grant applications. In 2023, this success continued! The NoaNet Professional services team has been supporting awardees in project engineering, construction bid development, construction management, and business development statewide.
- NoaNet purchased a statewide COS Broadband marketplace software license to support Washington’s communities in accessing an open-access marketplace of service providers. Development of this software is turning up on a rolling basis and is due to launch in several additional Washington communities in 2024.
- As public benefit advocates, NoaNet has been diligently engaging the BEAD/WSBO planning process in coordination with the Public Broadband Stakeholders Group to support public broadband representation in the state’s BEAD project plan.
- From January to April, NoaNet supported Statewide broadband and digital equity mapping in coordination with Washington State University-Extension. We were thrilled to work with communities statewide to visualize the barriers and opportunities for broadband development locally.
- Retirement planning – The NoaNet Private Pension Plan closed and transitioned to WA State Department of Retirement System’s Public Employees Retirement System, reducing long-term liabilities and broadening access to one of the best public retirement plans in the country.
- Office consolidation to Spokane Valley – NoaNet closed our Gig Harbor offices, which served as the company headquarters and housed the finance offices. We will be consolidating our commercial space at the new Network Operations Center in Spokane Valley, WA.
- Bond ratings maintained– Fitch Ratings (bond rating agency) affirmed NoaNet’s Issuer Default Rating at ‘A’ bond rating; Outlook Stable for 2020 Revenue Bonds.
- Audit complete- NoaNet obtained a clean Moss Adams FY2022 audit of Financial and Pension.
- Our 2024 Budget was approved by the Board. This year’s cycle was one of the smoothest in memory!
Thank you all for a terrific year. While it was busy for everyone working in the telecom space, the writing is on the wall for it to continue ramping up for several years to come. As a public resource, we are always ready and waiting to support local efforts from planning to engineering, to solutions development and operations. Please reach out if we could help you realize your goals in 2024!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and we wish you a joyous ringing in of the New Year.
Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) is a not-for-profit wholesale telecommunications mutual corporation that has been serving Washington State since 2000. As a mission-driven organization, NoaNet focuses on bringing world-class telecommunications technology to hard-to-reach communities which lack access to high-speed affordable broadband services.