drhddbFrom what’s happening at the edge, to simplifying Cloud connectivity, to overcoming mobile traffic challenges of major metros, this Fall’s COMPTEL Plus event in San Francisco – now INCOMPAS – was chock-full of answers to some of the industry’s most pressing data center-related questions and challenges.

ehwhwrThe show’s Data Center & Cloud Platform Zone was home to a host of presentations by the industry’s leading data center and cloud experts, including Brandon Pemberton of Global Capacity, Phill Lawson-Shanks of EdgeConneX, Sindhu Payankulath of Equinix, Felipe J. Alvarez of Axiom Fiber Networks, Edward Henigin of Data Foundry, Ray La Chance of ZenFi Networks, and William Reidway of Neustar.  Here are some highlights from their presentations:

wrtheDuring the Zone’s first presentation on Monday, Global Capacity’s SVP of Global Sales Brandon Pemberton discussed Simplifying Cloud Connectivity for Enterprises and SMBs.  The presentation explored the rapid proliferation of cloud computing and the growing need to effectively connect business Cloud users to the technologies they consume, focusing on problematic last-mile access.  The interactive discussion provided attendees with the opportunity to share their most pressing cloud connectivity challenges and customer concerns, including performance and reliability over expensive last-mile access, differing processes for network configuration, implementation and management, and lack of transparency into network assets, service technologies that match application needs, real-time pricing and operational readiness.  Pemberton also discussed the lack of reliability and security of connecting to the cloud via the public Internet, and how more and more enterprises are making the switch to more safe and dependable connectivity methods such as Ethernet.

Enabling Small Cells and Cloud-RAN for Metro Market Connectivity with the New All-Access Network, presented by ZenFi Networks’ CEO Ray La Chance, explored the connectivity challenge of high-density mobile traffic in highly populated areas such as New York City.  In addition to presenting the use of urban small cells and Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) to mitigate the connectivity issue, La Chance introduced attendees to a flexible, resilient and high-capacity All-Access Network, which supports widely distributed wireless equipment interconnection and colocation by facilitating connections between end-user sites, centralized data centers and carrier hotels in metro areas.

On Tuesday, Neustar’s Vice President of Carrier Services, William Reidway, presented Changes in Telephone Number Administration: The FCC’s VoIP Direct Access Order.  The presentation focused on the growing demand for new telephone numbers, propelled by today’s IP technology and Internet of Things (IoT)-driven market.  Reidway also discussed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) recent order to allow Voice over IP (VoIP) service providers to request numbers directly from the North American Numbering Plan and Pooling Administrators, and how it will impact today’s VoIP providers and competitive carriers

Rounding out the Data Center & Cloud Platform Zone’s presentations on Tuesday was What’s Happening at the Edge, moderated by Alan Hill, SVP of Government Relations and Strategic Business Development at COMPTEL.  Edward Henigin, CTO of Data Foundry, Phill Lawson-Shanks, Chief Architect & VP of Innovation at EdgeConneX, Sindhu Payankulath, VP of Global Network Engineering & Operations at Equinix, and Felipe J. Alvarez, CEO of Axiom Fiber Networks, shared their insights into the data center movement at the edge.  The panel was centered around the strain on current networks caused by Over-the-Top (OTT) content demand for bandwidth-intensive services such as video streaming and download.  Data center providers such as EdgeConneX are building a new breed of data centers in Tier 2 markets instead of the usual NFL cities.  By bringing the content closer to the end-users (or “eyeballs”), this model can reduce transit costs for content providers and Managed Service Operators (MSOs), while also improve quality and minimizing latency for the end-user.

wefwfqCOMPTEL announced on Monday, October 19 that it has changed its name to INCOMPAS in a move that “reflects the association’s growth and commitment to defending competition policy across a wide spectrum of evolving technology platforms.” The competitive networks association is expanding its membership base of competitive broadband providers to include video providers, social media leaders, content providers, wireless companies, Internet companies, international leaders, start-ups and venture capitalists.

With this new transformation, it will be exciting to see what INCOMPAS has in store for its upcoming 2016 events: The INCOMPAS 2016 Policy Summit, taking place February 8-11, 2016 in Washington, D.C., and the 2016 INCOMPAS Shows, taking place April 10-13 in Washington, D.C. and October 23-26 in Dallas, Texas.