Turning a former tobacco town into the first gigabit Internet ecosystem in North Carolina – that’s the evolution taking place right now in the city of Wilson. And WRAL TechWire is highlighting the transformation with its next Executive Exchange event with broadband expert Blair Levin delivering the keynote.

“Building a gigabit ecosystem” is set for Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 a.m.

Greenlight, the City of Wilson owned and built fiber network, is the foundation of the transformation taking place.

While gigabit Internet access is slowly becoming available across the Triangle, Wilson has operated Greenlight for several years. What lessons can the Triangle as well as other communities learn from the Wilson story?

Come to the event and find out first-hand.

The program

WTW’s program will focus on various aspects of what’s happening.

The program will begin with a live “fireside chat” between Wilson City Manager Grant Goings and WRAL Tech Wire’s editor (me). We’ll discuss the history of Greenlight – how and why it came to be, the services offered. But more importantly we’ll talk about businesses, government agencies, schools and consumers are taking advantage of the ultra-high speed network.

Next, Levin will deliver the keynote. Among the most widely respected authorities on broadband in the U.S., Levin is a former chief of staff at the Federal Communications Commission. He also helped put in place much of the broadband policy that is helping spread high-speed access across the country.

Levin will put in perspective the importance of broadband to today’s economy with an emphasis on how rural communities such as Wilson can build a gigabit ecosystem.

Levin was the keynote speaker for WRAL TechWire’s 2014 event “Fiber Transforms the Triangle.”

So what’s change in the two years since then? Levin will explain – and also talk about what he sees coming in the future.

Next on the agenda will be two panel discussions:

One will discuss in detail how Wilson is becoming a hub for change in agribusiness, from biotech to drones helping farmers.

The second will explore how gigabit Internet access is helping transform manufacturing, from drugs to the Internet of Things to bringing digital media development to eastern North Carolina from the West Coast.

The event will take place at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center.

More information will be added as it is confirmed.

Reserve your spot now at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wral-techwire-executive-exchange-growing-the-gigabit-ecosystem-tickets-28379105669