Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 57 "I remember Bill sitting around with John Norcutt [CEO of Mid- Atlantic Communications, a leading private cable operator] in 1995, talking about ways to gather PCOs across the country to fght for common issues," reminisced Marc Cohen in a recent phone call. Cohen headed up marketing for Mid-Atlantic Communications at that time. "Burhop pointed out that he could galvanize support for important issues that were facing all operators like Mid-Atlantic." Over a period that spanned more than 15 years, Burhop was instrumental in defending PCOs' turf as it related to inside wiring, microwave licenses, exclusive agreements, bulk agreements and many other key concerns. "He was the guy at the beginning," Cohen told me, "who said, 'Give me the reins, and I can lead the charge.'" Tat energy permeated everything Burhop did for the association. He found ways to build momentum, create networking opportunities among providers and property owners and give sound business advice on how to fx problems. A GO-TO GUY "He became my go-to guy for everything," Jim Mandel, CEO of MultibandUSA (now part of Goodman) explained to me. "If I had a concern about any MDU-related issue – whether it be wiring, contractual, technology, whatever – he always had the answer or knew the source of the answer." Mandel's frm was one of the largest PCOs in the United States. One of those sources for answers was Carl Kandutsch, a longtime trusted friend of Burhop's and now a legal counsel for PCOs. Says Kandutsch, "Bill is one of a kind. He brings passion to this business and a strong desire to get things done. He doesn't see problems, only potential solutions." Kandutsch explained to me that Burhop was the reason he entered the PCO/MDU market in the frst place, which he calls "one of the best decisions I ever made." Burhop saw his executive director role as one of an "orchestra leader." He kept the trombone, the tuba and the rest of the horn section playing from the same song sheet. He even got involved with vendors to encourage them to fnd technology solutions for PCOs. "He always pushed us for answers, wanting to fnd more ways to help PCOs grow their bottom lines," a vendor told me in a private conversation. "He was defnitely the best asset the PCO market could have." Burhop focused on growing IMCC through education. He planned numerous events for the industry to gather leaders, new players, interested parties and sometimes customers to listen to the PCO story. IMCC educational conferences were held in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, Chicago and Phoenix. Burhop wanted to be sure that all PCOs had an opportunity to meet with other successful PCOs to learn the tricks of the trade. Dozens of times over the years, I heard him say, "I just want to be able to help the little guy in Sheboygan get his business of the ground and make smart, informed decisions." (None of us ever met the infamous private cable operator from Sheboygan!) Sue Ansel, now CEO of Gables Residential, summed up Burhop's relationship with PCO property owner customers best: "He gave us a reason to consider PCOs for our apartment communities and wanted us to be part of the industry dialogue. He was the best at listening to MDU owners' needs and fnding ways to solve them. I really enjoyed working with Bill." Burhop's "Program of Excellence" was a guideline prepared with cooperation from MDU owners and PCOs to show all industry participants the key ingredients for success in the business. It covered right-of-entry terms, customer care needs, technology issues and overall performance standards. He revised and updated this guideline many times during his tenure with the association. Dan Terheggen, CEO of Consolidated Smart Systems and current president of IMCC, told me, "Bill has left us with such a strong legacy for our industry. He kept the fre burning when others were struggling or lost. His fngerprints are all over this industry." A PERSONAL MENTOR As for me, I worked closely with Burhop from the minute I started my own PCO in 1996. He asked me to get involved, then join a committee, then join the board. In 1999, at his request, I became president of IMCC and remained in that position for more than a decade. I had a front-row seat working with Burhop and saw how he worked with government ofcials, other trade associations and members of our industry. He is everything the people I spoke with said about him: a fghter, a go-to guy, a leader and an instigator. I would add one more designation to the list, and that is "mentor." He has been a tremendous adviser to me for as long as I have known him. Te advice, approach and stewardship he gives the industry are based on the same skills he shared with me on a personal level. I speak for all of us in the PCO industry in saying to Bill, "We are certainly going to miss you. We hope you bring the 'just do it' attitude you have given IMCC into the next stage of your life." v Bryan Rader is CEO of Bandwidth Consulting LLC, which assists providers in the multifamily market. You can reach Bryan at bryanjrader@yahoo. com or at 636-536-0011. Learn more at "I just want to be able to help the little guy in Sheboygan get his business of the ground and make smart, informed decisions." BBC_Jan14.indd 57 1/27/14 1:47 PM

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