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By Nikki Cabus

Verizon and Boca Raton-based Vertical Bridge forge agreement to expand Verizon’s 4G and 5G Ultra Wideband services

Read Time 3 Minutes

Verizon Communications Inc (VZ:NYSE) and Vertical Bridge have entered into an agreement to build cell towers across the US to expand Verizon’s 4G and 5G Ultra Wideband services.

Vertical Bridge has agreed to construct these towers to-suit with Verizon as the anchor tenant. The towers will be held in an LLC formed by Vertical Bridge in which Verizon has a profits interest. The new towers will add to the overall communications infrastructure in the US, and will help to fulfill the need for new locations where towers do not exist today to continue to enhance the wireless experience.

“Our new agreement with Vertical Bridge is an excellent alternative to the traditional tower leasing model. This cost-effective, sustainable and efficient model will allow us to accelerate our build program and provide additional services to customers,” said Lynn Cox, Chief Engineering Officer for Verizon.

“We continue to focus on technology innovation and fast deployment to enable greater connectivity for our customers.”

The deal is structured in so that the new towers will be held in an LLC owned by Vertical Bridge and Verizon will have a profit interest in that company. This allows the partners to decide where to build out the towers according to what areas need them most, but also both profit on the tower space.

Vertical Bridge has rapidly become the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the U.S., with more than 500,000 sites nationwide, including wireless and broadcast towers, rooftops, convenience stores, land parcels, utility structures and billboards. We continue to grow and enhance our infrastructure each year to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

New technologies like 5G and ATSC 3.0 need new infrastructure solutions. As a private company, Vertical Bridge is often better positioned to respond with agility than any other competitor. Yet their expansive asset portfolio puts them in the same class as the largest public providers. Vertical Bridge is currently the largest private company in the industry.

“This new model, designed to deliver value for both parties, is a demonstration of strong collaboration and mutual benefit between a carrier and a tower company to accelerate infrastructure development in the US,” said Ron Bizick, President and CEO, Vertical Bridge. “We are committed to rapidly building the infrastructure needed to drive the wireless telecommunications industry forward.”

Ron alluded in his statement that this is a “new model” and not typically how business is done in the U.S. market.

The comprehensive solution at scale provides an outstanding opportunity to deliver value and meet Verizon’s wireless infrastructure needs for years to come.

Ron, new to his seat as President & CEO, has only been in the role for days as he was appointed just last week. Although, he is not completely new to Vertical Bridge as he served as COO for a little over a year. He comes with lots of experience from roles prior to Vertical Bridge. Ron served as CEO of Tarpon Towers, LLC, EVP & COO of Global Signal, Inc. and EVP and COO of SBA Communications.

The Co-Founder and former CEO, Alex Gellman, has stepped into a new role as Executive Chairman. He is responsible for developing and leading the firm’s overall strategy and growth.

By Nikki Cabus

Broward College’s President Haile is the only higher education leader selected for U.S. Talent Task Force

Read Time 4 Minutes

Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, J.D. has been selected for the U.S. section of the newly created U.S.-EU Trade and Technology’s (TTC) Talent for Growth Task Force, which will encourage public and private sector initiatives to drive development of the talent and skills needed for emerging and existing technologies.

In addition to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the other TTC Co-Chairs include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, European Commission Executive Vice-President and European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, and European Commission Executive Vice-President and EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.

The individuals serving on the Task Force will collaborate with the European Union members to collectively provide actionable and specific recommendations directly to the TTC Co-Chairs on how to expand innovative, employer-based training in the United States and the EU. This will help Western countries achieve a well-trained workforce, critical to maintaining global leadership in the wake of emerging and existing technologies such as AI and robotics.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is a key mechanism to support stronger transatlantic relations and to deliver concrete outcomes. We reaffirm that international rules-based approaches to trade, technology, and innovation that are founded on solid democratic principles and values can improve the lives of our citizens and generate greater prosperity for people around the world. Through the TTC’s ten working groups, we are supporting sustainable, inclusive economic growth and development, promoting a human-centric approach to the digital transformation, and ensuring that international norms and the international trade rulebook are respected and reflect our shared values. We will continue to work together to modernize and reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) as set out in the WTO MC12 Outcome Document.”

President Haile is one of seven Americans named to serve on the Task Force, and the only one to head a public college or university. The other Task Force members consist of leaders from business, labor, and organizations that support training from the U.S. and the EU who will exchange information to learn from each other and prepare concrete and specific recommendations for the TTC Co-Chairs on how to expand talent development and training in the U.S. and the EU. Further, its work is intended to catalyze public and private sector initiatives to improve workforce development on both sides of the Atlantic.

“At Broward College, we have fully embraced the obligation to ensure that all human capital is fully optimized with workforce training that will lift the lives of individuals, our local communities, and our nation. Serving on the TTC will be an honor beyond measure. I look forward to supporting the TTC Co-Chairs and engaging my fellow task force members to fortify and accelerate the talent development of the U.S. and EU nations,” said President Haile.

Serving approximately 56,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners.

In addition to awarding associate and bachelor’s degrees in numerous majors, Broward College offers more than 97 vocational and technical certificates in addition to micro-training programs in a variety of fields from data analytics, cloud computing, and automation to airport operations management, nuclear medicine technology, and film production to the 56,000 youth and adult learners it serves. Broward College consistently ranks among the Top 10 Best Community Colleges in the nation according to the prestigious Aspen Institute. The College was recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its students having the least amount of debt of any college or university in the Southeastern United States.

According to the TTC, the U.S. and EU share the goal of expanding skills training so all workers and companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can succeed in the global economy. The Task Force will help inform leaders of all sectors on how millions of workers can get the skills needed to continue to power our mutual economies, which are built on ever-changing technological innovation.

The Task Force strategy and work plan will be developed by its members and will include undertakings to:

  • Create opportunities across sectors to share best practices, including strategies for collaboration, taxonomies, and tools for training.
  • Showcase training opportunities between the U.S. and EU.
  • Identify barriers to knowledge about in-demand technology jobs, and barriers for women and others, notably young people, from underrepresented communities to consider these jobs.
  • Promote a shared understanding of specific skills that could inspire training programs in American and European companies.
  • Identify and promote talent development programs for SMEs.
  • Communicate the benefits of participating in careers in technology sectors.

For more details about the Task Force and the full list of members, please visit the U.S. Dept of Commerce’s website.

Verizon and Boca Raton-based Vertical Bridge forge agreement to expand Verizon’s 4G and 5G Ultra Wideband services
Broward College’s President Haile is the only higher education leader selected for U.S. Talent Task Force