Fierce Telecom recognizes Jim Capuano, SVP and chief of network operations at FirstLight Fiber

Fierce Telecom recognizes Jim Capuano, SVP and chief of network operations at FirstLight Fiber

“… every great company must also have a slew of emerging leaders who work behind the scenes on key projects. These are the risk takers who work drive new products and initiatives that will keep a company on the cutting edge.”

Sean Buckley, Senior Editor, Fierce Telecom

Every year, Fierce Telecom takes a look at up-and-coming executives and profiles them for its readers, and JSA is pleased to congratulate Jim Capuano, FirstLight Fiber’s Senior Vice President and Chief of Network Operations for earning this special recognition for 2015.

Here’s an excerpt from Fierce Telecom:

Dealing with the nuts and bolts of building and operating a network best describes a day in the life of FirstLight Fiber’s Jim Capuano. As senior vice president and chief of network operations for the company, he oversees all aspects of the service provider’s network construction, operations, engineering, IS/IT and carrier relations.

Building out networks, particularly for competitive providers, can be a daunting process that requires a clear understanding of each local city and town’s ordinances. This means negotiating terms to get necessary rights-of-way to string fiber cables along existing electric utility poles and ensuring that the network construction does not interfere with residential or business landowners.

During a panel at last fall’s COMPTEL trade show in Las Vegas, Capuano said that in one network build where FirstLight had to build 60 miles of cable–10 miles of which were on aerial public utility poles–an electric utility required them to pay approximately $788,000 in pole attachment fees.

Dealing with the buildout and management of networks, including working with local utility companies, is part of Capuano’s pedigree.

Like his colleague Maura Mahoney, who was one of FierceTelecom’s Women in Wireline candidates from 2011, and CEO Kurt Van Wagenen, Capuano also hails from the former RCN Metro–now Lightower. During his tenure at RCN Metro, Capuano served as the VP of engineering and operations. He also held senior management roles at Unite Private Networks and at Veroxity Technology Partners.

Capuano came to FirstLight Fiber in early 2013, following its rebrand from Tech Valley Communications–a name it once used as a sub-brand for its fiber network. He joined the company at a time when it was beginning a growth phase that would deepen its service reach outside of its Albany, N.Y., headquarters into Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Canada.

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