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Data Movers Todd Twete TNN

Data Movers Podcast with Todd Twete of Blackfoot Communications: Leadership, Rural Carriers & Robert Redford

In the latest installment of JSA’s Data Movers podcast series, Todd Twete, Director of Sales and Marketing at Blackfoot Communications, joins the show to talk about company culture, rural network solutions and the best movie ever set in Montana.

Operating Networks in Big Sky Country: Introducing Blackfoot Communications

Blackfoot Communications provides the fiber backbone of much of Montana’s network infrastructure, but as Twete notes in the episode, there are unique challenges to rural connectivity. Compared to some of the country’s larger metropolitan areas, his market has less population density, less existing fiber and more mountain ranges between sites. For instance, he says in the interview, building without the assistance of economies of scale can be particularly challenging when looking ahead to the emergence of 5G. Despite the promise of 5G service gaining attention, there are few existing assets to deploy it in the area. Twete goes on to explain that, for now, Blackfoot is focused on meeting marketplace needs for managed services and helping its customers reduce operating expenditures by shifting from MPLS networks to SD-WAN architectures. 

Leading By Example

Twete also delves into some of his views on leadership and culture-building in an organization, focusing specifically on mentorship and leading by example. “I can remember a gentleman I worked with years ago. You can tell the impact that he had on me because I can still remember to this day some of his quotes,” remembers Twete. “One of them that I am so keenly aware of is ‘You can’t lead where you won’t go and you can’t teach what you don’t know.’ From a leadership standpoint, yes, you can surround yourself with talented individuals, but it starts at the top. That vision starts at the top. The dedication starts at the top. And then hopefully you can impart onto your team members that vision, that focus, and hopefully success is the product of that approach.”

To learn more about Twete’s advice on building teams, his views on rural fiber connectivity and why Robert Redford means so much to Montana tourism, watch the full interview here


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