PTC 2022: Reunite, Rethink, Renew

Another Pacific Telecommunication Council, more affectionally know as PTC, has come and gone. However, this year’s event, held from 16-19 January in Honolulu, felt distinctly different. Back in the mid-90s, the telecoms industry was almost entirely voice driven.

Today, thanks to the many advances in communications technology, we have the seamless capacity to successfully run “hybrid” events, that is, conferences that offer delegates the option to attend in-person or virtually. Back in the days before fast and reliable internet, the notion of “dialing in” for an event in Hawai’i over a 128K circuit would have seemed preposterous and cost the same as a brand-new car.

Amid all the regular business development opportunities and networking, PTC always invites professionals in the industry to reflect on just how far the industry has come in connecting the world. But the PTC spirit is not one of nostalgia; but rather one of uniting people, telcos, technologists, and academics to consider what future innovations lie ahead, both in terms of growing the network and conquering the digital divide.

“In all of the years I’ve been attending PTC, these past two years have been the most productive in terms of being able to really engage with the technical presentations,” said OSI’s Business Development Director, Tony Mosley. “While I look forward to returning to in-person attendance in 2023, I must admit that in years gone by I have sometimes been swept away by the busy scheduling of back to back meetings and, as a result, have not been able to dedicate enough time to the line-up of quality speakers.”

Despite all the disruption caused by the COVID-19, the pandemic—and more specifically the need to establish a virtual means of attending traditionally in-person conferences—has given some people a welcome moment for pause and reflection.

“Many of us were unable to attend the previous two PTCs in person, and so returning to an in-person event will inevitably feel somewhat new. Or, at least, the way we consume all that PTC offers might seem novel in some way. In many ways, COVID-19 has “helped” accelerate the digital revolution and has forever transformed how professionals are able to gather and exchange information and new ideas,” suggests Mosley.

This was amply exemplified by Mosley’s virtual contribution to the Sunday Submarine Cable session, a long-established kick-off event that is always well-attended.

“On a personal note, I must thank Elaine Stafford and Paul McCann, my fellow Musketeers, who helped pull together the Sunday Submarine Cable session. As in the past, we packed the room and started proceedings with the Around the World Session. This year I had the opportunity to interview and introduce our Subsea luminaires and discuss some of the new regional subsea projects in the Pacific, Oceania and Antarctica, Middle East and Indian Ocean, Atlantic, Latin America, Africa and the Nordics and Europe and the Artic. The Around the World Session was capped off by Kent Bressie’s update on Global Regulatory and Policy updates. Each one of the presenters were wonderfully gracious with their time and insights, so many thanks to Funke Opeke of MainOne, Erick Contag of Globenet, Mike Rieger of Subcom, Ptere Narebo of Bulk Infrastructure, Mike Constable of HMN, Paul McCann of McCann Consulting and Phillipe Dumont of EllaLink.”

Another highlight of this year’s PTC was the introduction of SubOptic’s Crew Tube, an online archive of videos recorded by professionals in the Submarine Cable community in which they recounted their own career experiences and motivations for working in the industry over the years. The portal is hosted by SubOptic, and interested parties are encouraged to get involved and leave a message to inspire future subsea technologists and entrepreneurs.

Last word to Mosley: “I along with everyone else that spent time at 2022’s hybrid PTC enormously appreciate the hard work and dedication of Sharon Namaka and the PTC Team. It took a huge effort to make this conference happen and the team at OSI cannot wait to be back next year. Aloha.”

#PTC2022 Reunite, Rethink, Renew. #Aloha PTC2023.