Jason Koenders Joins Fatbeam as its first combined COO and CTO

IT, Networking and Telecommunications Expert to Reshape Key Company Functions 

Coeur d’Alene, ID, September 1, 2020 — Jason Koenders has joined Fatbeam as the company’s first combined Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer. Koenders most recently consulted with multiple regional service providers in the western United States to increase scale, reliability and improve network efficiency while at Ciena; a leading networking systems, services and software company.  

“Throughout Jason’s career he has shown both a comprehensive understanding of the evolving IT, technology and telecommunications space and an aptitude for building high-performing teams where he was admired as a leader and mentor,” said Paul Merritt, CEO, Fatbeam. “As we continue to evolve how we serve our customers and grow as an organization, he will be both a catalyst for the development of our team and a valued voice and resource for how we approach new markets and customers.” 

As a network consultant for Ciena, Koenders was responsible for designing and proposing next generation network solutions that increased network capability while improving cost structure for both current and prospective Network Operators throughout the western United States. Prior to consulting, Koenders held several roles of increasing scope and responsibilities at Integra, where he ultimately rose to CTO and led its Technology organization as the largest regional Communications Service Provider in the Western United States. His leadership roles have spanned Sales, Operations, Network Operations, Engineering and Network Planning.   

“Throughout my career I’ve been more drawn to the opportunities that a role provides, where I can directly contribute to the overall vision and elevate the team around me,” described Koenders. “Fatbeam, and this role specifically, are a perfect fit for me given my experience and desire to make a difference. I am intrigued and inspired by the vision of our leadership, our unique approach to doing business, and our commitment to serving customers more nimbly and effectively than the competition.” 

Koenders has earned several awards and accolades for his contributions and achievements, both professional and personal, including an Army Achievement Medal.   

Koenders joins the Fatbeam leadership team following several strategic steps the fiber internet and infrastructure provider has taken to grow and evolve its business this year, when it acquired Idaho-based Tek-Hut’s internet and WAN business and hired Todd Kerr as its Vice President of Enterprise Sales.  

About Fatbeam  
Fatbeam is a business-to-business provider of reliable fiber-based network solutions to education, enterprise, healthcare, government and carrier customers across the western US. With over 45,000 fiber miles connecting more than 50 markets across 8 states, Fatbeam’s resilient infrastructure is the best choice for customers requiring high bandwidth and speed for their daily operations with options ranging from Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) to high capacity dark fiber infrastructure. For more information about Fatbeam, please visit www.fatbeam.com.

Fatbeam Appoints Todd Kerr as its Vice President of Enterprise Sales

Industry veteran to expand B2B fiber provider’s focus and services to businesses 

Coeur d’Alene, ID, June 10, 2020 — Todd Kerr, previously with Zayo Group as its vice president of Sales, has been tapped to lead Fatbeam’s enterprise sales efforts as the company’s first executive to focus exclusively on its enterprise / business customers. During his 20 years in the business telecommunications industry, Kerr was continually elevated into broader sales leadership roles with increasing responsibilities since he started with AT&T and continued his career with XO Communications, Level 3 and Zayo. 

“I’ve long admired Todd’s leadership, industry expertise and proven ability to build and engage high-performing sales teams,” said Paul Merritt, CEO, Fatbeam. “He is the perfect fit at the right time for Fatbeam, as we look for new, better and more impactful ways to serve our business and enterprise customers across the West.”   

Kerr most recently led Zayo’s enterprise sales efforts in the Pacific Northwest as its vice president of sales, guiding both his team and the company’s sales strategy in one of the most vibrant, dynamic and fast-paced regions in the U.S. for business telecommunications. He was elevated to this role in 2015 following success as a sales director where he managed a sales team focused on the healthcare and public sectors. Prior to that, he held a number of sales leadership roles with Zayo, Level 3 and XO communications, where he was regularly recognized for his performance and developing relationship building with both new market customers and established long-term customers. 

“Fatbeam’s proven success, and stellar reputation supporting and selling to public sector and carrier customers, made this opportunity to expand its enterprise / business channel even more intriguing,” noted Kerr. “Customers who reside in one of Fatbeam’s ever-expanding markets should expect to see new and compelling business offerings. Going forward, an expanded local sales team consulting customers on how to leverage and utilize Fatbeam’s fiber optic solutions will also be a high priority.” 

Kerr’s addition to the Fatbeam leadership team follows several strategic steps the fiber internet and infrastructure provider has taken to grow and evolve its business since late 2020, when it hired Paul Merritt as its CEO and, more recently, acquired Idaho-based Tek-Hut’s internet and WAN business

About Fatbeam 
Fatbeam is a business-to-business provider of reliable fiber-based network solutions to education, enterprise, healthcare, government and carrier customers across the western US. With over 45,000 fiber miles connecting more than 50 markets across 8 states, Fatbeam’s resilient infrastructure is the best choice for customers requiring high bandwidth and speed for their daily operations with options ranging from Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) to high capacity dark fiber infrastructure. For more information about Fatbeam, please visit www.fatbeam.com

Fatbeam, Ednetics Complete Acquisition of Tek-Hut

Idaho-based fiber and technology companies gain talent and resources to expand footprint and customer solutions across the Western U.S

Coeur d’Alene, ID, Feb. 25, 2021 — Fatbeam and Ednetics recently completed the acquisition of Tek-Hut, an Idaho-based technology provider serving both education organizations and local and state governments.

Fatbeam – a fiber internet and infrastructure provider to schools, businesses, healthcare, and governments – is acquiring Tek-Hut’s internet and WAN business. Ednetics is acquiring Tek-Hut’s managed services, network integration and device practice, to build on and expand its advanced technology services and solution offerings to education and public sector communities.

All Tek-Hut employees involved in the transaction are expected to continue in a similar role within their new organization.

“This is ultimately a success story of three Idaho-based technology companies with a common commitment to improving the connectivity and efficiency of Idaho schools, governments and businesses,” said Paul Merritt, CEO, Fatbeam. “Today marks a new chapter for each of our companies, with a bright future ahead.”

Both Fatbeam and Ednetics serve education and government sectors across the Western U.S., providing connectivity and technology solutions to enhance productivity and efficiency. Tek-Hut, Inc. was founded in 2001 and grew to support more than 200 districts across the U.S. By adding Tek-Hut’s footprint, Fatbeam now provides fiber internet service to more than 73 communities.

“We have great respect for what Tek-hut has built over the last several years and are excited to add their products and services to our growing public sector portfolio.” said Shawn Swanby, Ednetics CEO. “The talent and passion of the Tek-hut team will be a valuable addition as we continue to invest in Idaho and the Western US.”

“When we started Tek-Hut twenty years ago, we saw opportunities to improve how people work and stay connected through technology,” noted Bondelid. “We grew to become a technology leader within and beyond Idaho thanks to the strength and talent of this team, which is a staggering achievement for which we are very grateful. While Fatbeam and Ednetics helped sharpen us as competitors, they share our admiration for those we serve, particularly in the education space, and we believe this is a great fit for everyone involved.”

The acquisition was finalized when the FCC recently completed its review and approval of a license transfer. The acquisition agreement between the three companies was reached in late 2020.

About Fatbeam
Fatbeam is a business-to-business provider of reliable fiber-based network solutions to education, enterprise, healthcare, government and carrier customers across the western US. With over 52,000 fiber miles connecting more than 70 markets across 8 states, Fatbeam’s resilient infrastructure is the best choice for customers requiring high bandwidth and speed for their daily operations with options ranging from Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) to high-capacity dark fiber infrastructure. For more information about Fatbeam, please visit www.fatbeam.com.

About Ednetics
Ednetics brings advanced technology services and solutions to education and public sector communities across the western United States. The company focuses on opportunities to improve education and government settings through network, communications, physical security, storage, and facilities architectures. The Ednetics team believes that when people have access to environments supportive of connection, information flow, and learning they can be inspired to do great things. For more information, visit https://www.ednetics.com.

New INCOMPAS Board of Directors

FirstLight Fiber President and CEO Kurt Van Wagenen to Serve Third Term as INCOMPAS Board Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 17, 2020) – INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, today announced that its Board of Directors re-elected Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight Fiber, to serve as its Board Chair. The Board also re-elected Michael B. Galvin, General Counsel of Granite Telecommunications LLC as Vice Chair, and elected Brian Worthen, CEO of Mammoth Networks to serve as Treasurer.

Rounding out the Executive Committee are three at-large members: Jon Clopton, Vice President, Network Cost, Planning and Carrier Relations of Inteliquent; Ronald Mudry, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of Uniti Group Inc.; and Gary Watts, Founder and CEO of Fuse.Cloud.

“I am honored that my peers on the INCOMPAS Board have entrusted me with a third term in this leadership role. I am proud to serve the association and its members, who have been at the forefront of keeping Americans connected through the pandemic and helping families who have been working and learning remotely over the past nine months,” said Van Wagenen. “I believe 2021 will be one of the most transformational years for broadband policy, as we seek universal connectivity goals for all Americans who want more competition, faster speeds and more affordable options. I look forward to working with INCOMPAS and its members as we continue to advocate for competition policy and innovation that help grow their businesses.”

Last month, the association held elections for companies to serve two-year terms, running 2020-2022. Member companies, and their representatives, now serving this term on the Board include:

Small Company

  • Fatbeam – Tony Perkins, COO
  • FiberComm – Al Aymar, CEO
  • Fuse.Cloud – Gary Watts, Founder and CEO
  • IdeaTek Telcom, LLC – Daniel Friesen, Managing Member and Innovation Officer
  • Mammoth – Brian Worthen, CEO
  • Socket Telecom – Carson Coffman, COO and President

Medium Company

  • Allied Telecom Group, LLC – Ken Williams, Founder, CEO and CTO
  • C Spire – Chris Champion, Vice President, Government Relations
  • Crown Castle – Chris Levendos, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Education Networks of America (ENA) – Kitty Ganier, General Counsel
  • FirstLight Fiber – Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO
  • Inteliquent – Jon Clopton, Vice President, Network Cost, Planning and Carrier Relations
  • Uniti Group Inc. – Ron Mudry, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Large Company

  • DISH – Jeff Blum, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs
  • Facebook – Brian Rice, Director, Public Policy
  • Granite Telecommunications, LLC – Mike Galvin, General Counsel
  • Microsoft Corporation – Paula Boyd, Senior Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs
  • Netflix Inc. – Bakari Middleton, Lead, U.S. Federal Policy
  • Twitter – Laura Culbertson, Head of U.S. Public Policy
  • Windstream – Thomas Whitehead, Vice President, Federal Government Affairs

Employee Spotlight: Tammy

We are excited to recognize Tammy, our Director of Carrier Sales based in Coeur d’Alene, ID, as our Employee Spotlight. Tammy began working at Fatbeam in December of 2014 and has a tremendous amount of experience in the telecommunications industry. Over the past 6 years, she has been instrumental in building out our extensive fiber backbone across the Western United States. Here are a few things she shared with us about her experience at Fatbeam.

Tell us about what you do at Fatbeam? “I currently oversee our Carrier Wholesale Channel. My responsibility is to manage the channel and grow it in revenue which includes building relationships with national, regional, and local carriers within Fatbeam’s fiber footprint. Essentially, we do business with companies that do, in large part, what we do and allow access to leasing our lit and dark fiber assets.”

Before working at Fatbeam, what was the most unusual or interesting job you have ever had? “A little over thirty-five years ago as a young mother, I ran a daycare for a period after my youngest son was born. It was a great responsibility to know that the care I provided to children would have lifelong impacts on them and their parents.  The care and love for them while under my supervision was very important to their confidence, and joy and kept them thriving as they grew. It was a privilege and very rewarding to know that I was trusted to provide loving care for these precious little people in the absence of their parents.”

What is the best part of working at Fatbeam? “The people and culture are the best part of being a member of this team. I am fully vested in Fatbeam’s culture because I strongly believe in it and I believe we are blessed and have some of the best talents in the industry right here at Fatbeam!”

How would you say you are making a difference here? “Playing a role in leadership since I joined Fatbeam six years ago, filling a variety of roles and responsibilities and being a part of the organizational growth, leads me to a deeply profound commitment to Fatbeam. I believe that my care and commitment to the people of Fatbeam, the company, our vision, and organizational goals is how I contribute and make a difference.”

What are 3 words to describe Fatbeam? “Culture, knowledge, camaraderie”

Tell us about what you like to do outside of work? “Most of my time is spent with my family. I have two beautiful granddaughters and two incredible sons and daughters-in-law. My family is very special to me, I make it my priority to keep my tribe close. I am very traditional about family dinners and holidays and fortunate enough to have my children honor that importance, I feel blessed every day to have the family I have. Outside of family, I enjoy time with friends, a good book, walking my dogs, and travel.”

Thank you for being a part of the Fatbeam team Tammy, this company would not be the same without you!

To see more roles at Fatbeam, click here!

Employee Spotlight: Jenny

We are excited to recognize Jenny, our Accounting Assistant based in Coeur d’Alene, ID, as our Employee Spotlight. Jenny began working at Fatbeam in the summer of 2018. Over the past 2 years, she has worked extremely hard to help the company become more profitable and has been a key player in maintaining order and systems within our organization. Here are a few things she shared with us about her experience at Fatbeam.

Tell us about what you do at Fatbeam?

“I am the Accounting Assistant so that means I help with processing incoming checks and ACH payments for Accounts Receivable, send out checks for Accounts Payable, enter incoming invoices into our accounting system, review and process internal expense reports, monitor and send out notices for past due (or the more politically correct term: aging) accounts, send out our monthly invoicing, invoice and process payments for USAC, and assist our Senior Accountant with various projects.”

Before working at Fatbeam, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

“I was in the WA Army National Guard for 6 years, stationed at Ft Lewis.”

What is the best part of working at Fatbeam?

“The culture. I feel supported and valued in every way, from the family first values to the technical support, and from the friendly comradery to the opportunity to grow and learn new skills.”

How would you say you are making a difference here?

“I just try to support our Finance team and Fatbeam as a whole, in any way I can, so that others can focus on the bigger picture.”

Tell us about what you like to do outside of work?

“Spend time with family and friends preferably in the great outdoors or watching the grandkids sports…volleyball, soccer, basketball and soon to be football!”

What are 3 words to describe Fatbeam?

“Supportive, progressive, friendly”

Thank you for being a part of the Fatbeam team Jenny, this company would not be the same without you!

To see more roles at Fatbeam, click here!

Fatbeam Launches Cloudbeam for Private, Secure, and High-Performance Connectivity to Cloud Service Providers

August 3, 2020, Coeur d’Alene, ID – Today, Fatbeam, LLC released its latest product, Cloudbeam, which connects businesses to their Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). As businesses increasingly migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud, the connection to cloud is critical to maximizing value from cloud investments. Cloudbeam enables a high performance, scalable, reliable, and secure private connection to a CSP. It creates a separate connection from the regular internet, connecting businesses to their CSPs, privately and securely.

Cloudbeam offers higher performance bypassing slow VPN connections and increases reliability via a direct and private CSP connection instead of going through the public Internet.  Cloudbeam offers high flexibility enabling private connections to over 100 cloud and other application service providers. This is all part of a push Fatbeam is initiating to offer a wider array of new products and services to all 40 of its markets.

“Fatbeam has long been recognized as a leader in providing all-fiber connectivity solutions offering the highest levels of speed and reliability. With Cloudbeam, we are now pleased to offer our Enterprise customers the added peace of mind of a private and secure direct connection to their cloud service provider,” said Tony Perkins, Fatbeam’s Chief Operations Officer.

Users will benefit from Cloudbeam by increasing value derived from their cloud investments, increase their quality of service, and will enjoy the speeds and flexibility that comes with a secure and dedicated fiber connection to the cloud. Cloudbeam is now available to purchase for any business large or small. For questions or inquiries about Cloudbeam, please reach out to your local Fatbeam Account Executive or call (509)344-1008.

About Fatbeam

Fatbeam is the industry leader in the western U.S. in delivering fiber infrastructure for best-in-class connectivity to schools, businesses, healthcare, and governments in rural and mid-sized communities. The company operates networks in over 40 markets spanning Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Employee Spotlight: Mark

We are excited to recognize Mark, our Lead Fusion Splicer based in Coeur d’Alene, ID, as our Employee Spotlight. Mark began working at Fatbeam in February of 2017 and has a tremendous amount of experience in the telecommunications industry. Over the past three years, he has been instrumental in building out our extensive fiber backbone across the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few things he shared with us about his experience at Fatbeam.

Tell us about what you do at Fatbeam? “For the past three years, I have been the lead fusion splicer for Fatbeam. I am currently working on my CompTIA Networks+ Certification for my new job as a network tech.”

What is the best part of working at Fatbeam? “I see Fatbeam as a work family. Our number of employees is small, but we keep up with the big boys. My favorite part about working at Fatbeam is the camaraderie I feel with my coworkers.”

How would you say you are making a difference here? “I would say that every person who shows up daily with the intent to move forward is making a difference. I care about the company I work for. I am outrageously grateful for the position I’ve been given here at Fatbeam and I try my best to prove that every day by putting forth my best effort to constantly keep up the progress in the field even on days where it seems like we might just be spinning our wheels. I try to make a difference by setting an example, working the extra hours, and going the extra mile as often as possible to keep Fatbeam moving forward.”

Tell us about what you like to do outside of work? “You could say that I’m a “Jack of all trades”. Outside of work I am a husband and father of three children, I am an acoustic artist who donates music/time for different benefits, I train and compete in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, and I am the owner of my own small business where I build farmhouse style furniture out of my house. I’m a pretty busy bee.”

Thank you for being a part of the Fatbeam team Mark, this company would not be the same without you!

To see more roles at Fatbeam, click here!

COVID-19 Update

Every day more states adhere to new stay-at-home orders, as remote work increases and as network usage grows, we wanted to take a moment to address Fatbeam’s operations. As a telecommunications organization, Fatbeam is considered an essential services company, and we are dedicated to keeping you all connected. Here is what we are doing:

  • Fatbeam’s field workforce will continue to maintain our current networks while also practicing social distancing. Our crew communicates with the job site contact to see if there are any known cases of Covid-19 in their business before starting work. If there are no reported cases, they will then begin work.
  • Our 24hour NOC will remain open for any potential troubleshooting needs our customers may have.
  • Fatbeam has taken the FCC pledge to Keep Americans Connected. This will help ensure our customers will stay connected and will not be charged late fees due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19 or financial hardships. More information about this pledge can be read here.
  • Fatbeam is in compliance with state and federal social distancing regulations and is committed to flattening the curve by adhering to such policies.

As a company, we are ready to support our communities as we maneuver through these unprecedented times.

Please continue to check in on this page for any updates and changes with Fatbeam as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold.