About TAG Infrastructure Talks

The TAG Infrastructure Talks Podcast brings business leaders, innovators, technologists, regulators, and other industry experts together to discuss and explore key issues and opportunities in the infrastructure industry (transportation, water, power, data centers, connectivity, and smart infrastructure).

Join host Alan Poole, partner at Troutman Pepper, for a monthly series of conversations about everything from the recent historical federal infrastructure funding to smart cities and other groundbreaking technologies that depend on the infrastructure industry and make Georgia a technology and industry hotspot.

Alan Poole
Host, TAG Infrastructure Talks
Partner, Troutman Pepper
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Latest Episodes:

Season 2, Episode 5: A Deep Dive Into Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment With Scott D. Woods

How are local governments and innovators in the infrastructure, tech, and software industries addressing the complex regulatory, infrastructural, and environmental issues that surround broadband access in the U.S.? In the first TAG Infrastructure Talks episode of 2024, host Alan Poole sits down with Scott D. Woods, president of private-public partnerships at Ready.net, to discuss how government institutions and private companies have taken on the challenge of digital equity in the U.S. They also forecast how the Broadband Equity Access and Development Act can aid in providing high-speed Internet access to the nation’s underserved populations.

Scott D. Woods, Esq., President, Public-Private Partnerships at Ready.net

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Season 2, Episode 4: The Data Center Cooling Conundrum with Leland Sparks

Host and Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole joins in a conversation with Leland Sparks, data center expert and principle at LNS Solutions. In this discussion, Leland describes how gargantuan increases in computing power inside of data centers will soon require increasingly advanced cooling methods, as well as the pros and cons of various new methods on the market and in development, including:

  • Ocean cooling;
  • Liquid immersion cooling; and
  • Cold plate technology.

Profile photo of Leland Sparks

Leland Sparks, Data Center Expert & Principal, LNS Solutions

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Season 2, Episode 3: Moving the Ball for Metro Atlanta Mobility: Atlanta Regional Commission

Join Troutman Pepper Partner and host of TAG Infrastructure Talks Alan Poole in a conversation with Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) COO Mike Alexander about how the ARC navigates the diverse needs of its constituent counties, the possibilities offered by the historical federal infrastructure funding, and much more. As the federal and state designated metropolitan regional planning organization for 20 counties in Georgia, the ARC steers projects ranging from mobility to housing among a wide range of priorities and outlooks.

Mike Alexander, COO, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)

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Season 2, Episode 2: Top-Tier Data Centers in Underserved Markets

In this episode of TAG Infrastructure Talks, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole welcomes DCBLOX CEO and TAG Infrastructure Society board member Jeff Uphues to discuss the success and business model of DCBLOX — a premier tier 3 data center company developing top-class data center infrastructure in secondary and underserved markets, particularly in the Southeast — as well as many other important topics, including:

 

  • Why second- and third-tier markets offer good opportunities for top-tier digital infrastructures;
  • How DCBLOX determines what aspects of the data center network make sense to develop from scratch;
  • How the developing market of digital services drives data center development; and
  • The financial case for investment in data center infrastructure.

Jeff Uphues, CEO, DCBLOX

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Season 2, Episode 1: The Business and Legal Case for EMCs and Broadband

In this episode of TAG Infrastructure Talks, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole discusses the history and current landscape of electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) providing broadband in Georgia with Georgia EMC Senior Vice President – Government Relations Kevin Curtin. This timely conversation includes:

  • The history and organization of EMCs, and why EMCs make sense as a broadband provider to rural areas.
  • Legal, policy, and business challenges and opportunities for EMCs entering the broadband space.
  • Why EMCs receive so much focus in current broadband funding opportunities.

 

Kevin Curtin, Senior Vice President – Government Relations, Georgia EMC

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Season 1

Episode 1: Introducing TAG Infrastructure with Society Board Chair Sarah Ellis

Troutman Pepper Partner and Podcast Host, Alan Poole sits down with Sarah Ellis, chair of the Technology Association of Georgia Infrastructure Society, during the initial launch of the TAG Infrastructure Talks podcast to discuss their goal of increasing education and awareness of infrastructure in the region.

  • An introduction to the podcast, our host, and our TAG Infrastructure Society Chair.
  • How data centers and other sectors of infrastructure are proliferating in Georgia and creating new career and business opportunities.
  • How TAG Infrastructure supports the industry, including legislative advocacy at the state level to help drive investment in data centers and technology.

Sarah Ellis, Owner & Founder, AEC Works
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Episode 2: Terry Comer and a Vision for Data Centers and Digital Equity

In episode 2 of the TAG Infrastructure Talk, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole sits down with Terry Comer, founder and CEO of Impact Data, to discuss the development of his new data center model, focused on digital equity and inclusion.

  • How the focus on digital infrastructure deployment in rural areas can leave other communities in need behind.
  • Partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the goal of creating digital equity.
  • Leveraging private investment to simultaneously improve community broadband options and career and training opportunities.

Terry Comer, Chief Executive Officer,
ImpactData
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Episode 3: An Overview of P3s, CIDs and Smart Cities with Malaika Rivers

In episode 3 of the TAG Infrastructure Talk podcast, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole sits down with Malaika Rivers, partner at Lexicon Strategies. During this episode, Malaika discusses what she has done to help form public-private partnerships, and how these relationships help to identify projects that will further invest and build communities.

  • How Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) work to facilitate and implement public improvement projects, including smart city tech.
  • What’s next (after money) for public-private partnerships to thrive and improve.
  • A preview into the implications of the next phase of digital infrastructure: the metaverse.

Malaika Rivers, Partner, Lexicon Strategies; Managing Director, Pontem Resources, LLC
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Episode 4: ATL1, Atlanta Infrastructure and More With Brandon Peccoralo of Databank

In this episode of the TAG Infrastructure Talk podcast, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole sits down with Brandon Peccoralo, Vice President of Sales and Account Management at DataBank, to discuss his background and the significant role he played in the development of DataBank’s ATL1 Data Center in Midtown Atlanta, specifically covering:

  • How the history of the internet and the 1996 Olympics contributed to Atlanta’s status as an infrastructure hub.
  • How the partnership among DataBank, Georgia Tech, and others solved significant infrastructure challenges with innovation.
  • Has the data center industry hit the “if you build it, they will come” stage?

Brandon Peccoralo, VP Sales and Account Management, DataBank

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Episode 5: Broadband Funding in Georgia with Jessica Simmons of the Georgia Technology Authority

In this episode of the TAG Infrastructure Talk podcast, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole discusses the past, present, and future of broadband funding and deployment in Georgia with Jessica Simmons, deputy Chief Information Officer for Broadband and Special Projects for the Georgia Technology Authority. Topics include:

  • The major funding sources for broadband now and in the future, with a focus on the Broadband Equity Affordability and Deployment (BEAD) program.
  • Georgia’s prior and ongoing efforts to enhance broadband deployment, and how that positions Georgia for BEAD funding.
  • Major challenges remaining for the state’s goal of connecting all Georgians with high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

Jessica Simmons, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Broadband and Special Projects, Georgia Technology Authority

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Episode 6: Public Private Partnerships in Georgia

In this episode of the TAG Infrastructure Talks, Troutman Pepper Partner Alan Poole discusses the mission of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (PIN) in driving public private partnerships (P3s) in the state of Georgia with Executive Director and Founder Debra Lam. Topics include:

  • How PIN shapes P3s in Georgia with a holistic focus, including underserved communities, student/workforce development, and community- based research.
  • How modern P3s differ from traditional P3s, and how companies and governments can overcome the traditional challenges of P3s by focusing on long-term relationships and goals.
  • What all sides of a P3 can do to ensure long-term success.

 

Debra Lam, Executive Director and Founder, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (PIN)

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