Telecom Newsroom Interview with Patrick Coughlin, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Chief Revenue Officer of FirstLight Fiber

By Caroline Kurdej

As Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of FirstLight Fiber, Patrick Coughlin is responsible for leading all aspects of sales and marketing while executing the company’s growth strategy. Previously, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Fibertower.

Telecom Newsroom recently sat down with Patrick to discuss the long-term impact of emerging technologies and opportunities for innovation throughout the telecom industry, as well as the ways in which FirstLight Fiber has stayed ahead of the technological curve. Patrick will be sharing his knowledge as a speaker at the NEDAS Boston Symposium, taking place on July 18, 2018.

Telecom Newsroom, Caroline Kurdej (TN-CK) Question: How has the telecom industry changed in the past 12 months?

FirstLight Fiber, Patrick Coughlin (FF-PC) Answer: We are finally seeing widespread implementation of small cell and C-RAN architecture taking place across the U.S. For years we have heard it was coming, and today it’s happening not just in Tier 1 cities, but across our entire footprint.

TN-CK Q: What do you predict will be the long-term impact of emerging technologies and trends implemented in the coming 12 months?

FF-PC A: To further the ‘always on’ culture we have seen, consumers will require instant access to the applications, content, and capabilities they need in their lives. They will expect further convenience as a result of being able to better control their devices. This will force businesses who serve these customers to be continually innovative, providing enhanced features and functionality to stay ahead of demand. According to a recent CTIA report, there are more mobile devices than there are Americans, and we are doing more with our smartphones. Without a fiber-based infrastructure that has the capability of virtually unlimited bandwidth, business innovation will be hampered.

TN-CK Q: From where does the bulk of funding come for wireless infrastructure solutions? Does this need to change for sustainability?

FF-PC A: Service providers are working with wireless providers to build out the fiber infrastructure necessary to support the rollout of 5G. According that same CTIA report, nearly $26 billion was spent in 2017 alone to support this rollout.

TN-CK Q: How does technological innovation create competitive business advantages?

FF-PC A: With change comes opportunity. For FirstLight, the rollout of 5G has created an opportunity to further our relationships with wireless carriers and technology partners.

TN-CK Q: NEDAS is a regional association. What do you look forward to most as participant?

FF-PC A: NEDAS provides us with the opportunity to hear from colleagues and stay current on trends, as well as the chance to network with our peers.

TN-CK Q: What are your company’s key differentiators?

FF-PC A: FirstLight has always stayed ahead of the technological curve. We were one of the first regional providers to enable a 100G backbone, complemented by our dense metro footprint. We offer a complete suite of data, voice, cloud and managed services.

TN-CK Q: What excites you about the future of the telecom industry in regards to wireless and wireline technologies and trends?

FF-PC A: We are at the beginning of a shift in how people leverage technology and get access to the resources they need. With the roll out of 5G, IoT is further enabled. At the core of this revolution is high-capacity network infrastructure.

TN-CK: Thank you, Patrick for your time today. We look forward to seeing you at the NEDAS Boston Symposium on July 18, 2018!

The upcoming #NEDASBoston 2018 Symposium will tackle groundbreaking wireless and wireline technology trends and the ways in which they will be implemented, as well as explore exciting future prospects for the telecom industry. To register for the NEDAS 2018 Boston Symposium and take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the panelists, click here. To learn more about the association, visit

To participate in the NEDAS NYC Fall Summit on September 6, 2018, register here.

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