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Fiber Broadband Association Honors Charles Phillips with Dr. Charles Kao Award

(WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4, 2020) — Today, in conjunction with world Gimme Fiber Day, the Fiber Broadband Association awarded Charles Phillips, Vice President of Technical Services at Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, with the second-annual Dr. Charles Kao Award for Community Broadband. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, or companies that honor Dr. Kao’s innovation and connect communities with fiber optic technology. Mr. Phillips is receiving the Dr. Charles Kao award in recognition of his work with Gibson EMC to build out a fiber network throughout the cooperative’s 12-county service area and connecting its six member service centers and 21 distribution substations.

In his time with Gibson EMC, he has worked extensively with neighboring utilities to create an interconnected regional fiber network that connects twenty distribution systems. This network of independently owned and maintained fiber systems has provided the backbone for a high-speed and low latency network for intra- and inter-utility traffic, as well as inter-utility fiber contracts. Mr. Phillips has been with Gibson EMC since 1997, managing the purchasing, engineering, GIS, and IT/telecommunications functions of the cooperative. He also serves as Chairman of the Fiber Broadband Association’s Power Utilities Roundtable Group. 

“We are delighted to award Charles Phillips with this honor on such a special day,” said Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Gary Bolton. “In a time when connectivity is more important than ever, we commend Charles’ commitment to providing high-speed internet to his community through a state-of-the-art fiber broadband. Congratulations to Charles and the entire Gibson EMC cooperative.”

The Fiber Broadband Association launched the Dr. Charles Kao Award for Community Broadband in 2019 to honor Dr. Kao and celebrate the lasting impact he continues to make on the fiber industry. Dr. Charles Kao, regarded by many as the “Father of Fiber Optics,” revolutionized the transmission of data and laid the foundation for fiber connectivity around the world. Colman Keane, Executive Director of Fort Collins’ city-run broadband network, Connexion, won the inaugural award in 2019.

The Fiber Broadband Association presents this award in conjunction with world Gimme Fiber Day — an international day to celebrate Dr. Charles Kao and fiber-to-the-home on his birthdate of November 4. The award is presented annually on this day to commemorate him.




About the Fiber Broadband Association

The Fiber Broadband Association is the largest and only trade association in the Americas dedicated to the pursuit of all- fiber-optic network infrastructure to the home, to the business and to everywhere. The Fiber Broadband Association helps providers make informed decisions about how, where, and why to build better broadband networks with fiber optics while working with its members to lead the organization forward, collaborate with industry allies and propel the deployment of fiber networks. Since 2001, these companies, organizations and members have worked with communities and consumers in mind to build a better broadband future here and around the world. Learn more at

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