BBT Executive Biographies
William D. Bauer
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Technical Officer
WinDBreak Cable / InterTECH Corporation / Digital Freedom Technology, LLC
Mr. Bauer has been involved in the broadcast, cable and electronics industry since 1980. Mr. Bauer built his first cable television system in 1987 and now has five systems, three in Nebraska and two in Wyoming under the WinDBreak Cable name. The system in Harrison, NE, launched high-speed data cable modems in May 1996. Mr. Bauer was a member of the CableLabs Board of Directors representing Small System Operators from 2004 through 2012.
Mr. Bauer also owns and operates InterTECH Corporation, an ISP that provides First and Second level support and Provisioning Services for cable operators on a National and International basis. InterTECH Corporation has built a Network Operations Center and Satellite Uplink facility in Gering, NE. From this facility, service can be provided to other cable systems, large and small, looking for an economical way to deliver high speed data to their subscribers. Currently, InterTECH serves more than 200 communities ranging in size from 100 to 15,000 cable subscribers.
The InterTECH team developed its own provisioning software called InterSERV™ to provide the provisioning services for its client companies. Built-in features include DOCSIS self-provisioning and activation; network monitoring and management; and real-time mapping for diagnostic trouble-shooting, ranging from individual modems up to the entire cable system.
Mr. Bauer has been involved with the design and delivery of alternate power so that cable systems can have up-time that is the same or better than that of the telephone industry. Using flywheel technology, Beacon Power has been working with Mr. Bauer on the design and fabrication of a flywheel that would work with cable television power supplies. The flywheel would keep the cable system working for a minimum of two hours during a power outage. It also has a maintenance-free life span of close to twenty years. The first unit has been installed for testing in the WinDBreak cable system in Harrison, NE.
Other projects currently in development include cable telephony and Video on Demand for small cable systems. Mr. Bauer chaired the High-Speed Data working group for CableLabs, which formed the foundation of the DOCSIS Cable Modem Standard which is now used throughout the United States. Mr. Bauer continues to be an active member of many working groups and committees at CableLabs. He is also a member in good standing of the Society of Cable Telecommunication Engineers (SCTE).
Mr. Bauer's involvement in many aspects of the broadcast and communications industry has made it possible for him to work on the cutting edge of many new developments. This wide base of knowledge has been very beneficial in developing new and innovative solutions to complex industry problems. He is one of the named patent applicants for the BBTSolution™, and also holds patents for increasing the precision in the use of GPS as well as a design for enhancing provisioning of IP telephony.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Executive Officer, Buford Media Group, LLC
Bennett W. (Ben) Hooks, Jr. is a Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Buford Media Group. He is responsible for the overall development, acquisitions and operations of the company. Buford Media Group currently operates 38 cable systems primarily in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Mr. Hooks has over 38 years experience in the cable industry. He was Chief Executive Officer of Buford Television, Inc. (BTI), having joined BTI in 1984 as Vice President of Operations, advancing to President in 1988 and adding the title of Chief Executive Officer in 1996. Prior to joining BTI, Mr. Hooks was employed by Daniels and Associates for 17 years. During his tenure with Daniels, he held various positions, advancing to Vice President of Operations with responsibilities for the operating performance of cable systems throughout the country.
Mr. Hooks has been active in Industry affairs for a number of years. He has committed years of service to the American Cable Association (ACA), National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), CableLabs, Texas Cable Telecommunications Association (TCTA), and the Cable Telecommunications Association (CATA). He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions on behalf of the industry.
Over the years Mr. Hooks has been the recipient of a number of Industry awards. They include the Technology Innovator of the Year from Cablevision Magazine, Image Maker of the Year from Cablevision Magazine, the John Mankin Award from the Texas Cable Telecommunications Association, the Independent Operator of the Year in 2005 from CableWorld Magazine, and has been inducted into the Cable Television Pioneers.
Tony S. Swain
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer, Buford Satellite Systems, LP
President, CEO of Tele-Media Broadband Company, LLC, ("TMBC").
Tony Swain is a forty-year cable industry veteran. As Chief Operating Officer of Buford Satellite Systems, LP ("BSS") , Mr Swain oversees the operations and development of BSS a leader in delivering of television services to local, state and federal correctional facilities for over 15 years.
Tele-Media Broadband Company -TMBC provides management and consulting services in the Cable Television and Broadband Industries focusing on operations, new product development, P/L management, forecast, engineering, technical management, governmental affairs & FCC Regulations.
From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Swain was President of Tele-Media Corporation of Delaware, a pioneering cable television company founded by Robert Tudek and Everett Mundy. During this time period, Mr. Swain lead a series of acquisition evaluations of several cable operating companies representing hundreds of thousands of subscribers in addition to his day-to-day operational duties, and completed several studies & forecasts for independent venture capital groups.
Swain joined Tele-Media in 1971 and held a variety of positions with the company through the years. Prior to appointment as President in 2003, Mr. Swain was Senior Vice President and Director of Engineering. His team designed over 3,500 miles of systems in state-of-the-art fiber/cable HFC technology as well as data over cable Internet services, digital, HD services and VoIP.
Mr. Swain's previous responsibilities included; Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tele-Media Region III (1989-1996) negotiating over 65 new or renewed contracts in SE Florida. He also was responsible for corporate interpretation and dissemination of compliance information regarding the 1992 Cable Act. From 1985 to 1987, Mr. Swain headed the Tele-Media of Delaware corporate acquisitions team, coordinating evaluations, negotiations and closings totaling over 300,000 subscribers.
Mr. Swain holds an Associate Degree in Electronics from the Columbus Technical Institute and is a participating member of the Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) a member of The Loyal Order of the 704 and has been inducted into the Cable Television Pioneers.
Stephen R. Effros
Director, Strategic Communications & Development
President, Stephen R. Effros, PC / Effros Communications / Effros Consulting, LLC
Steve Effros is a forty-three-year veteran of the cable industry. Starting in 1971 at the FCC Cable Television Bureau as an Attorney/Advisor, then as a Partner in the Law Firm of Brown and Effros, and finally as President of the Cable Telecommunications Association (CATA) for 23 years, he has worked closely with all segments of the cable business.
Steve joined the BBT effort to develop new downloadable security technology in 2006. As one of the four Officers in BBT, he focuses on the broad legal and technical implications of the unique approach to establishing a secure communications path embodied in the BBTSolution?. He is also in charge of trying to translate the often arcane language surrounding downloadable security, conditional access, encryption and all the other aspects of the new BBT designs to public policy makers, industry, the press and the public.
Steve has been honored with virtually every major award given in the cable industry in the area of public and governmental affairs. He has written a widely-read column on telecommunications policy and technology, now appearing weekly in CableFAX Daily, for over 37 years. He was also a long-time member of the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute seminar on Cable and Telecommunications Law, and has taught telecommunications policy at George Mason University.
Prior to his legal career, Steve worked as a news editor and writer at both the ABC and NBC radio and television network news departments in Washington, DC, and as a staff writer at The New York Times.