Our team uncovers new opportunities for investing in broadband, digital infrastructure and transformation because we assess returns on investment in terms of economic development, local innovation, and community vitality. We believe these are fundamental to sustainable economic growth and improving local quality of life.
We are a team of specialists with decades of accumulated experience in broadband econometrics, strategic planning, business and economic analysis, digital infrastructure and transformation, community engagement, and project implementation.
Founder and President
Michael Curri founded Strategic Networks Group (SNG) in 1998 driven by his passionate belief in the power of broadband to transform lives, business competitiveness, and community vitality. As President of SNG, he leads a team of experienced specialists on a wide range of economic development, broadband, and digital transformation initiatives.
With a vision to revitalize communities and regions through broadband and digital transformation, he has consulted as an economist and strategic analyst for public and private sector clients globally for over two decades. His guiding philosophy is that the value of technology comes from how it is used. Technology can have transformative impacts on localities, but fully leveraging technology requires personalizing returns on investments to individual households, organizations, and businesses. This requires using the right metrics and data points to develop strategies and plans that can bridge identified gaps and barriers.
Billions will be needed in the next 5 years to build-out broadband to unserved and underserved areas. Localities, cooperatives, and utilities need to decide whether to wait until service providers see enough returns to justify investing in their area – or invest themselves in digital infrastructure and transformation to connect people, economies, communities. Based on actionable economic analysis, Michael and the SNG team have shown how digital infrastructure investments can pay for themselves, as well as pioneered successful strategies for maximizing economic growth and community benefits through broadband and driving effective utilization.
Michael’s work has been described “ground-breaking” on numerous occasions. His efforts to assess how online practices can impact businesses, households, and localities have established goals, priorities, and outcomes for broadband and digital infrastructure investments. Government at all levels and major consulting firms have cited his studies that show how broadband investments stimulate economic development and generate significant returns to GDP – often over 10 times the investment.
Michael received his Honors B.Sc. in Economics and Political Science from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Economics from the University of Waterloo. His unique and deep broadband expertise makes him in high demand as a regular speaker at broadband conferences and workshops internationally. He has taught Management Information Systems and System Analysis at the college level. Mr Curri is fluent in English, German, and French, and highly proficient in Italian.
VP, Client Services
Gary Dunmore is an electrical engineer and business analyst with over 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry and a proven track record in helping service providers define new business opportunities for service deployment. He has proven leadership skills in project planning, team management and project management developing successful business cases for a wide variety of telecom and internet operators across North America.
Since 1994, Gary has worked on telecommunications services and service deployment planning with telecom service providers. For a variety of clients, from established incumbent providers to new start-up operators, he has developed project plans, written proposals, mobilized internal and external resources and engaged clients to develop practical solutions for new service deployment with a focus on business goals and vision. To assist decision-making, he has helped clients identify new opportunities for growth, market and revenue potential; develop the best solution for their network; and construct solid business cases and risk analysis for investment decisions.
Gary’s background includes diverse experience with a full range of roles in telecommunications industry bringing a rich breadth of knowledge to his business analysis. In addition to technical expertise, he has helped clients fully leverage telecommunications networks by addressing both the hard-side (technology, service definition, operations costs) and soft-side (end-user awareness, learning, marketing) of introducing new technologies and products into network infrastructure. Prior to joining Strategic Networks Group, Gary spent over 20 years with Nortel Networks in Ottawa and Toronto.
Gary has experience in voice telecommunications networks and emerging IP-based services in North America and international markets. He has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia.
Thomas McGuire, M.A. (Econ.), is a management consultant and Associate of Strategic Networks Group specializing in economic analysis, public sector program analysis and evaluation, and socio-economic impact studies. Thomas has worked on diverse projects spanning sectors in health, environment, port management, labor economics, publishing, waste management, textiles, fisheries, tourism, pharmaceutical, education, heavy industry, manufacturing, petroleum, broadband and ICT, business service, and transportation. With nearly ten years of private and public sector consulting experience, Thomas is skilled in program evaluation, survey design and analysis, primary research, public consultation, statistical software applications and analysis, and impact modeling.
Thomas has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in economics from Dalhousie University where he concentrated in labor economics. As a consultant, Mr. McGuire brings his insightful and analytical skills to both research and project manager assignments. He has worked on a number of feasibility and economic impact studies for various tourism projects; executed several studies related to port and harbor development; managed a study of transportation needs in southwestern Nova Scotia; assessed opportunities from oil and gas exploration of the potential for an aluminum plant in Nova Scotia; assessed the economic impact of developing IT infrastructure for water utility infrastructure management in Matamoros, Mexico and Juarez, Mexico; contributed to a feasibility analysis of a proposed hazardous waste treatment facility to be located in Rajasthan, India and another in Indore, India; and conducted specialized economic studies for a wide range of clients.
Thomas has a strong background in economic analysis, has prepared many economic impact assessments and is experienced in cost-benefit and input-output analysis, willingness to pay analysis, and other standard economic techniques. In addition, he is experienced in the design, analysis, and presentation of quantitative data from surveys and other sources. Recent projects have included a recreational need assessment for DND that involved the determination of revenues based on willingness to pay criteria under a number of alternative scenarios.
Derek Murphy has over thirty years in community and economic development. A specialist in community processes, Derek has extensive experience in facilitation and strategic planning at the community and organizational levels. Derek also provides training in governance and has sat on or chaired a number of Boards, including one crown corporation.
Derek has lived and worked in rural British Columbia for the last 16 years, with the last 12 years focused on initiatives promoting economic diversification and innovation, especially through development of telecommunications solutions. Derek has chaired a regional organization of over 30 municipalities and communities that collaborated on broadband infrastructure, services and institutional capacity. Derek has assisted in the development and implementation of broadband proposals.
As a resident and consultant in a rural region, Derek has developed a broad range of experience, specializing in the development of community indicators and benchmarks, social planning and affordable housing. Prior to becoming a consultant, Derek was a senior manager in the non-profit sector, managing the development and delivery of a range of social, economic and health programs.
Derek has postgraduate training in economic development and community planning, with a Masters from Carleton University and a BA from McGill University.
Broadband Community Engagement and Digital Inclusion
Deborah Watts brings more than 15 years as senior director of research and development for the e-NC Authority/NC Broadband. In this role she was responsible for designing, funding and evaluating national best practice models for increasing broadband Internet access and utilization, including business and technology development centers, transactional e-government utilization, grassroots connectivity strategic planning initiatives and strategic broadband policy planning. This work was especially focused on connectivity challenges in rural and underserved communities. As senior partner at Technology Development Group, a consultancy practice specializing in technology-led economic development, Deb has accumulated more than 30 years of successful experience on a state, national and international level related to public and private sector science policy and technology-based economic development. Deb has undergraduate and graduate degrees in molecular biology from NC State University and Emory University respectively, and at the University of NC at Chapel Hill has completed an MBA degree and all coursework toward Ph.D. in Operations Management with a focus on Innovation and Technology and has completed additional studies at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Broadband Programming and Rural Digital Inclusion
Mark DeFalco has worked in the telecommunications industry for more than 40 years. He has worked for a regional Bell company, a rural telephone holding company, a large inter-exchange carrier and several competitive local exchange carriers. He specialized in competitive market entry and inter-carrier compensation issues and has testified before public service commissions and legislative committees in more than 20 states. At the Broadband Program Manager at the Appalachian Regional Commission, he addressed rural telecom and broadband issues across 13 states.
Mark worked with most aspects of rural broadband including provisioning, deployment and digital inclusion. He served on the federal inter-agency broadband task force and was an active member of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.
Broadband Network Design, Engineering, and Operations
Drew McNaughton has over 40 years of experience in technology and telecommunications. He has vast experience in community broadband, fiber optic networking builds, international business development, project management, leadership, process development, cost reduction, operational audits, and internal controls. Drew has also worked on government innovation programs related to broadband and telecom infrastructure.
Performing due-diligence consulting on potential investments, he is a valuable and knowledgeable asset on all aspects of a developing an approach to community broadband. Drew has worked with the technology industry association leaders to link, leverage and focus ecosystem players, resources and programs that are highly relevant to sector firms in order to positively impact their business success. He has worked on the start-up of national and regional broadband carrier operations, completing design, build, and operation of the fiber network.
Drew has led a large (1000+ employee) global IT department at Nortel, managed large information technology projects, worked in and with governments at all levels and served on and have been accountable to various Boards of Directors. He has a BASC in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
John Deridder is an economist working from Sydney. He has over 25 years experience in the telecommunications industry. He is recognized internationally as an experienced telecommunications economist with expertise in broadband, pricing and regulation.
John’s eighteen year career at Telstra in Australia put him at the cutting edge of developments such as universal service costing and the evolution of competition and regulation. He was its chief economist, director of strategic studies and in his final role at Telstra he was responsible for pricing wholesale broadband access and data products. He led the USO costing team, provided internal advice on key regulatory issues and developed a business case for mobile resale.
Since leaving Telstra in 2002, John has provided advice on telecommunications, economics, pricing and regulation to private corporations, regulators and governments in Australia and overseas. His econometric study for the OECD on broadband take-up was relied on in the Berkman (Harvard) Centre report to the FCC on US broadband policy. He was a key player in a major utility’s bid to help develop Australia’s National Broadband Network.
Before joining Telstra, John held various positions in Australia and the UK. In Australia he worked as the economist for ICI and as the research manager for IBIS Consulting. In London, he worked for Shell International as an economist and for DRI-McGraw Hill both as a macro-economic forecaster and as a marketer.
John did doctoral research (uncompleted) at Cambridge University (UK) and has a BA (Hons) in Social Science from the Middlesex Polytechnic (UK). He has written many journal articles and opinion pieces on broadband policy, pricing and regulation.