Remembering an old friend.

Scott, thanks for the friendship and memories.

The way that I was introduced to Scott Stevens has a lot to do with urban legend, pioneering Wi-Fi networks, and good old fashioned friendship.

In or around 2004, three people were in charge of figuring out how to create a Wi-Fi network in one of the most prominent tourist areas in the western United States. With Jim Selby at the helm, Scott Stevens figuring things out, and Paul Vallesteros supporting the manufacturer, these three were cutting the path for rugged wireless outdoor deployments. Vail would never be the same.

Whether or not the Hawker was used to transport these guys in and out isn’t relevant to the network, but there was a story or two about it. The chalet that was used as a staging area, central nerd-quarters, and bunking spot for the team had already reach legendary status amongst those who were following the project. And the network they were building had a few of us keeping tabs on everything that was going on. Would Wi-Fi work in the downtown tourist area work? Could it be done in the mountains? Would it handle the cold? How many users would they get online?

In those pioneering days of Wi-Fi it was great to see a deployment taking place to test the boundaries of the technology that we knew and the outcomes that we didn’t know. Jim, Scott, and Paul were all deeply responsible for getting some of those questions answered.

Years later I had continued my friendship with Scott. Working on projects with him, figuring out new ways to build Wi-Fi networks, and hopefully someday figuring out how to work together closer.

I’m sad those days won’t come.

His contributions to the national broadband plan, helping to define what Broadband means, assisting the Tech and Telecom Policy Committee for the Obama administration, and being a great friend will never be forgotten.

He was always trying to make the world a better place through what he knew best, technology. He was an inspiration to me to get involved in helping build out infrastructure for those who couldn’t get it themselves. Whether it was at the top of a skit resort mountain or the base of a desolate valley, everyone deserves to have access, and Scott was an early pioneer of making sure that they could get it.

You will be sadly missed my friend.

To his children who I only met when they were teeny tiny: your dad was a good guy. He inspired people to do amazing things. He helped people who couldn’t help themselves or needed a hand. He was passionate about what he did and he was really good at it. I will be praying for you all every time I think about him.

At one point in our lives or another we all get really sad. We don’t know where to go, we don’t know who to turn to, and we don’t know who to talk to. There is always someone. You are never out of options.

No matter what happens in life every breath gives you an opportunity to make it better. It’s never so bad that it can’t get a little bit better one step at a time. I’m sad that I never had a chance to talk to Scott about this before it was too late. If you see someone having a hard time, reach out to them. Talk to them, be there for them. You never know, you might save their life.

Rest in peace Scott you will be sorely missed.

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