Wopschall Consulting LLC
Ryan Wopschall is the founder of Wopschall Consulting LLC, a forward-thinking consulting firm founded in 2020, specializing in submarine telecommunications infrastructure development. Ryan has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2007 in various capacities including for a marine survey company (Fugro) where he was elected to the executive committee of the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC). Ryan started consulting in 2016 when he worked for Pioneer Consulting. He is also currently the general manager of the ICPC, the leading international submarine cable authority providing leadership on cable protection, security, and reliability.
What technology breakthrough would pave the way for the ICT industry?
This may be an ancillary technology that supports the ICT industry, but the consumption of energy and water in support of telecommunications facilities and data centers comes to mind. We, as a people, are always in a growth mindset, and it fuels societal and economic development at staggering paces wherever investment is targeted. But the draw on our natural resources and the sustainability of those resources is something that is being considered and offset in increasingly relevant ways. While perhaps not transformative to the individual, sustainable uses of energy and energy production, as well as cooling technologies would ensure the massive and scaled expansion (of data centers primarily) can be sustainable for the long term.
How can telecommunications technologies help humanity?
We are living in a revitalized time in telecommunications where connectivity, especially post-COVID, is critical. But not just large transport assets, but actually connecting people, homes, and businesses. Broadband, in a way, can and should be considered a human right and there are a lot of projects aimed at just that, providing broadband to rural and underserved communities. These connections are transformative for individuals, families, and businesses. Just like any other infrastructure investment such as roads, buildings, and bridges, telecommunications and in particular fiber, is essential to our way of life, and essential to humanity. It provides the digital roads and bridges we need to prosper.
How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
One meaningful way that corporations and researchers can best serve the next generation is by bringing the next generation into their corporations or research. Specifically from my perspective on the submarine telecommunications industry, there is a lag in attracting and retaining young talent and often this subset of the ICT industry loses young talent to more attractive industries whether it be marine–based such as offshore wind, technology–based such as cloud, enterprise, or app development, of another industry that feeds younger people’s insatiable appetite and enthusiasm to do something meaningful, but on their own terms. As a younger person who started attending the PTC Annual Conference in my 20s, conferences have a big place in broadening someone’s perspective on the industry and it is my view that corporations who expose younger people to these events have a better chance in retaining them in our industry. If the next generation can be brought in, they can help define how the next generation and future generations will be served.
What value does PTC hold for you/your company?
I have been attending the PTC Annual Conference for the last 12 years, having started attending in my 20s, by far one of the youngest people at that time. The event has been pivotal in meeting new people and networking within the industry. It has also been a learning platform where PTC has contributed to growth in the industry with a solid foundation in telecommunications. There is a vibrant community of industry companies and individuals that make up PTC, and it is both fulfilling personally and rewarding professionally to be a part of it.
What would you share with those interested in becoming a PTC Member?
Having advocated for people to attend the PTC Annual Conference over the years, most all who have attended have been positive about the experience, both from an education/conference perspective, but also from a networking and community perspective. I would share and encourage people that if they have found fulfilment in attending the Annual Conference, then supporting PTC through membership, as well as having the opportunity to get more involved, is a logical and encouraged next step. PTC has been pivotal in my own career and is important to my company, and membership is a supported extension of that.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
The ICT field, and in particular from my background, the submarine telecommunications field, isn’t something that is taught in its entirety, if at all, in school. You may have studied environmental science, geology, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, or any number of other fields that somehow find their way to the ICT industry. Be patient. On the job learning is critical and takes time, but with patience can come reward from learning and working in an industry that serves people and our world. Digital communications are vital in our world and I’m sure we can’t even imagine the developments it will take on with future generations coming into this industry.
What is something that not that many people know about you?
Life is all about balance. The submarine telecommunications industry has been a big part of my life and staying in this industry since graduating university has allowed me to start my own consulting firm back in 2020. But I have many more interests, which includes my wife and I raising our four kids on five acres in central Oregon. Having worked part time as a mountain guide, I have climbed mountains all throughout the Pacific Northwest, and can routinely be found on my mountain bike during summer and my skate skis during winter. Being outside, traveling, and surrounding myself with positive people is important.
About Wopschall Consulting LLC
Wopschall Consulting LLC is a forward-thinking consulting firm with a long-term view toward submarine telecommunications infrastructure planning and development. We work with a select number of clients each year, helping them develop their network and build their infrastructure. Located on the U.S. West Coast, Wopschall Consulting specializes in submarine telecommunications infrastructure development, procurement, and implementation with a focus on the Americas, APAC, and South Pacific/Oceania regions. Wopschall Consulting provides strategic consulting and advisory services, contract project management and implementation, and operations and maintenance management services for submarine telecom infrastructure.