Last October, when I was invited up to Cambridge, Mass., to speak at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society on "The Politics of Telecom, Media and Technology," I had the chance to make a wide-ranging presentation about my work as a journalist covering the ins-and-outs of internet politics in Washington. The week after the event, I blogged about the presentation on DrewClark.com, my six-years-and-running-blog (which, incidentally, is subtitled "The Politics of Telecom, Media and Technology").
I was particularly taken by the strong level of interest in mapping out broadband availability and competition during the presentation. (You can watch the video yourself on the Media Berkman site.)
One of those venturing into the discussion was Drew Bennett, then a master's student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Recently, Drew finished his degree in international law, which a specialization in international information and communiciations policy. He's worked in technologies for development in southern and eastern Africa. His core research was on global broadband policy, and you can read his thesis, "Toward and National Information Infrastructure Initiative for the United States," here (PDF).
I kept in touch with Drew Bennett as I underwent a transition of my own, and began making preparations to start up BroadbandCensus.com last fall and winter. When our site went live on January 31, 2008, one of the first persons I contacted for feedback was Drew. Not only has he researched the policy of broadband data, globally, he's also taken an active role in striving to make data about broadband available locally, by serving as a policy advisor to Sharon Gillett, Commissioner of the Department of Telecommunications and Cable in Massachusetts.
Then, Drew served as a consultant to the John Adams Innovation Institute, which has been supporting the commonwealth's efforts. In the emerging movement to map out broadband data, Massachusetts has been one of the states most interested in ensuring information about broadband providers - including their names and the locations in which they offer service - are available to public.
I'm pleased to report that Drew will be a special correspondent this week for BroadbandCensus.com. He's been blogging, and reporting, from the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City this week. Keep coming back to BroadbandCensus.com for news and reporting on how the politics and policy of broadband is affecting you and others in your neighborhood!
You can reach Drew Bennett at this e-mail address: bennett at broadbandcensus.com