California Telecom Commissioner Rachelle Chong, Former FCC Commissioner, to Keynote 'Broadband Census for America'

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Agenda of Broadband Census for America Conference, on Friday, September 26, at 8:30 a.m., Finalized

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2008 – State, federal and international policy makers will be joined by key academics and broadband experts in Washington DC this Friday to analyze and discuss best practices for improving the collection and sharing of public data about high-speed internet access at the Broadband Census for America Conference.

The finalized conference program includes keynote speeches by Rachelle Chong, the current Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Eamonn Confrey, the First Secretary for Information and Communications Policy at the Embassy of Ireland, who will share Ireland's experience in gathering and publishing comprehensive broadband service data with the assembled experts.

Conference panels to discuss the challenge of collecting, distributing, and even mapping broadband data will include representatives from academic research institutions focused on broadband policy, state officials and national broadband policy makers, and other stakeholders concerned with improving data on broadband services in the U.S. like Connected Nation, Public Knowledge, the Communication Workers of America, and Cisco Systems.

The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences' headquarters in Washington will host the half-day conference that seeks to address the key issues of how to accurately map broadband connectivity and measure the delivery speed and impact of the valuable infrastructure.

For more information, call Drew Bennett at 202-580-8196 or email

Also see the official conference web page, at

The Official Conference Program:

8:30 a.m. Welcome to the Broadband Census for America

  • Drew Clark,
  • Jon Peha, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Brenda van Gelder, Virginia Tech
  • Kenneth Flamm, University of Texas at Austin

8:40 a.m. Keynote Speech: “Section 706 Through the Years: A Perspective from a Serial Regulator,”

  • Commissioner Rachelle Chong, California State Public Utilities Commission

9:10 a.m. Questions for and Answers from Commissioner Chong

9:20 a.m. Panel I: Does America Need a Broadband Census?

  • Art Brodsky, Communications Director, Public Knowledge
  • Drew Clark, Executive Director,
  • Kenneth Flamm, University of Texas at Austin, coauthor, “Measuring Broadband: Improving Communications Policymaking through Better Data Collection,” (Pew Internet and American Life Project: 2007).
  • Debbie Goldman, Speed Matters Coordinator, Communications Workers of America
  • Larry Landis, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner; also State Chair, NARUC-FCC Joint Conference on Advanced Services
  • Mark McElroy, Chief Operating Officer, Connected Nation
  • Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (Moderator)

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Panel II: HOW Should America Conduct a Broadband Census?

  • Jeffrey Campbell, Director, Technology and Communications Policy, Cisco Systems
  • Dr. William Lehr, Economist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • James McConnaughey, Chief Economist, National Telecommunications Information Administration
  • Jane Smith Patterson, Executive Director, e-NC Authority
  • Jean Plymale, Virginia Tech eCorridors Program
  • Carol Wilson, Telephony Online (Moderator)

Noon Luncheon Keynote: “Mapping out Broadband for Consumers: The Irish Experience”

  • Eamonn Confrey, First Secretary, Information and Communications Policy, Embassy of Ireland

12:30 p.m. Questions for and Answers from Mr. Confrey

1 p.m. Adjourn