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Broadband People Column: Powell and Ford Head Up ‘Broadband for America’

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WASHINGTON, December 11, 2009 - Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., have been named honorary co-chairs of Broadband for America, a coalition of more than 110 member companies and organizations that are say they are working to increase broadband penetration across the nation.

Powell, a Republican who was nominated to the agency by former President Bill Clinton to the FCC, “has played a significant part in defining and understanding the role broadband Internet plays in every segment of our society,” according to the Broadband for America’s weekly newsletter. Powell is currently a senior advisor with Providence Equity Partners.

Ford is a former five-term member of Congress from the state of Tennessee who served on the House Budget, Financial Services, and Education and the Workforce Committees. Ford is currently the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

The portions of this column designed as Premium Content include a summary of recent appointments at the FCC, at CTIA - The Wireless Association, and happenings in the social world of tech, media and telecom.

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FCC Announces Senior Staff

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski this week announced he is appointing Joel Gurin as chief of the consumer and governmental affairs bureau and Thomas Wyatt as chief of the office of workplace diversity. Genachowski also said Stuart Benjamin will join the commission as the agency’s first distinguished scholar in residence and will reside in the office of strategic planning. Benjamin will focus on spectrum reform, First Amendment issues, and long-term strategy.

Gurin has served as acting president of NARSAD and senior vice president of Rodale Interactive. He has also served as executive vice president of Consumers Union. Wyatt has held various positions in the complaint and other consumer-related departments of the FCC.

Vivian Lausevic To Join CTIA

CTIA-The Wireless Association is bringing Vivian Lausevic on board as director of government affairs. Lausevic previously served as the director of public affairs for the American Gas Association. She has also been the director of political affairs at the Investment Company Institute, director of government affairs at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and vice president of business development for Juno Online Services.

CTIA’s newly elected 2010 Executive Committee members include Tatara Systems CEO E.Y. Snowden and Carolina West Wireless CEO Slayton Stewart.

Christmas Party Season Kicks Off

With the economy in a slump what techies will still be gathering to toast in the holiday season? The Recording Industry Association of America and Entertainment Software Association will once again be hosting one of the hottest Christmas bashes in town with performers Kool Moe Dee, Sugar Ray and Doug E. Fresh at the 9:30 Club next week. The celebration will benefit Bread for the City.

Meanwhile, has heard that the following groups have or will be throwing holiday parties: 463 Communications, CTIA - The Wireless Association, TechNet, the Business Software Alliance, and the National Association of Broadcasters.

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Winter covered technology policy issues for five-and-a-half years as a reporter for the National Journal Group. She has worked for USA Today, the Washington Times, the Magazine Group, the State Department’s International Visitor’s Program, and the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. She also taught English at a university in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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