Connect with us

Broadband's Impact

Digital New England Conference and Webcast Begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. ET with Obama Administration Telecom Officials

Drew Clark



PORTLAND, Maine, September 28, 2015 – In the first significant conference following the release of the Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendations, top telecommunications officials from the Obama administration — including the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture — will be speaking on Monday in Portland at “Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders.”

For those unable to addend the conference in person, a webcast of the event will be available at this web site of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Information about the program, which is co-sponsored by NTIA and Next Century Cities, is available at this registration page.

Touted as a regional event for the entire New England area, the event is shaping up as national in its scope, with high profile broadband leaders including Susan Crawford, professor of law at Harvard University; David Edelman, special assistant to President Obama for technology policy, as well as Sen. Angus King, and independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats.

Additionally, Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Commerce Department, and Keith Adams, assistant administrator of telecommunications, for the Rural Utilities Service of the Agriculture Department, providing high-profile addresses.

The NTIA and the RUS are the agencies responsible for the Broadband Opportunity Council report, which was released last week.

Below is the complete information for Monday’s program.

Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders

September 27-28, 2015

Portland, Maine

Save the Date! Please join the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Next Century Cities for a Regional Broadband Summit featuring two special keynote addresses by national broadband leaders.

Broadband is emerging as a critical driver of economic growth and prosperity in New England. The “Digital New England” broadband summit will bring together state, local and federal officials, industry representatives, community leaders and other key stakeholders to share real-world broadband success stories and lessons learned from across the region. The summit will also examine the gaps that remain and strategize on what still needs to be done to expand access to and adoption of high-speed Internet services for the benefit of all citizens.

A welcome reception will be held late in the afternoon of Sunday, September 27, followed by a day-long summit on Monday, September 28. The summit will feature keynote addresses and high-impact discussions focused on everything from how to bring advanced telecommunications infrastructure to rural communities, to how to ensure that all Americans have the broadband access and critical skills needed to thrive in today’s digital economy.

WHO: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce), Next Century Cities, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) (invited) and other state and local officials.

WHERE: Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland, Maine. To register at the block room rate at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, please use code “NTIA-NCC.” (Welcome reception to be held at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute)

WHEN: September 27-28, 2015



Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders

Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME

September 27-28, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

5:00pm  7:00pm        Welcome Reception at Gulf of Maine Research Institute

(350 Commercial Street, Portland, ME)

Monday, September 28, 2015

7:30am – 4:00pm         On-site Registration

7:30am – 8:30am        Networking Breakfast

8:30am – 8:45am        Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Deb Socia, Executive Director, Next Century Cities
  • Doug Kinkoph, Director BroadbandUSA, NTIA
  • Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary, NTIA

8:45am – 9:15am        Keynote Conversation

  • Angus S. King, Jr.,  United States Senator for the State of Maine
  • Susan Crawford, Professor of Law, Berkman Center of Internet and Society, Harvard
  • David Edelman, Special Assistant to the President, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

9:15am -10:15am       First Panel: A Shared Future: Regional Approaches to Broadband

  • Chris Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities (moderator)
  • Representative Norm Higgins, Maine House of Representatives, District 120
  • Elin Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut,
  • Monica Webb, Chairman, Massachusetts Wired West,
  • Fletcher Kittredge, CEO, Great Works Internet
  • Briana Warner, Economic Development Director, Island Institute

10:15am – 10:30am    Morning Break  


10:30am – 10:45am     Remarks from Jill Szuchmacher, Google Fiber

10:45am – 11:45am      Second Panel:  Why Broadband Matters: Real-World Impacts 

  • Sharon Gillett, Principal Networking Policy Strategist, Microsoft Research (moderator)
  • Jascha Franklin-Hodge, CIO, City of Boston
  • Emy Tseng,  Sr. Communications Program Specialist, BroadbandUSA/Berkman Fellow, Harvard
  • Tim Schneider, Public Advocate, Maine Public Advocate Office
  • Susan Corbett, CEO, Axiom Technologies
  • Pam Goldberg, CEO, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

11:45am -11:50am     Special Maine Broadband Announcement

11:50am – 1:30pm      Lunch  

12:15pm – 12:45pm    Lunchtime Keynote by Larry Strickling, NTIA

1:30pm – 2:30pm        Breakout Workshops

Getting started: Models 101 – Connecticut/Rhode Island Rooms

  • Don Williams, Broadband Program Specialist, BroadbandUSA (moderator)
  • Chris Campbell, Principal Broadband Strategist, Tilson
  • Irv Thomae, Chairman, EC Fiber
  • Chris Dumais, Information Technology Director, City of South Portland

Successful Broadband Projects – Oxford/Somerset Rooms

  • Deb Socia, Executive Director, Next Century Cities (moderator)
  • Josh Broder, CEO, Tilson
  • Larry Sterrs, Chairman of the Board, Unity Foundation
  • Jim Nimon, Executive Director of Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council
  • Denzel Hankinson, Chair, Leverett Municipal Light Plant, Leverett, MA
  • Eric Nakajima, Director, Massachusetts Broadband Institute

Partners’ Perspective – Lincoln/Kennebec/Cumberland Rooms

  • Chris Mitchell, Policy Director, Institute for Local Self Reliance, NCC  (moderator)
  • Jeff McCarthy, Vice President of Business Development, Maine Fiber Company
  • Allison Ellis, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Frontier Communications
  • Russ Stephens, President and CEO, NextGen Telecom Services Group, Inc.
  • Jeff Nevins, Director, Regulator & External Relations and Community Broadband Development, Fairpoint Communications

2:30pm – 2:45pm        Afternoon Break

2:45pm – 3:55pm        Third Panel: Results of the Broadband Opportunity Council

  • Aimee Meacham, BroadbandUSA/NTIA (moderator)
  • David Edelman, Special Assistant to the President, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Karen Hanson, Manager Partnerships and Interagency Affairs, BroadbandUSA/NTIA
  • Keith Adams, Assistant Administrator of Telecommunications, Rural Utilities Service (RUS), Department of Agriculture

3:55pm – 4:00pm        Concluding Remarks

  • Deb Socia, Executive Director, Next Century Cities
  • Doug Kinkoph, Director BroadbandUSA, NTIA


Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field