Regional Broadband Conference on November 8 to Feature Prominent Speakers Discussing the Status and Future of Broadband Access and Technology
NEW BRITAIN, Conn., November 2, 2018 - Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz is pleased to announce a broadband conference entitled, Connected New England: A Regional Broadband Convening at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut, (300 Capitol Ave.), Room 2C, on November 8, 2018, from 9:00 am – 4:30 p.m.
Registration is required, but the event is free for government, academic, and non-profit employees to attend, while the registration fee for others will be $150. Press are invited to attend. The event is being co-hosted by Next Century Cities, a non-profit coalition of innovative municipalities that recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit level internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, ensure civic participation, and connect residents to new opportunities, as well as the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), the State of Connecticut’s utility consumer advocate, and the Connecticut State Broadband Office within OCC, which works to facilitate the availability of broadband access to every state citizen, including by working with municipalities on community broadband efforts.
The conference keynote speaker Gigi Sohn is one of the nation’s leading public advocates for open, affordable and democratic communications networks. Sohn served as Counselor to the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, from 2013 to 2016, and is credited as one of the prime architects of the Wheeler FCC’s net neutrality rules, which have since been repealed by the current FCC. Sohn is currently is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate.
The event will begin with a welcome address from State Representative Josh Elliott (D-Hamden), and then feature a panel including the Honorable Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, the Honorable David Martin, Mayor of Stamford, and the Honorable Marcia Leclerc, Mayor of East Hartford, moderated by Senator Beth Bye (D-5th District), discussing the current status in their respective cities and their goals and initiatives for additional broadband development.
Following that, prominent speakers from across industry, government, and broadband policy experts will discuss: successful models for community broadband development; the continuing problems with lack of internet access in parts of the region; the status and potential of the 5G wireless network and the implementation of small cells (wireless transmission systems) in communities throughout the region; financing for broadband development projects; and other topics.
Consumer Counsel Katz noted, “This conference, Connected New England: A Regional Broadband Convening, will provide excellent information for use by municipal governments, state and local elected officials, broadband industry representatives, those interested in broadband policy and technology, and others, as well as opportunities to hear from many who are working daily to bring high-speed internet access to citizens and businesses in Connecticut, the New England region, and the nation as a whole. This is an ever-changing field, and it is great for Connecticut to be hosting an event that will discuss the future of and recent developments in what has been called the essential ‘Utility of the 21st century,’ broadband internet access.”
The conference agenda and registration information can be found here or at https://nextcenturycities.org/event/new-england-connect/.
(Photo of Connecticut capitol by Dannel Maloy used with permission.)
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