The Broadband Breakfast Club brings policy-makers and experts together to share perspectives on broadband policy and internet technology. brings the experts online.

Jessica Ward: Which Media Streaming Device is Best?

Expert Opinion July 7th, 2016 by Jessica Ward

July 7, 2016 – Since 2008, the ability to “cut the cord” has existed with the help of devices allowing us to stream Netflix directly to our TVs. From 2008 to 2013, the idea that this technology could actually replace Pay TV (cable and satellite) seemed absurd. Fast forward to 2014 when the percentage of […]

Drew Clark: What Henry Clay’s and Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Internal Improvements’ Means for Gigabit Infrastructure Today

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, Gigabit Networks October 5th, 2015 by Drew Clark

Editor’s Note: This column, “Once ‘Athens of the West,’ a Kentucky city seeks revival and improvements,” was originally published in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is a complete list of Drew Clark’s weekly columns for the paper.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — This city now best-known for horse racing and bourbon was, 200 years ago, once described as the “Athens of the West.”

And while east-central Kentucky has since gone through its economic ups and downs, last month the state’s civic leaders announced an ambitious fiber-optic development project that boosters say will once again put Kentucky in the national spotlight.

1606265Lexington enjoyed its early heyday from its founding in 1787 until the early decades of the 19th century. Its most notable resident was Henry Clay, the lawyer who became one of the three most influential national legislators (with Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun) of the antebellum era.

Clay, the founder of the Whig Party, was a vigorous advocate of the “American System” of internal improvements. Today we would describe these as infrastructure investments.

It was the internal improvement sought by Clay that made transportation possible across the Western frontier. They began creating a truly national marketplace.

Lexington bequeathed us another figure sympathetic to the Whig cause: Mary Todd Lincoln. Visiting the museum here that was her home, I learned that her father — a member of the Kentucky Legislature — frequently invited his politically minded young daughter to sit in on meetings with constituents.

Mary Todd left Lexington, or course. More than 400 miles west, in Springfield, Illinois, she met and fell in love with a more hardscrabble Kentuckian. Abraham Lincoln also was a strong proponent of “internal improvements.”


Better Broadband for Rural America Means Looking Beyond Tradition: Join Us at the Rural Telecommunications Congress Today

Education, Expert Opinion, Health, Public Safety, Universal Service April 14th, 2015 by Drew Clark

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 – The Rural Telecommunications Congress portion of the Broadband Communities Summit opens here Tuesday with a series of conference sessions focused on looking beyond conventional rural telecom.

Rural Telecommunications CongressWith a theme of “Connecting Communities Across the Countryside of Rural America,” our conference sessions on Tuesday include a discussion of the State Broadband Initiative and its impact on rural America, and a robust panel on the companies and technologies that will broadband the life-giving broadband to rural America.

The RTC sessions planning for Wednesday including a summary of the lessons learned from successful broadband deployments, “Broadband and the Farm,” and the impact of the internet of things on rural communities — plus important insight on telemedicine-based health and education programs. [...]

Important But Overlooked NTIA Report Highlights Best-Practices for Public-Private Partnerships on Gigabit Networks

Expert Opinion, Fiber, Gigabit Networks, NTIA April 13th, 2015 by Drew Clark

April 13, 2015 – Attention on the significance of community-based Gigabit Networks rose dramatically when President Obama included an announcement about the importance of community broadband networks in his State of the Union address in January, and in remarks in Cedar Falls, Iowa, one week before the speech.

5500700478_c9b5bc8f9a_oAt the same time, the White House also released a report of its own on community-based broadband solutions, which highlighted the growing demand for Gigabit Networks, and also focused on some of the laws that restrict municipalities’ involvement in broadband.

Somewhat overlooked in the process, however, was an important report released on January 14 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

In a blog post that day, NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling recapped the investments of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: Upgrading 113,000 miles of fiber, and connecting 25,000 community anchor institutions.

The Commerce Department also released an important 16-page report, “BroadbandUSA: An introduction to effective public-private partnerships for broadband investments,”  that bears re-examination. [...]

Rural Telecommunications Congress Takes Center Stage at Broadband Communities Conference – For a $195 Price

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, Universal Service April 9th, 2015 by Jane Smith Patterson

__1421904841AUSTIN, April 9, 2015 - The Rural Telecommunications Congress (RTC) will take center-stage at the 2015 Broadband Conference Summit here next week. Preconference workshops begin on Monday, April 13 and the Summit continues from Tuesday, April 14 through Thursday, April 16.

For the seventh year in a row, the 12-year-old- Rural Telecom Congress has been partners with the Broadband Communities Magazine to improve broadband availability and usage across Rural America.

FOR THE SPECIAL RATE OF $195, you can register for the full conference. This represents a $700 savings from the full conference cost.  RTC invitees use the code RTC195 to register at a special rate.  This includes all meals, refreshments , evening Receptions,  and admission to all sessions.  When registering, choose the “code holders” option and enter “RTC195” when prompted.  Go to the registration page at:

AT&T Settles with FCC for $25 Million in Landmark Privacy and Data Breach Agreement

Cybersecurity, Expert Opinion, FCC, Privacy April 8th, 2015 by Robert Cattanach

Cattanach_Robert (640x427)Editor’s Note: On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced a $25 million settlement with AT&T for data breaches including  the releasing of thousands of customer records, including names, phone numbers and some Social Security numbers. welcomes commentaries and opinions on this and other subjects from a multitude of viewpoints.

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 – The FCC’s settlement with AT&T sets another benchmark for data breach enforcement, with several important developments.

First, it demonstrates the continuing encroachment of the FCC into areas once thought to be the exclusive domain of the FTC.  This is a classic data breach enforcement action that typically would have been prosecuted by the FTC until most recently. [...]

Utah and Broadband Breakfast Club Announce Luncheon Event and Webcast on Friday, April 24

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, Gigabit Networks April 8th, 2015 by Drew Clark

SALT LAKE CITY, April 8, 2015 – The Utah Breakfast Club, in collaboration with the well-established Broadband Breakfast Club of Washington, D.C., on Wednesday announced a special luncheon event on Gigabit Networks in Utah that will take place on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The luncheon event will take place at the Utah State Capitol, in the regular location of the monthly Utah Breakfast Club. This event will also be viewable as a FREE LIVE WEBCAST beginning at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/Noon MT/11 a.m. PT. Register for the FREE LIVE WEBCAST or to attend in person.

Those who seek to attend in person may register to attend this interactive discussion. Members of the Utah Breakfast Club pay $15, plus registration fee. Nonmembers pay $25, plus registration fee. (Individuals may obtain a NO CHARGE three month trial membership of the Utah Breakfast Club.) Lunch will be served at the Utah State Capitol beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT, with the program and webcast beginning promptly at 2 p.m. ET/Noon MT.

“Google’s decision to bring fiber to Salt Lake City adds the the strong base of fiber-optic deployment with Utah,” said Drew Clark, founder of the Utah Breakfast Club and the Broadband Breakfast Club. “With cities and states across the country now seeking to build Gigabit networks, this discussion about GigUtah will be of great interest throughout the nation.”

The panel discussion and FREE LIVE WEBCAST will explore these topics:

Google has captivated the enthusiasm of internet users — and the attention of economic development professionals — by offering Gigabit Network service in selected cities across the country.

In announcing in late March that Google Fiber will expand to Salt Lake City (its eighth metropolitan area nationwide), the broadband world turned its envying eyes on Utah. With Google Fiber in Provo and now Salt Lake — and with Gigabit Networks available in the 11 cities served by the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, or UTOPIA — Utah is poised to be the first state where a substantial portion of its residents have access to the fastest-possible broadband internet services.

What does Google’s investments say about the economic health and technology-savvy nature of Utah? What do cities and citizens get from Google Fiber that they haven’t gotten from traditional telecom companies? And, for cities and states seeking to get a Gig, what are the best options to build and enhance Gigabit Networks?

CONFIRMED Panelists:

Devin Baer, Head of Fiber Business, Salt Lake, Google
Paul Cutler, Mayor, City of Centerville, Utah
Justin Jones, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications, Salt Lake Chamber
David Shaw, Shareholder, Kirton McConkie; Chair, Government and Utilities Practice Group
Moderated by Drew Clark, Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie; Founder, Utah Breakfast Club
For questions about the event, please contact Drew Clark at


Surprise! Everybody Wants Net Neutrality

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, FCC, Net Neutrality November 13th, 2014 by Austin Allen

WASHINGTON, November 13, 2014 – Net neutrality has been the hottest topic in tech policy for months. Politicians on the left say their opponents stand foursquare against the tenets of a free and open internet. Politicians on the right that their adversaries are trying to apply outmoded and outdated legislation to cripple the innovative essence […]

Orwellian Symbolism of Barack Obama, Seeking to Classify Broadband as a Utility, in China

Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, FCC, Net Neutrality November 12th, 2014 by Roslyn Layton

Editor’s Note: With the announcement of President Obama’s desire to classify broadband as public utility, welcomes commentaries and opinions on the subject from a multitude of viewpoints. November 12, 2014 – During President Obama’s official visit to China Monday, the White House issued a statement of support of government regulation of the Internet with […]

Broadband Expert Andrew Odlyzko Warns Telecom Investors That Industry Has Its Math Wrong, Again

Expert Opinion November 4th, 2014 by Alexander Goldman

November 4, 2014 – Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam claimed in an editorial in The New York Times, “The United States built its lead because companies invested nearly $1.2 trillion, over 17 years, to deploy next-generation broadband networks.” That number is meaningless: over a period of 17 years, much of the […]

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