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Do Consumers Really Care About the Smart Grid? Some Think Not, at Broadband Breakfast Club

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2010 – The “smart grid,” or the way that the electric infrastructure can be enhanced with interactive, telecommunications- and broadband-related capabilities, may not be that important for consumers, said panelists at Tuesday’s Broadband Breakfast Club.

At the same time, the Federal Communications Commission Energy and Environment Director Nick Sinai, in a keynote speech at the Broadband Breakfast Club, said that intelligent electric infrastructure — including consumer data about energy use — could enhance competition in electricity and in broadband.

The event is available on BroadbandBreakfast.com at the following link.

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WASHINGTON, July 21, 2010 – The “smart grid,” or the way that the electric infrastructure can be enhanced with interactive, telecommunications- and broadband-related capabilities, may not be that important for consumers, said panelists at Tuesday’s Broadband Breakfast Club.

At the same time, the Federal Communications Commission Energy and Environment Director Nick Sinai, in a keynote speech at the Broadband Breakfast Club, said that  intelligent electric infrastructure — including consumer data about energy use — could enhance competition in electricity and in broadband.

“The federal government’s role isn’t to figure this out, neither is it the state role,” said Sinai. However, “We need to set the conditions, so that utilities can continue to modernize, and deliver secure and reliable” electricity.

BroadbandBreakfast.com on Wednesday released, for FREE, the full-length video of the Broadband Breakfast Club event on Tuesday, July 20, which included Sinai’s keynote, followed by a discussion with two representatives of utilities, and two officials from the telecommunications industry. The event was moderated by Cynthia Brumfield, an energy and telecommunications analyst at the Utilities Telecom Council.

The panelists included:

  • Joseph Andersen, Energy & Environment Consultant, Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Bob Hance, President & CEO, Midwest Energy Cooperative
  • Brett Kilbourne, Director of Regulatory Services and Associate Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council
  • Larry Plumb, Executive Director, Emerging Issues & Technology Policy, Verizon Communications
  • Nick Sinai, Energy & Environment Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative, Federal Communications Commission.

The event is available on BroadbandBreakfast.com at the following link.

Don’t miss the next Broadband Broadband Breakfast Club, on Tuesday, September 21, 2010, on “You Say Title I, I Say Title II: What to Call Broadband Regulation?” Registration will soon be available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com.

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by the Telecommunications Industry Association, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, International Broadband Electric Communications, Inc., and the Benton Foundation.

For further information about sponsorship, contact sylvia@broadbandcensus.com, or call 646-262-4630. The Broadband Breakfast Club is Copyright © Broadband Census News LLC.

Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

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State Broadband Heads Address BEAD Implementation Focuses

Broadband leaders touched on letter of credit requirements, subgrant timelines, and speed test data.

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Screenshot of the Broadband Breakfast Live Online Event

WASHINGTON, September 20, 2023 – Three state broadband leaders highlighted at a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event Wednesday key points of focus ahead of their implementation of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. 

The BEAD program allocates $42.5 billion to states for expanding broadband infrastructure. States are in the process of releasing their initial proposals for administering the program – due to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration by December 27 – and hearing public comments.

The conversation was a preview of some topics up for discussion with state broadband heads, BEAD and other federal grant program officials, and service providers at the Broadband Breakfast BEAD Implementation Summit Thursday. Registration is open for in-person and virtual attendance.

Subgrantee selection timeline

States will have one year from the approval of their initial proposals to award subgrants under the program and submit their final proposals to the NTIA. Those awards have to be allocated via a bidding process.

Getting that done will be difficult, said Jim Stritzinger, the head of South Carolina’s broadband office.

“It’s really, really hard to deploy $551 million in 12 months,” he said. “And other states have much larger allocations than ours, I don’t know how they’re going to do it.”

Brian Newby of the North Dakota Broadband Program, echoed the concern.

“I am concerned that there will be locations that just won’t be bid on,” he said, and a second round of bidding to hit those areas would be difficult to fit in before the deadline.

Stritzinger noted that state offices are permitted under NTIA rules to negotiate directly with providers to BEAD-supported infrastructure in areas missed by the bidding process, rather than open a second round, which could save time, he said.

Letters of credit

BEAD requires grant recipients to get letters of credit from banks for 25 percent of the funds they receive to undertake projects. The requirement has been flagged by the industry as potentially blocking smaller providers from being able to accept grants.

The requirement still applies to publicly owned entities, Vermont broadband director Christine Hallquist noted. That will be a problem in Vermont, she said, where some communications infrastructure is owned by coalitions of towns.

“Municipalities just do not have that kind of money,” she said.

Speed test data

The broadband heads also noted the importance of reliable locations in speed test data. When speed tests are run in computer browsers, as opposed to direct measurements from equipment or from GPS-enabled devices like smartphones, they have less precise locations attached to them.

“You could very easily see a bunch of speed tests stacking up on a single dot in the center of a zip code,” Stritzinger said. “You have to be careful about that.”

Hallquist emphasized collecting speed data from different points along a network’s infrastructure to pinpoint where speed loss is happening.

“We want to help people address all of the issues that are a part of that stream of data,” she said.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – Preview of BEAD Implementation Summit

Ahead of the Broadband Breakfast BEAD’s Implementation Summit on September 21, this free live online event will offer a sneak peek into what the summit has in store. It will set the stage for the upcoming panels, including a roundtable with state broadband officers, a discussion of past broadband efforts, the role of public-private partnerships and a town hall session on problems still to tackle. Tune in to see what’s in store at the BEAD Implementation Summit in Washington on Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Panelists

  • Brian Newby, Director, North Dakota Broadband Program Director
  • Jim Stritzinger, Director, South Carolina Broadband Office
  • Christine Hallquist, Executive Director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Register for the BEAD Implementation Summit on September 21, 2023.

Brian Newby leads the North Dakota State Broadband Office, targeting broadband for all in North Dakota by administering more than $175 million in federal grants. Formerly served as the State Election Director at the North Dakota Secretary of State; previously was the Executive Director for U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a federal government agency, and Election Commissioner for Johnson County, the largest jurisdiction in Kansas and in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Before elections, worked as director of strategy for Sprint’s $10 billion Global Markets Group.

As part of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, Jim Stritzingerserves as Director of the Broadband Office which was formed in July 2021. He manages a full-time team of five and is directly responsible for ensuring the rapid deployment of broadband infrastructure statewide and overseeing $1 billion in state and federal grant investments.

Christine Hallquist is the Executive Director of the Vermont Community Broadband Board. Their mission is to connect every Vermont address to fiber, make it affordable and maximize positive social impact. Christine was the former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative.

Breakfast Media LLC CEO Drew Clark has led the Broadband Breakfast community since 2008. An early proponent of better broadband, better lives, he initially founded the Broadband Census crowdsourcing campaign for broadband data. As Editor and Publisher, Clark presides over the leading media company advocating for higher-capacity internet everywhere through topical, timely and intelligent coverage. Clark also served as head of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a state broadband initiative.

Register for the BEAD Implementation Summit on September 21, 2023.

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Broadband Breakfast on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 – Broadband Deployment from India, Australia, South Africa

What can the United States learn from fascinating broadband deployments in the Global South?

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, October 25 – International Examples of Broadband Deployment – India, Australia, South Africa

As the United States channels unprecedented investments into broadband expansion, the nation’s counterparts worldwide are also ramping up their deployment efforts. In India, nearly 900 million out of its 1.4 billion population have adopted broadband services as of December 2022. Meanwhile, Australia said it’s on track to deliver broadband download speeds of at least 500 megabits per second to 90 percent of its homes and businesses by 2025. Across the ocean, South Africa is also making great strides in broadband buildouts. What lies behind such rapid expansion in those countries? How do they compare to the U.S.’s initiative under the bipartisan infrastructure law?

Panelists

  • Panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on October 11, 2023 – Spectrum Sharing: How Promising and How Real Is It?

Some see potential in advancing 5G technology while others worry about connectivity performance

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, October 11 – Spectrum Sharing: How Promising and How Real Is It?

The practice of spectrum sharing, where multiple operators coexist within the same bandwidth, is often lauded as a solution to the limited availability of spectrum. Some view it as a promising avenue for advancing 5G technology and beyond, potentially with the aid of artificial intelligence. However, critics contend that crowding may hinder and degrade connectivity performance. In light of the FCC’s recent plans to open up more spectrum for commercial use, what lies ahead for spectrum management and licensing? How can regulators strike a balance between expanding sharing opportunities and ensuring optimal connectivity?

Panelists

  • Panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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