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Broadband Breakfast Club Considers Broadband Stimulus Efforts and Begins Evaluating its Impact

WASHINGTON, October 22, 2010 – Now that all of the broadband stimulus funding has been distributed, its effectiveness can now be evaluated. That was the message at the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, October 19. Video of the event was released on Friday. While the long term value of the stimulus is still unknown, panelists were able to gauge the way in which the funds were distributed.

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WASHINGTON, October 22, 2010 – Now that all of the broadband stimulus funding has been distributed, its effectiveness can now be evaluated. That was the message at the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, October 19. Video of the event was released on Friday. While the long term value of the stimulus is still unknown, panelists were able to gauge the way in which the funds were distributed.

Overall, panelists felt that the program was well established. Benton Foundation Chairman Charles Benton praised the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service for working relentlessly and for their hard work given their limited resources. He gave the program process an “A.” He also highlighted the fact that it was a very convivial process with very few points of contention.

Video of the event is available on BroadbandBreakfast.com at the following link.

Others on the panel were less generous. Jacquie Jones, Executive Director, National Black Programming Consortium, gave it a “B.” Craig Settles, a leading industry analyst, gave it an “A-“ and a “C”, and Lori Sherwood of the Inter-County Broadband Network, expressed a number of reservations. Watch the video below for the distinctions drawn.

Settles, for example, praised the NTIA and RUS, but said that some of their decisions on awards were unexpected.

Among the criticisms, Jacquie was disappointed by the lack of innovative projects. While the NTIA had to be careful and fund projects which would work, she felt that they should have tried to support some new project types. Settles reiterated this sentiment by pointing out that the majority of the projects for last mile were for fiber which is a proven technology; however, Settles also liked the fact that WiMax was given funding.

The panelists also felt that the level of digital literacy needed to be improved. Currently, the broadband stimulus legislation and implementing regulation seeks to teach only the true basics. That won’t be sufficient to create economic growth, Jones said. She highlighted a project in Philadelphia which taught teenagers how to create and share media via the web. This project helped the teens to develop useful job skills along with basic digital literacy.

Sherwood’s Inter-County Broadband Network is a partnership with Maryland governments to obtain a BTOP grant that will connect schools, community centers, and government offices. Although she had praise for the program, she also noted the lack of flexibility when dealing with government applicants. Sherwood said her group did not obtain a first round grant because they were unable to provide the same financial balance sheets as corporate and nonprofit entities.

With all the investment in private networks, the need for publicly owned networks was questioned; but both Benton and Sherwood supported the need. Benton stated that public networks are necessary since they are able to provide access in areas where a market case cannot be made; additionally they provide a high level of long term cost savings for the governments which do not have to rent bandwidth.

Now that all the money has been distributed, the issue of what happens next was posed to the panel. Most agreed that the Universal Service Fund is the next funding mechanism.

Settles also highlighted the Google Fiber project which galvanized thousands of communities across the nation. He said that many of the communities which he worked with in the preparation of bids for the Google project have realized the value of the high speed network and are preparing alternative funding sources if they do not obtain the Google funds.

Forthcoming Breakfast Club Events

The next Broadband Broadband Breakfast Club will be held on November 16, 2010, on “Public Safety’s Role in, and the Need For, Better Quality Broadband” Registration is available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com.

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, US Telecom, and Telecommunications Industry Association.

The next Intellectual Property Broadband Breakfast Club will be held on November 9, 2010, on “Approaches by Internet Service Providers Around the World to Copyright Infringement.” Registration is available at http://ipbreakfast.eventbrite.com.

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

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Broadband Breakfast on June 1, 2022 — The Supreme Court, Social Media and the Culture Wars

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law banning social media companies from removing posts based on views expressed.

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See “Experts Reflect on Supreme Court Decision to Block Texas Social Media Bill,” Broadband Breakfast, June 2, 2022.

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, June 1, 2022, 12 Noon ET – BREAKING NEWS EVENT! – The Supreme Court, Social Media and the Culture Wars

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law that would ban large social media companies from removing posts based on the views they express. Join us for this breaking news event of Broadband Breakfast Live Online in which we discuss the Supreme Court, social media and the culture wars.

Panelists:

  • Scott McCollough, Attorney, McCollough Law Firm
  • Amy Peikoff, Chief Policy Officer, Parler
  • Ari Cohn, Free Speech Counsel, TechFreedom
  • Nora Benavidez, Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights at Free Press
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

W. Scott McCollough has practiced communications and Internet law for 38 years, with a specialization in regulatory issues confronting the industry.  Clients include competitive communications companies, Internet service and application providers, public interest organizations and consumers.

Amy Peikoff is the Chief Policy Officer of Parler. After completing her Ph.D., she taught at universities (University of Texas, Austin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States Air Force Academy) and law schools (Chapman, Southwestern), publishing frequently cited academic articles on privacy law, as well as op-eds in leading newspapers across the country on a range of issues. Just prior to joining Parler, she founded and was President of the Center for the Legalization of Privacy, which submitted an amicus brief in United States v. Facebook in 2019.

Ari Cohn is Free Speech Counsel at TechFreedom. A nationally recognized expert in First Amendment law, he was previously the Director of the Individual Rights Defense Program at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and has worked in private practice at Mayer Brown LLP and as a solo practitioner, and was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Ari graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nora Benavidez manages Free Press’s efforts around platform and media accountability to defend against digital threats to democracy. She previously served as the director of PEN America’s U.S. Free Expression Programs, where she guided the organization’s national advocacy agenda on First Amendment and free-expression issues, including press freedom, disinformation defense and protest rights. Nora launched and led PEN America’s media-literacy and disinformation-defense program. She also led the organization’s groundbreaking First Amendment lawsuit, PEN America v. Donald Trump, to hold the former president accountable for his retaliation against and censorship of journalists he disliked.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of the Supreme Court from September 2020 by Aiva.

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 June 29, 2022 — Broadband Mapping and Data

Broadband Breakfast returns to one of the subjects that it knows best: Broadband mapping and data.

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See “FCC Opens Broadband Data Collection Program,” Broadband Breakfast, June 30, 2022.

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, June 29, 2022, 12 Noon ET –Broadband Mapping and Data

Now that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released, attention turns to a core activity that must take place before broadband infrastructure funds are distributed: The Federal Communications Commission’s updated broadband maps. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as implemented by the NTIA’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, these address-level maps from the FCC will determine the allocation of funds among states and serve as a key source of truth. Our panelists will also consider the role of state-level maps, the NTIA challenge process and other topics. Join Broadband Breakfast as we return to one of the subjects that we know best: Broadband data and mapping.

Panelists:

  • Bill Price, Vice President, Government Solutions, LightBox
  • Dustin Loup, Program Manager, Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition
  • Ryan Guthrie, Vice President of Solutions Engineering at ATS
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Bill Price, Vice President of Government Solutions, is responsible for LightBox broadband data and mapping solutions for government. Bill has more than 40 years in telecommunications and technology services development and operations. His track record includes delivering the Georgia statewide location level broadband map, the first fiber metropolitan area network in the U.S., and launching BellSouth’s internet service. LightBox combines proven, leading GIS and big data technology to transform how decisions are made in broadband infrastructure planning and investment.

Dustin Loup is an expert on internet governance and policy and program manager for the Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition. Much of his work centers on improving digital inclusion and establishing transparent, open-source, and openly verifiable mapping methodologies and standards.

Ryan Guthrie is VP of Solutions Engineering at Advanced Technologies & Services.  He started with ATS in 2006 and has been involved in all aspects of the business from sales and marketing through solution design and implementation.  Ryan also manages regulatory solutions for ATS and has been deeply involved with the federally funded broadband projects by assisting ISPs with their performance measures testing compliance.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

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 June 15, 2022 – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join conference attendees in conversation on key connectivity issues.

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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, June 15, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join a conversation with attendees at the annual Fiber Connect conference in Nashville, Tennessee:

The purpose of this special session of Broadband Breakfast Live Online is to highlight some of the concerns that have been expressed by municipalities about the notice of funding opportunity recently issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. In this special session from Fiber Connect in Nashville, panelists will analyze what the NTIA got right and where it has blind spots. Equally importantly, we will discuss what can be done next so that cities have the opportunity to expand fiber to every corner of their communities when they seek to do so.

Panelists:

  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO, the Fiber Broadband Association
  • Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Office, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Kim McKinley, Chief Marketing Officer, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Bob Knight, executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Bob Knight is a broadband industry professional and public official. He serves on the executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband and is in his seventh term as a commissioner of economic and community development for Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Gary Bolton serves as president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association — the largest trade association in the Americas dedicated to all-fiber-optic broadband. With more than three decades in the telecom industry, Bolton joined the Fiber Broadband Association as president and CEO in 2020 after serving on the association’s board as vice chairman, treasurer and vice chairs of public policy and marketing committees. Prior to taking the leadership role at the Fiber Broadband Association, he spent 11 years at ADTRAN serving as vice president of global marketing and government affairs.

Scott Menhart, the chief information technology officer for Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP), has more than 20 years of experience in technology and broadband industries. He has been actively involved with multiple fiber to the premise deployments and recently launched TCLPfiber, a full municipal community network. TCLP currently serves nearly 13,000 electric customers and is currently working to expand TCLPfiber services to these customers.

Kim McKinley helps lead UTOPIA Fiber as its Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer. In 2010, she joined the network as a member of its turnaround team, and has helped cement today’s UTOPIA Fiber as the fastest-growing, highest-rated, and most-successful Open Access network in the United States.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of Gaylord Opryland, home of Fiber Connect, by Ken Lund used with permission

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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