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Experts Discuss National Broadband Plan at the Broadband Breakfast Club

WASHINGTON March 17, 2011 – On the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the National Broadband Plan, Broadband Breakfast gathered key industry experts to offer criticism and discuss the government’s implementation of the plan.

The National Broadband Plan: A One-Year Update from BroadbandBreakfast.com.

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WASHINGTON March 17, 2011 – On the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the National Broadband Plan, Broadband Breakfast gathered key industry experts to offer criticism and discuss the government’s implementation of the plan.

The National Broadband Plan: A One-Year Update from BroadbandBreakfast.com.

“The plan showed that broadband is not a luxury, it’s really a necessity” said Information Technology and Innovation Foundation founder Robert Atkinson, “It showed that speed is not the only goal, it’s also ubiquity and adoption.”

Communication architect Daniel Berninger called the plan “too timid,” and said, “the plan will not push us to become number one in the world.” He went onto say connectivity will be the main driving force of the economy in the future. Berninger fears that if the U.S. does not improve its high-speed network availability, it will never be able to overcome China’s massive population advantage.

John Erik Garr, former General Manager of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, disagreed with Berninger’s characterization that the plan was too timid.

“We didn’t have all the data we needed but we wanted to create an aspirational document which presents a baseline while offering up some long term goals.” Garr said.

Jim Baller, founder of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, agreed with Garr, saying, “The plan did not have all the data it needed and therefore a consensus could not be made on what exactly we need.” However, the plan tried to move broadband development forward.

Broadband will be a key driving factor in the economy according to Baller, not just through expanding the network but also by creating applications on top of it.

“Companies like Netflix are adding value to the network,” Berninger said. “ISPs don’t like this because it uses their network too heavily, but these are the applications people want and its what drives them to adopt high speed broadband.”

Garr also contrasted the American plan to those in others countries. Many foreign plans, he said, focused solely on expanding networks, but his team wanted to look at the whole ecosystem, including applications and devices.

Atkinson agreed that the plan was aspirational and pointed out that networks should always be a little faster than what we need, so new applications can be developed.

One Economy’s Director of Community Impact, Clyde Edward, commended the plan for looking beyond simple network expansion.

“Access is not the only important part,” said Edward. “Low income families need to learn the value of broadband before they will adopt.”

The national purposes section of the plan laid out direct benefits to people that can be implemented in short term and some that require years of research.

Keith Montgomery, Senior Program Director, Broadband, ICF International, echoed the panel’s sentiments about showing the usefulness of broadband to expand adoption and told about working to expand broadband in New Zealand, where the first group of adopters were farmers.

“These small farmers were able to see how having access gave them not only better communication,” said Montgomery, “but it allowed them to get information faster and learn about commodity prices.”

Montgomery warned, however, that while adoption is important, the network needs to be robust for adoption to work properly. To illustrate, he pointed to wireless, which may be cheaper and easier to setup, but does not offer the reliability and speed of a wired connection.

The panel agreed that adoption is a difficult problem to solve since it requires more than just more money. For example, Garr and Edward both asserted that adoption is something that needs to be solved at the local level to cater to community needs. Atkinson agreed but added that while each community is unique, many communities share common characteristics and the federal government should compile adoption resources to help solve common problems.

The full video can be viewed here.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for BroadbandBreakfast.com since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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Broadband Breakfast Live Online Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – Today’s Infrastructure, Tomorrow’s Speeds

Mala Goodrich

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the April 28, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Today’s Infrastructure, Tomorrow’s Speeds”

  • An estimated 50 percent of United States households will be served by fiber-optic technology by 2025. While impressive, the figure still leaves half of America to rely on older technologies in an increasingly bandwidth-hungry world. In this installment of Broadband Breakfast Live Online, we’ll explore innovative solutions that increase the capabilities of infrastructure already in place.

Panelists:

  • Reg Weiser, Founder and CEO, Positron Access Solutions
  • Panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Reg Weiser is the founder and CEO of Positron Access Solutions, an innovative telecom equipment manufacturer that enables Gigabit services over telephone and coax wiring. Reg serves on the advisory board of Dalhousie University where he received his engineering and honorary doctorate degrees. He was a recipient of the Quebec Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Export Canada Award, and in 2005 was inducted in the Canadian Engineering Academy.  Reg’s passion is to help North America become a leader in high-speed broadband penetration.

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 Live Online Wednesday April 21, 2021 – Intellectual Property and Fair Use

Panelists include Joseph Gratz, Durie Tangri, Arthur Sidney, CCIA, Michael Graif, Mintz, and moderated by Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast.

Mala Goodrich

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the April 21, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Intellectual Property and Fair Use: Restoring Balance to the Universe”

  • Intellectual Property is often seen as a cornerstone of innovation, creating an incentive structure that lets those investing in research and development reap the benefits of their hard work. But many argue that it is possible for intellectual property laws to go too far in the other direction, stifling the very progress they aim to protect. Just weeks after a landmark Supreme Court ruling on fair use, in Google v. Oracle, and one week before World Intellectual Property Day, this episode of Broadband Breakfast Live Online will feature technology and media industry insiders address the current balance in intellectual property right now.

Panelists:

  • Joseph Gratz, Partner, Durie Tangri LLP
  • Arthur Sidney, Vice President of Public Policy, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
  • Michael R. Graif, Intellectual Property Member, Mintz
  • Other panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Joseph C. Gratz is partner with Durie Tangri LLP in San Francisco.  His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation relating to the Internet. He has represented Facebook, Google, and Amazon, among others, and testified last year before the Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee regarding Internet intermediary liability.

Arthur D. Sidney, LLM is the VP of Public Policy at CCIA, where he started in June 2020. Formerly, he was chief of staff and chief counsel to Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and served as an international trade attorney with the U.S. Department of Commerce where he focused upon trade remedies. Arthur has served as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law, American University, Washington College of Law, and University of Maryland University College now University of Maryland Global campuses.

Michael R. Graif is an intellectual property Member at Mintz and CIPP-US certified. He advises on copyright and trademark enforcement and protection, software, and technology and licensing transactions. He also teaches a Social Media Law Course at Penn Law and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Panelist Resources

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 Live Online Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – Financing Broadband Infrastructure

Guests include Jeff Johnston of CoBank, Tim Herwig of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Lauren Mathena of Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Christopher Mitchell or the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Moderated by Drew Clark of Broadband Breakfast.

Mala Goodrich

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See “Partnerships And Trust Go Long Way To Securing Financing For Broadband Projects, Panelists Say,” Broadband Breakfast, April 16, 2021

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the April 14, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Less Than a Billion: Financing Broadband Infrastructure”

  • Congress has appropriated $3.2 billion for the Emergency Broadband Benefit and $7.2 billion for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, and more is being discussed. But internet projects still face financial constraints and regulatory hurdles in navigating the maze to obtain broadband infrastructure financing. This panel will consider funding and cost issues from the perspective of a broadband builder. How can broadband entities most effectively deploy private and public financing to meet increasing high-speed connectivity needs?

Panelists:

  • Jeff Johnston, Lead Communications Economist at CoBank
  • Tim Herwig, District Community Affairs Officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  • Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Broadband Network Initiative
  • Lauren Mathena, Director of Economic Development and Community Engagement at Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC)
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Jeff Johnston is a lead communications economist in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division, where he focuses on the communications industry. His work revolves around identifying emerging technologies, business models, risks and opportunities within the industry, and providing strategic analyses to both internal and external stakeholders. Prior to joining CoBank in 2018, Mr. Johnston was an equity analyst covering the tech, media and telecom sectors. Jeff has also held various senior management positions in the telecommunications industry. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from York University and he is also CFA charterholder.

Timothy Herwig is a District Community Affairs Officer with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  He is officed in Chicago.  Among other responsibilities, Herwig advocates for community reinvestment by providing technical assistance to banks interested in financing rural broadband infrastructure and rural ISPs looking for private sources of debt or equity financing.  The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.

Christopher Mitchell currently serves as the director of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Broadband Network Initiative. His work focuses on helping communities ensure that the telecommunications networks upon which they depend are accountable to the community. He was honored as one of the 2012 Top 25 in Public Sector Technology by Government Technology, which honors the top “Doers, Drivers, and Dreamers” in the nation each year.

Lauren Mathena is the Director of Economic Development and Community Engagement at Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC). In her role, Mathena serves as a regional ecosystem builder and represents MBC to a variety of local and state partners, including Southern Virginia’s economic developers who rely on MBC’s network for business attraction, retention and expansion. She is currently leading program development for the SOVA Innovation Hub, a 501(c)3 non-profit created in early 2020 with investments by MBC and Microsoft TechSpark.

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.

Continue Reading

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