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July Breakfast Club Examines Connect America Fund Transition

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – The July Broadband Breakfast Club gathered key industry experts to discuss how the Universal Service Fund could be transformed to support next generation broadband communications technologies on Tuesday.

“The Universal Service Fund (USF) has done a great job in getting phone service out but now it needs to be reformed to support broadband,” said Joshua Seidemann, Director of Policy, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA).

Broadband Breakfast: Making the Universal Service Fund Into a Universal Broadband Fund from Broadband Breakfast.

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WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – The July Broadband Breakfast Club gathered key industry experts to discuss how the Universal Service Fund could be transformed to support next generation broadband communications technologies on Tuesday.

“The Universal Service Fund (USF) has done a great job in getting phone service out but now it needs to be reformed to support broadband,” said Joshua Seidemann, Director of Policy, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA).

Broadband Breakfast: Making the Universal Service Fund Into a Universal Broadband Fund from Broadband Breakfast.

The panel all agreed that now is the time to reform the USF to support broadband rather than just “plain old telephone services.” The Federal Communications Commission presented a road map for this changeover to broadband in the 2010 National Broadband Plan. The FCC USF reform plan recommends that two new funds be created a Connect America Fund which would support wired connections and a Mobility Fund that would support the expansion of wireless networks.

Hank Hultquist, Vice President, Federal Regulatory at AT&T commended the FCC saying that “the agency did a good job of showing up USF reform is tied to the digital transition currently going on.”

Russell Hanser, Partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, said that with new high-speed wireless technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband can be a viable substitute for wired connections.

Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at Brookings, Darrell West agreed with Hanser that wireless is a possible substitute for many people.

“The fund should allow consumers to choose which service they feel best fits their needs. Rather than just fund a single service directly, subsidies should be given directly to consumers so they can choose between wireless broadband, cellular phone service or wireline broadband,” West said.

To reduce costs and improve efficiencies within the program ICF International’s Michael Spead, Senior Technical Specialist, Broadband suggested that the Connect America Fund should model its funding program on the current E-Rate procurement program.  Spead also endorsed the idea of using reverse auctions as a way to find the best service for the lowest cost.

“By holding regular reverse auctions to determine the best level of funding for  broadband the government would not only be able to fund broadband but also increase speeds nationally by incrementally increasing the speed requirements,” Spead said.

A video of the full event can be found 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 on December 15, 2021 — Public-Private Partnerships and Broadband Deployment

One of the most important recent developments in the deployment of broadband infrastructure.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the December 15, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 12 Noon ET — How Public Private Partnerships Represent an Opportunity for Broadband Deployment

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 December 8, 2021 — Implementation of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act

In this event, we’ll explore the perspective of the NTIA and state agencies charged with implementing IIJA.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the December 8, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 12 Noon ET — Implementation of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act

The passage of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act on November 5, 2021, represents a significant opportunity for the broadband industry. This includes the providers of high-speed internet service as well as those that seek to enhance the deployment of better broadband. But many questions remain about the details of implementing the IIJA on both the federal and the state levels. In this special “Broadband Breakfast for Lunch” IN PERSON and LIVE ONLINE event, we’ll explore the perspective of the lead federal government agency charged with implementing IIJA’s broadband provision, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. We’ll also consider the important role of state broadband officials in the next phase of IIJA implementation.

Join us IN PERSON on Wednesday, December 8, at Broadband Breakfast Club for Lunch!

There are two ways to participate in this event: IN PERSON or LIVE ONLINE. To attend in person, sign up to attend to attend in person through EventbritePlease arrive for lunch at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C., by 11:30 a.m. to be seated for lunch. The program will begin promptly at 12 Noon ET.

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • Scott Woods, Senior Broadband Program Specialist, NTIA
  • Jase Wilson, CEO, Ready / Broadband Money
  • Other guests have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

As a Senior Broadband Program Specialist with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA), Scott Woods serves as the Team Lead for the Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program, a new grant program to provide $268 million in direct funding to expand broadband access, connectivity and digital inclusion to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), Minority-serving Institutions (MSIs) and the anchor communities upon which these institutions serve. Mr. Woods also serves as the principal liaison between the BroadbandUSA program office and key strategic partners and external stakeholder groups, including representatives from state and local governments; broadband service providers; for-profit and non-profit corporations; telecom trade associations; community representatives and organizations, and colleges/universities.

Jase Wilson is co-founder and CEO of Ready / Broadband Money, a software, data and financial services firm devoted to helping local ISPs connect more people to better broadband. He lives in the SF bay area with his wife and their son Wafer, aka WWW.

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 December 1, 2021 — How the Telecom and Tech Industries Should Approach Privacy

Privacy is rising in the landscape of telecom and technology policy issues issues.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the December 1, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 12 Noon ET — How the Telecom and Tech Industries Should Approach Privacy

Slowly but surely, privacy is rising in the landscape of telecom and technology policy issues. From the perspective of the technology marketplace, massive data breaches, incessant cybersecurity threats including ransomware, and the market power of the big tech companies (Alphabet’s Google, Apple, Meta’s Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) force everyone else to adapt defensively. But from the policy perspective, the reality of congressional or Federal Trade Commission action is forcing a new respect on the notion that privacy rules may soon be enshrined into law. This Broadband Breakfast Live Online session will consider how tech and telecom industry players should approach the issue.

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • Jessica Dheere, Director, Ranking Digital Rights
  • Kirk Nahra, Partner, WilmerHale
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Jessica Dheere is director of Ranking Digital Rights, a program at the think tank New America that evaluates the world’s most powerful tech and telecom companies on their public commitments to protect users’ free expression, privacy, and other rights. She co-authored RDR’s spring 2020 report “Getting to the Source of Infodemics: It’s the Business Model.” Jessica has a master’s degree in media studies from the New School in New York City and was a 2018-19 fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Kirk J. Nahra is a partner with WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., where he is Co-Chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice as well as Co-Chair of the Big Data Practice.  He assists companies in a wide range of industries in analyzing and implementing the requirements of privacy and security laws across the country and internationally.  He is an adjunct professor on various privacy issues at the Washington College of Law at American University and serves as a fellow with the Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

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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