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BroadbandBreakfast.com Hosts Broadband Breakfast Club Event “Bringing Broadband Infrastructure to Rural Areas: Where is the Progress?” Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 in Washington, DC

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WASHINGTON, Thursday, October 13th, 2011 – The internet and intellectual property policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com will hold its October 2011 Broadband Breakfast Club event:

“Bringing Broadband Infrastructure to Rural Areas: Where is the Progress?” on Tuesday, October 18th 2011 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am.

American and Continental breakfasts are included. The program begins shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tickets to the event are $45.00 plus a small online fee.

Registration is available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by Comcast, Google, ICF International (ICFI), Intel, The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), US Telecom.

The Broadband Breakfast Club series meets on the third Tuesday of each month (except for August and December).

The schedule can be viewed at http://broadbandbreakfastseries.eventbrite.com

Read our website for broadband news and event write-ups http://www.broadbandbreakfast.com

Videos of our previous events are available at: https://broadbandbreakfast.com/category/broadband-tv/

October 2011 Broadband Breakfast Club Event Description

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act promised to bring broadband infrastructure throughout the country. A major player in delivering on the funding was the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The law provided a dramatic increase in funding for unserved and underserved parts of our country.

RUS loans have gone to a variety of “last mile” providers, both fiber and wireless. Some feel they compete directly against existing providers that are not funded by USDA. Given the sparse geographies of rural areas, and the economic development needs they face, are these loans and grants warranted? And, with less than one year until all projects must be substantially completed, where is the progress in rural areas?

Speakers for the event include keynote:

Dallas Tonsager
Under Secretary
Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture

Dallas Tonsager was appointed by President Obama as Under Secretary for Rural Development and sworn into office in May of 2009. Tonsager has over 35 years of agricultural, business, cooperative and financial experience through his work as a farmer, businessman, and community, state and national leader. Prior to joining USDA, Tonsager served from 2004 to 2009 on the board of directors for the Farm Credit Administration, where he was responsible for regulatory oversight of the Farm Credit System. Tonsager served as executive director of the South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center from 2002 to 2004. In 1993, then-President Bill Clinton selected Tonsager to serve as USDA South Dakota’s state director for Rural Development. In 1999, he was recognized as one of two outstanding state directors in the nation and received the national “Hammer Award” from then-Vice President Gore for his work as part of a team that reinvented USDA’s rural business guarantee loan program. Tonsager served as state director until 2001. Tonsager served two terms as president of the South Dakota Farmers Union. He also served on the board of National Farmers Union Insurance from 1989 to 1993, and was a member of the advisory board of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1990 to 1993. Tonsager grew up on a dairy farm near Oldham, S.D. and has been involved in the family’s diversified farm operations since 1976. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1976.

Panelists:

Chandler Goule
Vice President of Government Relations
National Farmers Union

Goule oversees the NFU Washington, D.C. government relations office and communications department, which advocates the interest of family farmers to Congress and the administration. Goule previously served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry for Chairman Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-MN). His prior experience extends to companies such as, Bayer Crop Science, Syngenta, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and with Congressman Charlie Stenholm in Washington, DC. Growing up in rural Morgan Mill, Texas, Chandler Goule is very familiar with agriculture policy, way of life and rural issues. He graduated from Texas A&M University earning a BA in Animal Science and has a Masters in Political Management and Corporate and Public Affairs from George Washington University.

James Kohler
Deputy Director of Enterprise Technology Services
Alaska Department of Administration

James Kohler serves as the State’s Project Coordinator for the Alaska Land Mobile Radio System, which provides emergency interoperable communications for state, municipal, Department of Defense, and non-DoD Federal agencies in Alaska. Recently, Mr. Kohler was designated as the stateside lead for an ad hoc telecom working-group established by Alaska’s Governor’s office. Prior to joining State government, Mr. Kohler assisted with the build out, expansion and management of state wide wireless service in Alaska, and helped bring the first state-wide wireless service to Nome, Alaska in 2006. Mr. Kohler has over 30 years of professional change management and consulting experience in Alaska across both the private and public sectors.

Leif Oveson
Director of Government Affairs
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)

Leif Oveson joined the NTCA in March 2009. NTCA has served as the voice of small, rural telecommunications carriers since 1954 and has more than 570 member companies that provide communications services to some of the most remote, sparsely populated areas of the nation. Prior to joining NTCA, Leif worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as a Research Assistant in the Senate and a Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives for a total of seven years on policy issues including telecommunications. Originally from South Dakota, he currently lives in Washington, D.C.

David Russell
Solutions Marketing Director
Calix

David is responsible for marketing Calix’ fiber access solutions, the most widely deployed Fiber-to-the-Home systems in the United States. Based in Petaluma, California Calix has fiber deployments in over 1500 communities. David has spent over twenty years in business development and marketing of broadband access systems. He joined Optical Solutions, the pioneer in FTTH and GPON, in 2003 and joined Calix through its 2006 acquisition of Optical Solutions. In 2010, David served as Chairman of the Board of the FTTH Council. He currently serves as head of the FTTH Council’s regulatory affairs committee. He holds eight patents in cable TV and wireless technologies. He did his undergraduate work at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Saint Paul. Minnesota and is based at the Calix facility near Minneapolis.

Additional speakers have been invited

Moderator:

Jerry Hagstrom
Founder and Executive Editor
The Hagstrom Report

Jerry Hagstrom is a prize-winning agricultural journalist, book author and commentator. The American Journalism Review has named Jerry Hagstrom one of its “unsung heroes” of American journalism for “sterling work in the shadows” covering agriculture. In 2000, the National Farmers Union named Mr. Hagstrom Agricultural Communicator of the Year, and he has won awards from many other farm groups. Mr. Hagstrom also won first prize in commentary from the North American Agricultural Journalists and has served as its president. In addition to his own daily Hagstrom Report, he writes a bimonthly column of commentary for National Journal Daily, both of which reach a national policymaking audience. He reaches farmers, ranchers and agribusiness throughout the country with his work for DTN/Progressive Farmer news service in Omaha, the weekly Agweek newspaper in Grand Forks, N.D., and the Capital Press of Salem, Ore. Mr. Hagstrom appears frequently on C-SPAN to discuss farm issues, and has appeared on National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation program Farming Today. He has also lectured before major trade groups and at universities. A native of North Dakota, Mr. Hagstrom grew up on the Hagstrom family farm and in Wilton and Bismarck, N.D. Both his maternal paternal grandparents homesteaded in Burleigh County, North Dakota. A graduate of the University of Denver, he has been a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University and a research fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University.

For More Information Contact:

Sylvia Syracuse
Director of Marketing and Events
BroadbandBreakfast.com
[email protected]
646-262-4630

Sylvia manages the Broadband Breakfast Club, on-the-record monthly discussion groups that meet on the THIRD Tuesday of each month. She has had a long career in non-profit development and administration, and has raised funds for technology and science education, and managed a project on health information exchange adopted by the State of New York. She understands community education and infrastructure needs for effective broadband access.

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U.S. Broadband Deployment and Speeds are Beating Europe’s, Says Scholar Touting ‘Facilities-based Competition’

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WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 – In spite of press reports to the contrary, U.S. broadband coverage is not falling behind European levels of service, academic Christopher Yoo said on Wednesday at the National Press Club.

“It seems like every other week there’s a new infographic or news story that talks about how the U.S. is falling behind in broadband speeds, we don’t have fiber to the home, and telecom companies are rolling in the profits while consumer prices soar,” said Doug Brake, telecommunications policy analyst with The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, setting up the topic tackled in by Yoo in his presentation.

On the contrary, said Yoo, the founding director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, the U.S. led in many broadband metrics in 2011 and 2012. And, he said, it is precisely the absence of a “one size fits all” regulatory structure that has been been driving technological innovation forward in the marketplace.

In other words, according to Yoo, the American approach to facilities-based competition – where cable companies and telephone companies compete through rival communications networks –has succeeded.

While the findings may be “surprising” to some, Yoo said they proved the importance of examining the best approach to broadband regulation based on “real world data.”

The notion that “fiber is the only answer” to affordable high-speed broadband is a misconception, he said. Countries emphasizing fiber over rival technologies – including Sweden and France – were among the worst broadband performers.

In the U.S., 82 percent of households received broadband at speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps), versus 54 percent in Europe. In rural areas, the difference was even greater: 48 percent in the U.S., versus 12 percent in Europe. The five countries that did beat U.S. coverage of greater than 25 Mbps (including Denmark and the Netherlands) are compact, urbanized regions with greater population densities.

Additionally, even looking at fiber-based technologies, the U.S. is outperforming Europe, he said. Fiber coverage in the U.S. went from 17 percent in 2011 to 23 percent in 2012. In Europe, fiber coverage went from 10 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2012.

And, based on the measurement of telecommunications investment per household, the U.S. number is more than double that of Europe: $562 versus $244 in the old world.

And, he said, American users consumed 50 percent more bandwidth than Europeans in 2011 and 2012.

“The best measure of how much a network is really worth is how much you use it,” Yoo said. “It’s great to have a very fast car, but unless you use it, it’s not really doing very much for you.”

One area where the U.S. could see improvement is in the area of broadband adoption, Brake said. That demonstrates continued need to demonstrate value in broadband for consumers.

Yoo agreed: “Availability is only a part of the question. There are plenty of people who have broadband available to them who are choosing not to adopt.”

Moderator Gerry Faulhaber added: “As regulators, we can mandate coverage, we can mandate buildout. What we can’t do is mandate people to use it.”

Keeping a series of tiered rates for broadband service is exactly what America’s broadband rollout needs, said Brake. That not only encourages consumers to purchase internet at lower introductory rates, it also efficiently places the burden on those who wish to pay more for higher-speed service. This helps to recuperate costs for networks.

“Is it better to provide 75 to 100 Mbps to 80 to 90 percent of the population, or one Gigabit per second to 10 to 20 percent of the population?”

Blair Levin, former director of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, and now communications a science fellow at the Aspen Institute, said that comparisons with Europe doesn’t change America’s objective to build deeper fiber, use broadband to improve the delivery of goods and services, and connect more users.

“Which activity is more productive – looking at oneself in the mirror and asking, ‘do these jeans make me look fat?’ or going to the gym? Focusing on actions that improve one’s condition is better than wondering about how one should appear relative to others,” said Levin.

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Discussion of Broadband Breakfast Club Virtual Event on High-Capacity Applications and Gigabit Connectivity

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2013 – The Broadband Breakfast Club released the first video of its Broadband Breakfast Club Virtual Event, on “How High-Capacity Applications Are Driving Gigabit Connectivity.”

The dialogue featured Dr. Glenn Ricart, Chief Technology Officer, US IGNITESheldon Grizzle of GigTank in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Todd MarriottExecutive Director of UTOPIA, the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, and Drew ClarkChairman and Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com.

Drew Clark

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WASHINGTON, September 24, 2013 – The Broadband Breakfast Club released the first video of its Broadband Breakfast Club Virtual Event, on “How High-Capacity Applications Are Driving Gigabit Connectivity.”

The dialogue featured Dr. Glenn Ricart, Chief Technology Officer, US IGNITESheldon Grizzle of GigTank in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Todd MarriottExecutive Director of UTOPIA, the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, and Drew ClarkChairman and Publisher, BroadbandBreakfast.com.

To register for the next Broadband Breakfast Club Virtual Event, “How Will FirstNet Improve Public Safety Communications?,” on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT, please visit http://gowoa.me/i/XV8

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Breakfast Club Video: ‘Gigabit and Ultra-High-Speed Networks: Where They Stand Now and How They Are Building the Future’

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WASHINGTON, May 24, 2013 – Emphasizing the developing nature of broadband networks in the United States, speakers at the May 21 Broadband Breakfast Club event said that the recent achievement of ultra-high speed broadband networks has been a critical factor seeding transformative developments for organizations, individuals and communities. These developments, panelists said, were simply not possible before with slower speed networks.

Yet panelists at the event, “Becoming a Gigabit Nation: What Have We Learned About Ultra-High Speed Broadband?” also agreed that speed is not actually the most important factor in the maturing of these networks.

Event Highlights

Complete Program

Successful deployment of such networks requires concerted efforts and continual upgrades involving community leadership, assessment of consumer needs and desires, infrastructure development, application development and successful assessment of usage patterns. All of these factors affect the success of such gigabit and high-speed networks, panelists said.

In other words, high-speed networks need to be developed in concert with proposed applications, which are in turn developed in the context of their communities or customer base.

As gigabit cities consultant David Sandel said, gigabit and smart city transformation being undertaken is 90 percent sociology and 10 percent infrastructure. Sandel, president of Sandel and Associates, works with St. Louis, Kansas City and other communities worldwide and runs the Gigabit City Summit, a global forum of community leaders who are engaged in discussion on new forms of leadership for managing such networks.

Sandel said that new gigabit leadership must break out of traditional silos and engage in greater information exchange and collaboration. Less hierarchy, more inclusion and more communication, facilitate the success of gigabit services and applications, he said.

What’s Happening Now

Sandel and other panelists gave examples of how 100-plus megabit per second and gigabit-level connectivity is already providing considerable benefits to cities that have it – even where the majority of a city’s consumers do not yet have needs for those levels of service.

For example, Sandel described the success of a two-mile gigabit main street in St. Louis, Missouri. This project has attracted a number of innovative businesses to the area. He said that such projects carry several benefits to an entire city, such as enabling the use of cloud services, driving up real estate values, and creating high-value jobs. In addition, the current relatively higher costs of gigabit service in communities can be partially offset by institutional and industrial uses.

Similarly, Sheldon Grizzle, founder and co-director of the Chattanooga-based GIGTANK, a technology start-up accelerator, said that the implementation of gigabit broadband by the local utility EPB has been a boon to its electrical grid. Power outages in the area have decreased by 60 percent, he said.

Grizzle says that Chattanooga, as a small city of 170,000, sees itself as a good test case for gigabit networks. Its network now provides speeds of 50 Mbps for 50,000 subscribers. It also offers or Gbps symmetrical service (i.e. 1 Gbps upload and 1 Gbps download) for $300 a month, although the number of subscribers has been fewer. He attributed the relatively low demand for the gigabit offered to the high price point.

Grizzle said that GIGTANK has been recruiting application developers from around the world to build appropriate apps for the community, as Chattanooga’s gigabit network grows beyond its infancy.

Speed Issues

Notwithstanding high-profile gigabit build-outs in recent years, nationally broadband speeds have been steadily increasing by other methods over the last several years, said Kevin McElearney, senior vice president of network engineering and technical operations for Comcast Cable.

McElearney said that, for example, Comcast has innovated on nextgen technologies every year, increasing network speeds 11 times over the last 11 years, and is now running terabit links over the backbone to allow capacity for new applications. He said that Comcast now provides up to 100 Mbps download capacity, with 70 percent of consumers electing for 25 Mbps and 30 percent for tiers higher speeds.

McElearney said that Comcast sees the increasing use of multiple devices in households as the principal driver behind the demand for higher broadband speeds for consumers.

Application Development

William Wallace, Executive Director of U.S. Ignite, a developer of gigabit-ready digital experiences and applications, spoke of an “internet of immersive experience,” suggesting an internet experience completely different from prior experiences. Users will also be creating their own experiences, he said.

Wallace further noted that customization of network features around applications will help to build in the greatest efficiencies. For example, different applications will be characterized by different speeds, security features, cloud storage locations, latencies etc.

Scott Wallsten, vice president for research and senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute, said that focus on ultra-high broadband speeds is misplaced. According to Wallsten, because internet speeds are already increasing consistently, policies focusing on speed are unnecessary. Instead, Wallsten said, greater attention should be paid to other metrics of broadband quality, such as latency and reliability.

Additionally, Wallsten stated that the government’s adoption programs should be focused on low-income inner-city non-adopters rather than rural high-speed development. He said that the Federal Communications Commission’s high cost fund portion of the Universal Service Fund has not been sufficient to pay for rural development. Instead, the best hope to help the most individuals get broadband is to focus on urban areas. Increased efficiencies in cities will offer a better chance for providers to lower costs and then expand network development in rural areas.

Sandel concluded with how education is critical for successful gigabit network development and that there should be a three-pronged approach: education for leaders as to the impacts and benefits of gigabit networks and applications across all sectors, development of clear economic development models that draw lines to revenue flows, and policies for inclusion of all populations so that everyone can participate.

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