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Broadband and Democratization Hosts Broadband Breakfast Club Event ‘The Wired Home and Wireless Policy’ Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 in Washington, DC



WASHINGTON, Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 – The internet policy news and events service will hold its January 2012 Broadband Breakfast Club event

The Wired Home and Wireless Policy on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 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

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

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

The Broadband Breakfast Club schedule can be viewed at

Read our website for broadband news and event write-ups

Videos of our previous events are available at:

January 2012 Broadband Breakfast Club Event Description

Convergence in electronic devices has accelerated. Televisions, telephones and computers are all digital devices sharing content. How can the nation’s wireless policies better advance connected homes?

This provocative session will be moderated by Drew Clark, Chairman and Publisher of and feature keynote speaker Rick Kaplan, Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and top executives of major telecom groups: Grant Seiffert, President of Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), Walter J. McCormick, President & CEO of USTelecom and Fred B. Campbell, President & CEO of the Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI). Mr. Kaplan will also stay for the panel discussion.

These experts will consider the issue of broadband adoption for consumers, particularly in the home.

On the heel of the Consumer Electronics Show, part of the discussion will be about devices, from the Droids to the iPhones to the laptops to the televisions. The other part of the discussion will be about the networks — both wired and wireless — and how high-capacity networks feed an ecosystem that enables more powerful uses for a range of consumer-friendly applications.

The session aims to stitch together both the “wired home” and the “wireless policy” discussions on broadband. For example, we will consider both licensed and unlicensed radio frequencies for mobile-friendly devices, as well as high-capacity uses (e.g. health care and video conferencing), for landlines and for wireless broadband.

Keynote Speaker:

Rick Kaplan, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission

Rick Kaplan assumed his position at the FCC in June 2011. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Kaplan served as Chief Counsel to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, where he managed the Commission’s overall agenda, was responsible for policy coordination among the Bureaus and Offices, advised the Chairman on wireless, engineering and technology, and public safety issues. Before joining the Chairman’s staff, Mr. Kaplan was the Chief of Staff and Media Legal Advisor for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and served as deputy coordinator of the FCC DTV task force, where he oversaw a number of aspects of the Commission’s role in the nation’s successful transition to digital television. He practiced regulatory law and appellate litigation at Sidley Austin LLP, and served in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Kaplan began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Kaplan founded and operated a sports management and public relations agency that represented and served professional athletes and sports-related organizations.


Walter B. McCormick, Jr.
President & CEO

Walter B. McCormick, Jr., is the President & CEO of USTelecom, the nation’s premier telecommunications industry trade association, representing broadband service providers, manufacturers and suppliers in the new world of Internet-based communications and entertainment. A respected Washington veteran with more than 25 year’s experience in telecommunications, Mr. McCormick joined USTelecom in 2001 and has led the organization’s growth into one of the top trade associations in the nation’s capital. Washingtonian magazine has profiled Mr. McCormick as a trade association executive with “real clout.” The Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill, has featured Mr. McCormick as a “Hill Mover of the Month” and labeled him as a “rainmaker” – one of the “top trade association lobbyists” in Washington. He has been recognized by Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law. Prior to joining USTelecom, Mr. McCormick served as President & CEO of the American Trucking Associations. There he led a broad corporate restructuring that resulted in record dues revenues, increased stature for the industry, and significant legislative victories. His background also includes service as a member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee; as General Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation; and as a partner with Bryan Cave LLP – an international law firm of more than 500 lawyers, where he headed the practice group on Regulatory Affairs, Public Policy and Legislation. During his tenure on the professional staff of the U.S. Senate, he was recognized by Roll Call magazine as one of the 50 most influential staffers on Capitol Hill. Mr. McCormick holds degrees in journalism and law from the University of Missouri. He has studied international economics and political science at Georgetown University, and has completed the program for senior managers in government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Rockhurst University, the Federal Communications Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar and the Missouri Bar.

Grant Seiffert
Telecommunications Industry Association

As President of TIA, Grant Seiffert oversees the policy, standards, tradeshow and marketing efforts for the leading advocate in Washington, D.C., for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. TIA’s member companies represent the entire supply chain of the ICT industry; these companies manufacture products, provide services and offer applications that transmit content by video, voice and data, thereby merging communications and entertainment options. As leaders in the industry, the companies and organizations participating in TIA develop and deliver communications innovations for consumers, government users and businesses alike, while improving productivity and access to information around the world. Seiffert joined TIA in 1996 as director of government relations. His main priority was the representation of the equipment industry’s interests, particularly regarding competitive issues during implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He was promoted to vice president in 1998, directing domestic and global policy to help the association’s supplier members gain marketing opportunities around the world. In that role, he oversaw policy, including interaction with the U.S. Congress, the FCC and the Administration, as well as with international regulatory bodies and government leaders and fulfilling the senior management role for association membership and TIA tradeshows. He succeeded Matt Flanigan as president of TIA in January 2007. Prior to joining TIA, Seiffert served five years with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). Seiffert serves on the Executive Committee of Connected Nation, the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) CEO Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEP) and the Board of the National Science & Technology Education Partnership (NSTEP). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Radford University.

Fred Campbell
President & CEO
Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI)

Fred Campbell has been President and CEO of the WCAI since August 2008. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law where he teaches spectrum law and policy. Mr. Campbell previously served as Wireless Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2006-2008. In that position he developed and implemented the 700 MHz auction, the largest and most successful auction in the history of the FCC, and many other innovative wireless broadband policies, including open platform requirements, anonymous and combinatorial bidding in spectrum auctions, a power spectral density approach to power limits, non-exclusive licensing using a contention-based protocol in the 3.65 GHz band, the classification of wireless broadband as an information service, and a revised initial spectrum aggregation screen. Prior to heading the Wireless Bureau, Mr. Campbell spent two years as Wireless Legal Advisor to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Before joining the FCC, Campbell was an attorney with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, where he advised on a broad range of legal issues associated with the provision of domestic and international telecommunications services. Campbell previously practiced commercial litigation with the law firm of Wolfe Snowden and clerked for Justice William M. Connolly of the Nebraska Supreme Court. He earned his B.A. from the State University of New York and his J.D., with high distinction, from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Additional speakers have been invited


Drew Clark
Chairman & Publisher

Drew Clark has a long-standing reputation for fairness and depth in his reporting. He worked for the National Journal Group for eight years, ran the telecommunications and media ownership project of the Center for Public Integrity, and was Assistant Director of the Information Economy Project at George Mason University. He has written widely on the politics of telecom, media and technology for a variety of publications, including the Washington Post, GigaOm, Slate, and Ars Technica. Drew launched,’s parent, in January 2008 as a means of providing objective information about broadband speeds, prices, availability, reliability and competition.

For More Information Contact:

Sylvia Syracuse
Director of Marketing and Events

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.

Broadband and Democratization

Stamping out Election Falsehoods Like Playing Whack-a-Mole, Says Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger



Photo of Brad Raffensperger from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

February 5, 2021 – With election misinformation and conspiracy theories rampant in Election 2020, secretaries of state representing pivotal states swapped stories on Thursday about the howlers they faced – and what they did to try to maintain public trust in upholding election integrity.

Perhaps no one faced more pressure to act to overturn the results of his state’s presidential vote tally than Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Among the many false accusations he faced was that a Ron Raffensperger, allegedly a brother of his, works for a Chinese technology firm. While there is such a person, and that person does in fact work for the Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei, that Ron Raffensperger is not Brad Raffensperger’s brother.

At Thursday’s meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Raffensperger said again that he does not have a brother named Ron. He also expressed condolences for the real Ron Raffensperger out there.

Stamping out falsehoods is like playing a game of ‘rumor-whack-a-mole,’ said Brad Raffensperger. Once you eradicate one rumor, another just pops up. It’s as if the truth has 30,000 Twitter followers while falsehood has 80 million followers, he added.

Screenshot of the NASS webinar

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs addressed the “Sharpiegate” scandal, another fake claim concocted by Republicans. Sharpiegate was the wrong notion pushed by some that Sharpie pens distributed at polling places were handed out for voting.

But the felt-tip pen’s ink bled through the ballot, making it unreadable by a machine and thus keeping the Sharpie victim’s vote from being counted. The twist in this particular story is that only the Sharpie-marked ballots cast by Republican candidates were thrown out, somehow.

While recognizing the seriousness of this misinformation campaign, exacerbated by Eric Trump’s tweets about it, souvenir Sharpies were ordered bearing “Sharpiegate 2020” printed on them – just as a joke, said Hobbs.

Michigan had a plan in place for months on how to collect, process, and release voting results, said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. However, because its processes were so efficient, Michigan caught its critics off guard. This exposed Michigan to accusations of allegedly counting its ballots too fast in an effort to try to “fix” the election. Robocalls targeted minority majority communities, including in Detroit.

Ohio also anticipated a barrage of misinformation. As a preemptive measure, the state rolled out numerous tools and resources to inform citizens of voting processes.

Secretaries of state need to help voters build confidence knowing their voice will be heard in a fair and honest contest, and not to tear it down, said Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State. He praised Ohio’s election integrity and said it had a record low in ballot rejection, and a record high in ballot workers.

The state also tried to stop spreaders of misinformation by warning of felony charges for spreading lies.

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Broadband and Democratization

At New America Foundation Event on India, Panelists Talk of ‘Digital Colonization’ by U.S. and China



Screenshot from the webinar

October 1, 2020 – When it comes to social media, India is currently in a “two-house race” between the United States and China, explained India expert Madhulika Srikumar at New America on Wednesday.

Tiktok and Facebook have been big players in this race, each attracted to India’s large audience base.

Srikumar, an attorney formerly with the Cyber Initiative at Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, cited two statistics. First, one-third of TikTok’s users were Indian, before the app was banned in June by the Indian government. Second, if India’s Facebook audience were a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.

She explained the recent trend of Chinese and U.S. companies each investing in Indian companies.

New American CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter said in response, “When I hear you Madhu, all I can think of is digital colonization.”

Slaughter stressed that it was vital we don’t have a world where states lock down their internet and asserted that the world would be a better place if there was more competition and if companies had to be more open with their policies

“Our institutions for holding power accountable are still from the analog age,” Said Rebecca MacKinnon, founding director of New America’s Ranking Digital Rights project, adding that there’s nothing in our law that could prevent Tiktok from becoming a vehicle for hate speech.

Slaughter blamed the platforms, claiming that platforms were publishers wielding great political power who were responsible for polarization and declining trust.

She pointed to a future Biden-Harris administration, and projected that if elected, it would provide a new vision for internet policy by working with a number of other countries, including Europe, to adopt global standards for a free internet. This consortium would insist that companies abide by such rules.

When asked whether the UN could play a role, Slaughter said that it could, but it would need to have strong member support since “the current U.S. government has distain for non-US institutions.” The United Nations would have difficulty putting regulations in place with one of it’s biggest members not being supportive.

MacKinnon agreed that UN involvement would be complicated. For the past decade, there’s been a fight brewing over who sets standards for the tech community and for global technologies.

Srikumar, in turn, appealed for greater resources to flesh out what exactly an open internet means, as well as a move to divorce content from gatekeepers.

Joshua Keating, senior editor of Slate moderated the webinar.

See also “The Privacy Negotiators: The Need for U.S. Tech Companies to Mediate Agreements on Government Access to Data in India,” by Madhulika Srikumar on New America

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Broadband and Democratization

Mobile Technology Aided the Growth of Black Lives Matter, But Will Hashtag Outrage Lead to Change?



Screenshot of panelists on the Brookings Institution webinar

September 21, 2020 — In the United States, widespread public use of mobile phone cameras and social media has thrust the longstanding issue of police brutality against Black Americans into the national spotlight like never before.

Delving deeply into the subject of how digital tools have contributed to the goals of anti-brutality activists, panelists at a Brookings Institution event on September 14 detailed the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and whether the explosive growth of the hashtag #BLM might result in any institutional change.

In the summer of 2014, videos, images, and text narratives of violent encounters between police officers and unarmed Black people circulated widely through news and social media, spurring public outrage.

“A large digital archive of Tweets started in 2014, when Michael Brown was killed,” said Rashawn Ray, professor of sociology and executive director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland.

Media activism fueled by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner gave rise to Black Lives Matter, or #BLM, a loosely-coordinated, nationwide movement dedicated to ending police brutality, which uses online media extensively.

The panelists referenced the “Beyond the Hashtag” report authored by Meredith Clark, assistant professor at the University of Virginia, analyzes the movement’s rise on Twitter.

“Mobile technology became an agent of change,” said Mignon Clyburn, former commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, referring to the 2007 introduction of the iPhone as a turning point in the way individuals utilize devices. “Devices became smaller, less expensive, and more ubiquitous,” said Clyburn, “we are now seeing a global, mobile revolution.”

Increased accessibility to mobile devices and social media cracked open doors previously kept tightly shut by pro-corporate, pro-government gatekeepers of the media, which spread anti-Black ideologies. Mobile devices initiated a leveling of the media playing field, allowing for marginalized groups to intervene in dialogues.

“Black Americans have the opportunity to share distinctively what is happening to us,” said Nicol Turner Lee, senior fellow in governance studies and the director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institute.

“These videos show our humanity, and how it is destroyed and undermined,” added Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

While videos taken to report instances of police brutality are critical resources, they come with significant consequences for those filming and viewing them.

In order to record an instance of police, an individual has to be courageous, as many citizen journalists attempting to capture an act of police brutality, end up a subject of cruelty.

“You have the right to record protected under First Amendment,” Clarke informed, urging that officers be trained on respecting citizens First Amendment rights to film.

While recording instances of police brutality is distressing in itself, sharing the video online, although necessary, amplifies the video’s power to traumatize indefinitely. “There will no doubt be a generation of children that will be traumatized,” by repeatedly seeing images of Black Americans brutalized by the police, said Lee.

Clarke urged individuals who decide to share content, to do so with a trigger warning.

While digital tools have enabled video evidence of brutality to be caught, amass widespread attention, and cause public outrage, as of yet, it has not translated into real-life justice for Black individuals. Difficulty to bring prosecution against excessively violent officers remains.

Clarke noted that police union contracts are barriers to reform. “The terms of collective bargaining agreements allow officers to see video evidence before reporting on how the events transpired,” detailed Clarke.

Ray called for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 7120, introduced by Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, which he said was currently ‘collecting dust’ in the Senate.

The bill would establish new requirements for law enforcement officers and agencies, necessitating them to report data on use-of-force incidents, obtain training on implicit bias and racial profiling, and wear body cameras.

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