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Broadband's Impact

Tuesday’s Breakfast Club: The President’s and Congress’ New Broadband Agenda

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WASHINGTON, Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 – The broadband policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com will hold its January 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club event:

“The President’s and Congress’ Broadband Agenda on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am.

Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) will keynote the event.

Panelists confirmed are:

  • Graham Dufault, Counsel, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska)
  • David Grossman, Senior Technology Policy Advisor, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California)

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), 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

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/

Keynote Speaker:

Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California)

With a demonstrated ability to get high tech legislation passed and a leader on issues affecting telecommunications and the Internet, Anna G. Eshoo has proven herself as an effective legislator for one of the most illustrious Congressional districts in the nation. Rep. Eshoo was sworn in as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 1993 after serving on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for 10 years. She has served on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee since 1995, and she is currently Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Rep. Eshoo also co-chairs the Congressional Internet Caucus, the NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus and the House Medical Technology Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the 21st Century Health Care Caucus. She has fought to preserve a free and open Internet, bring broadband to every American household, and spur investment in the new technologies that will create jobs and shape tomorrow’s economy. Her commitment to ensuring the U.S. continues to have the world’s leading high tech sector for generations to come is unwavering.

Panelists: 

Graham Dufault , Counsel, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska)

Graham Dufault serves as Counsel to Representative Lee Terry (R-NE). Rep. Terry is Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, and Member of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Previously, Dufault was an assistant director of government relations for Knowledge Universe, a for-profit educational services firm. Subsequently, he was a legislative correspondent for Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, handling issues ranging from banking and judiciary to communications and technology. Dufault holds a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, where he concentrated in communications law and clerked with the Federal Communications Commission for about ten months in the Wireless and Wireline Bureaus.

David Grossman, Senior Technology Policy Advisor, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California)

J. David Grossman serves as Senior Technology Policy Advisor to Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and one of three Members of Congress representing the Silicon Valley region of California. Previously, Grossman served as Technology Counsel to the Democratic staff of the House Small Business Committee. From 2006-2009, he worked for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Grossman began his career as a research analyst at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., a law and consulting firm specializing in telecommunications. Grossman holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from George Mason University and a BA in Political Communication from George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

Background on BroadbandBreakfast.com

 

BroadbandBreakfast.com is in its fifth year of hosting monthly breakfast forums in Washington on internet policy issues. These events are on the record, open to the public and consider a wide range of viewpoints. Our Broadband Breakfast Club meets on the third tuesday of every month (except for August and December).

Our elected official keynotes have included Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Diane Watson (D-CA), Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rick Boucher (D-VA).

Our agency and commission official keynotes have included Deputy Undersecretary for Agriculture Dallas Tonsager, Julius Genachowski, Chairman FCC; Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator; Julie Brill, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission; Anna Gomez, Deputy Assistant Secretary NTIA.

Our moderated discussion panels are comprised of leaders from a wide variety of organizations including government, industry, law firms, academia, nonprofit, journalism and many others.

Our audiences are equally diverse.

The keynote speech is followed by a moderated panel discussion in which audience participation is encouraged.

For More Information Contact:

Sylvia Syracuse

Director of Marketing and Events

BroadbandBreakfast.com

Sylvia@broadbandcensus.com

646-262-4630

Broadband's Impact

Dianne Crocker: Recession Fears Have Real Estate Market Forecasters Hitting the Reset Button

Growing fears of recession trigger pullback on previous rosy forecasts.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is Dianne Crocker, Principal Analyst for LightBox

The lyrics to “Same As It Ever Was” by the Talking Heads certainly don’t apply to how 2022 is playing out in the commercial real estate market. Two quarters of negative economic growth has put a damper on market sentiment and triggered fears that the U.S. economy is heading for a recession. By midyear, market analysts were taking a good, hard look at their rosy forecasts from the start of the New Year and redrawing the lines.

Once upon a time…

At the start of 2022, forecasters were bullishly predicting that commercial real estate investment and lending levels would be nearly as good as 2021. This was significant, considering that 2021 set new records for deal-making and lending volume as the debt and equity capital amassed during the pandemic while looking for a home in U.S. commercial real estate.

What a difference a few quarters have made. Virtually, all the predictions that started the New Year were obsolete by mid-summer. The abrupt shift in market conditions is palpable and surprised just about everyone. Now, markets are reaching an inflection point that is in sharp contrast with the strong rebound of last year.

The two I’s: Inflation and interest rates

At the core of the recent upset in market sentiment is the persistence of high inflation, which seems to be ignoring all attempts by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and bring prices down. Higher inflation is having a ripple effect throughout the economy, pushing up the costs of construction materials, energy, and consumer goods. Among the notable economic indicators showing stress at mid-year was the GDP, which fell for the second consecutive quarter, and the Consumer Price Index, which jumped 9.1% year-over-year in June – the highest increase in about four decades.

In July, the CPI fell to 8.5%, an encouraging sign that inflation was beginning to stabilize. By the latest August report from LightBox, however, hopes were dashed when the CPI showed little improvement, holding firm at a still high of 8.3%.

The market is responding to a higher cost of capital as lenders tap the brakes. As the cost of capital rises with each interest rate hike and concerns of a recession intensify, many large U.S. financial institutions are pulling back on their loan originations for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. This change in tenor is a significant shift, given that 2021 was a record-breaking year for commercial real estate lending. Many lenders have already shifted to a more defensive underwriting position as they look to mitigate risks.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, which had previously predicted that lending levels in 2022 would break the $1 trillion mark for the first time revised their forecast downward in mid-July. By year-end, the MBA now expects volume to be a significant 18% below 2021 levels—and one-third lower than the bullish forecast made in February. Now, investment activity is cooling as higher borrowing costs drive some buyers from the market.

In the investment world, transactions were down by 29% at midyear due to a thinning buyer pool as higher rates impact access to debt capital. Market volatility is causing investors, lenders, and owners to rethink strategies, reconsider assumptions, and prepare for possible disruption.

Looking ahead to year-end and 2023

The rapid and diverse shifts in the market make for an uncertain forecast and certainly a more cautious investment environment. The battle between inflation and interest rates will continue over the near term. As LightBox’s investor, lender, valuation, and environmental due diligence clients move toward the 4th quarter—typically the busiest quarter of the year–unprecedented volatility is driving them to recalibrate and reforecast given recent market developments.

Continued softness in transaction volume is likely to continue as rates and valuations establish a new equilibrium. If property prices begin to level out, there will be more pressure on buyers to consider how to improve a property to get their return on investment. The next chapter of the commercial real estate market will be defined by how long inflation sticks around, how high interest rates go, and whether the economy slips into a recession (and how deeply). The greatest areas of opportunity will be found in asset classes like office and retail that are evolving away from traditional uses and morphing to meet the needs of today’s market. Until barometers stabilize, it’s important to rethink assumptions, watch developments, and recalibrate as necessary.

Dianne Crocker is the Principal Analyst for LightBox, delivering strategic analytics, best practices in risk management, market intelligence reports, educational seminars, and customized research for stakeholders in commercial real estate deals. She is a highly respected expert on commercial real estate market trends. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to commentary@breakfast.media. The views reflected in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

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Digital Inclusion

White House Presses Outreach Initiatives for Affordable Connectivity Program

White House officials urged schools and other local institutions to engage in text-message and social media campaigns for the ACP.

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Photo of President Joe Biden, obtained from Wikimedia.

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2022 – The White House on Monday urged schools and other local institutions to engage in text-message and social media campaigns, PSAs, and other community-outreach initiatives to promote enrollment in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program among of families with school-age children.

The Affordable Connectivity Program subsidizes internet service bill for low-income households. Monthly discounts of up to $30 are available for non-tribal enrollees, $75 for applicants on qualifying tribal lands. In addition, the ACP offers enrollees a one-time discount $100 on qualifying device purchases.

To boost ACP enrollment, speakers encouraged schools to reach out directly to families. Bharat Ramanurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, said text-message campaigns drive up enrollment in government programs. A Massachusetts text-message campaign doubled ACP enrollment rates in subsequent days, said Ramanurti.

Also highlighted was the administration’s “ACP Consumer Outreach Kit,” which provides partners with resources, including fliers, posters, audio PSAs, social-media templates.

In fact, many of these tactics have proved effective in increasing ACP enrollment among telehealth patients. In addition, Microsoft and Communications Workers of America recently announced a circuit of ACP sign-up drives in that will tour several states including Michigan, New York, and North Carolina.

Political considerations as November nears…

As students go back to school and midterm elections loom, new ACP sign-ups could benefit the enrollees as well as the Democrats’ political chances.

Public officials and private experts alike recognize the value of community involvement in extending broadband connectivity and digital literacy nationwide. Marshaling community institutions – like schools – to maximize broadband access could help Biden and other Democrats overcome inflation-driven electoral headwinds in the November midterms. The White House obtained commitments from 20 providers to offer high-speed internet plans for $30 per month or less to ACP-eligible households – this means no out-of-pocket costs for recipients of ACP discounts. Free broadband coverage could bring the administration – and all Democrat candidates, by extension – back into the good graces of low-income families.

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Digital Inclusion

Federal Government Must Collect More Granular Data on Minorities to Aid in Initiatives

Discussion on the “data gap” comes as the nation tries to connect the unserved and underserved.

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Screenshot of Denice Ross, the White House's chief data scientist

WASHINGTON, August 31, 2022 – In order to serve the needs of all Americans, the federal government must gather and act on more granular data on underrepresented minority groups that have been historically overlooked in the data-gathering process, said Denice Ross, the White House’s chief data scientist.

Ross argued at an online event hosted by the Center for Data Innovation on Tuesday that many minority groups – including African Americans, Native Americans, the disabled, and the LGBT community – are disadvantaged by the “data divide,” a term which refers to disparities in the amount and quality of available data on various groups.

Ross was citing a report issued earlier this year by the Equitable Data Working Group, a task force created by President Joe Biden earlier this year, which said policymakers are often unable to perceive or ameliorate problems facing minority communities if data on those communities are unavailable or insufficiently disaggregated. Disaggregated data, the report says, is “data that can be broken down and analyzed by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, income, veteran status, age, or other key demographic variables.”

The report recommends a federal data collection strategy that safeguards privacy and facilitates analysis of “the interconnectedness of identities and experiences,” or how individuals’ various minority-group identities compound the societal disadvantages they face. The report also advocates the creation of “incentives and pathways” promoting minority representation in the data collection process.

The recommendations come as the broadband industry and federal agencies try to improve knowledge of where there are unserved and underserved areas for broadband connectivity and to take action to improve digital literacy. The Illinois Broadband Lab and other state broadband offices, for example, implement a community-up approach to data gathering. Direct community involvement provides data insights that help states deliver coverage to in-need communities, officials say. 

In the panel discussion that followed Ross’s opening remarks, experts and academics agreed that community outreach is a necessary step in closing the data divide. Dominique Harrison, director of bank Citi Ventures’ Racial Equity Design and Data Initiative, said that some in the African American community view data collection with skepticism.  

Christopher Wood, executive director of LGBT Tech, argued that the passage of a federal privacy standard is a critical step toward establishing trust in government data collection. The most recent attempt to pass a national privacy regime, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, was approved by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last month.

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