“Smart Cars, the Consumer Experience and Broadband” on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am.
Details and Registration are available at:
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 and US Telecom.
Steven Bayless, Senior Director of Telecommunications and Telematics, Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America)
Stephen Bayless is responsible for providing guidance to ITS America’s Board of Directors and senior staff on matters involving new technologies, wireless services and evolving automotive platforms, intelligent transportation infrastructure, operations and customer services. Steven previously served as staff advisor and Presidential Management Fellow in the Secretary of Transportation’s policy office at US DOT headquarters. Steven had cabinet-level lead in policy related to research and development, spectrum management and telecommunications policy. As a detailee to the White House, he assisted in formulation of several presidential directives on aerospace policy, focusing in particular on satellite navigation. He also advised the State Department and the Federal Aviation Administration in negotiations on space and aviation cooperation with the European Union, the Russian Federation and Japan. In the surface transportation domain, Bayless supported secretarial policy initiatives regarding the reorientation of federal research and development, highway safety, and transportation infrastructure finance reform. Steven holds a specialized masters degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University in International Security Studies and Business. His bachelor degree is in Economics and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.
Catherine McCullough, Vice President, DCI Group
Catherine McCullough is a government affairs consultant who works with industry-leading clients on matters before Congress and federal agencies. She is a life-long resident of the Washington, DC, area and has worked in politics and policy for over twenty years. Prior to joining DCI Group, she conceived and implemented successful lobby and public affairs strategies for clients with crucial issues in the telecommunications, tech, banking, consumer products, and healthcare industries. Ms. McCullough previously served as a Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation when it was led by Senator Hollings and later when it was led by Senator Inouye. The Commerce Committee oversees and writes laws that regulate much of U.S. industry. There she worked on the subcommittees that oversaw the consumer product, auto, tech, tourism, sports and insurance industries. Her background in data privacy issues led her to a role as a negotiator on the US SAFE WEB Act, which became law in 2006, and the Committee’s identity theft prevention bill. Also during her time with the Committee, Ms. McCullough worked on many high-profile issues including post-Katrina oil and gas pricing, steroid use by U.S. Olympic and professional athletes, the “Do Not Call” list, and the Jack Abramoff investigation. Ms. McCullough is a contributor to blogs on politics and policy such as CommLawBlog. She is an attorney and also holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science.
Anupam Malhotra, Manager Connected Vehicles, Audi of America
Anupam Malhotra is Senior Manager Connected Vehicles for Audi of America, responsible for all the operations of the Audi connect® infotainment system and services and the formulation and execution of the company’s connected-vehicle strategy with Audi AG. “Pom” Malhotra joined Audi in mid-2010 on a contract basis as a subject-matter expert, but soon it became apparent that connectivity would become a crucial part of the technology proposition for the entire brand, and his position was formalized. He joined Audi initially from his role as head of enterprise quality for location-based services for General Motors’ pioneering OnStar brand. “This is an important aspect of Audi visionary thinking as well as a recognition that our customers are very in tune with these types of services,” Malhotra said. “We very much believe, and are pursuing, the idea that what consumers do at home and at play in terms of their information and entertainment lifestyles must be accommodated and enhanced by their experience in their Audi vehicle. Infotainment will become a core differentiator among luxury brands going forward; that will be a given.” Already, Malhotra said, Audi connect has become one of the top five reasons that customers are telling dealers they want to buy an Audi. And the company has provided a number of “industry firsts” in infotainment, including the first Google Earth feed of satellite imagery to a vehicle’s navigation system, the first system to provide Wi-Fi service to as many as eight devices in the same vehicle, and the use of Google Voice Local Search to facilitate the understanding and implementation of verbal commands by the vehicle’s infotainment system.
Jeff Stewart, Director – Public Policy, Wireless, AT&T External & Legislative Affairs
Jeff Stewart is responsible for developing AT&T’s public policy positions and providing policy guidance to AT&T’s business units on issues pertaining to wireless network management, net neutrality, and new applications and services. He also provides policy support and guidance to AT&T’s Emerging Devices Organization, which connects a broad range of new devices to wireless networks, including connected cars. Jeff worked in marketing and operations roles at AT&T before joining the Public Policy organization. Prior to joining AT&T, Jeff served on active duty in the Marine Corps. He continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve, currently as the commanding officer of an artillery battery in Chattanooga, TN. Jeff has a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Chicago, and an MBA focused on technology innovation from Georgia Tech.
Russell Holly, Mobile Editor, Geek.com
Russell Holly focuses on anything with a touch screen. For the last five years, he’s focused on mobile and open source technologies as they apply to new computing environments and lifestyle integration. Russell’s coverage in the mobile field ranges from security to application development, with a strong focus on user oriented device control or BYOD situations.
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
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Background on BroadbandBreakfast.com
BroadbandBreakfast.com is in its fifth year of hosting monthly breakfast forums in Washington on broadband and related 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 the former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).
Our agency and commission official keynotes have included Deputy Undersecretary for Agriculture Dallas Tonsager, Julius Genachowski, Chairman FCC; former RUS Administrator, Jonathan Adelstein, Julie Brill, Federal Trade Commissioner; 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.
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Lack of Public Broadband Pricing Information a Cause of Digital Divide, Say Advocates
Panelists argued that lack of equitable digital access is deadly and driven by lack of competition.
September 24, 2021- Affordability, language and lack of competition are among the factors that continue to perpetuate the digital divide and related inequities, according to panelists at a Thursday event on race and broadband.
One of the panelists faulted the lack of public broadband pricing information as a root cause.
In poorer communities there’s “fewer ISPs. There’s less competition. There’s less investment in fiber,” said Herman Galperin, associate professor at the University of Southern California. “It is about income. It is about race, but what really matters is the combination of poverty and communities of color. That’s where we find the largest deficits of broadband infrastructure.”
While acknowledging that “there is an ongoing effort at the [Federal Communications Commission] to significantly improve the type of data and the granularity of the data that the ISPs will be required to report,” Galperin said that the lack of a push to make ISP pricing public will doom that effort to fail.
He also questioned why ISPs do not or are not required to report their maps of service coverage revealing areas of no or low service. “Affordability is perhaps the biggest factor in preventing low-income folks from connecting,” Galperin said.
“It’s plain bang for their buck,” said Traci Morris, executive director of the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University, referring to broadband providers reluctance to serve rural and remote areas. “It costs more money to go to [tribal lands].”
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made that digital divide clearer and more deadly. “There was no access to information for telehealth,” said Morris. “No access to information on how the virus spread.”
Galperin also raised the impact of digital gaps in access upon homeless and low-income populations. As people come in and out of homelessness, they have trouble connecting to the internet at crucial times, because – for example – a library might be closed.
Low-income populations also have “systemic” digital access issues struggling at times with paying their bills having to shut their internet off for months at a time.
Another issue facing the digital divide is linguistic. Rebecca Kauma, economic and digital inclusion program manager for the city of Long Beach, California, said that residents often speak a language other than English. But ISPs may not offer interpretation services for them to be able to communicate in their language.
Funding, though not a quick fix-all, often brings about positive change in the right hands. Long Beach received more than $1 million from the U.S. CARES Act, passed in the wake of the early pandemic last year. “One of the programs that we designed was to administer free hotspots and computing devices to those that qualify,” she said.
Some “band-aid solutions” to “systemic problems” exist but aren’t receiving the attention or initiative they deserve, said Galperin. “What advocacy organizations are doing but we need a lot more effort is helping people sign up for existing low-cost offers.” The problem, he says, is that “ISPs are not particularly eager to promote” low-cost offers.
The event “Race and Digital Inequity: The Impact on Poor Communities of Color,” was hosted by the Michelson 20MM Foundation and its partners the California Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Southern California Grantmakers.
USC, CETF Collaborate on Research for Broadband Affordability
Advisory panel includes leaders in broadband and a chief economist at the FCC.
WASHINGTON, September 22, 2021 – Researchers from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School and the California Emerging Technology Fund is partnering to recommend strategies for bringing affordable broadband to all Americans.
In a press release on Tuesday, the university’s school of communications and journalism and the CETF will be guided by an expert advisory panel, “whose members include highly respected leaders in government, academia, foundations and non-profit and consumer-focused organizations.”
Members of the advisory panel include a chief economist at the Federal Communications Commission, digital inclusion experts, broadband advisors to governors, professors and deans, and other public interest organizations.
“With the federal government and states committing billions to broadband in the near term, there is a unique window of opportunity to connect millions of low-income Americans to the infrastructure they need to thrive in the 21st century,” Hernan Galperin, a professor at the school, said in the release.
“However, we need to make sure public funds are used effectively, and that subsidies are distributed in an equitable and sustainable manner,” he added. “This research program will contribute to achieve these goals by providing evidence-based recommendations about the most cost-effective ways to make these historic investments in broadband work for all.”
The CETF and USC have collaborated before on surveys about broadband adoption. In a series of said surveys recently, the organizations found disparities along income levels, as lower-income families reported lower levels of technology adoption, despite improvement over the course of the pandemic.
The surveys also showed that access to connected devices was growing, but racial minorities are still disproportionately impacted by the digital divide.
The collaboration comes before the House is expected to vote on a massive infrastructure package that includes $65 billion for broadband. Observers and experts have noted the package’s vision for flexibility, but some are concerned about the details of how that money will be spent going forward.
Technology Policy Institute Introduces Data Index to Help Identify Connectivity-Deprived Areas
The Broadband Connectivity Index uses multiple datasets to try to get a better understanding of well- and under-connected areas in the U.S.
WASHINGTON, September 16, 2021 – The Technology Policy Institute introduced Thursday a broadband data index that it said could help policymakers study areas across the country with inadequate connectivity.
The TPI said the Broadband Connectivity Index uses multiple broadband datasets to compare overall connectivity “objectively and consistently across any geographic areas.” It said it will be adding it soon into its TPI Broadband Map.
The BCI uses a “machine learning principal components analysis” to take into account the share of households that can access fixed speeds the federal standard of 25 Megabits per second download and 3 Mbps upload and 100/25 – which is calculated based on the Federal Communications Commission’s Form 477 data with the American Community Survey – while also using download speed data from Ookla, Microsoft data for share of households with 25/3, and the share of households with a broadband subscription, which comes from the American Community Survey.
The BCI has a range of zero to 10, where zero is the worst connected and 10 is the best. It found that Falls Church, Virginia was the county with the highest score with the following characteristic: 99 percent of households have access to at least 100/25, 100 percent of households connect to Microsoft services at 25/3, the average fixed download speed is 243 Mbps in Ookla in the second quarter of this year, and 94 percent of households have a fixed internet connection.
Meanwhile, the worst-connected county is Echols County in Georgia. None of the population has access to a fixed connection of 25/3, which doesn’t include satellite connectivity, three percent connect to Microsoft’s servers at 25/3, the average download speed is 7 Mbps, and only 47 percent of households have an internet connection. It notes that service providers won $3.6 million out of the $9.2-billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to provide service in this county.
“Policymakers could use this index to identify areas that require a closer look. Perhaps any county below, say, the fifth percentile, for example, would be places to spend effort trying to understand,” the TPI said.
“We don’t claim that this index is the perfect indicator of connectivity, or even the best one we can create,” TPI added. “In some cases, it might magnify errors, particularly if multiple datasets include errors in the same area.
“We’re still fine-tuning it to reduce error to the extent possible and ensure the index truly captures useful information. Still, this preliminary exercise shows that it is possible to obtain new information on connectivity with existing datasets rather than relying only on future, extremely expensive data.”
- Lack of Public Broadband Pricing Information a Cause of Digital Divide, Say Advocates
- Christopher Ali’s New Book Dissects Failures of Rural Broadband Policy and Leadership
- Washington’s Antitrust Push Could Create ‘Chilling Effect’ on Startups, Observers Say
- Apple Blacklists Fortnite, T-Mobile Expands Home Internet, Ajit Pai Reflects on Virginia’s Broadband Leadership
- Topic 4 at Digital Infrastructure Investment 2021: The Future of Shared Infrastructure
- Tread Carefully on Tech Platform Data Portability, Conference Hears
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