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Video of March 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club: ‘Smart Cars, the Consumer Experience and Broadband’

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WASHINGTON, March 26, 2013 – Today’s cars are getting smarter because drivers are bringing smart phones into their cars and because autonomous-driving systems are getting closer and closer to market availability. Indeed, the accelerating use of the smart phone has dramatically brought the issue of auto safety to the forefront, panelists attending the March Broadband Breakfast Club said on Tuesday.

Drivers want to have the kind of connectivity accessible via their smart-phone, but adapted to an interface suitable for driving, said panelists. Recognizing that drivers have smart phones, Anupam Malhotra of Audi said that “what we are trying to do is to build interfaces in the car that make it unnecessary to reach out to your smart phone.”

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Malhotra described the “Audi Connect,” interface, which allows more than 50,000 subscribers to create a mobile hotspot within the car, conduct a Google search for destinations, and have the vehicle automatically reroute around traffic to the driver’s chosen destinations. This creates a “more complete driving experience,” said Malhotra, Senior Manager of Connected Vehicles at Audi of America.

Equally important, such a system is safer than using smart phones.

“There is an 800 times higher propensity to cross over lanes” if using a smart phone than using the automobile’s built-in interface for driving, said Malhotra. Audi’s internal safety analysis has allowed the company to realize that “as good as [smart phones] are, they require your full attention, and they are not designed to be used in the in-vehicle environment.”

Similarly, AT&T studies have found that drivers are 23 times more likely to crash a vehicle while texting and driving, said Jeff Stewart, Director of Wireless Public Policy at AT&T.

The concern over safety is motivating a new breed of “smart car” innovation that enables drivers to enjoy the fruits of broadband connectivity without the distraction of the smart phone interface.

For example, on the horizon is a smart car where “not only will the driver monitor a car’s activity, but the car could monitor the person,” added Stephen Bayless, Senior Director of Telecommunications and Telematics at Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA). ‘These next phase smart cars will know a driver’s personal settings and can direct them to their favored destinations.”

Malhotra said that at Audi, what began as a simple cartoon-style image on GPS navigation systems has evolved into a “user-connected experience via the Google Earth platform.” These developments allow users to “engage with their environments.”

But Malhotra added that the connection between smart cars and broadband-connected cloud platforms remains one of the biggest challenges ahead for the smart car community. This answer came in response to a question form moderator Russell Holly, the mobile editor of Geek.com, about why a car’s in-vehicle computer system couldn’t display a smart phone view much as Apple’s AirPlay allows a television to display an iPhone’s contents.

Much of the discussion at the Broadband Breakfast Club centered around panelists’ views that strict safety regulations are required as smart cars come to fruition.

Sometimes the push will be more regulatory. AT&T’s Stewart described his company’s “it can wait” marketing campaign that is designed to discourage drivers, particularly teen drivers, from text messaging.

“We are trying to stigmatize [texting while driving] so that it is a behavior that is no longer acceptable,” said Stewart.

Catherine McCullough, Vice President of the DCI Group, said that technology has proven over and over again that it has the “ability to adapt out of its own challenges. If you have a challenge created by technology, you can almost always find its solution via technology.”

McCullough announced the pending formation of a connected car alliance in which AT&T, Intel, Verizon Communications and others will be tacking these safety and other policy issues.

Audi Connect service already suppresses text messaging, as do the services of other manufacturers but Malhotra cautioned that the effectiveness of legal and regulatory controls may be limited.

“Behavior can be managed by enforcement, but that is not going to be a 100 percent solution,” he said. “At the end of the day, there is going to have to be some innovation by the automakers, the device makers, and the carriers” to find the interfaces that give drivers the information they want without compromising safety.

The other exciting development of smart cars pertains to the concept of the autonomous vehicle.

The concept may is more advanced than many people may realize, said Bayless, with forward collision warning system, automatic system breaks, lane change assistance and adaptive cruise control systems all available and on the market now, albeit primarily for luxury-class vehicles.

Likely to be available soon, he said, are cars that negotiate traffic jams for a driver – allowing the human drivers to relax in stop-and-go-traffic, with their cars taking over the controls.

Malhotra from Audi described his company’s efforts to pioneer an automatic parking technology, which the company previewed at January’s Consumer Electronics Show is Las Vegas. “A driver pulls up to a hotel entrance, and the vehicle communicates with the garage, navigates itself to a parking spot and radios its location back to its owner’s smart phone,” he said.

“We received reactions from ‘this is exciting, I want it now’ to ‘that’s just freaky’,” said Malhotra.

The divergent responses are one reason why social acceptability may be the most important force leading to the availability of new autonomous driving features, said he and other panelists.

The Broadband Breakfast Club is Sponsored by Comcast, Google and USTelecom.

Check out our upcoming programs at http://broadbandbreakfastseries.eventbrite.com.

Our event videos can be viewed at https://broadbandbreakfast.com/category/broadband-tv/

All event are held on the third tuesday of the month (except for August and December) at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.

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Broadband Breakfast on May 18, 2022 – Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund and Broadband Infrastructure

Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund becomes all the more important with the release of NOFO for the NTIA’s BEAD program.

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See “States Should Use Treasury Department’s Broadband Funds to Compliment Infrastructure Bill,” Broadband Breakfast, May 18, 2022.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12 Noon ET – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund and Broadband Infrastructure

The release of the U.S. Commerce Department’s rules on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act heightens the importance of inter-agency coordination on broadband projects. In this special Broadband Breakfast Live Online event, Joseph Wender, director of the Treasury Department’s Capital Projects Fund will speak with Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark about the role of the Treasury Department in broadband infrastructure spending.

Panelists:

  • Joseph Wender, Director, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources

Joseph Wender currently serves as Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund.  Wender previously served for nearly 13 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as Senator Ed Markey’s Senior Policy Advisor, where he led a team covering a wide range of issues including telecommunications and infrastructure.  Wender also worked as then-Representative Markey’s Legislative Director.  Prior to working for Markey, Wender served as Counsel for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

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 for Lunch on May 11, 2022 – Elon Musk Goes to Washington

Will Twitter’s new owner change the debate about social media?

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See “Parler Policy Exec Hopes ‘Sustainable’ Free Speech Change on Twitter if Musk Buys Platform,” Broadband Breakfast, May 16, 2022

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Mr. Musk Goes to Washington: Will Twitter’s New Owner Change the Debate About Social Media?

The acquisition of social media powerhouse Twitter by Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, raises a host of issues about social media, free speech, and the power of persuasion in our digital age. Twitter already serves as the world’s de facto public square. But it hasn’t been without controversy, including the platform’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump in the wake of his tweets during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Under new management, will Twitter become more hospitable to Trump and his allies? Does Twitter have a free speech problem? How will Mr. Musk’s acquisition change the debate about social media and Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act?

Guests for this Broadband Breakfast for Lunch session:

  • Amy Peikoff, Chief Policy Officer, Parler
  • Drew Clark (host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Amy Peikoff is the Chief Policy Officer of Parler. After completing her Ph.D., she taught at universities (University of Texas, Austin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States Air Force Academy) and law schools (Chapman, Southwestern), publishing frequently cited academic articles on privacy law, as well as op-eds in leading newspapers across the country on a range of issues. Just prior to joining Parler, she founded and was President of the Center for the Legalization of Privacy, which submitted an amicus brief in United States v. Facebook in 2019.

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.

Illustration by Mohamed Hassan used with permission

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 for Lunch on June 8, 2022 — Preparing for Federal Broadband Funding with the Rural Utilities Service’s Christopher McLean

Join Acting Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chris McLean on June 8 at Broadband Breakfast for Lunch

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REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

Broadband Breakfast for Lunch will be held IN PERSON and LIVE ONLINE. To attend IN PERSON, sign up to attend through Eventbrite. Please 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.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can also join LIVE ONLINE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on Zoom.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Preparing for Federal Broadband Funding with the Rural Utilities Service’s Christopher McLean

Broadband Breakfast’s Drew Clark will host Christopher McLean, Acting Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service  for a fireside chat about broadband funding, including the ReConnect program, RUS’s long-standing mandate to improve rural telecommunications, electric and broadband infrastructure, and the way other federal programs will interact with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Guests for this Broadband Breakfast for Lunch session:

  • Christopher McLean, Acting Administrator, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service
  • Drew Clark (host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

In addition to serving as the Acting Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, Christopher McLean also serves as the Assistant Administrator for Electric Programs at the RUS. He was named to that position on January 11, 2015. This is Chris’ third time at the agency. As AAE, Chris presides over a $46 billion loan portfolio. In recent years the RUS annual lending budget has been in excess of $5 billion. The agency makes low interest loans for rural electric infrastructure, renewable energy, smart grid and energy efficiency. Prior to his return to RUS, Chris was the Acting Director of the Program Planning and Accountability Division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture. He came to OASCR in 2013 as civil rights fellow in the Policy Office. From 2010-2012, Chris served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service. Chris was in private practice from 2001-2010. He was the co-owner of e-Copernicus, a consulting firm that specialized in telecommunications, transportation and technology policy. Chris is also the former Executive Director of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition. He is also is a former RUS Administrator and former Governor of the Rural Telephone Bank. He was appointed Deputy Administrator in January 1998. In 2000, he was the first person nominated and confirmed for the position of RUS Administrator. He hails from Omaha, Nebraska. He received an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University in 1985, a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1982, and a degree in Business Administration from Creighton University in 1980.

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.

REGISTER TO ATTEND IN PERSON

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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