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Broadband's Impact

Photographs and Biographies for ‘GigUtah: How Fiber Networks Are Transforming Salt Lake City, Provo and Utah’

Speakers for the Utah Breakfast Club and Broadband Breakfast Club Event 'GigUtah' Speakers for the Utah Breakfast Club and Broadband Breakfast Club Event ‘GigUtah’

From left to right, top to bottom: Devin Baer, Brock Johansen, Paul Cutler, Justin Jones, Nole Walkinshaw, David Shaw



Speakers for the Utah Breakfast Club and Broadband Breakfast Club Event 'GigUtah'

From left to right, top to bottom: Devin Baer, Brock Johansen, Paul Cutler, Justin Jones, Nole Walkinshaw, David Shaw

SALT LAKE CITY, April 23, 2015 – Here are the brief bios for the panelists for GigUtah: How Fiber Networks are Transforming Salt Lake City, Provo and Utah,” which will WEBCAST live on Friday, April 24, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT, Noon MT, and 11 a.m. PT from the Utah State Capitol Complex. For information and to register, please visit, or register below:

Devin Baer currently oversees business operations for Google Fiber in Provo and expansion into Salt Lake. Prior to Fiber, he worked at Google’s headquarters in California, leading sales for other Google products. Devin and his wife Brittni have two children, ages 4 and 1.

Brock Johansen is the General Manager and CEO of Emery Telcom in Orangeville, Utah.  He is charged with planning, coordinating and controlling the company’s day-to-day business activities, developing and sustaining organization structure, and management of the company’s subsidiaries.  Johansen represents the company’s interest in political and regulatory issues, on both state and federal levels. Emery Telcom provides landlines, fiber back haul, cable television, Internet,  computers and electronics. Emery Telcom is deploying fiber-to-the-home in Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan counties, and Johansen oversees these activities. Johansen is a graduate of J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.

Paul Cutler was elected Mayor of Centerville in November 2013, having previously served 8 years on the City Council.  Centerville has been a member of UTOPIA since 2003.  Approximately 27% of Centerville homes & businesses currently have a fiber connection from UTOPIA.  Professionally, Paul has a BSEE, MBA, and has worked in the Wireless Communications/Network industry for the past 18 years.

Justin Jones is Vice President of Public Policy, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, which stands as the voice of business, which supports its members’ successes, and which champions community prosperity.

Nole Walkingshaw is the Manger of Institutional Engagement for Salt Lake City. He is one of the project managers for Salt Lake City’s effort in bringing Google Fiber to Salt Lake City. Additionally, Nole is working on the White House Tech Hire Initiative and Salt Lake City’s Digital Inclusion Strategy. As a volunteer he is the Co-Captain of the Salt Lake area Code for America Brigade Open Salt Lake. He is also working closely with the State of Utah’s IT group on the new Open Data Portal at

David Shaw is Chair of Government & Utilities industry section of Kirton McConkie in Salt Lake City. His practice specializes in information technology, telecommunications, public utilities, and contract drafting and negotiations. Mr. Shaw has extensive experience in all aspects of representing municipalities and governmental agencies, including the use of complex governmental finance mechanisms to launch innovative projects, having served as issuer’s counsel in various municipal bond transactions. He is a recipient of the “Star Award” from the FTTH (Fiber-to-the-Home) Council and was named a 2009 Mountain States Rising Star.

Moderator (not pictured here):

Drew Clark is Of Counsel at  Kirton McConkie, which enhances clients’ ability to construct and operate high-speed broadband networks in public-private partnerships.  He is also the founder of the Utah Breakfast Club and the Broadband Breakfast Club, which tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband usage, and universal service. He brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband: Job creation, telemedicine, online learning, public safety, energy, transportation and eGovernment. In April 2015, Clark was elected President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress, a national non-profit organization devoted to ensuring a strong future for rural America.


Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband's Impact

House Bill to Make Broadband Grants Non-Taxable Introduced

Sen. Mark Warner said last month he is working to pass a companion bill by year’s end.



Photo of Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn.

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2022 – Reps. Mike Kelly, R-Penn., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Ca., on Wednesday introduced the Broadband Grant Tax Treatment Act, the companion of a Senate bill of the same name, which would make non-taxable broadband funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.

The bill’s supporters say it will increase the impact of Washington’s broadband-funding initiatives, the largest of which is the IIJA’s $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program. The IIJA allocated a total of $65 billion toward broadband-related projects.

Kelly said the proposal “ensures federal grant dollars, especially those made available to local governments through pandemic relief funding, will give constituents the best return on their investment.”

“This legislation allows for existing grant funding to be spent as effectively as possible,” Kelly added.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., sponsored Senate’s version of the bill in September and said last month he is working to push it through by year’s end.

“Representative Panetta’s and Kelly’s bill to eliminate the counter-productive tax on broadband grants is right on the money,” said Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of trade group US Telecom. “Closing the digital divide in America – especially in our hardest-to-reach rural communities – will require every cent of the $65 billion Congress has dedicated for that critical purpose.”

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Digital Inclusion

Broadband is Affordable for Middle Class, NCTA Claims

According to analysis, the middle class spends on average $69 per month on internet service.



Photo of Rick Cimerman, vice president of external and state affairs at NCTA

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2022 – Even as policymakers push initiatives to make broadband less expensive, primarily for low-income Americans, broadband is already generally affordable for the middle class, argued Rick Cimerman, vice president of external and state affairs at industry group NCTA, the internet and television association. 

Availability of broadband is not enough, many politicians and experts argue, if other barriers – e.g., price – prevent widespread adoption. Much focus has been directed toward boosting adoption among low-income Americans through subsidies like the Affordable Connectivity Program, but legally, middle-class adoption must also be considered. In its notice of funding opportunity for the $42.5-billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration required each state to submit a “middle-class affordability plan.”

During a webinar held earlier this month, Cimerman, who works for an organization that represents cable operators, defined the middle class as those who earn $45,300–$76,200, basing these boundaries on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for 2020. And based on the text of an Federal Communications Commission action from 2016, he set the threshold of affordability for broadband service at two percent of monthly household income.

According to his analysis, the middle class, thus defined, spends on average $69 per month on internet service. $69 is about 1.8 percent of monthly income for those at the bottom of Cimerman’s middle class and about 1.1 percent of monthly income for those at the top. Both figures fall within the 2-percent standard, and Cimerman stated that lower earners tended to spend slightly less on internet than the $69-per-month average.

Citing US Telecom’s analysis of the FCC’s Urban Rate Survey, Cimerman presented data that show internet prices dropped substantially from 2015 to 2021 – decreasing about 23 percent, 26 percent, and 39 percent for “entry-level,” “most popular” and “highest-speed” residential plans, respectively. And despite recent price hikes on products such as gas, food, and vehicles, Cimerman said, broadband prices had shrunk 0.1 percent year-over-year as of September 2022.

Widespread adoption is important from a financial as well as an equity perspective, experts say. Speaking at the AnchorNets 2022 conference, Matt Kalmus, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group, argued that providers rely on high subscription rates to generate badly needed network revenues.

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Broadband's Impact

Federal Communications Commission Mandates Broadband ‘Nutrition’ Labels

The FCC also mandated that internet service provider labels be machine-readable.



Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday afternoon ordered internet providers to display broadband “nutrition” labels at points of sale that include internet plans’ performance metrics, monthly rates, and other information that may inform consumers’ purchasing decisions.

The agency released the requirement less than 24 hours before it released the first draft of its updated broadband map.

The FCC mandated that labels be machine-readable, which is designed to facilitate third-party data-gathering and analysis. The commission also requires that the labels to be made available in customers’ online portals with the provide the and “accessible” to non-English speakers.

In addition to the broadband speeds promised by the providers, the new labels must also display typical latency, time-of-purchase fees, discount information, data limits, and provider-contact information.

“Broadband is an essential service, for everyone, everywhere. Because of this, consumers need to know what they are paying for, and how it compares with other service offerings,”  FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. 

“For over 25 years, consumers have enjoyed the convenience of nutrition labels on food products.  We’re now requiring internet service providers to display broadband labels for both wireless and wired services.  Consumers deserve to get accurate information about price, speed, data allowances, and other terms of service up front.”

Industry players robustly debated the proper parameters for broadband labels in a flurry of filings with the FCC. Free Press, an advocacy group, argued for machine-readable labels and accommodations for non-English speakers, measures which were largely opposed by trade groups. Free Press also advocated a requirement that labels to be included on monthly internet bills, without which the FCC “risks merely replicating the status quo wherein consumers must navigate fine print, poorly designed websites, and byzantine hyperlinks,” group wrote.

“The failure to require the label’s display on a customer’s monthly bill is a disappointing concession to monopolist ISPs like AT&T and Comcast and a big loss for consumers,” Joshua Stager, policy director of Free Press, said Friday.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association clashed with Free Press in its FCC filing and supported the point-of-sale requirement.

“WISPA welcomes today’s release of the FCC’s new broadband label,” said Vice President of Policy Louis Peraertz. “It will help consumers better understand their internet access purchases, enabling them to quickly see ‘under the hood,’ and allow for an effective apples-to-apples comparison tool when shopping for services in the marketplace.”

Image of the FCC’s sample broadband nutrition label

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