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Broadband Breakfast on June 15, 2022 – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join conference attendees in conversation on key connectivity issues.

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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, June 15, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join a conversation with attendees at the annual Fiber Connect conference in Nashville, Tennessee:

The purpose of this special session of Broadband Breakfast Live Online is to highlight some of the concerns that have been expressed by municipalities about the notice of funding opportunity recently issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. In this special session from Fiber Connect in Nashville, panelists will analyze what the NTIA got right and where it has blind spots. Equally importantly, we will discuss what can be done next so that cities have the opportunity to expand fiber to every corner of their communities when they seek to do so.

Panelists:

  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO, the Fiber Broadband Association
  • Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Office, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Kim McKinley, Chief Marketing Officer, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Bob Knight, executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Bob Knight is a broadband industry professional and public official. He serves on the executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband and is in his seventh term as a commissioner of economic and community development for Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Gary Bolton serves as president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association — the largest trade association in the Americas dedicated to all-fiber-optic broadband. With more than three decades in the telecom industry, Bolton joined the Fiber Broadband Association as president and CEO in 2020 after serving on the association’s board as vice chairman, treasurer and vice chairs of public policy and marketing committees. Prior to taking the leadership role at the Fiber Broadband Association, he spent 11 years at ADTRAN serving as vice president of global marketing and government affairs.

Scott Menhart, the chief information technology officer for Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP), has more than 20 years of experience in technology and broadband industries. He has been actively involved with multiple fiber to the premise deployments and recently launched TCLPfiber, a full municipal community network. TCLP currently serves nearly 13,000 electric customers and is currently working to expand TCLPfiber services to these customers.

Kim McKinley helps lead UTOPIA Fiber as its Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer. In 2010, she joined the network as a member of its turnaround team, and has helped cement today’s UTOPIA Fiber as the fastest-growing, highest-rated, and most-successful Open Access network in the United States.

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.

Photo of Gaylord Opryland, home of Fiber Connect, by Ken Lund 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.

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.

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Experts Still Disagree on FCC’s New Digital Discrimination Rules

The FCC rules have drawn strong pushback from industry groups and praise from Democratic leadership.

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WASHINGTON, November 29, 2023 – Experts disagreed on Wednesday on the potential impacts of the Federal Communications Commission’s new digital discrimination rules.

The 2021 Infrastructure Act mandated that the FCC develop rules to address gaps in broadband access based on race, income level, and other characteristics, known as digital discrimination. The commission approved such rules on November 15, adopting a “disparate impact” standard for identifying digital discrimination. That means it will scrutinize practices that result in disparate broadband access for protected groups, regardless of whether that result was intended by providers.

Harold Feld, senior vice president at public interest group Public Knowledge, said at a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event that the rules would remedy the  “worst and most visible disparities” in broadband access.

“The situation where you have an ISP offering fiber in the suburbs and 25-year-old DSL in the urban core, I think that is the sort of situation that will be addressed,” he said.

The commission will have its full suite of enforcement actions available to sanction companies it finds to be in violation of the rules. Those investigations will be initiated through an informal complaint process.

Randy May, founder of the conservative Free State Foundation, said he thought the rules would result in the FCC “micromanaging” broadband providers and discouraging investment at a time when the government is making a historic effort to expand internet access.

That’s an argument that AT&T, Verizon, and multiple industry groups made to commission staff in a lobbying push throughout the rulemaking process. They said a disparate impact analysis would result in companies being sanctioned for routine business practices and disincentivize broadband deployments.

Feld said fears about the rules impacting the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, the Biden administration’s $42.5 billion broadband expansion effort, were unfounded. The rules exempt companies receiving money from BEAD or the Universal Service Fund, an FCC subsidy, under the assumption that the terms of those programs already prevent disparate deployments.

“If anything, the order has created an incentive to participate in these federal programs,” he said. “If you think you’re going to be stuck in some kind of rate proceeding, then take BEAD money and provide service to these communities.”

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, November 29, 2023 – FCC’s Digital Discrimination Order

The FCC just struck the gavel on a set of rules aimed at holding telecom companies accountable for business practices that result in digital discrimination, whether intentional or not. This decision has intensified an ongoing debate that began when the rule proposal was initially released for public comment in December 2022. Congressional Democrats, civil rights groups, and internet advocacy organizations support the Democrat-led agency, emphasizing the “disparate impact” standard of the rules to ensure universal access to broadband. On the other hand, telecom companies, trade groups, and their allies express concerns about the potential chilling effect these rules might have on broadband investment nationwide. What are the practical impacts of digital discrimination rules on broadband rollouts? Will the rules ensure equitable internet access for all Americans?

Panelists

  • Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge
  • Nicol Turner-Lee, Director of the Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution
  • Randy May, Founder and President, the Free State Foundation
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources

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 on December 6, 2023 – Space Wars: What to Expect from Satellite Broadband

SpaceX and Amazon are poised to blanket the skies with thousands more satellites.

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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, December 6, 2023 – Space Wars: What to Expect from Satellite Broadband

As satellite internet providers like SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper continue expanding, the race for space-based broadband is heating up. With the FCC approving SpaceX’s Gen2 satellite deployment and Amazon testing prototype launches, these companies are poised to blanket the skies with thousands more satellites. What are the implications of this new phase, particularly the potential for interference issues, orbital debris concerns and 5G backhaul capabilities? What about the regulatory and policy questions surrounding mega-constellations and space commercialization? Will satellite broadband address the current digital divide, potentially on a global scale? Join the discussion for informed perspectives on the path forward amid the space broadband boom.

Panelists

  • Panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

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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One Year After ChatGPT, Washington Still Working Out its Relationship to AI: Experts

The recent drama at OpenAI reflects the ongoing debate on AI development, panelists said.

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Photo of the panel Wednesday.

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2023 – One year after ChatGPT drew attention to large language models and artificial intelligence, there is still uncertainty on the regulatory approach Washington will ultimately take on AI, experts said on Wednesday.

Sam Altman, CEO of the company behind ChatGPT, was fired on Friday before rejoining the company on Wednesday with a new board of directors. The now-ousted board members who forced out Altman reportedly clashed with him on the company’s safety efforts, with the board favoring slower, safer development and Altman focusing on expansion.

More than 700 OpenAI employees signed a letter threatening to quit if the board did not agree to resign.

“There was, in the backdrop, a little bit of a policy angle to this,” said Adam Thierer, a Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, on a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. “This accelerationism versus de-celerationism.”

President Joe Biden’s October executive order on AI safety includes measures aimed at both ensuring safety and spurring innovation, with directives for federal agencies to generate safety and AI identification standards as well as grants for researchers and small businesses looking to use the technology. 

“In an ideal world, they would go hand in hand,” said Camille Crittenden, co-founder of the University of California’s Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity in Tech Initiative. “Safety protections and safeguard would accelerate at a pace equal to that of technological innovations.”

But it’s not clear which side legislators on Capitol Hill might take in the future, panelists said.

Democratic lawmakers and witnesses at Congressional hearings have pushed for stronger legal guardrails and reporting requirements for companies using AI. They’re largely looking to prevent private information being used in training data and mitigate the effects of bias in language model output.

There’s reason to expand those guardrails, Crittenden said. She pointed to AI’s ability to generate pornographic images of people without their consent.

“That’s causing real social harm,” she said. “There’s very little recourse or responsibility being taken by the platforms that enable this.

Tech companies have advocated for fewer reigns on AI, citing a need to remain competitive as other nations race to develop their own large language models.

“We could undermine the engine of our success and potentially shoot ourselves in the foot as we face really stiff competition internationally,” Thierer said.

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, November 22, 2023 – AI One Year After ChatGPT

Nearly a year has passed since ChatGPT became accessible to the public, seamlessly integrating into our daily lives. It has proven invaluable for tasks ranging from brainstorming to coding and composing essays or emails, offering convenience at our fingertips. But just like any technology dealing with a vast amount of information, ChatGPT also grapples with concerns such as content biases, the potential for harmful data collection, and the spread of misinformation. Now is an opportune time to reflect on the impact of ChatGPT over the past year, which has bridged the gap between science fiction and reality. How can we strike a balance between harnessing the advantages of ChatGPT and addressing its ethical and practical challenges? What lessons have we learned from its first year, and how might these shape the future of AI-driven language models?

Panelists

  • Robert Clapperton, Associate Professor, The Creative School
  • Camille Crittenden, Executive Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute and Co-founder of the CITRIS Policy Lab and the EDGE (Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity) in Tech Initiative at the University of California
  • Adam Thierer, Senior Fellow, Technology & Innovation team, R Street Institute
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources

Robert Clapperton is an Associate Professor in Professional Communication at The Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University. He specializes in computational linguistics with an emphasis on the critical application of natural language processing understanding in education. Robert is co-founder of Ametros Learning, a natural language understanding experiential learning platform. The Ametros platform is currently used by universities, corporations, and professional associations across North America.

Camille Crittenden, Ph.D., is the executive director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute and co-founder of the CITRIS Policy Lab and the EDGE (Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity) in Tech Initiative at UC. She served as chair of the California Blockchain Working Group in 2019–20 and co-chaired the Student Experience subcommittee of the University of California’s Presidential Working Group on Artificial Intelligence.

Adam Thierer is a senior fellow for the Technology & Innovation team. He works to make the world safe for innovators and entrepreneurs by pushing for a policy vision that is rooted in the idea of “permissionless innovation.” Prior to R Street, Thierer spent 12 years as a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Before the Mercatus Center, he served as the president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and has also worked for the Adam Smith Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.

Breakfast Media LLC CEO Drew Clark has led the Broadband Breakfast community since 2008. An early proponent of better broadband, better lives, he initially founded the Broadband Census crowdsourcing campaign for broadband data. As Editor and Publisher, Clark presides over the leading media company advocating for higher-capacity internet everywhere through topical, timely and intelligent coverage. Clark also served as head of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a state broadband initiative.

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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