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Broadband Breakfast on August 24, 2022 – Summer of Broadband: Illinois

On August 24, Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark will return to the Land of Lincoln.

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See Illinois Credits Success of State Broadband Maps to Ground-Up Approach, Broadband Breakfast, August 25, 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, August 24, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Summer of Broadband: Illinois

State broadband offices will play a critical role in the rollout of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. In the months of July and August, Broadband Breakfast will take the pulse of broadband efforts at the state level in visits to about half-dozen states across the country. On August 24, Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark will return to the Land of Lincoln to talk with those now responsible for running the Illinois Office of Broadband in preparation for IIJA’s BEAD program.

Panelists:

  • Matt Schmit, Director, Illinois Office of Broadband
  • Shubhika Agarwal, Broadband Mapping and Data Coordinator, Illinois Broadband Lab
  • Adrienne Pickett, Curriculum Coordinator for Digital Equity & Inclusion, Illinois Broadband Lab
  • Robbie McBeath, Program and Communications Coordinator for the Illinois Broadband Lab & Outreach Manager with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Matt Schmit currently serves as Director of the Illinois Office of Broadband, where integration of 21st century infrastructure and service delivery is a primary focus of his work and research. He previously held office as a senator in his home state of Minnesota, and has served on many legislative boards on broadband deployment, transportation policy & investment, and community & economic development. In addition, Mr. Schmit has served on the Cook County Council on Digital Equity (CODE), the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) board, the Blandin Broadband Strategies board, the St John’s University Board of Regents, and the Legislative Water Commission; represented Minnesota on the National Conference of State Legislators Nuclear Energy Work Group and Commerce Committee; and was an active member of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and State Ag and Rural Leaders.

Shubhika Agarwal has a background in Urban Planning and assists in Illinois’ Digital Equity Grant Programs—Illinois Connected Communities and the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program. She helps build capacity around broadband planning by sharing state and federal broadband access and adoption mapping and data resources; and supports broadband planning efforts by analyzing actual broadband speeds, usage, and satisfaction levels through broadband surveys. She is also working with the state’s mapping partners to create more accurate broadband maps and data layers to position Illinois to utilize federal funding most effectively for broadband deployment in unserved and underserved locations across the state.

Adrienne Pickett, Ph.D. (she/her) joined the Illinois Broadband Lab in June 2022 as a coordinator of programming and curriculum. She serves as the program manager of the Illinois Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption & Digital Equity (READY) program and has developed curricular materials on digital equity and community engagement planning. In this role, she works closely with state digital equity grant recipients to analyze demographic data, identify community assets, connect with community anchor institutions, and promote broadband adoption. In addition, she conducts the onboarding of new Illinois Extension and American Connection Corps broadband fellows. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her broadband equity work, she serves as an online lecturer in Education Leadership for educators working full-time.

Robbie McBeath recently joined the Illinois Broadband Lab where he will be leading the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program and continuing to publish the Illinois Broadband Connections bi-weekly newsletter. He also currently serves as Outreach Manager for the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, overseeing the marketing and outreach for Benton’s publications and managing the organization’s social media presence. Before joining the Benton Institue in 2014, he interned at the FCC and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Open Media Foundation in Denver, CO. He graduated in 2013 from the University of Illinois with a degree in Media Studies.

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 on September 28, 2022 – Financing Mechanisms for Community Broadband

Community Connectivity Providers present a new paradigm for thinking about digital infrastructure investment for community networks.

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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, September 28, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Financing Mechanisms for Community Broadband

In the world of digital infrastructure financing, it often seems like there’s a “Private Sector is from Mars” and “Non-profits are from Venus” attitude. The conversations have been segmented and distinct. But a new approach suggests change is underway. A report by Connectivity Capital, in association with the Association for Progressive Communication, Internet Society, and Connect Humanity, provides a new paradigm: Community Connectivity Providers. What are they and why are they important? What are the various operational models and examples? What financial mechanisms have been used and how are investors allocating capital to expand broadband access? Join us for a Broadband Breakfast Live Online discussion exploring this new convergence of financing and broadband.

Panelists:

  • Ben Matranga, Managing Partner, Connectivity Capital
  • Steve Song, Telecommunications Consultant & Policy Advisor, Mozilla
  • Jim Forster, General Partner, Connectivity Capital
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Ben Matranga is the Managing Partner at Connectivity Capital, the world’s first impact investment firm focused exclusively on expanding broadband access in emerging markets. Connectivity Capital manages over a dozen investments in digital infrastructure including ISPs operating in 16 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Ben has over fifteen years of experience leading private equity and venture capital investments in emerging markets. Ben previously was an Investment Officer with the Soros Economic Development Fund, a $350 million impact investment fund founded by George Soros, where he led a broad range of transactions co-investing with sovereign governments, Development Finance Institutions, and institutional investment funds.

Steve Song is a Policy Advisor with the Mozilla Corporation; a consultant on access regulation and policy to the Association for Progressive Communications; and a research partner with the Network Startup Resource Center. His blog, manypossibilities dot net, is a popular destination for anyone working on African telecommunications and internet issues. Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of undersea and terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. He is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactured low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service in under-serviced areas. Previously, Steve worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where he led the organization’s ICTs for Development program in Africa, funding research into the transformational potential of ICTs.

In addition to serving as General Partner at Connectivity Capital, Jim Forster serves as the Managing Director of International Network Investments. He has over 35 years of hands-on leadership and technical expertise in networking equipment and Internet infrastructure. He spent over 20 years at Cisco Systems, starting in 1988 as the very first software development Manager, and became Distinguished Engineer leading various initiatives across IOS Software Development, System Architecture, and Business Development. He is a contributing author to Wireless Networking in the Developing World, the pioneering guide to building low-cost wireless network infrastructure in the developing world.

Drew Clark (moderator) is CEO of Breakfast Media LLC, the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of the State Broadband Initiative in Illinois. Now, in light of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, attorney Clark helps fiber-based and wireless clients secure funding, identify markets, broker infrastructure and operate in the public right of way.

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 September 21, 2022 – Broadband Mapping and Data

The future of the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act depends upon the FCC’s maps.

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See “Panelists at Broadband Breakfast Event Urge the FCC Mapping Fabric Be Made Public,” Broadband Breakfast, September 22, 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, September 21, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Broadband Mapping and Data

Much hinges on the success or failure of the Federal Communications Commissions’ updated broadband maps. This fall the agency is entering into a period of intensive updating in which it is assessing an address-level “fabric” of locations and comparing internet service data received from providers. Now comes the hard part: Providing a framework for broadband users and providers to understand and challenge the FCC’s map. The future of the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act depends upon it.

Panelists:

  • Scott Wallsten, President, Technology Policy Institute
  • Bryan Darr, Vice President of Smart Communities at Ookla
  • Dustin Loup, Program Manager, Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Don’t miss the Broadband Mapping Masterclass! You can navigate the treacherous waters around broadband mapping by participating in this 2-hour Masterclass for only $99. Enroll TODAY in this LIVE Masterclass on Tuesday, September 27, at 12 Noon ET

Bryan Darr is the Vice President of Smart Communities at Ookla. He coordinates Ookla’s outreach to local, state and federal governments and serves on CTIA’s Smart Cities Business & Technology Working Group.

Scott Wallsten is President and Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute and also a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. He is an economist with expertise in industrial organization and public policy, and his research focuses on competition, regulation, telecommunications, the economics of digitization, and technology policy. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

Dustin Loup is an expert on internet governance and policy and program manager for the Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition. Much of his work centers on improving digital inclusion and establishing transparent, open-source, and openly verifiable mapping methodologies and standards.

White House photo from August 2021 by Adam Schultz

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 September 14, 2022 – How Can Cities Take Advantage of Federal Broadband Funding?

There is an increasing worry that cities may be left out of the wealth of resources for broadband infrastructure spending.

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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, September 14, 2022, 12 Noon ET – How Can Cities Take Advantage of Federal Broadband Funding?

As the nation eagerly awaits the release of updated national broadband maps from the Federal Communications Commission, there is an increasing worry that cities may be left out of the wealth of resources made available through the bipartisan infrastructure funding measure. Will the focus on “unserved” and “underserved” communities – even if broadband in cities is not affordable or reliable – impede local governments’ ability to access Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding? Join us for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online event to air cities’ concerns.

Panelists:

  • Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Office, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Brieana Reed-Harmel, Fiber Manager, Loveland Pulse
  • Andrew Butcher, President, Maine Connectivity Authority.
  • Nathan Hoople, Senior Project Manager, Ditesco Project & Construction Services
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Upcoming resources:

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.

Brieana Reed-Harmel is the Municipal Fiber Manager for Pulse, the community-driven and city-owned 100% fiber-optic broadband network in Loveland, Colorado. Brieana brings over 20 years of utility experience in engineering and leadership roles, spanning both the public and private sectors. Brieana was officially named Municipal Fiber Manager in December 2018 after leading the city through assessment and feasibility study of publicly owned broadband. In her current role she oversees all aspects of the construction and operation of Pulse, making fiber-optic internet service a reality for every home, business, and school in Loveland.

Andrew Butcher is the inaugural president of The Maine Connectivity Authority a new quasi-governmental agency serving as the primary entity charged with achieving universal access of affordable high-speed broadband in the state of Maine. By balancing investments in projects, places and people MCA is advancing digital equity for all.  Butcher has over 15 years in community and economic development, social entrepreneurship and connected infrastructure. Prior to his role at MCA he founded an internationally recognized non-profit, served as director of the Maine Broadband Coalition and helped advance numerous innovation and resilience initiatives in Maine.

Nathan Hoople is a Senior Project Manager for Ditesco. He brings over 17 years of experience in the telecommunications, construction, energy, control systems and program management industries. Prior to joining Ditesco, he was responsible for a variety of large infrastructure projects for the National Science Foundation’s United States Antarctic Program including data center design and fiber network installation. He is currently managing Ditesco’s broadband portfolio including overseeing the FTTP build for Pulse in Loveland, CO and providing support for Fort Collins Connexion, as well as feasibility and strategic planning for Larimer County and the Town of Timnath.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative in Illinois. Now, in light of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Attorney Clark helps fiber-based and wireless clients secure funding, identify markets, broker infrastructure and operate in the public right of way. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of Austin skyline from the Brookings Institution.

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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