The clock is ticking on the Affordable Connectivity Program, a government’s internet subsidy that has made its way to numerous legislative discussions in recent years. Despite the program’s widespread importance, its future remains uncertain, with funding expected to dry up by early 2024. As ACP’s two-year anniversary is drawing close, let’s reflect on its achievements and impacts thus far, along with some insights into potential scenarios for the coming year. Join us for an engaging discussion on where the Affordable Connectivity Program goes from here.
- Lauren Gaydos, Director, Glen Echo Group
- Ryan Johnston, Senior Policy Counsel, Next Century Cities
- Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund
- Christine Parker, Senior GIS Analyst, Community Broadband Networks Project, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast
Lauren Gaydos is a director at the Glen Echo Group, a public affairs firm specializing in tech and broadband issues. Lauren works with a diverse range of organizations committed to bridging the digital divide, translating the complex broadband landscape into understandable stories for policymakers, industry, the media and beyond. Before joining the Glen Echo Group, Lauren worked for NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and spent several years on Capitol Hill.
Ryan Johnston is responsible for NCC’s federal policy portfolio, building and maintaining relationships with Federal Commissions Commission officials, members of Congress and staff, and public interest allies. Working with various federal agencies, Ryan submits filings on behalf of NCC members on technology and telecommunications related issues that impact the digital divide such as broadband data mapping, benchmark speeds, broadband accessibility and adoption, digital equity, low-income programs, and others.
Sunne Wright McPeak is the President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a statewide non-profit foundation whose mission is to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband. With McPeak’s vision and drive, CETF has positioned California as a national leader in advancing Digital Inclusion, developing and launching groundbreaking initiatives such as the Digital Literacy Executive Order, School2Home, California Telehealth Network, and public information campaigns Get Connected!, Internet For All Now, and statewide legislation, AB414, the Digital Equity Bill of Rights.
Christine Parker is the Senior GIS Analyst on the Community Broadband Networks team at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Her work is centered around describing and illustrating Internet availability and adoption across the US. Christine holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where she spent many years studying ticks, migrating birds, and wild turkey behavior.
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.