Broadband Breakfast on January 31, 2024 – Broadband Mapping and BEAD Challenges

Tune in for the latest updates on BEAD mapping and challenge process.

Broadband Breakfast on January 31, 2024 – Broadband Mapping and BEAD Challenges

Many state broadband offices are about to begin their broadband mapping challenges under the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment grant program. This is a process for states to verify locations that are unserved (i.e., they lack access to 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) * 3 Mbps broadband), and locations that are underserved (i.e., they lack access to 100 Mbps * 20 Mbps broadband). A few advanced states have already begun, or have already completed the process. What have they learned? What “challenges” are they facing? What’s next for broadband mapping?

Lela Sibley is the Communications Manager for the Indiana Broadband Office. Born and raised in Indiana, she is passionate about serving her fellow Hoosiers. She is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington with two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science.

Gregory Conte serves as the Broadband Development Office director. He has worked at the Texas Comptroller's office since 2016, most recently serving as manager of the Data Analysis and Transparency Division. Conte, a U.S. military veteran, earned Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Affairs degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has filled key management roles at the agency in areas responsible for supporting local government transparency, economic development and health care.

Robert Osborn is director of Communications Division California Public Utilities Commission. He represents the Commission in interactions with public, stakeholder groups, and various government agencies. He also oversees the development and implementation of statewide policies, including the administration of over $3 billion for broadband deployment under the Governor's Broadband For All Initiative.

Brian Newby leads the North Dakota State Broadband Office, targeting broadband for all in North Dakota by administering more than $175 million in federal grants. Formerly served as the State Election Director at the North Dakota Secretary of State; previously was the Executive Director for U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a federal government agency, and Election Commissioner for Johnson County, the largest jurisdiction in Kansas and in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Before elections, worked as director of strategy for Sprint’s $10 billion Global Markets Group.

Jade Piros de Carvalho is director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development since June 2022. In less than a year, her successes include the award to the Kansas Department of Commerce of a $43 million grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to support an $87 million Middle Mile broadband project. Until earlier this year, she was the mayor of Hutchinson, the 11th largest city in the state, with a population of more than 40,000. She was previously the director of industry and community relations for the independent rural internet service provider Ideatek.

Roddy Flynn is executive director of Delaware Broadband Office. Prior to this role, he served as the Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Appointed by the White House, Flynn led congressional affairs for the Internet for All initiative which is tasked with implementing the $48 billion high-speed Internet expansion portions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Eric Frederick serves as the State of Michigan’s first Chief Connectivity Officer. In this role, Mr. Frederick leads the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) with the goals of achieving universal broadband access and creating a more digitally equitable state. Mr. Frederick is a state and community broadband policy and planning expert and a sought-after speaker on broadband and technology issues with experience working with local to international stakeholders to improve the access, adoption, and use of broadband.

Jessica Simmons serves as Deputy CIO and Executive Director of the Georgia Broadband Program at the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). Since joining GTA in 2021, she has facilitated over $650 million in grant awards for broadband expansion in Georgia.

Tom Reid, President, and founder of Reid Consulting Group (RCG) has nearly 40 years of experience in the technology sector. His experience is extensive, advising both public and private-industry clients on strategic planning, technology architecture, competitive bidding, and project management. For fifteen years RCG has been in the forefront of broadband expansion, building deep experience in stakeholder engagement, GIS mapping, engineering, and statistical analysis.  RCG’s rigorous, multi-source mapping methodology can identify the true extent of broadband need in any region, providing a strong basis for state and federal investment.

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.

State Broadband Offices Struggle to Involve Local Stakeholders in BEAD Challenges
Despite outreach efforts, only four counties, one native government, and two nonprofits submitted challenges to Kansas’ state mapping fabric.

Panelist resources:

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