Next Breakfast Club: The Role of Wireless Frequencies in Widespread Broadband Deployment

[], January 28, 2009 – With broadband-related funding a key part of discussion about the fiscal stimulus legislation currently being considered in Congress, four top officials from companies with

Representatives of Verizon Communications, Motorola, M2Z Networks and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Kneuer to Headline February 10 Broadband Breakfast Club

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NEW! February 2, 2009 – Tom DeRiggi, of Rapid DSL & Wireless, a wireless internet service provider, has also joined the panel discussion.

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2009 – With broadband-related funding a key part of discussion about the fiscal stimulus legislation currently being considered in Congress, five top officials from companies with an interest in the wireless space will assemble at the Broadband Breakfast Club on February 10 to discuss the role that electromagnetic frequencies can play in forging universal broadband deployment.

The speakers at the breakfast, at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on February 10, 2009, will be:

  • Donald C. Brittingham, Assistant Vice President, Wireless/Spectrum Policy, Verizon Communications
  • Tom DeRiggi, Rapid DSL & Wireless (a local wireless internet service provider)
  • John Kneuer, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2006-2007; John Kneuer Associates
  • John Muleta, CEO, M2Z Networks
  • Steve B. Sharkey, Senior Director, Regulatory and Spectrum Policy, Motorola

Telecommunications policy advocates, attorneys, policy-makers and journalists seeking to obtain insights from top officials in Washington can attend the Broadband Breakfast Club, which includes a full American and Continental breakfast, for as little as $45.00, plus a modest registration fee. The events are on the record and open to the public. Register here for the next breakfast event.

For individuals outside of Washington, or whose schedule doesn’t permit attendance in person, archived webcasts of the Broadband Breakfast Club are now available on the channel on TV Mainstream. One full year of online access to each premium webcast is available for $40.00.

Individuals who register to attend the Broadband Breakfast Club will also receive a full year of complementary online access to the webcast.

Using the airwaves to transmit internet-based communications can offer a less expensive way to provide universal broadband. Still, policy-makers frequently find a trade-off between ubiquitity and mobility on the one hand, versus the speed and stability of some wire-based connections.

Of the $6 billion in the House Appropriations Committee version of the fiscal stimulus legislation, $1 billion would be allocated exclusively for wireless broadband: 75 percent going to providers of “advanced wireless broadband service” – defined as 3 Megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads – in underserved areas. The remaining 25 percent would go to entities providing wireless voice services in unserved areas.

The 3 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload threshold contrasts with a funding requirement that recipients from a $1.85 billion pool of wire-based grants offer broadband at speeds of 45 Mbps for downloads, and 15 Mbps for uploads, in underserved ares.

The Broadband Breakfast Club event on February 10, 2009, will be moderated by Drew Clark, Editor and Executive Director of

Clark is a veteran telecom and technology journalist, and he founded in January 2008 as a means of providing the public with a free and objective resource of the wired and wireless local broadband carriers, grouped by ZIP code, by speed, by competition and by consumer satisfaction.

Besides the role of wireless in the fiscal stimulus package, other issues to be considered at the breakfast will be: a potential delay in the transition to digital television, from February 17, 2009, to June 2009; the status of the 700 Megahertz spectrum band; the role of advanced public safety networks; how the “white spaces” between television channels may promote greater broadband access; and the process and method for FCC allocation of other radio frequencies.

Beginning at 8 a.m., an American plus Continental breakfast is available downstairs in the Cabinet Room. This is followed by a discussion, beginning shortly after 8:30 a.m. and ending just before 10 a.m. The breakfast club  meets on the second Tuesday of each month until March 2009. The registration page for the event is

The November meeting, “Should Government Funding Be Part of a National Broadband Plan?” featured a discussion with Stan Fendley of Corning, Kyle McSlarrow of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and telecommunications consultant John Windhausen, Jr.

The December meeting, “How Applications and Broadband Mapping Harness Demand for High-Speed Internet,” included Geoff Daily, a blogger for; Susan Fox, a vice president at Walt Disney; Neal Neuberger, executive director of the Institute for e-Health Policy; and Alan Shark, executive director of the Public Technology Institute. Click here for access to this webcast.

The January meeting, “What Will Broadband Do to the Universal Service Fund,” included Jay Driscoll of CTIA – The Wireless Association; Gregory Rohde, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton and executive director of the the E-9-1-1 Institute; Jennifer Schneider, Office of Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Technology and the Internet; and Curt Stamp of the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance. Click here for access to this webcast.

The meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, will be on “Broadband Competition: Do We Have It, and How Do We Get More of It?” and will feature James Baller, president of Baller Herbst Law Group; Art Brodsky, communication director of Public Knowledge; Scott Wallsten, vice president for research and senior fellow, Technology Policy Institute; and others.

Registration for future breakfasts is available at

Because of the limited size of the venue, seated attendance will be reserved the first 45 individuals to register.

Webcasts of the Broadband Breakfast Club Produced in Partnership with:

TV Mainstream

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by CTIA – The Wireless Association, and the Benton Foundation.

For further information, or to become a sponsor of the Broadband Breakfast Club, please contact: drew at, or call 202-580-8196.


The Broadband Breakfast Club is hosted by, which provides free information and news about local broadband speeds, prices, availability, reliability and competition. As with, the Broadband Breakfast Club seeks to light on key issues in broadband technology and internet policy through public disclosure and discussion. uses “crowdsourcing” to allow internet users to share information about their internet experiences. Take the Broadband Census today at

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