Rural Telecommunications Congress Members and Others Take Spotlight at Broadband Communities Summit

AUSTIN, Texas, April 4, 2014 – Next week, at the Broadband Communities Summit here in Austin, the Rural Telecommunications Congress will take center stage with a series of sessions on “The Bandwidth of the States,” “Financing Future Bandwidth,” “Digital Learning in the Classroom,” “Rural Innovation,

AUSTIN, Texas, April 4, 2014 – Next week, at the Broadband Communities Summit here in Austin, the Rural Telecommunications Congress will take center stage with a series of sessions on “The Bandwidth of the States,” “Financing Future Bandwidth,” “Digital Learning in the Classroom,” “Rural Innovation,” and — as a kicker — “Cool Things Rural Communities Are Doing With Broadband.”

At this marque event next week, I’ve been asked to lead the Rural Telecommunications Congress morning session on “The Bandwidth of the States” together with Galen Updike, immediate past president of the RTC.

Those wishing to attend the entire Broadband Communities event may do so by registering as members of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. RTC members are able to attend the event at the rate of $200, for an $895 value.

To participate, register at and use the registration code “RTC200” (no quotation marks).

As members of the RTC Board, Galen and I have planned a series of morning events that will highlight progress in broadband over the past five years.

We are coming up on the fifth year anniversary of the State Broadband Initiative program. SBI, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s State Broadband Initiative program, has played a substantial role in enhancing broadband’s contribution to economic development. Anne Neville, the program director of SBI, has agreed to give our morning keynote on the subject.

After that, we’ll move directly into the “50 States in 50 Minutes” section, in which eight spokespeople from eight regions of the country will speak about the state of broadband in the states. This will be an opportunity for rapid-fire information about each of the states.

Several of the questions that will be address in this presentation include:
•    What is the state of broadband now versus five years ago in the regions?
•    What notable infrastructure projects have occurred over the past five years in the regions?
•    What notable projects to spur broadband adoption have taken place in the regions?
•    What are the future opportunity to public-private broadband efforts in the states within the regions? Are there any impediments to such progress in the states?
•    What role will SBI entities have following December 31, 2014? Have any of the SBI entities made public their plans to continue, or to discontinue, operations?
•    What role will the public safety network FirstNet play within the regions?
•    Are there any notable private-sector Gigabit Networks under development in the regions?

Below is the formal program, also available online:

9:40 am – 11:00 am
The Bandwidth of the States: Where They Stand in 2014

Keynote Presentation:

Anne Neville – Director, State Broadband Initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information

The past five years have witnesses an explosion of broadband internet services, by providers and by the public sector. Stimulus projects including infrastructure investments, sustainable broadband programs, and state broadband initiatives have boosted awareness of the benefits of internet connectivity. Anne Neville, Director of the key federal broadband program working in collaboration with the states,will set the stage for our “50 States in 50 Minutes” presentation. She will be followed by spokesmen from eight regions to highlight the state of bandwidth in each of the 50 states.

50 States In 50 Minutes:

Where the states stand at the ending of BTOP and NTIA-SBDD. Metrics of past deployment of broadband. How the states are now poised for the future. All 50 states will be reviewed and commented on. A report will be available.

Speakers by Region:

Galen Updike – Former Chair, Rural Telecom Congress

New England:
Jason Whittet – Former Dep. Dir., Mass Broadband Institute

David Salway – Director, New York State Broadband Program Office

Piedmont South:
Jane Smith Patterson – Chair, RTC.

Deep South:
David Moore – Director, Louisiana Broadband Initiative

Mike Wilson – CostQuest Associates

Great Plains:
Eric Mills – General Counsel, Connected Nation

Frank Odasz – President, Lone Eagle Consulting

11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Envisioning a Future for Broadband Deployment

Building on “50 States in 50 Minutes,” this session will look to the future for national broadband policy leadership. Informed by the State Broadband Initiative programs, as well as both a range of local, regional and national activities, this session will bring considerable depth and expertise to the next steps for broadband deployment. We’ll survey national developments, for-profit and non-profit Gigabit Network, legislative barriers to public broadband, and ongoing opportunities for public-private partnerships.

Drew Clark – Chairman and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast Club; Former Executive Director, Broadband Illinois

Rachelle Chong –; former California PUC
Lev Gonick – CEO of One Community, Cleveland
Christopher Mitchell – Institute for Local Self Reliance
Anne Neville – Director, State Broadband Initiative, NTIA, U.S. Dept of Commerce
David Shaw – Partner, Kirton McConkie; General Counsel, UTOPIA

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