Building Momentum for the Broadband Breakfast Club with November 18 Event

By Drew Clark

Over at BroadbandCensus.com, I’ve just posted an entry about the Broadband Breakfast Club series. In it, I note that Stan Fendley, the director of legislative and regulatory policy for Corning, Inc., has joined the roster of speakers for BroadbandCensus.com’s next big event: the Tuesday, November 18 meeting of the Broadband Breakfast Club.

With the addition of Fendley, we’ll have a wonderful (and wonderfully diverse) collection of speakers to discuss and debate “Should Government Funding Be Part of a National Broadband Plan?” In addition to Fendley, confirmed speakers include Kyle McSlarrow, CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and John Windhausen, Jr., president of Telepoly Consulting. I will moderate the discussion.

Two weeks after Election Day, this Broadband Breakfast Club meeting will consider one of the hottest topics in telecom: can and should funding for broadband work its way into a pending fiscal stimulus package?

Future meetings of the breakfast club (December 2008 through March 2009) will consider the role of broadband applications in harnessing demand, how the universal service fund will be changed by high-speed internet, the role of wireless in universal broadband, and the extent of competition in the marketplace.

The Broadband Breakfast Club meets monthly at the Old Ebbitt Grill, at 675 15th Street, NW, in Washington. (It’s right across the street from the Department of the Treasury.)

Beginning at 8 a.m., an American plus Continental breakfast is available downstairs in the Cabinet Room. This is followed by a discussion about the question at hand, which ends at 10 a.m. Except for holidays (like Veteran’s Day), we’ll meet on the second Tuesday of each month, until March 2009. The registration page for the event is http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com.

Because of the limited size of the venue, seated attendance will be reserved the first 45 individuals to register. There are no restrictions on who may register to attend. With the exception of speakers, there is a $45.00 charge (plus a modest Eventbrite fee) to attend. The events are on the record.

We kicked off this series earlier this month with a well-attended breakfast on “10 Years Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Success or Failure?

I started the Broadband Breakfast Club for the same reason that I started BroadbandCensus.com earlier this year: I believe that American consumers, policy-makers and broadband providers need better information about the issues surrounding high-speed internet access.

Today, broadband is (or could) the driver of citizen engagement, commerce, democratic participation, education, entertainment, health care and potential environmental gains through wider telecommuting. And yet basic information about where particular broadband company offers service – and at what price and at what speed – is not conveniently available in a single, public source. The free web service BroadbandCensus.com aims to change that by going directly to individual internet users for their feedback.

Our Broadband Breakfast Club series is directed more at Washington policy-makers and influencers. But again, we are seeking to broaden the discussion by allowing all to participate. The goal of this breakfast series is to bring an informed consensus – or, failing that, an informed disagreement – around key broadband policy questions.

With the dawn of a new administration – and the prospect of a systematic approach to high-speed internet issues for the first time in nearly a decade – now is the time to undertake these discussions.

Further, the breakfast events that we’re hosting now will lead up to our Spring 2009 conference, “Broadband Census for America: The New Administration.” The Spring 2009 conference – bringing together federal, state and local officials, academic researchers and other interested parties around the issue of broadband data – is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2009, here in Washington.

If you have questions or thoughts about upcoming events in the Broadband Breakfast Club series, or about the Spring 2009 conference, “Broadband Census for America: The New Administration,” or about BroadbandCensus.com in general, feel free to contact me: drew at broadbandcensus.com, or at 202-580-8196.

As with everything on BroadbandCensus.com, this blog post is under our Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License. That means you can copy, send, repost and redistribute it. Please do so! The URL for this post is http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=923, and the URL for the registration page is http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com.