How to Bridge the Broadband Gap: A Conversation with State Leaders

The Pew Charitable Trusts

02/11/2020 - 09:00 to 16:00

Preview new research from Pew’s broadband research initiative. The project’s forthcoming study will examine how nine states are bridging gaps in connectivity – and highlight five “promising practices” associated with effective broadband deployment.

8:00 AM – Breakfast

9:00 AM – Opening Remarks

9:15 AM – An overview of Pew's research findings
 

Kathryn de Wit, Manager, Broadband Research Initiative
Anna Read, Officer, Broadband Research Initiative
 

9:45 AM – State promising practices
States play a leading role in expanding broadband service to communities that lack it. This panel will highlight how state programs are closing gaps in broadband access through the five categories highlighted above.

Tamarah Holmes, director, Office of Broadband, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Crystal Ivey, broadband director, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Peggy Schaffer, executive director, ConnectME Authority (Maine)
Kelly Workman, program manager, West Virginia Community Advancement and Development
 

11:00 AM – Universal truths of broadband
Across states, stakeholders consistently referenced some “universal truths” as central to the success of broadband initiatives. State officials will discuss how these factors contribute to their programs.

Teresa Ferguson, director of federal broadband engagement, Colorado Broadband Office
Jaron McCallum, state broadband director, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Jeff Sural, director, Broadband Infrastructure Office, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
Stephanie Tom, deputy director, broadband and digital literacy, California Department of Technology
 

12:00 PM – Lunch (end of webcast)

1:00 PM – Working with community foundations
Community foundations and nonprofits are important partners in broadband deployment efforts. This panel will address the role of these organizations in supporting and amplifying state broadband efforts.

Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement, Blandin Foundation (Minnesota)
Peggy Schaffer, executive director, ConnectME Authority (Maine)
 

1:45 PM – Incorporating digital inclusion into state objectives
States are increasingly incorporating digital inclusion and adoption efforts into their broadband programs. This panel will focus on approaches to digital inclusion and adoption and why adding these elements can make broadband deployment projects more successful.

Amy Huffman, inclusion and policy manager, Broadband Infrastructure Office, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
Susan Walters, senior vice president, California Emerging Technology Fund
 

2:30 PM – Accountability, ROI, and grant reporting
Grant reporting requirements, a key part of funding programs, help states monitor awards and collect the data necessary to evaluate program performance and progress toward goals. State officials will discuss how they have structured these requirements, the data they collect, and how these data are used.

Tamarah Holmes, director, Office of Broadband, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Crystal Ivey, broadband director, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Jaron McCallum, state broadband director, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
 

3:15 PM – Policy planning, implementation, and upcoming issues
As state officials look ahead to the next phases of their programs, they will reflect on current policy, lessons learned, and priorities for the next year.

Heather Johnson, commissioner, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Rob Hinton, chair, West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council
 

4:00 PM – Closing Remarks

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. This event is open to the public until noon; please feel free to share this invitation. If you have any questions about this invitation, please reach out to Jessica Misilo.

 



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