National Broadband Plan Workshop on E-Gov (see summary)

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Event Details

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Date: Aug 6 2009 - 9:30am - 12:00pm

National Broadband Plan Workshop on E-Gov and Civic Engagement

E-Gov Wordle
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Federal Communications Commission
August 6, 2009

Andrew Nesi
[email protected]
(202) 418-3601

The goal of this workshop is to evaluate how broadband can improve the performance of government specifically in terms of transparency and citizen participation and more generally in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The workshop will consider various ways all levels of government, as well as governments in other countries, have used broadband to improve its performance in these ways and how those lessons might apply for purposes of developing the national broadband plan. The workshop will also consider the potential benefits of universal broadband in enabling various government operations to move to a digital platform in terms of improved performance, cost savings, and strategic benefits to the communications infrastructure.

Topics (Preliminary)
The following are some of the preliminary topics that will be covered at this workshop. The FCC is inviting suggestions.

  • Key new technologies for government operations
  • How government operations could change if there were universal broadband
  • How can access to broadband amplify the goals of open and accessible government (increasing public awareness and participation in government)?
  • What are new uses of broadband that would further open government and civic participation?
  • How do new media, including social networking tools, advance civic participation, and are there limitations or concerns associated with such use?
  • How can broadband infrastructure and services improve citizen access to local and national news, information, dialogue with government and other citizens, transactional efficiency, and participation in governance?
  • Does access to broadband increase the ability of the average citizen to make her voice heard by the government and other citizens, and if so, how can this be advanced?
  • What are the benefits of video streaming or video conferencing of government meetings to enable participation by those who cannot attend a meeting in person (because of distance, cost, disability, illness, and the like)
  • Are there other applications of broadband technology that can improve civic participation and how can they be encouraged?


9:30 am Opening by FCC Chairman Genachowski

9:35 am Workshop Introduction, Eugene Huang, Moderator

9:40 am Panel 1: A View from Government (45 minutes: 10 minutes from each panelist followed by 15 minutes for questions from the FCC moderating panel)

Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer
Vivek Kundra provided insight into how his IT Dashboard and Apps for Democracy increased civic participation and made the government more efficient. He discussed how government investments in cloud computing and telepresence might result in improved performance while accelerating American broadband leadership.
View prepared presentation

Graham Richard, Former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana
Graham Richard shared ideas about Fort Wayne Wired and Inspired to Gain and Retain Jobs. He talked about local high speed broadband applications in public safety, healthcare, energy and education.
View prepared presentation

Beth Noveck, Federal Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government
Beth Noveck discussed new opportunities for governments to engage citizens through broadband and emerging technologies, including through the use of collaboration platforms.
View prepared presentation

10:25 am Open Q&A Period (15 minutes)

10:40 am Break
10:45 am Panel 2: A View from the Non-Profit Sector (45 minutes: 5 minutes for each panelist followed by 20 minutes for questions from the FCC moderating panel)

Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Norm Ornstein presented on civic engagement, the public square and campaign finance reform -- all in the context of the critical importance of universal access to broadband.

Andrew Rasiej, Personal Democracy Forum
Andrew Rasiej discussed innovative uses of broadband that enhance democracy.

Ellen Goodman, Rutgers School of Law
Ellen Goodman covered the role of public media in information creation, curation and connection, providing examples of current projects that engage and empower citizens and potential advances that could more powerfully connect people to information.
View prepared presentation

John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation
John Wonderlich presented on technology's potential to redefine how we interact, and government's opportunity to help redefine citizenship - to live up to President Obama's vision for a technologically empowered society, by creating a more transparent, connected democracy.

Beth White, Chicago 2016
Beth White presented on Chicago 2016's efforts to communicate their objectives via their website and other new media, how they have reached out to the community on a variety of issues, and their plans for communication of jobs, policies, and other information going forward.
View prepared presentation

11:35 am Open Q&A Period (15 minutes)

11:50 am Closing Statements/Adjournment

...and may we suggest:

Reinvigorating Democracy and Government from Benton's Action Plan for America

What some groups have already said about broadband and electronic government

Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
Field hearings on the proposed National Broadband Plan will enable the FCC to hear directly from those most in need of universal, competitive, affordable and accessible broadband service. At the hearings, the Commission can develop an exemplary record through the testimony of local witnesses. MMTC proposed that the Commission conduct fifteen hearings during the summer and fall of 2009. Ideally each of the commissioners would attend each hearing. These hearings would afford the Commission an opportunity to explore the transformative power of broadband to unleash new waves of innovation, to create jobs and economic growth, to improve national competitiveness, and to create new tools for:

  • Telemedicine, to deliver efficient, affordable, and personalized healthcare to all Americans, wherever they may be;
  • E-Learning, to provide high-quality education to the underserved;
  • Telepresence or Telework, to provide reduced energy costs and consumption, and to create new global job opportunities;
  • E-Government, to create and engage in civic participation and democracy;
  • E-Commerce, to allow all communities, especially minority business enterprises ("MBEs"), to participate more fully in the global economy; and
  • E-Service, to offer opportunities for citizens from communities of color to provide volunteer service to seniors, adults and youth.

Delta Regional Authority
There are seven recommendations having to do with applications plus a recommendation on implementations. These recommendations are designed to achieve the three IDelta goals defined in Volume I: improve education, enhance entrepreneurship, and improve healthcare.

E-Government: All communities will have Internet home pages that will provide information and services to their citizens, as well as the public outside the communities.


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