The Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC), appointed by a Presidential Memorandum in March 2015, has called on U.S. federal agencies to “improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband.” In August 2015, the BOC generated a report, including guiding principles which agencies adopted. Agencies also committed to conduct a series of actions to fulfill the mandate of the Presidential Memorandum that created the BOC. Among these actions, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) committed to “develop a national research agenda, prototype advanced applications and improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband.”
To this end, a workshop will be held Thursday and Friday, June 16th and 17th at NSF in Arlington, VA. In line with BOC recommendations, this invitation-only workshop will have three streams of discussion: (1) advanced broadband technology, (2) programs, services and applications that drive broadband utilization, and (3) assessment of economic, social, and educational impacts (including aspects of broadband opportunity related to adoption, availability, and access).
The workshop’s outcomes will be presented in a report to the Broadband Opportunity Council, to be released in the fall of 2016. This timing will provide the potential to guide the new administration in its endeavors to support broadband deployment and use. The goal is to produce impacts by the end of the 2017-2021 term, hence Broadband 2021.
The workshop is being organized by Penn State’s Institute of Information Policy, in particular co-directors Carleen Maitland and Krishna Jayakar. Drs. Maitland and Jayakar have extensive experience researching organizational, social and policy challenges of information and communication technology (ICT) deployment, adoption and use. They are being assisted by Laura Verinder, of Verinder and Associates, Inc.
The workshop and report will be developed in collaboration with three distinguished scholars, serving as rapporteurs – Jon Peha of Carnegie Mellon (technology), Sharon Strover of UT Austin (access/use), and Johannes Bauer of Michigan State (impact).
We are also excited to announce our keynote speakers – Erica Swanson, Head of Community Impact Programs, Google Fiber (confirmed), and Calvin Johnson (invited), Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Research, Evaluation and Monitoring, HUD.