The Connected Nation Blog: October 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Connected Nation to present at 'The Broadband Expo'

Three-day event in Dallas will focus on expanding, promoting high-speed wireless Internet

In November, Oxford Expositions will host, “The Broadband Expo,” which will focus on expanding and promoting wireless high-speed Internet in rural America.

The expo and tradeshow will be held in Dallas at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center on November 1-3, 2010. The event will provide in-depth educational sessions and showcase products and services for those who want to learn about new technologies and systems to cost-effectively deliver broadband services to areas that are still not served or those that are under-served

Connected Nation’s Phillip Brown, director of Government Affairs & Advocacy, and Chip Spann, director of Engineering & Technical Services, will present at the three-day event. Specifically, Brown will be part of the panel, "Getting Your Community Ready and Started with Rural Broadband," from 3 to 4 p.m. CST on Monday, Nov 1. Spann will participate in the panel, "The In’s and Out’s of Broadband Mapping," from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m CST on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

To learn more about the event, visit

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Addressing Michigan’s Technology Challenges

Sharing perspectives for broadband development

A mixed group of public and private technology professionals came together in September to discuss the challenges and opportunities for expanding high speed Internet availability in northern Michigan.

The Michigan Public Service Commission's (MPSC) Telecommunications Director Robin Ancona and Senior Analyst Anne-Marie Clark along with Connected Nation's Stakeholder Relations Manager Cassie Ruhlman and Senior Technology Assessment Consultant Terry Holmes, were all in Traverse City to attend and present before the Telecommunications Association of Michigan ComPulse Conference.

While in the area the group had the opportunity to visit a fixed wireless operations facility in Elk Rapids, Michigan to get a sense of the regional infrastructure and an overview of current and potential broadband adopters. Members of the MPSC and Connect Michigan were able to provide insight about their respective organizational roles and perspectives on the future of telecommunications. Also in attendance at the facility tour included the village Mayor, local business owners and other interested citizens.

"It is not unique to see such involvement from a group of concerned citizens working together to better their community," said Holmes. "However, it is rare to witness the passion found in this group while striving to enhance their broadband options, thereby enhancing economic development opportunities in the region."

Cherry Capital Connection is under consideration for a Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) middle mile infrastructure grant that would support last mile delivery and the goals established by the Elk Rapids Area Maximization(ER-BAM) project.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

A Presentation Before the Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force

Providing a perspective on the Minnesota broadband initiative

Connected Nation’s Brent Legg and Phillip Brown had the opportunity to educate the newly appointed members about the history and current activities of the Connect Minnesota initiative during the second meeting of the new Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force on September 30th.

Their appearance before the Task Force coincided with Connect Minnesota’s recent award of approximately $2.7 million, under the federal government’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program (SBDD), to further implement broadband initiatives over the original five-year award period. The new funding will:

- Extend the
mapping updates through 2014
- Allow for the hiring of a state broadband coordinator
- Support an annual broadband summit
- Facilitate county level research and business adoption (yrs 2 and 5)
- Expand state level research on residential and business adoption (yrs 3 and 4)
- Foster independent research peer review
- Support the Task Force

A key aspect of the presentation was a discussion of the
Connect Minnesota Residential Technology Assessment where 1,207 Minnesota residents were randomly surveyed regarding computer ownership, broadband adoption, awareness of available broadband service, and residential uses for the Internet.

For more information about what Connect Minnesota is doing to accelerate technology in Minnesota’s communities, visit

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Connected Nation returns to Malaysia

Tom Koutsky, chief policy counsel of Connected Nation, will participate in the 13th MSC Malaysia International Advisory Panel (IAP) Meeting, held in Putrajava, Malaysia on October 7. CN’s Brian Mefford is serving a two-year term on the Prime Minister’s IAP and was a featured panelist at the 12th annual meeting.

The meeting, “Global Strength Assembled For The Nation's Global ICT Aspirations,” will feature a group of leading industry figures, academicians, top members of international think tanks, CEOs and international experts who will provide counsel to the Malaysian Government in shaping the development and growth of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) and the ICT industry at large.

"Broadband technology can democraticize the spread of knowledge and will play a key role in Malaysia's ambitious plan to transform their economy by 2020," Koutsky said. "I am honored to share with the Malaysian Prime Minister our views on the importance of connecting community institutions like schools and health centers to next-generation broadband and the role public-private partnerships can play in boosting adoption and deployment."

To learn more about the panel, visit

And, check back later this week for Koutsky’s thoughts on this international meeting and what it means for the work of Connected Nation.