National Symposium on Community Scale Broadband Infrastructure

December 7, 2010
Capitol Hill’s Longworth Building, room #1302, Washington, DC

The Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) and the Center for Technology Innovation and Community Engagement (CTICE) invite you to participate in a National Symposium on Community Scale Broadband Infrastructure. We hope you’ll be able to join us for “Advancing Community Broadband: Transforming Community Economics through Broadband Technologies”, which will take place on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 in Washington, D.C. at Capitol Hill’s Longworth Building; room #1302. The meeting will take place from 12-4 p.m., and a light lunch will be served.

About the event:

Advancing Community Broadband: Transforming Community Economics Through Broadband

This symposium will convene of an interdisciplinary group of nationally recognized scholars, practitioners and policy advocates to discuss strategies for re-envisioning the frames driving our national policy discourses on broadband. Our aim is to create a more inclusive conversation that takes us beyond the focus on adoption and access to thinking more critically about the role that Internet Communications Technologies (ICTs) such as broadband must have in securing a more equitable and sustainable development across communities and regions. In particular our emphasis is on the role that community scale infrastructures can have in recentering often marginalized communities from being siloed as the last mile/last inch of infrastructure roll out. Our goal is to shift frame through connectivity strateties that can empower comunities to become sites of “first mile” build up through community scale models. Research has shown that community scale infrastructure is more cost effective to build out and lowers the cost of sustaining connectivity at the community level.

The symposium will be organized into two moderated panel discussions designed to 1.) establish the framing around community scale infrastructure and 2.) present innovative modes and ideas being put in practice by scholars and community practitioners at various scales across the country. The term, “Community Scale Broadband” implies two meanings that we will highlight throughout the symposium; 1.) models of broadband infrastructure deployment and internet service provision that are locally owned either by cooperative, municipality or small business owner; affordable and accountable to those who utilize it; and 2.) that communities be empowered to make creative choices on how broadband infrastructure deployment and service provision can best serve their social and economic development needs.

Symposium Agenda

Opening Luncheon Introduction - 1145am- 130pm
Maya Wiley - Center for Social Inclusion - Introduction
Speakers: Melissa Bradley - CEO Tides Foundation;

130 - 230pm Panel I – Framing the discussion on Community Scale Broadband

1. Bruce Lincoln – Center for Technology Innovation and Community Engagement, Columbia University
2. Jabari Simama - Dekalb County Community Development Group
3. Sascha Meinrath – New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative
4. Nolan Bowie – Harvard Kennedy School
5. Cecilia Garcia - Benton Foundation

230 - 330pm Panel II – Community Scale Broadband Models and Strategy

1. Craig Settles - Successful
2. Todd Wolfson – Media Mobilizing Project
3. Plinio Ayala – Per Schola
4. Jacquie Jones - National Black Programming Consortium
5. Joanne Hovis – NATOA Community Broadband Committee

330 - 400pm Closing

Transmission Project