November 30, 2010
Ensuring Equal Access: The Case of Broadband Access in Western Massachusetts
Tuesday, November 30 (Frost Lounge, Ell Hall)
Assistant Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
Chair of the Board of Directors, Massachusetts Broadband Institute
Director, State Public Policy, Verizon
Richard L. O’Bryant
Director, John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University
Senior Lecturer, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs
Video Recording of Seminar
#1: Introduction by Nonnie Burnes
#2: Opening Remarks by Richard O’Bryant
#3: Stan McGee
#4: Questions for McGee
Stan McGee is Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). There, he supports EOHED Secretary Greg Bialecki with respect to shaping and advancing all strategic policy initiatives and coordinates various agencies and departments within the secretariat on overall policy direction. He has served as Governor Patrick’s lead on broadband since early 2007 and, among many other roles at EOHED, serves as the Massachusetts “Broadband Czar” – a position created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006 with their Economic Stimulus Act. Mr. McGee was deeply involved with the conception and implementation of the Governor’s broadband initiative, and has chaired the board of directors of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) since its creation in August 2008. He attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1998.
Paul Vasingtonis a Director of State Public Policy for Verizon and a former Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE), the utility commission for Massachusetts. He was appointed to the Commission in 1998 and was designated as Chairman in May 2002. Mr. Vasington also worked for the DTE as an analyst (1990-92) and as Director of its Telecommunications Division (1992-96). From 1996 to 1998 and from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Vasington worked as a consultant with a focus on the regulated telephone and energy industries. He is a graduate of Boston College and has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Richard L. O’Bryant is Director of the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern and Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs. At the Center, Richard helps coordinate activities with the Stony Brook Initiative and has developed a number of research proposals on the role of information technology on democratic process.
His recent publications include Low-Income Communities: Technological Strategies for Nurturing Community, Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency at a Low-Income Housing Development, a monograph published in 2005 in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s National Forum on Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Higher Education for the Public Good, and a review of Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of a New Technology Use, published in February 2005 in the New Media and Society Journal. His current research interests are information technology and civic, social, and political participation.
Professor O’Bryant served as co-principal investigator of the Camfield Estates/MIT Project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which included making wireless connectivity available to residents of Camfield Estates, located in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His professional experience also includes serving as a senior software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation (now HP-Compaq), a research associate at the William Monroe Trotter Institute, and former Director of the John D. O’Bryant Community Youth Center.
The Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan (released in March 2010) contains helpful information on national broadband policy.
The complete National Broadband Plan summarizes what FCC is recommending for Congress and for states.
A June 2010 white paper released by The Pew Center on the States “Bringing America Up to Speed: States’ Role in Expanding Broadband” provides a summary of state plans.
The website for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) contains a link to the MassBroadband 123 project, including a summary, fact sheet, FAQs, network diagrams, maps, etc.
The website for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce – the agency responsible for the majority of $7.2B in Recovery Act funding for broadband deployment – provides information about the $45.4M federal stimulus award announced this summer for MassBroadband 123.