NARUC Summer Summit
Patrick Halley is Senior Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at USTelecom - The Broadband Association. Blair Levin is Non-Resident Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings and Policy Analyst at New Street Research. Kathryn de Wit is Manager for the Broadband Research Initiative, Pew Charitable Trusts. Joseph Wender is Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Senator Edward J. Markey. Brandon Presley is the President of NARUC and a Commissioner for the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
The hallmark of NARUC President and Mississippi Commissioner Brandon Presley when he took the top spot at NARUC was bridging the gap, especially bridging the digital divide. It made sense he moderated this panel at NARUC's Summer Policy Summit on July 20, 2020 as the pandemic placed greater reliance on remote workplaces, telehealth, and completing homework online.
States are responding with creative solutions to help bridge the digital divide, but the pandemic raises questions about funding and program sustainability. The discussion addressed broadband service gaps and the roles Commissions can play to deliver universal coverage.
Panelists included Patrick Halley, Senior Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at USTelecom - The Broadband Association, Blair Levin, Non-Resident Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings and Policy Analyst, New Street Research, Kathryn de Wit, Manager, Broadband Research Initiative, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Joseph Wender, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Senator Edward J. Markey.
NARUC President Brandon Presley: Kathryn since I've been NARUC President, I've created a broadband expansion task force that we're working hard on. If you had to pick one state that's done it right, which state would that be? What could we learn from that?