Summary: Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel will talk to women who are breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they're working on, what's on their minds, what they think is the next for the future. Because there are just too few, it's time to amplify these women's voices.
The ongoing public health crisis has had a devastating impact on our economy. It has led to increased unemployment and greater food insecurity for households across the country. As a result, we are seeing record-breaking lines with people waiting in cars and on sidewalks to pick up groceries to feed their families. On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet a woman who is doing her part to help. Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and Co-Founder of 412 Food Rescue, a food recovery organization that uses technology to link retailers who have excess food with volunteers who are able to distribute it to families and individuals experiencing food insecurity.
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is an expert in equitable access to digital technology and the new Director of the Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation. Her research explores broadband deployment and the intersection of race, civic engagement, and criminal justice reform. In this episode listeners will get to hear her about her work to expand digital equity and her belief that we need to build a technology ecosystem that provides innovation and opportunities for all.
The Coronavirus has impacted every town and city across the country. One of the hardest hit has been New York City, where Julie Samuels, the guest on this episode of Broadband Conversations, lives and works. Julie is the Executive Director of Tech:NYC and on this episode listeners will hear what she is seeing firsthand and how technology could assist in this crisis, as so much of in our lives, from work to healthcare to education, has migrated online.
Before a siren blares or an ambulance arrives, 911 operators are the first, first responders. Now we are relying on these operators and dispatchers to coordinate emergency response during a national crisis. In this episode, listeners will meet Karima Holmes, Director of the Office of Unified Communications for the District of Columbia. Director Holmes oversees the city’s emergency 911 operations and she is working to protect the District’s 700,000 residents and 20 million annual visitors.
Meet Congresswoman Grace Meng, the first female member of Congress from Queens, New York since Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro. She's also a member of the Rural Broadband Task Force in the House of Representatives—which you might not expect—because as she notes on the episode, almost 30% of New York City households lack broadband at home. This is a problem for children who need the internet to complete their nightly schoolwork. Listeners will learn about legislation the Congresswoman has proposed to address this problem, known as the Homework Gap, by helping libraries and schools create mobile hotspot lending programs to ensure students can get online at home.
"Librarians are the original search engines." Those are the words of Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress and the featured guest on this episode of Broadband Conversations. Dr. Hayden is the first woman and the first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress. Under her historic leadership, she is working to ensure that the 171 million items in the Library's collection—from the diaries of Susan B. Anthony to the Gettysburg Address to the papers of Rosa Parks—are open and accessible to all.
Maine is one of the most rural states in the nation. So when it comes to broadband deployment, there are special challenges to ensuring the digital age reaches all. On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will meet Peggy Schaffer, the woman leading the effort at Maine's Broadband Authority to bring internet connectivity, and the economic opportunities that come with it, to every community in the state.
For any entrepreneur, turning a good idea into a business is hard work. But thankfully, small businesses have Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez fighting for them in Congress. As Chairwoman of the Small Business Committee, Congresswoman Velazquez is working to ensure that those who want to create businesses—including women, have every tool at their disposal. On this episode, the Congresswoman describes her historic path to Washington, her commitment to a level playing field, and her hopes for a democratic and inclusive digital future.
For over a year, the FCC has been silent about its investigation into the sale of geolocation data from wireless phones, affecting the privacy of anyone with a smartphone. On this episode listeners will hear not only how Congresswoman Lori Trahan and Commissioner Rosenworcel worked together to address this issue, but they will also hear how Rep. Trahan worked her way up from college volleyball player to CEO to Congresswoman.
The Federal Trade Commission has an important mission—protecting consumers and competition. On today's episode, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter discusses the ways the FTC carries out its mandate and works on behalf of consumers to protect our privacy and our data. Listeners will also hear her personal story about how as a new mom she employed a BYOB—bring your own baby—policy when she first joined the FTC and why she believes more women and mothers need to be at the table where decisions are being made.
In one week, 193 countries from around the globe will gather in Egypt for the World Radio Communications Conference. On this episode of Broadband Conversations, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel speaks to the woman leading the United States' delegation: Ambassador Grace Koh. She is a dedicated public servant and a spectrum policy expert. She most recently served as Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom and Cyber-Security Policy at the national Economic Council.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, this episode of Broadband Conversations features Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. She is a longtime advocate for STEM education, engineer, and author of "Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist." In her conversation with Commissioner Rosenworcel, Sylvia how it was her own Girl Scout troop leader who noticed her early interest in space and encouraged her to earn a science badge by building a model rocket. That experience led Sylvia down a path to eventually becoming a rocket scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Listeners will also hear how under Sylvia's leadership Girl Scouts are encouraged to take on science, technology, math, and engineering projects and pursue badges in areas like cybersecurity. In fact, as a result of her efforts, during the past six months over 84,000 Girls Scouts have earned cybersecurity badges.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Broadband Conversations, we flipped the script and had Commissioner Rosenworcel answer some of our big questions. Listeners will get to hear the Commissioner talk about some of her favorite conversations and also hear her share her story, her advice, and what she hopes for the future of digital life.
In 2016, NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins spent 115 days in space—or as she would say, 115 days "off planet." On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to hear Rubins, a biologist by training, describe life on the International Space Station and the process of re-entering life back on Earth. As a NASA astronaut, Rubin's shares how she went from a little girl with a dream to be among the stars to the reality of spending nearly 13 hours of spacewalk time.
The very first live episode of Broadband Conversations focuses on the intersection of women, entrepreneurship, and technology. On this episode, Commissioner Rosenworcel sat down with a live audience and Congresswomen Davids and Finkenauer, two women who are breaking barriers and getting things done on the Small Business Committee, to discuss how women can and should build the next big thing online or open a store on Main Street. Listeners will hear the Congresswomen and the Commissioner cover a lot of ground in this episode, including how women need reliable broadband and access to capital necessary to start businesses and how things like student loan debt can hold female entrepreneurs back.