Summary: Broadband Conversations is dedicated to highlighting women who are making an impact on our digital lives. Each episode, Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman 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.
On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet Kathryn de Wit, Manager of the Broadband Research Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Kathryn and her team at Pew have done critical work understanding just who has connectivity and who does not—data that is fundamental for closing the digital divide. As the on-going pandemic has demonstrated, access to broadband is no longer just nice-to-have, it is a necessity for work, education, healthcare, and so much of modern life. Kathryn shares what states are doing to get more people connected and how their efforts could be models for the future.
On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will get to meet Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Officer at the Santa Fe Indian School. A member of the Hopi Tribe, Kimball has decades of experience working to bring connectivity to Tribal schools and libraries. Her efforts were recently featured in the New York Times and by Good Morning America. She has been a vocal advocate for getting all students connected, which is especially critical on Tribal Lands where four out of 10 students lack access to broadband at home. During a pandemic that has hit Tribal communities especially hard, listeners will hear how Kimball is working to help students get and stay connected for remote learning.
Join Commissioner Rosenworcel for the second half of her conversation with five female Superintendents who are leading communities across the country through an unprecedented school year. Listeners will hear more from Dr. Kristi Wilson from Arizona, Dr. Ann Levett from Georgia, Krestin Bahr and Dr. Susan Enfield from Washington, and Heidi Sipe from Oregon about what school looks like right now for students who have been asked to learn remotely at home. You’ll hear how schools are communicating with their students and families about the technology challenges they face, solutions they see for solving the Homework Gap, and what these education leaders hope for the future of digital life and learning.
Classes may have begun, but the start of this school year is unlike any other. With a virus that has forced so many schools to keep their doors closed, millions of students are in online classes at home. We wanted to hear how women who are leading school systems are navigating these days and get their thoughts on how as a nation we can improve digital education. In Part One of this special two-part conversation, listeners will meet five Superintendents from across the country: Dr. Kristi Wilson from Arizona, Dr. Ann Levett from Georgia, Krestin Bahr and Dr. Susan Enfield from Washington, and Heidi Sipe from Oregon. You’ll hear how they prepared for this new school year, what challenges they face, and how they are working to develop new ideas to keep their communities learning during this difficult time.
Before being elected to Congress, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene spent over twenty years as a technology entrepreneur and business leader. In Congress, she’s used this experience to help develop policies that create jobs and foster innovation. She’s also used this background to advance cybersecurity and improve data privacy. Listeners will get to hear how she believes we can secure our networks and protect against online threats as we enter in the next generation of technology.
Journalism has always been essential part of how we make decisions about our lives, our communities, and our country. During the pandemic getting the facts we need to know about what is happening in the world around us is especially important. On this episode of Broadband Conversations, listeners will meet Emily Ramshaw, who has started a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom during the ongoing health crisis. She is the CEO of The 19th, which focuses on telling stories about women, policy, and politics. With women holding one-third of the jobs deemed essential, Emily’s efforts to bring attention to their stories and so much more that might be missed by more traditional news outlets is absolutely critical as we navigate the challenges ahead.
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.