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Published on Mar 5, 2012
Should the internet be considered public infrastructure? What are the best ways to increase access to the underserved? What are the impediments to more efficient and economic access for everyone?
The Internet is a major force in the world's economic and political systems, as well as in how people live, work and play in their daily lives. With over 2 billion users worldwide, the Internet still has huge capacity for growth and users have tremendous opportunities today to leverage the technology to develop game-changing innovations that could equally radically change the communications landscape. The Internet is integral to GDP growth, economic modernization, and job creation, generating over 10 percent of GDP growth in the past 15 years in the countries studied.
Providing the opportunity that comes with Interent access to everyone will empower millions and millions of people to leverage the information economy to improve their lives and their communities.
Please join the DC Chapter of the Internet Society for an important discussion featuring an All-Star panel about increasing internet access everywhere.
Bob Frankston is the co-creator with Dan Bricklin of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program and the co-founder of Software Arts, the company that developed it. Frankston graduated in 1966 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and in 1970 from M.I.T. Frankston has received numerous honors and awards for his work: Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (1994) "for the invention of VisiCalc, a new metaphor for data manipulation that galvanized the personal computing industry" MIT William L. Stewart Award for co-founding the M.I.T. Student Information Processing Board The Association for Computing Machinery Software System Award (1985) The MIT LCS Industrial Achievement Award The Washington Award (2001) from the Western Society of Engineers (with Bricklin) Fellow of the Computer History Museum
In recent years, Frankston has been an outspoken advocate for reducing the role of telecommunications companies in the evolution of the internet, particularly with respect to broadband and mobile communications. He coined the term "Regulatorium" to describe what he considers collusion between telecommunication companies and their regulators that prevents change.
Brough Turner -- Founder, netBlazr, Inc.
Brough Turner is a well established communications industry engineer and entrepreneur. He founded netBlazr to dramatically change the landscape for broadband Internet access in the US. Previously Brough was founder and CTO of Natural MicroSystems (IPO 1994) and NMS Communications, building several successful businesses in fixed and mobile communications equipment. He is an electrical engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While his leading interests are technology and innovation, his career has included roles in engineering, operations, finance, marketing and customer support. He writes and is quoted widely on telecommunications topics in trade and general business publications and he is a frequent speaker at telecom industry events around the world. From 2001-2008, Brough focused on wireless infrastructure and mobile applications. His 3G and 4G tutorials are widely popular (Google '3G Tutorial' for more info). Brough blogs at http://blogs.broughturner.com on the technology, economic and social issues of communications at the intersection of telecom, mobility and the Internet.
Preston Rhea -- Open Technology Initiative, New America Foundation
Preston Rhea is a Program Associate for the Open Technology Initiative at the New America Foundation. He supports OTI's mission of digital justice for its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program work with research, analysis, writing and program assistance. Preston also researches and writes on community-based communications and technology activism. Before joining the New America Foundation, Preston spent a year in Beijing, China working for an internet content delivery network. He holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a Spanish minor and an International Plan certificate. Preston also studied electrical engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València in Valencia, Spain, and spent five years in several countries working with the global student-run organization AIESEC.