New Venue for March 30 Broadband Advisory Committee hearing

The New York City Broadband Advisory Committee that we discussed in the New York’s Wireless Future panel is holding its first public hearing in the Bronx on Friday, March 30.

There has been a change in venue: The March 30th public hearing will now be held in the Gould Memorial Library Auditorium on the campus of Bronx Community College, University Ave. at W. 181st Street, from 10 am to Noon. (Get directions.)

The room holds something like 500 people. They’re expecting at least 200. Council Member Gale Brewer’s office (she’s the prime mover behind the BAC) is distributing a flyer, available as a pdf download. They’ve also set up a blog.

In order to promote awareness of the Committee and the hearing and to spark imagination of what that future could look like, Wakeup Call is producing a series on municipal broadband. Listen to me preview the series on this past Monday’s show.

That radio appearance finally motivated me to start up a podcast, which will include the entire series as well as the hearing. You can subscribe to the podcast here. And you can find the audio files in the sidebar of the blog.
Here is the list of BAC members, the first of which were appointed by the City Council while the second batch was appointed by the Mayor.

Council appointees:

  • David Birdsell, Dean, Baruch College Graduate School of Public Affairs, City University of New York
  • Neil Pariser, Senior Vice President, South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO)
  • Andrew Rasiej, Founder of Personal Democracy Forum and MOUSE
  • Jose Rodriguez, President and Founder, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN)
  • Elisabeth Stock, President and Co-Founder, Computers for Youth (CFY)
  • Nicholas Thompson, Senior Editor, WIRED Magazine
  • David Wicks, Founding Partner, Alwyn Group, Former Cablevision executive

Mayoral appointees:

  • Mitchel Ahlbaum, General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Services, New York City Department of Information Technologies and Telecommunications (DoITT)
  • Shaun M. Belle, President and CEO, Mount Hope Housing Company
  • Thomas Dunne, Vice President of Public Affairs, Policy and Communications, Verizon New York
  • Avi Duvdevani, Chief Information Officer / Deputy General Manager, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
  • John J. Gilbert III, Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer, Rudin Management Company
  • Wendy Lader, Vice President Telecommunications Policy, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)
  • Howard Szarfarc, President, Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey
  • Anthony Townsend, Research Director, Institute for the Future

I’ll have more commentary on the makeup of the BAC in the near future, but it’s obviously a mixed bag with a lot of people heavily invested in the status quo. That doesn’t mean we should boycott it, but it does mean that we have to be clear that it cannot be the final arbiter of our communications future.



  1. james said

    thanks for the nods up!

  2. Laura Unger said

    I was wondering, with all the different players represented on this, why there was no one from the Communications Workers of America. Aside from their interest in this in representing workers from both Verizon and AT&T in New York, they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the issue of Broadband deployment. They have launched the SPEED MATTERS campaign which is specifically addressing the public policy issues facing the US in providing truly high speed, affordable internet for all. You shoudl check out their site at They are working with librarians, educators, people interested in telemedicine and public safety. They have a lot to contribute and should be “at the table.”

  3. […] Filed under Verizon, digital expansion, pph, ethos, nyc, media, wireless, internet The first public hearing of the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee is […]

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