Community Broadband Advocate Peggy Schaffer Joins AAPB Board

Former State director joins AAPB as organization launches.

  • AAPB

Washington, DC—Community broadband champion Peggy Schaffer has joined the AAPB Board of Directors. Schaffer, who recently retired from the State of Maine as director of the ConnectME Authority currently serves as an elected official in Vassalboro, Maine where she sits on the Town’s Budget Committee. Vassalboro is exploring the development of a community network to connect a high percentage of unserved and underserved residents. As ConnectME Authority’s director, Schaffer was responsible for leading Main’s Verification and Validation process for infrastructure grants, a Broadband Intelligence Platform, structure to support communities in the development of Broadband Utility Districts and a successful application to the NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program.

“Peggy’s mastery of federal and state policy makes her the perfect addition to the AAPB Board. She joins at a pivotal moment for publicly-owned networks, as federal and state policymakers rush to get rules solidified and funding out the door. This is all happening in real-time and in parallel with unprecedented lobbying influence from Big Telco, so Peggy’s extensive work on the subject coupled by her massive rolodex will only serve to advance AAPB’s mission,” said Bennink.

“I’m very excited to join the AAPB Board because I share AAPB’s vision for a connected future. But to get there, we have to get policy right,” said Schaffer. “AAPB is concerned that federal mapping processes work counter to the intent of the NTIA BEAD funds, potentially derailing real progress in deploying high speed networks in every corner of the U.S. There is also growing concern that the appeals process in the fifty states may also work against the spirit of the bipartisan Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act (IIJA) as incumbent providers can easily stop or divert monies earmarked to connect Americans who are truly unserved and underserved. Now’s the time for AAPB to balance the conversation in Washington and in the fifty states and I’m glad to roll up my sleeves and get to work with the rest of the Board,” she added.

AAPB’s Board of Directors in comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and serves as a bipartisan group giving community broadband a voice in Washington, DC and in all 50 states. The organization works collaboratively with lawmakers, internet service providers, and other allied industry groups to advance high-speed broadband deployments in the United States. To remain focused on its mission, AAPB Board Directors are required to be public officials representing communities in the process of developing, building, or operating high-speed broadband networks. Industry professionals and others are welcome to join the organization, serve on committees, and work to advance high-speed connectivity. Public officials, agencies, nonprofits, service providers, and industry-related vendors and partners are encouraged to learn more about AAPB and join the organization by visiting its website www.americanpublicbroadband.org.

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