CLIC Preconference Day Date: Monday, April 30, 2018

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The Vital Role of Local Internet Choice

Great nations are built on great cities and towns. Over the last few years, communities across America have come to realize that their ability to achieve greatness, or even success, in the years ahead will depend on their ability to acquire affordable access to fiber-rich communications networks. That is so because fiber networks, like electric power systems a century ago, are platforms and drivers of simultaneous progress in just about everything that is important to communities, including economic development and competitiveness, education, public safety, health care, transportation, environmental protection, government services, democratic discourse and much more.

As a result, communities across America are increasingly stepping forward to secure their communications futures by working with willing incumbents, entering into partnerships with new entrants, establishing their own networks or developing other creative options that work for them.

On top of this, the Federal Communications Commission’s recent elimination of network neutrality protections has fueled a surge of interest in public broadband networks.

At the same time, the communications industry has mounted an aggressive campaign to undermine local authority. Before Congress, the FCC, the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and numerous states, the industry has sought to portray local governments as impediments to rapid broadband deployment, particularly next-generation wireless broadband. Traditional local powers, they claim, should be sharply curtailed or even preempted.

Join us in Austin on April 30 for our latest half-day CLIC program. We will continue to help members of CLIC and our allies to be as effective as possible in opposing barriers to local Internet choice. Emphasizing the positive, we will showcase successful local initiatives reflecting the benefits of local control for the community’s economic and broadband future. We will discuss the factual and legal arguments that work best in refuting the new wave of objections to community broadband and public-private partnerships. And we will finish with a deep dive into the experience of a small rural community that furnishes – an excellent example of how the public and private sectors working together can build a great community and an inclusive and advanced workforce.



Monday April 30

1:00 pm -1:15 pm
Welcome – The Time For Local Internet Choice Has Arrived

Jim Baller – President, CLIC
Joanne Hovis – CLIC, CEO

1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Why Local Authority is Imperative for Building 21st Century Broadband Infrastructure

Showcasing the successes, this panel of local officials and private sector executives will discuss their broadband initiatives, emphasizing the essential role of local decision-making authority and control over the public assets that are critical to these deployments. Learn how they did it, what opposition they encountered, what arguments worked well and what didn’t, what they would do differently, and what you can bring home to your own community.

Catharine Rice - CLIC Project Director

Will Aycock - General Manager, Greenlight, Wilson, NC
Gabriel Garcia - Director & Senior Counsel CPS Energy, San Antonio, TX
Alan Fitzpatrick - Open Broadband, Waxhaw, NC
Terry Cox - Executive Director, Tech Works Gaston, Gaston, NC
William L. Vallee, Jr. - State Broadband Policy Coordinator, Connecticut Broadband Office, Office of Consumer Counsel, New Britain, CT
Diana Nucera - Director, Detroit Community Technology Project, Allied Media Projects, Detroit, MI
Rep. Albert Sommers - 2017-1018 House Majority Whip, Wyoming House of Representatives
2:30 pm - 2:45 pm

2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

Keynote: Why Local Decision-Making Authority is Critical to Deploying 21st Century Broadband Infrastructure, and Why Preempting It is Highly Unproductive

Jim Baller – President, CLIC

Keynote Speaker:
Blair Levin - Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Metropolitan Policy Project, Brookings Institute

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
The Westminster Story: Public-Private Fiber and Economic Development Done Right

This deep-dive session will feature an in-depth look at Westminster, Maryland's successful public-private broadband partnership and the dynamic economic development and educational programs and facilities that have been built on it. A range of key players, including elected leaders, private partner and economic development professionals will talk about the Westminster experience and the best practices it represents for local internet choice and public-private collaboration.

Joanne Hovis - CEO, CLIC

Robert Wack - City Council President, Chairman of the Board, Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), Westminster, MD
Amy M. Rupp - Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), Westminster, MD
Adam Eisner – VP of Networks, Ting Internet

5:00 pm
What’s Next?

Jim Baller – President, CLIC
Joanne Hovis – CLIC, CEO
Christopher Mitchell – Director, Community Broadband Networks, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

April 30 - May 3, 2018

Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas

Photo Gallery

Here's a glance at last year's Summit.

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