HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two nationally known leaders in broadband deployment will be the keynote speakers at the 2010 Pennsylvania Broadband Summit, Sept. 20 and 21 at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill, Cumberland County.
Former FCC official Blair Levin, who oversaw the development of the National Broadband Plan, and former mayor Graham Richard, who used broadband initiatives to help turn around the once-struggling city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will address the summit.
The free event will bring together local, state and federal government officials; telecommunications industry leaders; law enforcement and public safety professionals; educators and librarians; healthcare experts and others to discuss broadband access and adoption, the state and national broadband plans, and practical applications of broadband technology in a variety of fields.
Mr. Levin is a Communications and Society Fellow with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. He previously served as executive director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission and was instrumental in the development of the National Broadband Plan. Mr. Levin also served as chief of staff to the FCC chair from 1993 to 1997.
Mr. Richard was mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana from 2000 to 2007. Under his leadership, the city became the first in the Midwest to have fiber optic broadband services for nearly 100,000 households, small businesses and schools. Richard received the 2005 Star Award from the Fiber-to-the-Home Council for his visionary leadership in broadband technology. He has also been recognized by Government Technology magazine and the Center for Digital Government for his contributions to the digital government movement.
The commonwealth's Office of Administration has received $28.8 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for a middle-mile broadband infrastructure project in 32 counties north of Interstate 80, also known as the Northern Tier. The grant will be used to add bandwidth to Pennsylvania's statewide public safety radio network, known as PA-STARNet. Local telecommunications companies and Internet service providers will be able to purchase excess capacity at competitive prices to serve citizens, schools, businesses and other organizations.
State government will also leverage PA-STARNet's existing infrastructure by leasing space on its towers to broadband providers, helping to reduce the cost of providing access to less-populated regions. The revenue generated by the leases will be used to defray the costs to taxpayers of maintaining the radio network.
To register, view the agenda or learn more about the summit, visit www.programs.psu.edu/PABroadband.
Media contact: Dan Egan, 717-772-4237
Editor's Note: To learn more about broadband opportunities through the Recovery Act, visit www.recovery.pa.gov and click on "Opportunities;" to learn more about the state Broadband Plan, visit http://www.newpa.com/download.aspx?id=1424; and for information on the National Broadband Plan, visit http://www.broadband.gov/.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Administration