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Friday, September 25 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Lessons from BTOP for Broadband Policy and Research

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The panel brings together researchers, program administrators, and policymakers involved in promoting broadband to draw lessons learned from the BTOP program for future broadband policy, broadband policy evaluation, and broadband research in general.  Although the BTOP program was launched as part of a much larger stimulus effort, crafted on a very tight time schedule to address economic recovery needs in the midst of a major recession, it provides rich qualitative and quantitative data and lessons to inform future broadband policies. 

To initiate a broad discussion with the audience, the panelists will address the following issues: 1) The BTOP enabling legislation was specific in some places but broad and general in others.; 2) With about $2.9 billion committed, the largest allocation involved funding broadband networks across unserved and underserved areas; 3) One of the goals of BTOP and broadband policy in general is to harness the positive social and economic impacts of broadband investments; 4) The NTIA data is quite disparate in its format, including qualitative and quantitative data focused on the grantees activities and employment figures, complemented by information from the broadband mapping; 5) In extracting lessons from the BTOP program for the purposes of informing better broadband policies in the future, it is important to have a vision of the broadband future we expect and want to see to provide context.


Johannes M. Bauer, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University


  • Jon Gant, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • William Lehr, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Stephen Rhody, ASR Analytics

  • Sandeep Taxali, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

avatar for Johannes M. Bauer

Johannes M. Bauer

Professor and Chairperson, Michigan State University
I am a researcher, writer and teacher interested in the digital economy, its governance as a complex adaptive systems, and the effects of the wide diffusion of mediated communications on society. Much of my work is international and comparative in scope. Therefore, I have great interest in policies adopted elsewhere and the experience with different models of governance. However, I am most passionate about discussing the human condition more... Read More →


Jon Gant

Professor and Director, Center for Digital Inclusion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Director of Center for Digital Inclusion @ University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science | Director for Urbana Champaign Big Broadband Project (UC2B) - Middle mile and FTTH gigabit network build funded through BTOP CCI grant | Research director and consultant for BTOP Evaluation Study with ASR Analytics

Stephen Rhody

ASR Analytics

Sandeep Taxali

Senior Policy Analyst, NTIA

Friday September 25, 2015 2:00pm - 3:00pm
GMUSL - Room 121

Attendees (29)