Yesterday, the Internet Innovation Alliance hosted the IIA’s Biannual Symposium: Universal Broadband: Access for All Americans at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Co-chaired by Bruce Mehlman and David Sutphen, the IAA is a coalition of businesses, trade associations and non-profit groups. The focus of IIA is to promote broadband availability to all Americans, particularly those in under-served communities.
The symposium started with a terrific opening presentation by the outstanding pollster, Cornell Belcher (he gained much fame as the pollster for the Obama presidential campaign last year). His presentation clearly showed the need for the adoption of broadband, particularly in the under-served African-American and Hispanic communities.
I was then fortunate to be a part of the first panel, which was hosted by Jeff Johnson – Managing Editor, The Truth with Jeff Johnson. The other panelists were Denmark West – President, BET Digital, Maria Teresa Kumar – Founder, Voto Latino, and Derek Douglas – White House Director of Urban Affairs. It was a quite an honor to share the panel with such esteemed experts.
Our panel session was focused on the benefits of online content for minority communities and addressing the wireless internet as a bridge over the digital divide. My area of expertise is Sports — earlier this decade, AOL invested heavily in strategic partnerships with all of the professional sports leagues as consumers started to make the switch from dial-up, narrowband connections to broadband and wireless connections.
The video of yesterday’s symposium can be viewed as http://www.internetinnovation.org.