Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.


IIA Broadband Symposiums

Broadband Symposium Fall 2009 - Universal Broadband: Access for All Americans


Event Details

Thursday, December 10, 2009
8:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Newseum, 8th Floor

The Symposium:
  • Examined the opportunities and advantages broadband Internet brings to education, job searching, creation and training, health care, community building, entertainment and civic participation.

  • Addressed wireless Internet as a bridge over the digital divide, the benefits of online content for minority communities, and the economic impacts of broadband deployment.

  • Discussed the future of broadband technology and the likely impact of government actions to promote or diminish broadband deployment and adoption.

The Symposium Featured:
Cornell Belcher, President, Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies
Fabián Núñez, Former Speaker, California State Assembly
Rey Ramsey, CEO, One Economy Corporation


Press Release

Less than Half of African Americans and Hispanics Regularly Use the Internet Yet Overwhelming Majority Agrees that Internet Access is Critical to Success in Education, Business, Community and Family Life



Symposium video archive



Select photos from the event



Presentations shown at the Symposium

Internet Innovations Connecting and Helping to make lives better
View more Presentations from IIABroadband.

View more presentations from IIABroadband.



Fabian Núñez
Fabian Núñez, former California Assembly Speaker and one of the country’s most dynamic Democratic leaders. Recognized for his unique ability to lead and find bi-partisan solutions to complex public policy challenges, Mr. Núñez was named “Legislator of the Year” in 2007 by Governing Magazine. Núñez wrote AB 2987, “The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006” which dramatically overhauled how Californians get their television and home entertainment services and increased competition among providers and choice for consumers. Núñez, recently joined Mercury Public Affairs as a Partner in the firm’s growing California operations.
Marcia Thomas-Brown
Ms. Thomas-Brown holds a Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Executive Leadership Training Program, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and a certified Medical Technologist. Marcia is an experienced and accomplished healthcare executive whose experience spans major segments of the healthcare continuum including Long Term Care, Acute Care; Outpatient and Rehabilitation Services and Managed Care with a focus on Medicare Advantage Plans, Chronic Disease Management, Disease Prevention, community base Education and Outreach, and Health Information Technology for underserved populations with an emphasis on communities of color and those who serve them. Ms. Thomas-Brown has always been attracted to assignments that the community and competitors have labeled “mission impossible” but when accomplished, have served to improve the quality of care and life for both patients and the community. For example, Marcia successfully converted a nursing home in Michigan to a licensed Rehabilitation Hospital and completely turned around the largest nursing home in the State of Georgia, resulting in the nursing home winning the Step One Award for Quality Improvement from the American Healthcare Association. These accomplishments, among others, supported her appointment to the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance Nursing Home Board and to the Governor’s Commission on Long Term Care, Board member, Georgia Nursing Association and Chair, Georgia Hospital Association Long Term Care Council. Currently, Marcia serves as the CEO of Mariel Group, LLC a Healthcare Communication, Education and Management consulting company and Program Manager, Summit Health Institute for Research and Education and National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved Collaborative. Prior to this assignment Marcia was the Executive Director, Evercare Mid-Atlantic, a United Health Group company providing primary care, and insurance coverage to patients in Long Term Care facilities. Marcia is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives, National Association of Health Services Executive, and the Healthcare Businesswomen Association. Ms Thomas-Brown is a Board member of Repertoire, Inc. a community based organization focus on supporting youth summer programs, health awareness and educational programs in Lithonia, GA. Appointed, Legislative Liaison to the Uniformed Services University, and Center for Health Disparities. Ms Thomas-Brown serves as the Vice-Chair of Friends Care Inc. / Friends Care Community Services a Quaker Long Term Care organization and a member of Maryland Health Disparities Council.
Valerie Fast Horse
Valerie Fast Horse is an enrolled member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe of Idaho and is a descendent of the Okanagan band of Indians of Vernon, British Columbia. Her desire to pursue a technical career began as a result of her assignment to the Information Management Division in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm. As the IT Director for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe she is responsible for leading and managing the tribe’s IT Department, which includes four programs: Government Services, Geographic Information Systems, RezKast Multimedia, and Red-Spectrum Communications. She successfully planned, managed and implemented a $2.8 million USDA-RUS broadband grant to develop a state-of-the-art Tribal Community Technology Center and deploy a wireless broadband ISP to deliver broadband services to residents of the Coeur d’Alene Reservation for the first time. Together with her team they use their collective knowledge to move the tribe forward in technology to improve the way tribal people conduct business. Valerie also served two terms as an elected member of the tribe’s council, she served as Co-Chair of the Telecommunications & Utility Sub-Committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) from 2001 to 2008, and has been an active member of the National Congress of American Indians Telecommunications Committee for over 10 years. She has testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the Status of Telecommunications in Indian Country, and has advocated in numerous forums to improve access to advanced communications in Indian Country.
Karen Finney
Karen Finney is an independent consultant working with political and corporate clients in the United States and globally in the areas of political and communication strategy, message development, media training, crisis communications, branding, leadership development and public affairs. Karen brings more than 16 years of experience in national politics and campaigns ranging from the Clinton Administration to New York State, to the Democratic National Committee; as well as the public and private sectors where she worked to improve public education and lead corporate branding and business development projects for one of America’s leading children’s media companies. Karen also works with clients on leadership and media training Karen most recently served for four years as the Spokeswoman and Director of Communications at the Democratic National Committee where she helped guide the DNC’s communications and media strategy for Howard Dean’s “50 State Strategy”, re-branding the Democratic Party, the successful 2006 Congressional elections and DNC strategy for the 2008 presidential campaign. Karen served in the Clinton White House as Deputy Press Secretary to then First Lady Hillary Clinton and as Deputy Director of Presidential Scheduling for President Clinton. Karen has also worked in a number of high-profile campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s successful bid for the U.S. Senate as Press Secretary in 2000, and Director of Communications for Elizabeth Edwards during the Kerry/Edwards Presidential Campaign in 2004. Her corporate and public sector work included working for Scholastic Inc. and the New York City Board of Education. As Chief of Staff to the Chairman, CEO and President of Scholastic Inc. Karen led a number of corporate projects including branding campaigns, internet strategy and partnership development. As Director of Business Development and Strategy, she developed and oversaw the growth of Scholastic, Inc. into new market areas and cultivated strategic relationships with key organizations in the public and private sectors. As the chief spokesperson and Communications Director for the New York City Board of Education, Karen also managed crisis communications in the aftermath of 9/11. Karen has served on the boards of the Women's Leadership Forum Network, NY; Teach for America, NY and the Women's Vote Center. Karen is a member of the French American Foundation’s prestigious “Young Leaders” program. She is a contributor to Politico’s “The Arena” and Huffington Post and appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN.
Brian P. Foley
A native of New York City, Mr. Foley graduated from Providence College, Rhode Island, in 1971 and received a Master of Education from Georgia State University in 1977. He was awarded a Master of Health Administration in 1984 from the U.S. Army Baylor University Graduate Program in Health Care Administration. Prior to becoming the Interim Provost of the Medical Education Campus he served as Special Assistant to President and Dean of Allied Health of NVCC. Mr. Foley spent 30 years as an Army Medical Service Corps Officer. He retired from the Army in 2001 with the rank of Colonel. His numerous military assignments culminated in his appointment as the Deputy Commander for Administration, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C.
Joseph Fuhr
Dr. Fuhr is a Professor of Economics at Widener University. Dr. Fuhr received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University and his B.A. from LaSalle University. His primary research areas are antitrust, health economics, pharmacoeconomics, telecommunications, and sports economics. He has published over forty journal articles. In the field of telecommunications, he has written on investment and innovation, rural telephony, terminal equipment and universal service. In health care, he has written on hospital mergers, exclusive arrangements, health insurance, bundling and doctor’s fees. In pharmacoeconomics, he has written on cost benefit analysis and predictive modeling. In sports economics, Dr. Fuhr has written on the economics of baseball and football. Professor Fuhr has been an expert witness on antitrust matters related to health economics and has worked on various consulting projects. He is an economic consultant for the Department of Health Policy and Outcomes Research at Thomas Jefferson University and affiliated with Darby Associates and Econsult.
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC based award-winning journalist, social activist and political commentator. From his celebrated conversations with marquee world figures in the political, business and entertainment arenas to his grass-roots trench work to inspire the next generation of leaders; investigative journalist, political correspondent, and activist, Jeff continues to be a trailblazing social entrepreneur and authentic voice for change. Currently, Jeff is a commentator on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show tackling issues on politics, entertainment and social policy issues, sharing the microphone with Harvard Law lecturer, Stephanie Robinson. Johnson has spent the last decade merging the worlds of politics and popular culture including his work as Senior Advisor for Media and Youth Outreach for People for the American Way, National Director of the Youth & College division of the NAACP, and an appointment by Russell Simmons as the Vice President of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). The only American reporter to receive an exclusive post-inauguration interview with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state and Liberia’s first elected female president. Johnson is also one of only two news correspondents to receive an exclusive interview with Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, who has not granted interviews with American media outlets for thirteen years. Recently, he won a 2008 NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for BET’s “Life & Death in Darfur, Jeff Johnson Reports” series. A source of information quoted in Newsweek, Upscale, LA Times, National Journal and Boston Globe. He regularly contributes commentary and analysis about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socio-economics for news broadcasts and publications such as MSNBC’s Dayside and Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNN Headline News, CNN International, Larry King Live, Fox News Channel, Huffington Post,, The,, Upscale, J’Adore, N’Digo, Monarch magazine and more. Johnson is one of 30 young leaders, joining together from Europe and America and selected by the British Council to be apart of its Transatlantic 2020 team to begin a new cross-border dialogue to reinvigorate traditional alliances and mend transatlantic rifts. Since August 2008, Johnson has served as managing editor and chief correspondent for The Truth with Jeff Johnson, a hard-hitting, talk show that delivers a varied and vibrant view of the news, while examining issues to engage BET viewers in front of a live studio audience. Recognized for his socio-political influence and media adeptness, Jeff has earned a reputation as the “conscience voice” of BET Networks for his positive force among youth and young adults. Johnson’s commitment to fostering broad-based communication about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socioeconomics on a national and international level have led to hundreds of speaking requests, as he travels the nation addressing large crowds speaking truth to power Johnson consistently challenges audiences to weigh innovative solutions to resolve historic and systemic social imbalances and inequalities. September 2009, Jeff will release his first book Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am (Smiley Books/Hay House). He is also CEO of Jeff’s Nation, LLC.
Elaine Kamarck
Elaine C. Kamarck is a Lecturer in Public Policy who came to the Kennedy School in 1997 after a career in politics and government. In the 1980s, she was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she created and managed the Clinton Administration's National Performance Review, also known as reinventing government. At the Kennedy School she served as Director of Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century and as Faculty Advisor to the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. In 2000, she took a leave of absence to work as Senior Policy Advisor to the Gore campaign. She conducts research on 21st century government, the role of the Internet in political campaigns, homeland defense, intelligence reorganization, and governmental reform and innovation. Kamarck received her PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Kamarck is the author of "The End of Government As We Know It: Policy Implementation in the 21st Century" published by Lynne Rienner Publishing, Fall, 2006. She is also the author of "Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System." Brookings, May 2009.
Maria Teresa Kumar
Named by Hispanic Magazine as one of the top Latinas in Government and Politics, Maria Teresa Kumar is the founding Executive Director of Voto Latino, a leading national civic engagement organization targeting acculturated American Latino youth. In the 2008 presidential election, Voto Latino leveraged social media and celebrity participation in five battleground states, all of which saw Latino voter participation increase 5% or more above the national average. Voto Latino’s innovative web initiatives – including a tele-novela spoof that became an internet sensation – won two Webby Official Honoree awards and a MySpace Impact award. Voto Latino’s benefit album produced with Apple iTunes during the 2008 election was the top selling album on iTunes Latino for weeks. During the 2008 election cycle, Maria Teresa was a regular commentator during MSNBC’s primary and general election night coverage. She was also a frequent guest on CNN’s AC 360 and American Morning, NPR, Telemundo and MSNBC’s Hardball. Maria Teresa started her career as a Legislative Aide for former Democratic Caucus Chairman Vic Fazio managing international trade issues and appropriations. She’s counseled Fortune 500 companies on political strategy and recently co-founded FastFWD Group, a boutique social media strategy firm. Harvard Law School, NetRoots, Personal Democracy Forum, and Tide’s Momentum are among the organizations that seek her to speak on social entrepreneurship, technology and electoral politics. Maria Teresa is an Ambassador Swanee Hunt Prime Mover Fellow, a Women’s Media Center Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy International Affairs Fellow. She is a recipient of numerous leadership awards including from The White House Project, Imagen Foundation and the New York Legislature. This year, Washington Life magazine placed Maria Teresa on the cover of their issue highlighting the most influential Washingtonians under 40. She serves as a founding board member for both the Latino Leaders Network and Poder PAC. Maria Teresa received a masters degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelors degree in international relations from the University California at Davis. A native of Sonoma, California, Maria Teresa lives in Washington, DC with her husband Raj Kumar
Jimmy Lynn
Mr. Lynn recently left an illustrious career with AOL this past spring after a wonderful there in order to start his own strategic advisory firm, JLynn Associates, which is focused on Sports Marketing, Sports Media, Clubs/Athletes and Sports Retail. His most recent position at AOL was as the Vice-President, Diversity Partnerships and Strategic Relationships — managing the 13 employee affinity groups and non-profit partnerships. Lynn’s first 11 years at AOL were spent in business development, strategic planning and account management for our Sports partnerships, including the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, MLB, NFLPA, CBS Sports, HBO Sports, Sports Illustrated, Turner Sports, ABC Sports, WWF, STATS, SportsTicker, NTN, Rodale, etc. Mr. Lynn also teaches two courses at Georgetown University including Sports Marketing Strategy, in the McDonough School of Business, for the past four years. He also just began co-teaching a graduate class, on Sports Executive Leadership in the Sports Industry Management program. Lynn also works with over 10 non-profits, including the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Foundation, Asian-American LEAD, Giving Back Fund, Capitol Movement Project, Super Leaders, Year Up, Posse Foundation, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, America’s Promise, etc. Other new ones include Greater DC Cares and the Case Foundation. Lynn holds various roles within each organization as a board member, advisory board member, mentor, connector, advisor or volunteer.
Rey Ramsey
Rey Ramsey is chief executive officer of One Economy Corporation. Co-founded by Mr. Ramsey in 2000, One Economy Corporation leverages the power of technology and information to connect low-income people to the economic mainstream by bringing broadband into their homes, producing public-purpose media, and training and employing youth to enhance communities' technological capacity. Learn more at Mr. Ramsey led the organization’s growth from four employees working in basement to a global organization that has taken root on four continents. Since 2000, One Economy has helped bring broadband access into the homes of over 300,000 low-income Americans. More than 16 million people have visited One Economy’s multilingual web properties. Mr. Ramsey has been on the forefront of driving the creation and distribution of public purpose media, most notably through the Public Internet Channel (, which he founded. Through One Economy programs, hundreds of youth have delivered nearly 50,000 hours of service to their communities. Mr. Ramsey has spent years creating innovative partnerships between nonprofits, government and the private sector. Mr. Ramsey is the author, with Ben Hecht, of the book Dynamic Management for the Digital Age (John Wiley & Sons). Prior to the founding of One Economy, Mr. Ramsey served as president and chief operating officer of the Enterprise Foundation. Before joining Enterprise, Mr. Ramsey served in the cabinets of two governors of Oregon as the state’s director of housing and community services and practiced law. Mr. Ramsey serves on many boards, including the Schnitzer Investment Corporation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Washington Jesuit Academy, where he is vice-chairman. He was also chairman of the NAACP’s Futures Commission and served on the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. He was also the chairman of Habitat for Humanity International from 2003-2005. Mr. Ramsey holds a bachelors degree in political science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.
Paul Schroeder
As vice president of Programs and Policy, Paul Schroeder oversees all of AFB's national programmatic efforts in aging, education, employment, literacy, and technology, as well as AFB's public policy and research agendas. Schroeder is intimately involved in AFB's technology initiatives, including efforts to encourage the development of mainstream products and services that are accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Schroeder also collaborates with other organizations working on policy matters in the field of blindness and visual impairment. He is regularly called upon to provide input on a variety of issues to governmental agencies, private industry, and nonprofit organizations. His policy expertise and activities include the areas of telecommunications and technology policy, vocational rehabilitation, education, and public health. Schroeder is also the senior contributing editor for AccessWorld: Technology for Consumers with Visual Impairments, published by AFB Press. Prior to joining AFB, Schroeder served for three years as director of governmental affairs for the American Council of the Blind in Washington, DC, and as the special projects coordinator for the Governor's Office of Advocacy for People with Disabilities in Columbus, OH. While in Columbus, he served on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service, which provides information to individuals unable to read newspapers and other print periodicals. Schroeder earned his B.A. in political science and international studies from American University in Washington, DC.
Jamal Simmons
Jamal Simmons emerged from the 2008 election as one of the new young voices in the world of political analysis. With an extensive background in Democratic politics and international affairs, he was a strong supporter of Barack Obama’s campaign and became a fixture on CNN’s political coverage, where his entertaining and pithy opinions distinguished him as one of freshest commentators in the media. Beginning in 1992, when he traveled with then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, Simmons has been an advisor to presidential candidates, a cabinet secretary, U.S. Senators and members of Congress ever since. Committed to engaging more people of color in the political process, he regularly volunteers his time to mentor and speak to young people interested in politics. He is a 2009-10 French American Foundation Young Leader and former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Morehouse College, Simmons received a master in public policy degree from Harvard University and is currently a principal with the Raben Group, a Washington, DC based public affairs consulting firm where he advises corporations and non-profit clients.
Deborah Taylor Tate
Deborah Taylor Tate was twice nominated by the President of the U.S. and served as Commissioner, U.S. Federal Communications Commission, after unanimous confirmation by the Senate in 2005. Tate was a frequent participant in bilateral negotiations and respected policy leader on the international telecom policy level and served in the official U.S. delegation to the 2007 WRC in Geneva,. She is a frequent international speaker on cybersecurity, child online protection and the expansion of broadband. Known as “the Children’s Commissioner”, she was appointed Chair of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and the Advanced Services (Broadband) Joint Board. She was awarded the WTISD Laureate for 2009 for her international work regarding the protection of children online along with Brazilian President Lula. Tate, a licensed attorney, consultant and certified Mediator; is a Distinguished Scholar at the Free State Foundation, serves on national boards including Common Sense Media and the Minority Media Telecommunications Council in Washington, DC; and as Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. Tate served on the Senior Staff/Legal Counsel to 2 U.S. Governors for economic development, children, tourism and was Executive Director of the State Health Facilities Commission. As Chairman of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, she directed the oversight of energy, telecom and other state utilities and chaired the National Washington Action Committee for all fifty state utilities commissions. Formerly, a Director at Vanderbilt’s Institute on State and Local Policy, she co-founded Renewal House, a residence for addicted women and families and is past Chairman of Centerstone, the nation’s largest community mental health provider. She and her husband, William Howard Tate, a recognized corporate attorney, reside in Nashville, Tennessee and have three children.
Navarrow Wright
Navarrow is the President of Maximum Leverage Solutions, a consulting firm that delivers internet and social media strategy consulting as well as technology development consulting to it's clients Navarrow Co-founded with Hip Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons to create a social media site catering to the hip-hop perspective, Global With funding from Accel Partners, the primary investors of Facebook, "Global Grind's mission is to be a platform that allowed the urban audience to show its depth and breadth," said Navarrow Wright, founder of Global Grind "by allowing its talented and diverse members a place to find all the content that's important to them, and giving creative entrepreneurs a place to monetize their content and showcase it to largest audience possible. This network will be a significant value to advertisers who are eager to reach this unique audience in a targeted and meaningful way." Wright successfully launched the product and raised the series A round of capitol. Wright also launched a vertical ad network and celebrity blogger network while at Globalgrind. Before joining Global Grind, Wright was SVP of Technology for Medical Broadcasting Company, a division of the Internet marketing firm Digitas Inc. Prior to that, he served as CTO of Viacom's BET Interactive. At he created and implemented new technologies growing the Web site 300%, making it the leading entertainment online destination for African Americans. It was during his tenure at BET that Wright realized there was a need for a platform to showcase and promote all the creative content that is available on the net, as well as promote content that is most important to them in a unique way. With more than 13-years experience in the technology and media industry, Wright has established himself as someone who can conceptualize and develop advanced technology solutions for leading global organizations. Wright's unique understanding of the Internet space and ability to marry those technical advances with consumer demand has placed him as one of the premier technology experts in Internet and media. He prides himself on showing youth how technology can be an enabler to help them achieve their dreams. He speaks to youth groups up and down the east coast for various organizations and was recently given a commendation from the city of Newark for his work with events that have a positive impact on young people. He has made it mission to be a voice for technology adoption in underserved areas and that entrepreneurial spirit is developed in urban youth. Navarrow Wright has appeared on Run's house, Irv Gotti's show Gotti's Way and the Steve Harvey radio show. He was picked by Network Journal Magazine as of the their " 40 Under forty" professionals to watch in 2009 and selected by the Innovation Generation as one of the nation's top 100 GenerationNEXT and Information Technology leaders. Wright launched Maximum Leverage Solutions L.L.C., ( a social media and technology-consulting firm. "This digital space is always changing. There are more opportunities for success today than ever," he says. Maximum Leverage consults it's clients on the critical issues affecting the ways in which broadband and digital innovation can be used to enhance educational, entrepreneurial and economic pursuits, the improvement of healthcare services, the delivery of entertainment services, and political activism. Wright holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rider University in Computer Science.