2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Gigabit coming to Austin

#sxsw #fiber

Given America’ mediocre broadband service, Google Fiber has generated great attention and expectation across the country. From more than 1,100 communities that have applied, Austin is chosen as the second city to experiment with the gigabit broadband network. This panel focuses on the process, dynamics and impact of the installment of Google Fiber in Austin. First, what's going to bethe impact of Google Fiber and other gigabit Internet service on the city, in terms of entrepreneurship, education, and health? Second, how should the public, private, and non-profit sectors work together to make sure that members of disadvantaged social groups would be included in our digital future? The experience in Kansas City shows that community groups can play a vital role in mobilizing disadvantaged neighborhoods. 
Panel speakers include Juanita Budd from Austin Free-Net and Professor Wenhong Chen from UT Austin. The panel will be moderated by Professor Sharon Strover from UT Austin.



Juanita Budd

Exec Dir

Austin Free-Net

Juanita Budd has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in a plethora of roles including strategic planning, volunteer, board member, and staff. Ms. Budd serves as the Executive Director of Austin Free-Net and is responsible for the strategic vision of direct delivery of programs and services. She drives forward the organization’s mission to eradicate the digital divide. A sub-recipient of a 9.3Million federal grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunity (BTOP) grant program awarded by Department of Commerce under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, to create, enhance and improve public computer centers in Austin. Since her tenure, she has collaborated with over 30 organizations to educate and improve broadband adoption and digital literacy programs.
Previously, Ms. Budd served as a Human Resources Director, Administrative & Operations Director, Chief Operations Officer and Vice President of Programs for a large nonprofit organizations which served 46 Texas counties. She implemented the strategic vision and leadership for the direct delivery of services and programs to adults and volunteers through the region, managing staff across five locations. In addition, Ms. Budd served as a Consultant for Texas Association for Nonprofit Organizations on Standard Operating Procedures and HR issues; Campus Advisory Council for National American University; Board Member for The Austin School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Member One Voice Central Texas, panelist for Austin Human Resources Management Association (AHRMA) and has been invited to speak at the iConference 2014 in Berlin Germany.
Ms. Budd holds a BA in Political Science from Bucknell University; HR Management Certification from the University of Texas at Austin; is a certified Mediator through the Dispute Resolution Center; and received her Certificate in Texas Nonprofit Leadership & Management Program in 2008. She was selected as a member on the Texas Statewide Task Force on "Improving Relations with Nonprofits" recommended by the 83rd Texas Legislature. She served as one of the lead speaker in the Digital Inclusion Conference in Texas (“A Conference & Colloquium” at the University of Texas). In 2014, she spoke at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C. She has been featured in various media outlets, including radio, print, and television. Ms. Budd serves faithfully at her local congregation as a Stephen Minister Leader.


Wenhong Chen

Asst Prof

The University of Texas at Austin

Wenhong Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication, at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto and was a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow at Duke University. Her research and teaching has been focused on the implications of digital media and communication technologies in entrepreneurial, organizational and multiethnic settings. Her research has been funded by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Advanced Micro Devices, and Bell Canada. Dr. Chen’s work has been published or accepted in journals such as Journal of American Society of Information Science, New Media and Society, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, the Information Society, Computers in Human Behavior, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Social Science Computer Review, Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, Management and Organization Review, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and Journal of Small Business Management. Dr. Chen is serving as a guest editor for Information, Communication & Society on the special issue the Internet in Chinese societies, scheduled for January 2014.

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