MMTC Newsletter | Summer 2018
Summer Newsletter, Issue 1
The latest in media, telecom, and tech policy; broadband and social justice; and their impacts on our nation's most vulnerable communities.

This issue's features:
MMTC's 16th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference
  • July 19th: "Turning Disruption into Opportunity" features access to capital, telecom policy, Congressional Breakfast, and Honoring former FCC Commissioner and Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn
MMTC Law and Policy Initiatives
  • MMTC Calls for Comprehensive Legislation to Protect Americans' Privacy and Civil Rights
  • MMTC Advocates for FCC to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of EEO; Chairman's Proposal for EEO Enforcement Is a Big Win for Diversity
  • MMTC Leads Discussion on Procurement Opportunities at FCC Supplier Diversity Workshop
  • MMTC Expresses Support of PIRATE Act to House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • MMTC Opposes Proposed Rule to Rescind the International Entrepreneur Program
  • MMTC and NABOB Urge FCC to Adopt Policy of Conferring with Bidding Credit Applicants
  • MMTC Convenes FCC Rulemaking Practice Mini-Course
  • MMTC Vice President Dr. Rikin Thakker Demystifies 5G at National Spectrum Management Association Conference
Apprenticeship Corner
  • MMTC, NUL, and WIA Train Employers on Training and Hiring a Diverse Workforce through Apprenticeship at Connect(X)
  • Wireless Infrastructure Association's Deb Bennett Speaks with MMTC about Connect(X)
  • MMTC Acting CEO Maurita Coley Speaks on Apprenticeship at African American Energy Association Annual Conference
  • MMTC Vice President Dr. Rikin Thakker Speaks at WIA's Need for Speed: Building America's 5G Mobile Networks and at Smart Cities Workforce Forum
  • MMTC Trains Telecom Companies on Diversity and Inclusion

Mentoring Corner
  • MMTC Welcomes Summer Fellows

MMTC Monthly Social Media Blogs
  • Read Wakelet Blog for May Social Media Highlights

Invest in MMTC
  • Help MMTC Expand Its Work in Media, Telecom, and Tech
MMTC's 16th Annual Access to Capital and
Telecom Policy Conference - July 19th, 2018
Join MMTC at our 16th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference on July 19th at Hogan Lovells Conference Center, 555 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC. This year's theme is "Turning Disruption into Opportunity."
Thought leaders from government, industry, and advocacy groups address the top media and telecom issues:

  • Telecom Policy: Net neutrality, consumer privacy, digital redlining, Smart Cities and the nation's infrastructure, broadband deployment, procurement, EEO, broadcast media incubators, the FCC’s Minority Tax Certificate policy, digital equity, and more
  • Access to Capital: Financing media and telecom businesses using venture capital, angels, incubators, accelerators, crowdfunding, FinTech, and other alternative financing sources
  • FCC Policy and Honoring Mignon Clyburn: MMTC presents Hon. Mignon Clyburn, first African American woman commissioner and first woman FCC chair, with its highest honor, the Everett C. Parker Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Congressional Breakfast (featuring Reps. Butterfield, Cleaver, Lee, and Rush): Current and former Members of Congress address net neutrality and the consumer bill of rights, broadcast and cable piracy, online privacy legislation (such as the GDPR, the White House initiative under the National Economic Council and the upcoming FTC hearings on consumer privacy legislation, and consumer privacy initiatives at NTIA); algorithm discrimination; media ownership; inmate calling rates and recent legislation to provide relief in light of migrant detainees being separated from their children; and other issues impacting communities of color.

VISIT OUR CONFERENCE WEBSITE for a full list of confirmed speakers. Watch the #MMTC18 video. Follow @MMTCOnline and #MMTC18 for conference updates on Twitter.

MMTC Law and Policy Initiatives
MMTC Calls for Comprehensive Legislation to
Protect Americans' Privacy and Civil Rights
MMTC has joined a coalition of 50 other civil rights groups, including the National Urban League and MANA, A National Latina Organization, in a joint letter calling on Congress to enact comprehensive legislation to protect consumers online through a set of guiding principles, including strong protections for privacy and individual control of personal information and a renewed commitment to closing the digital divide.

Leading up to the "Protecting Customer Proprietary Network Information in the Internet Age" hearing by the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology last month, MMTC supported the civil rights groups' Twitter outreach that reminded members of Congress that stakeholders are holding them accountable to find a federal solution.

The Internet is one of the most profound technological developments in human history. It serves as a tool of empowerment for people and communities to connect, speak, innovate, share, be heard, and organize without discrimination or harassment. Despite its unlimited advancement potential, there are gaps in data privacy protection and access that impact U.S. consumers, especially women, people of color, religious minorities, and the LGBT community. It is vital that Congress gets comprehensive privacy legislation right.

Read the coalition's joint letter to Congress here .
Watch a video of the Congressional hearing here .
MMTC Advocates for FCC to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of EEO; Chairman's Proposal for EEO Enforcement Is a Big Win for Diversity
July 3rd marked the 50th anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission's decisio n to ban race and gender discrimination in broadcast employment. For months prior to this date, MMTC advocated before the Commission to honor the anniversary, and reiterated its years-long advocacy for the Commission to take certain steps to strengthen its enforcement of EEO rules and stimulate diversity and inclusion at all levels of media and telecom.

On the anniversary date, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his decision to refer to colleagues a proposal to relocate Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) enforcement, now in the Commission’s Media Bureau, to its Enforcement Bureau.

In a statement from MMTC, Acting President and CEO Maurita Coley stated, "The [Commission's] action today will help the world to see that ensuring equal opportunity is serious business at this FCC, and it sets an example for other industries, such as the tech industry, that have missed the mark.”

Read more about MMTC's advocacy and FCC action on EEO:
MMTC Statement: MMTC Marks the 50 th Anniversary of the FCC’s Leadership in Equal Opportunity
MMTC Statement: MMTC Congratulates FCC on Strengthening EEO Enforcement
Chairman Pai's Statement: Proposal to Improve the FCC's Enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity Rules
EEO Supporters Comments: Comments by the EEO Supporters, an MMTC-led coalition of 34 organizations, addressing the FCC’s track record on EEO enforcement and outlining how the agency can make improvements to EEO compliance and enforcement
EEO Supporters Response Letter: Addresses five assertions contained in Reply Comments filed by the National Association of Broadcasters and 49 state broadcasters associations; encourages the broadcast associations to embrace constructive, effective recruitment measures consistent with the law and with FCC requirements for licensed broadcasters
MMTC Meetings with FCC Leadership ( ex parte letter ): On June 1st, MMTC and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters met with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, and representatives from Commissioner Brendan Carr's and Jessica Rosenworcel's offices to discuss EEO, AM-FM Radio Subcaps, and incubators, and radio piracy.
MMTC Leads Discussion on Procurement Opportunities at
FCC Supplier Diversity Workshop
On June 4th, MMTC attended and led discussions during the FCC Supplier Workshop for small, minority-owned, women-owned, and other diverse businesses.

MMTC Board Chair and Treasurer Dr. Ronald Johnson moderated the first panel on Procurement Opportunities for Diverse Suppliers. Panelists included Megan Rast of Charter Communications; Chi Pak of T-Mobile; Pat Patterson of Verizon; and Yvette Mouton of AT&T. Watch the recording of the workshop here .
The FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities, Media Bureau, and Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) organized the workshop. MMTC staff and board members are represented on several committees within the ACDDE , providing a unique voice at the intersection of telecommunications and social justice:

Dr. Johnson and MMTC Acting President and CEO Maurita Coley Flippin serve on the Diversity in Tech Working Group, and President Emeritus David Honig and Chairman Emeritus Henry Rivera serve on the Broadcast Diversity and Development Working Group, where Rivera serves as chair and Honig serves as its rapporteur.
MMTC Expresses Support of PIRATE Act to House Energy and Commerce Committee
On June 14th, MMTC wrote to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn and Ranking Member Michael Doyle, expressing its strong support for the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act .

The letter states that the FCC needs legislation providing it additional enforcement powers to shut down pirates and eliminate its reliance on the Department of Justice for enforcement authority. It asserted that the PIRATE Act would provide the FCC these powers by amending Title V of the Communications Act of 1934 and adding “Section 511. Enhanced Penalties for Pirate Radio Broadcasting; Seizure of Illegal Equipment; Enforcement Sweeps,” which would enhance FCC enforcement and discourage broadcast pirates in several ways.

More details are available in the full letter, here.
MMTC Opposes Proposed Rule to Rescind the International Entrepreneur Program
On June 28th, MMTC filed a letter with the Department of Homeland Security opposing the proposal to remove the DHS regulations pertaining to the International Entrepreneur Program (“IEP”), which granted parole to foreign entrepreneurs to work in the United States if they met certain criteria.

While MMTC agrees with the majority of commenters that the IEP should be implemented because it is a good policy for the United States, MMTC also has specific concerns about the effect rescission would have on the media, telecom, broadband, and internet industries (collectively, the “communications industry”) that are at the heart of MMTC’s mission. MMTC believes that rescission of the IEP would limit access to capital and innovation for minority-owned communications companies and stifle opportunities to expand the diversity of viewpoints in the communications industry. 

More details are available in the full letter, here.
MMTC and NABOB Urge FCC to Adopt Policy of Conferring with Bidding Credit Applicants
MMTC and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) filed an amicus letter with the Federal Communications Commission, commenting on whether the Commission should be expected to provide auction applicants with its views on whether proposed changes to their agreements would allow them to qualify for bidding credits under the Commission’s Designated Entity (“DE”) Program. The organizations were commenting on a specific case where the Commission would not allow SNR Wireless and Northstar Wireless an opportunity to cure any concerns the FCC had regarding their relationship with DISH before rejecting their applications for DE bidding credits.

In the letter, MMTC and NABOB contend that the Commission should adopt a policy of providing applicants with a reasonable opportunity to cure any deficiencies identified by the Commission in their bidding credit applications. 

The organizations issued a stern warning: "[By] failing to provide the necessary guidance, and opportunity to cure, the agency is saying, in effect, 'figure it out for yourself, and if you guess wrong, we will throw out your applications.' If this absence of fair and informed feedback ever prevails, the Designated Entity Program will die a slow death."

More details are available in the full letter, here.
MMTC Convenes FCC Rulemaking Practice Mini-Course
MMTC invited fellows, interns, and law clerks from Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, CDT, Harris Wiltshire, National Action Network, National Council of Negro Women, NCTA - The Internet & Television Association , Radio One, TV One, Verizon, and Womble to participate in a four-day mini course on the FCC rulemaking practice on June 5-8. F ive communications law veterans with a combined 180+ years of FCC practice experience served as faculty members.

They included:

  • MMTC Board member Erwin Krasnow, a partner at Garvey Schubert Barer and a guest lecturer for Unit 1: Communications Law and the 1934 Act
  • MMTC President Emeritus and Senior Advisor David Honig, a lecturer for Unit 2: Civil Rights and Communications Law, and Unit 3: MMTC and Telecommunications Policy
  • MMTC Board member Deborah Lathen, CEO of Lathen Consulting, and a guest lecturer for Unit 4: Commissioners, Bureaus, FCC Operations, and Unit 5: Congressional, Executive Branch Oversight
  • MMTC Board member Andrew Schwartzman, Benton Senior Counselor at Georgetown University Law Center and a guest lecturer for Unit 6: Rulemaking vs. Adjudication, Unit 7: Rulemaking Practice and Strategy, and Unit 8: Judicial Review
MMTC Vice President Dr. Rikin Thakker Demystifies 5G
at National Spectrum Management Association Conference
MMTC Vice President of Telecom and Spectrum Policy Dr. Rikin Thakker, recently spoke at the National Spectrum Management Association's annual conference, Spectrum Management 2018, which brings together a diverse group of participants to discuss the latest spectrum-related trends and developments, including increasing spectrum congestion, reallocations, sharing, and repurposing, with the goal of understanding the radio spectrum environment from all angles.

During the session on Spectrum and 5G, Dr. Thakker outlined the current state of 5G standard, proposed use-cases of 5G, and key technical enablers of 5G, including mmWave spectrum and small cell deployment.

Dr. Thakker will also speak on these issues at MMTC's upcoming conference on July 19th during the panel, " Keeping Things in Per-Spectrum: Next Generation Technology and Opportunities for Smart Cities and Entrepreneurs."

Apprenticeship Corner
MMTC, NUL, and WIA Train Employers on Training and Hiring a Diverse Workforce through Apprenticeship at Connect(X)
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) recently held its annual Connectivity Expo (Connect(X), formerly the Wireless Infrastructure Show) in Charlotte, NC. Connect(X) is a ground-breaking event designed to serve all elements of the expanding and evolving wireless ecosystem.

MMTC, WIA, and National Urban League (NUL) Affiliates served as panelists and moderators throughout the conference, educating industry leaders on workforce development, diversity, and Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs. MMTC and WIA are members of the Wireless Infrastructure Apprenticeship Access Initiative (WIAAI) Consortium, along with the National Urban League (lead contractor under the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship), to create, expand, and diversify Registered Apprenticeship programs in telecom and other industries.
Maya Norvel from the Urban League of Central Carolinas, Deb Bennett of WIA, and Maurita Coley Flippin and Marcella Gadson of MMTC played a major role in several sessions constituting a four-part Workforce Workshop and Mini-Accelerator:

  • Risk Assessment – Ensure a Competitive Advantage Through Effective Workforce Development Planning
  • Building Alliances to Jumpstart Talent Acquisition & Retention
  • Accelerate Potential: Get More People on the Job Faster
  • Optimize Your Workforce through Apprenticeship

MMTC's Dr. Rikin Thakker also spoke on the panel “Edge Infrastructure, Transitions from 3G-4G; 4G-5G, What does 5G look like?” on May 21 st.

Learn more about MMTC and the WIAAI Consortium's participation at Connect(X) here.

Read the Wakelet blog for highlights.
Wireless Infrastructure Association's Deb Bennett Speaks with MMTC about Connect(X)
On May 16 th , MMTC hosted a podcast with Deb Bennett, Director of Training and Apprenticeship at the Wireless Infrastructure Association, where she discussed WIA's apprenticeship partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, National Urban League, and MMTC; and promoted and provided details about the Connectivity Expo and the four workforce development sessions she developed. The sessions connected directly with employers, providing vital information about Registered Apprenticeship, TIRAP, DOL and WIAAI Consortium efforts, and the importance of diversity and inclusion as employers create and expand their workforce training programs. 

The full podcast is available here .
MMTC Acting CEO Maurita Coley Speaks on Apprenticeship
at African American Energy Association Annual Conference
MMTC Acting President and CEO Maurita Coley Flippin recently s poke at the American Association of Blacks in Energy's 41st Annual National Conference in Las Vegas. Coley Flippin served on The Disruptors panel with Telisa Toliver of Chevron Pipeline and Power (moderator), Ehrika Gladden of Cisco Systems, Damon Lester of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, and Nancy Huber of Toyota Financial Savings Bank.

The panel focused on how the use of technology has driven companies to reinvent and reshape in order to thrive in rapidly changing business environments, Coley Flippin focused on the impact this has on the workforce, especially in communities of color, and the importance of workforce training and development through registered apprenticeship programs.

More information about the conference is available here .
MMTC Vice President Dr. Rikin Thakker Speaks at WIA's The Need for Speed: Building America's 5G Mobile Networks and Smart Cities Forum
The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) held "The Need for Speed: Building America’s 5G Mobile Networks" event featuring 5G stakeholders who discussed what policymakers and industry can do to ensure mobile networks lead the global 5G revolution on May 10th.

MMTC Vice President Dr. Rikin Thakker joined the panel, focusing on outcomes from the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) working groups, what would work for industry and federal government to stimulate wireless and wireline infrastructure deployment and expansion, and the looming skills gaps for the workforce needed to facilitate this deployment. Dr. Thakker engaged with WIA President and former FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, highlighting MMTC's work with WIA and NUL under a U.S. Department of Labor contract to create, expand, and diversify Registered Apprenticeship programs in the telecom industry and beyond. As Dr. Thakker stated, " 3 million jobs are being created in the next 7 years. The timing to train this new workforce is perfect as 5G standards are being created. "

Other panelists included Monica Gambino of Crown Castle, Liz Hill of American Tower Corp, Carl Povelites of AT&T. Jonathan Adelstein moderated the discussion.
MMTC Trains Telecom Companies on Diversity and Inclusion
On June 6 th and June 11 th , 2018, the Wireless Infrastructure Apprenticeship Access Initiative (WIAAI Consortium) conducted EEO and 29 CFR 30 training for employers via webinar.

The trainings focused on familiarizing companies with steps needed to diversify their workforce and remain in compliance with the Department of Labor's 29 CFR 30 EEO regulations. Topics covered included: Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion, Overview of 29 CFR 30, Role of a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor, roles of partner organizations like the WIAAI Consortium under the DOL contract, focus on individuals with disabilities, 5 key EEO obligations for Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors, outreach and recruitment resources for attracting diverse candidates, and communicating EEO to their workforce.
Mentoring Corner
MMTC Welcomes Summer Fellows


MMTC's fellowship program gives law students an opportunity to learn firsthand about the media, telecom, and technology industries. Meet MMTC's summer fellows: Kéran Billaud, a rising third-year student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law who worked with MMTC as a research fellow during the Spring semester on geographic redlining and the Santana Initiative; Shaytonna Bullock, a rising third-year law student at the Wake Forest University School of Law, the Vice President of the Wake Intellectual Property Student Association, Community Service Chair for the Black Law Students Association, and a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions; Alexandra Milliard, a rising second-year student at the University of Florida Levin College of Law (UF Law), an ambassador for UF Law's orientation program, and a teaching assistant for UF Law's Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy; and
Bettina Tran, a rising third-year student at the Florida A&M University College of Law, the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and an Admissions Ambassador.




Their fellowship began with meetings at the FCC, a mini-course on the FCC's rulemaking practice led by MMTC President Emeritus and Senior Advisor David Honig, a networking event for African Americans in tech and telecommunications policy hosted by Microsoft, and a brown bag lunch with former MMTC fellow Matthew Sneed, a rising third-year student at the Syracuse University College of Law. During the lunch, Sneed discussed his MMTC fellowship experiences, current internship with the FCC's Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division, and networking tips.
MMTC Monthly Social Media Blog
Read Wakelet Blog for May Highlights
Learn More Details About MMTC's Work by visiting our Wakelet Blog:
 MMTC's May Activity Highlights on Wakelet
Invest in MMTC
Help Expand MMTC's Work in Media, Telecom & Tech
With our nonpartisan values of diversity and inclusion, MMTC continues to pursue our work with great determination notwithstanding our modest resources. MMTC offers our sincere appreciation for support in helping us deliver our world-class advocacy, convenings, and policy leadership in industries regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.

TO SUPPORT MMTC, YOU CAN:
  • Make a donation
  • Sponsor our July Access to Capital and Opportunity Conference - email us for more information
  • Save the Date and Spread the Word: The Access to Capital and Opportunity Conference is July 19th, and features First Woman FCC Chair Hon. Mignon Clyburn receiving our highest honor, the Everett C. Parker Lifetime Achievement Award!
MMTC is recognized by the IRS under 26 U.S.C. §501(c)(3). All contributions are tax-deductible.

Thank You - Your support makes it possible for MMTC to serve as an advocate for diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in the nation’s most important industries!