For the past 25 years, Jonathan Adelstein has worked in the public sector in a variety of roles including serving as an Federal Communications Commission Commissioner and, most recently, as the 17th Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Through its facilities grant programs, RUS brings broadband to rural states like South Dakota – Jonathan’s home state.
On September 17, Jonathan began his new role in the private sector as President and CEO of PCIA, the Personal Communications Industry Association. PCIA is a trade association that represents companies making up the wireless telecommunications industry – carriers, infrastructure providers, and professional services firms that own and manage telecommunications facilities.
As PCIA’s leader, Adelstein is continuing to advocate for his signature cause at the FCC and RUS – expanding wireless broadband and diversity & inclusion in the telecommunications industry.
“The private sector’s responsibility is to make the leap to expand broadband with the facilitation of the government,” Adelstein stated in a recent interview with Politic365 Editor in Chief Kristal High.
Adelstein recently participated in the Minority Media & Telecommunications Councils’ Best Minds November Policy Committee meeting where he added his voice to a lively discussion about the FCC’s future and what role minority consumers and entrepreneurs will play in it.
Citing AT&T’s recently announced plan to spend $14 billion over the next three years to expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks, Adelstein explained that as carriers build more towers and add other equipment to meet subscriber demand, smaller telecom firms owned by underrepresented minorities and women are in an excellent position to find niches and prosper.
“Here’s a place where I can see opportunities for small businesses to form and to grow” because the “huge, national” carriers need new sites for antennas,” he said. Adelstein continued, “the builders and owners of these networks [should] look like the communities they’re serving,” citing higher use of smartphones by members of minority groups than among whites.
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