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Koutsky named Connected Nation Chief Policy Counsel

Co-Author of National Broadband Plan Joins National Nonprofit; Will Focus on Broadband Policy Initiatives in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Connected Nation today announced the hiring of Thomas M. Koutsky, one of the co-authors of the National Broadband Plan and an experienced telecommunications attorney and researcher, to serve as the nonprofit’s Chief Policy Counsel.

As a Senior Advisor to the Federal Communications Commission’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative, Koutsky was a member of the team that wrote the first U.S. National Broadband Plan, an ambitious roadmap to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure. Koutsky’s work focused on developing policy recommendations designed to incent deployment of broadband networks, improved connectivity of community anchor institutions and Tribal lands, and reform of universal service and wholesale competition policy.

“We are pleased to add someone who has such a unique and expansive perspective on the national broadband landscape to the Connected Nation team,” said Brian Mefford, Connected Nation’s CEO.

Connected Nation is a national nonprofit engaged in efforts to increase high-speed Internet access and adoption and is currently helping 12 states and Puerto Rico in broadband mapping and planning projects that are funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The organization is also working as a grantee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support improved broadband connectivity in our nation's public libraries.

“Connected Nation is playing an important role in making the recommendations in the National Broadband Plan a reality for our nation’s communities, institutions, and society,” said Koutsky. “I am excited to be building on my contribution to the Plan and to be joining them in this effort.”

As Chief Policy Counsel based in Washington, D.C., Koutsky will lead Connected Nation's research and policy initiatives.

Prior to his involvement with the National Broadband Plan, Koutsky served as Chair of the FCC’s North American Numbering Council.

Koutsky also was a Resident Scholar of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) think tank that focused on developing and advancing pro-entry telecommunications and video policies. During his tenure at the Phoenix Center, Koutsky authored several published articles on broadband and telecommunications competition issues, made presentations before Congress, the FCC and state commissioners, prepared policy bulletins and updates, and organized events, including annual U.S. Telecoms Symposia and State Regulator Retreats.

Koutsky also previously served as vice president, Law and Public Policy, for Z-Tel Communications, Inc.; assistant general counsel for Covad Communications Company; senior attorney, Competition Division, Office of the General Counsel, Cable, for the FCC; and associate attorney for Steptoe and Johnson; all in Washington, D.C.

Koutsky earned his J.D. with Honors from The University of Chicago Law School in 1991 and B.A. with Highest University Honors from the University of Illinois in 1988.

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