On Carnegie stage, Denver attorney calls for broadband changes

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Ken Fellman advocates greater role for local governments

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Jan. 14, 2016) – Appearing at Carnegie Mellon University, Denver attorney Ken Fellman of Kissinger & Fellman P.C. advocated for legislative changes to allow localities to play a greater role in broadband deployment necessary to deliver 21st Century services.

Specifically, he told the audience of the distinguished CMU Lecture Series that local governments need the freedom to decide the best way for their communities to develop faster, more affordable broadband systems that will provide cities of the future the necessary bandwidth for services such as enhanced public safety, traffic management, civic engagement and more. In Fellman’s role as a member of the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, and as an advocate for local governments nationwide, he is working to eliminate the statutory broadband barriers that currently exist in 20 states, including Colorado.

“As American communities seek creative solutions to improving broadband, and positioning themselves to compete most efficiently in a global economy, I am excited to share my views with the students and faculty at CMU, where the City and the University have taken a leadership role in the President’s ‘Smart Cities’ initiative,” he said.
A major national challenge is the broadband gap, especially in rural areas and on Tribal lands. Residents and businesses often lack access to the Internet speeds they need, and therefore miss the kinds of educational opportunities and other improvements in quality of life that other communities with robust connectivity often take for granted. Communities can’t expect the private sector alone to solve the broadband gap in many parts of the country because the return on investment is inadequate, he said.

Recently, 44 communities throughout Colorado voted to allow their local governments the flexibility to determine how best to develop their broadband systems.

“Our Smart Cities initiative is keenly interested in the technological possibilities for tomorrow’s cities – most of which are limited by the cities’ broadband capacity,” said Richard Scheines, Dean, Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.  “Ken Fellman’s legal and policy expertise and his work nationally on behalf of local governments involved in broadband issues make him a perfect candidate to share his thoughts on how America’s communities can play an effective role in determining their broadband futures.”

In just the last 15 months, the CMU Lecture Series has featured a retired Supreme Court Justice, former FBI director, former U.S. Senator and Pulitzer Prize winner, among others.

Fellman has received numerous awards and distinctions, including “Barrister’s Best” government lawyer in 2013 by Law Week Colorado, and one of 5280 Magazine’s Top Denver Lawyers in Communications/Technology Law in 2015. He represents local governments nationwide in broadband and telecommunications matters, and utilities law.

He is past-president of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, a group representing the interests of the nation’s local governments in communications matters.  Fellman is a former mayor (1999-2007) and city council member (1993-1999) of Arvada, Colo. He graduated from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

About Kissinger & Fellman P.C.

Established in 1976, the Denver-based law firm of Kissinger & Fellman offers access to legal experts who are nationally recognized in areas that include telecommunications, social networking, transportation and employment, plus commercial litigation, business planning, government, construction and real estate, and criminal defense. The firm’s emphasis on a practical business approach to legal problems has enabled it to attract a growing group of clients, serving as their general counsel or working on specialized legal projects. Partner Ken Fellman has been named Colorado Super Lawyer six times, most recently in 2015; and partner Rick Kissinger won the Colorado Motor Carriers Association Distinguished Service Award in 2011. Visit https://www.kandf.com for additional information, or call 303-320-6100.