GOVERNOR PATRICK APPOINTS JUDITH DUMONT AS DIRECTOR OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BROADBAND INSTITUTE
"Broadband lifts up local economies, improves our schools and strengthens public safety. That's why expanding coverage throughout the state has been one of our foremost priorities," said Governor Patrick. "Judy's strong skill set and proven track record make her the perfect fit to head up the MBI and help us make our vision for universal broadband a reality."
Dumont has over 20 years of management experience, including more than 17 years in the wireless telecommunications industry. She was President of the Decisioning Solutions business unit at Lightbridge, Inc., a Massachusetts publicly traded software provider for the industry. During her tenure at Lightbridge, Judy held numerous positions at all levels ranging from client support to account management and from product management to business and strategic planning. As President/General Manager for the company's largest business unit, Dumont worked closely with the Lightbridge CEO and Board of Directors on strategic planning, corporate development and organizational design, as well as managing the operation.
"Thanks to the leadership and advocacy of Governor Patrick and his team, Massachusetts is now well-positioned to expand broadband services so that every community has the infrastructure in place to strengthen schools, businesses and public safety," said Dumont. "I want to thank Governor Patrick for giving me this tremendous opportunity to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth, and I am confident that we will get results in cities and towns across the state."
Governor Patrick signed landmark legislation creating the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, to make strategic investments and harness public-private partnerships to develop broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities.
The MBI is making strategic investments in broadband infrastructure assets, such as fiber-optic cables and wireless towers, thereby lowering the overall cost of deployment for private providers. The MBI manages the Massachusetts Broadband Incentive Fund, which is capitalized by $40 million in state bond funding.
Pam Reeve, the past Chair and Founding CEO of Boston's openairboston.net, and the current Chair of The Commonwealth Institute, worked with Dumont while at Lightbridge as its President and CEO. Reeve said, "I had the privilege of working with Judy for over 15 years, and she is among the most talented managers and problem solvers with whom I have worked. Judy has successfully managed complex projects with very time-sensitive deliverables. She is comfortable managing engineers and other team members in a technology setting. She is smart, flexible and resilient, and she is a very well-rounded executive and superb collaborator. Judy's hands-on leadership and operational expertise will be particularly important as the MBI moves from the planning to the implementation phase."
Don Dubendorf, the Chair of WesternMA Connect, Inc., the combined entity of formerly Berkshire Connect, Inc. and Pioneer Valley Connect, said, "Too many Massachusetts communities are underserved when it comes to broadband access and some, particularly in western Massachusetts, have no access at all. Judy is the perfect choice to lead the MBI at this critical juncture. We have a good plan in place, and the job now is operational and getting this done. Judy is particularly well-suited to this implementation challenge, and those of us in western Massachusetts, where our digital divide is most acute, are anxious to join her in getting the job done."
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $7.2 billion in funding to help states that are ready to deploy broadband in unserved and underserved areas. The Massachusetts broadband initiative means that, under the Patrick-Murray Administration, the Commonwealth has already commenced the work required to seize the extraordinary opportunity to attract significant federal funding.
The MBI is already implementing the first broadband federal stimulus award announced in Massachusetts, approximately $2 million for the collection and mapping of broadband availability and infrastructure information. This project will help the state prepare for additional federal stimulus funding to build new broadband infrastructure that will bring broadband access to tens of thousands of households, businesses and community anchor institutions throughout the Commonwealth - including the unserved and underserved communities of western Massachusetts and the Cape.
The MBI proposes to build broadband fiber infrastructure that will provide citizens of all unserved and underserved communities of western Massachusetts with high-speed Internet access. Specifically, the MBI plans to build a fiber "middle mile" network throughout the western region of the state that, in addition to bringing broadband access to these communities, would provide direct connection to regional anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries and hospitals, and other critical community facilities. The project could create as many as 3,040 jobs and would be in partnership with other state and local government entities, non-profits and for-profit companies.
The fiber-optic network would build on a recently announced $4.5 million, 55-mile segment of MBI fiber currently being deployed along the Interstate 91 corridor in western Massachusetts.
Federal funding awards for broadband infrastructure deployment are expected to be announced on a rolling basis beginning today through February 2010, and will be followed by one additional funding round.
Studies indicate that communities with broadband access experience increases in jobs, business expansion and property values. Other broadband-enabled benefits include improvements in public safety and access to health care, educational opportunities and civic participation.
Since leaving Lightbridge in January 2005, Dumont has worked as a strategic consultant. Dumont has served on the Board of Advisors for Fulfillment Plus, an Internet e-commerce fulfillment company and also served on the Board of Directors for Club Passim, a non-profit folk music cultural center located in Cambridge. She currently serves on the board of The Boston Club, the area's largest organization for high-achieving senior executive and professional women, and chairs its strategic planning committee.
Originally a native of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Dumont lives in Nahant.
For more information, please visit www.massbroadband.org.