Governor Patrick Selects Broadband Expert to Head the new Department of Telecommunications and Cable
Broadband Researcher and Consultant Sharon E. Gillett Tapped to Lead Vital Agency
Recently established by Governor Patrick's government reorganization plan, the Department of Telecommunications and Cable is an agency of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and falls under the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. By creating this elevated agency, Governor Patrick has enabled state government to address one of the Commonwealth's most pressing issues in a more comprehensive and efficient way. Commissioner Gillett will exercise regulatory functions involving rate setting, licensure, quality of service and safety and will ensure that consumers and businesses throughout the Commonwealth have access to state of the art telecommunications and broadband technologies at reasonable prices.
"Sharon Gillett is a nationally-recognized expert in this field and an excellent choice to lead this important department and help make sure that communities across the Commonwealth are wired for the 21 st Century," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Dan O'Connell. "Affordable, available, advanced connectivity is a critical infrastructure and economic development issue. I am confident that Sharon will work to give all of our communities the tools they need to compete in today's knowledge-based, innovation economy."
Gillett has spent more than a decade working on telecommunications, cable and Internet issues as both a consultant and academician. She is a principal at Victory Research, an independent consulting firm specializing in Internet and telecommunications policy and economic development.
"Broadband, wireless, telecommunications and cable are critical to the economic success of businesses and consumers in all parts of our state, from Pittsfield to Provincetown," said Sharon E. Gillett. "I am excited to have this opportunity to work in partnership with Massachusetts communities, legislators and industry to ensure that telecommunications services get the attention they need."
She previously served as a principal research associate and chair of the Broadband Working Group for the industry-sponsored Communications Futures Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a member of the Boston Wireless Task Force, a group established to advise Mayor Thomas Menino on broadband issues. She provided consultation to the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, TN; the city of Burlington, VT; South East England Development Agency in Guildford, UK; the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris (OECD), France; and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
"Sharon's appointment is a significant step forward in our efforts to boost broadband and wireless growth in Massachusetts," said Consumer Affairs Director Daniel Crane. "She brings an extraordinary amount of expertise to the position and possesses a keen understanding of the industry's cross section of concerns and stakeholders."
"Sharon Gillett is an extremely dynamic and well-respected leader in the telecommunications field," said Joyce L. Plotkin, President of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. "She has the intellect, content knowledge, thoughtfulness and balance the Administration needs to bring universally accessible and affordable broadband to every corner of the Commonwealth."
She has published numerous peer-reviewed and trade-press articles focusing on broadband policy issues and has been a lecturer for communications policy at both MIT and Cambridge University in the UK. She also served as the executive director and research associate for the Internet and Telecoms Convergence Consortium, an industry-sponsored consortium at MIT.
Gillett received an AB, cum laude, in physics from Harvard-Radcliffe College, a MS in the technology and policy program from MIT, and a MBA from Sloan School of Management at MIT. She is presently a doctoral candidate in business administration specializing in Information Systems at Boston University School of Management. Gillett is a resident of Lexington, Massachusetts.