WRC’s Connected Communities Initiative Recognized for Pioneering Programs to Bridge America’s Digital Gap
Wake Forest, N.C. and Winter Park, Colo. (Dec. 2, 2021) - Matthew Bauer, who leads Wireless Research Center’s Connected Communities initiative, will serve as the WRC’s representative and has been appointed as the WRC’s representative to serve a two-year term on the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC).
In appointing the WRC and Mr. Bauer, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted the focus of the CEDC is to make recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on advancing equity in the provision of and access to digital communication services and products. That goal is aligned with the WRC’s new Connected Communities economic development initiative focused on research, planning, developing and deploying broadband connectivity infrastructure and digital workforce skills job training programs regionally and nationally. Areas of focus include both urban and rural, underserved areas.
Bauer said the WRC and Connected Communities is well positioned as a catalyst for collaboration as a unique nonprofit fostering collaboration globally among companies, industry groups, governments, academic institutions, and other research organizations.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve on the FCC committee and honored to work alongside such an esteemed group and the FCC to bridge America’s growing digital gap,” Bauer said. “The digital gap as we have defined it is a complex three-part challenge. We know the solution combines addressing connectivity by providing affordable broadband for all while bridging the digital skills gap. Our Connected Communities initiative at the WRC, alongside public/private leadership and partners ranging from the Town of Wake Forest in North Carolina to Grand County in Colorado to corporations including Freeport-McMoRan, SBA Communications and AT&T, is creating a playbook to empower communities across the nation with connectivity and digital workforce training to foster digital equity for all.”
Bauer has helped start, build and grow a number of organizations, co-founding three companies and two nonprofits, including BetterWorld Technology, one of the first telecommunications carriers focused on social and environmental impact. He helped create and lead a group that was awarded a U.S.
Department of Commerce stimulus grant that deployed a fiber network in the U.S. Virgin Islands, while creating a broadband workforce development initiative which trained thousands of residents and helped provide career paths to the broadband economy.
WRC founder and Chief Executive Officer Gerard Hayes said that Bauer is building relationships across the nation to deploy technology and digital job training hubs to benefit communities. “We founded the WRC with a mission of developing communities of collaboration to develop technology-led solutions that benefit communities and create jobs,” Hayes said. “Matt is a passionate leader who is building a team and process to help many people in communities across the nation.”
Other WRC economic development and community collaboration initiatives include:
RIoT – building communities for Internet of Things entrepreneurship across the nation.
Advanced Mobility Collective – global community for new mobility services including autonomous air and ground vehicles.
5G Innovation – testbeds for drones and unmanned aerial systems supported by an industry consortium and $24 million NSF grant.
Government and Public Safety – applied research and development for public safety and local, regional and national government agencies.
More information about the CEDC is available at www.fcc.gov/communications-equity-and-diversity-council
About the Wireless Research Center
The WRC is an independent nonprofit founded in 2010 to serve as a catalyst for collaborative innovation and technology-led economic development to improve communities. The WRC is a partner with clients globally for applied research and engineering services, including communities of businesses, governments and researchers to bring new products and services to life. The WRC accelerates the rate of scientific innovation as a network design and Internet of Things (IoT) consultant and certified testing facility for the nation’s wireless industry and many wireless network providers. The WRC bridges the gap between research and commercialization with a unique approach of not requiring an ownership share of intellectual property for jointly developed inventions.
Community economic development initiatives include 5G innovation. The WRC is leading the deployment, operation and collaboration with commercial businesses for drones and unmanned aerial systems in 5G testbeds for the nation’s third advanced wireless research platform supported by an industry consortium and a $24 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Other community initiatives include broadband connectivity infrastructure and digital workforce skills job training, advanced mobility with autonomous air and ground vehicles, entrepreneurship for Internet-of-Things connected devices, and public safety and government technology. For more information, visit www.wrc-nc.org
Scott Yates 919-649-6621 firstname.lastname@example.org