Gigi Sohn has a new gig. She’s joining the new American Association for Public Broadband (AAPB) as its first Executive Director in June. State and local officials formed the non-profit to lobby for municipal broadband.
AAPB membership comprises government officials who are either already operating municipal broadband networks or plan to do so, according to the association website. Sohn will also continue her work as a Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.
“Until now, there has not been a membership-based advocacy organization that works to ensure that public broadband can grow unimpeded by anti-competitive barriers,” Sohn said in a statement. “That’s despite the success of public broadband to help places like Chattanooga and the Massachusetts Berkshires transform from sleepy hamlets to vibrant centers of economic opportunity, education, and culture. We have the chance to make a positive case for states to fund and communities to choose public broadband and oppose barriers to local choice.”
Sohn withdrew her nomination to the third Democratic seat on the FCC in March. At the time, she said the “unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks” on her character and career had “taken an enormous toll” on her and her family, Inside Towers reported.
Sohn made her AAPB announcement at the Broadband Communities conference. “I don’t think private broadband should be the only game in town but it should be a level playing field and I hope to set that level playing field,” Sohn said, Telecompetitor reported.
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief