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Director at Michigan Public Service Commission Honored with National Broadband Visionary Award

LANSING, Mich., April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Connected Nation (CN) honored Robin Ancona, Director, Telecommunications Division, Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) yesterday with the 2020 Broadband Visionary Award. This prestigious national award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional and innovative leadership in the application of broadband and related technologies.

(PRNewsfoto/Connected Nation)

"Robin has worked tirelessly to find innovative solutions for connecting more families and businesses across Michigan to high-speed internet (broadband)," said Eric Frederick, Executive Director, Connected Nation Michigan. "Our nonprofit has worked with her since 2009. In that time, I've seen her use her role at the Commission to advocate for all Michiganders by implementing the State Broadband Initiative program, advising the 21st Century Infrastructure Council and the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks, contributing significantly to the 2018 Michigan Broadband Roadmap and the Connecting Michigan Communities grant program, among other accomplishments."

She was honored during a virtual ceremony that included remarks from Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and was attended by CN staff members. Ancona has spent her 40-year career dedicated to public service. She began working for MPSC in 1979 as an auditor, and later transitioned to the Technical Services Division, where she worked on the yearlong audit of the break-up of AT&T, and then the Communications Division, where she worked on federal and state issues.

Ancona then moved to the Telecommunications Division where she was assigned to projects related to the implementation of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. She was promoted to manager of the newly created Broadband Section in 2002 and then served as manager of the Rates and Financial Analysis Section and the Licensing and Competitive Issues Sections. In January 2008, Ancona became Director of the Telecommunications Division – a position that she has held for the last 12 years.

"Our organization has had the pleasure of knowing and working with Robin for more than a decade," said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, CN. "In that time, we have been inspired by her leadership and influence in matters of broadband policy, at all levels of government. She is the consummate public servant and is driven by a keen understanding that behind her work is a person, a community or a business whose life will be better because of her effort to make technology more accessible. Connected Nation is a stronger organization and Michigan is a better-connected state because of her tireless efforts."

Past honorees of the award include former Iowa Governor and current U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, who received the award in 2017, and Colonel M. Blaine Hedges, USA (Retired), who was honored last year. The governor worked to expand broadband accessibility and was among the first in the nation to establish a state broadband communications network. Col. Hedges recognized how broadband could address chronic employment challenges facing military spouses and veterans and championed the expansion of Digital Works training for the military community in Kentucky.

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SOURCE Connected Nation