American Library Association
Robert (Bob) Bocher has over thirty-five years of program administration and project management experience focused on library and school technology–including Internet access and broadband connectivity. He served as the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s statewide E-rate support manager since the E-rate’s inception. While retiring from full-time employment in 2012, he still is employed part-time by the department and continues providing E-rate and broadband support to the state’s libraries and schools. Bob is the primary author of the department’s comments to the Federal Communications Commission on the E-rate program.
In the area of broadband and Internet connectivity, Bob worked with the state’s networking office in the mid-1990s to ensure library and school access to BadgerNet, Wisconsin’s statewide broadband network. Over 95 percent of the state’s public libraries and 80 percent of its K-12 school districts are connected to BadgerNet which is one of the largest state networks in the country connecting over 2,100 community anchor institutions. In 2014 Bob co-managed a project to get fiber connectivity to 362 libraries on BadgerNet and he has served on the BadgerNet Advisory Council since its inception in 2004. He is also currently a member of the state Public Service Commission’s Wisconsin Broadband Advisory Board. Most Wisconsin libraries and schools receive Internet access from WiscNet, the state’s research and education network. Bob served on the WiscNet board from 2000–2012.
In addition to his work in Wisconsin, Bob has served on the American Library Association’s E-rate Task Force since 1999, including a term as chair. In 2009 he accepted a Fellow position in ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) where he advises the office on E-rate and broadband issues and other related topics like Net Neutrality. He also served as the first Chair of OITP’s Telecommunications Subcommittee and is the ALA representative on the Internet2 U.S. UCAN program.
The E-rate/Fiber Workshop will explore recent developments and future prospects for schools, libraries, and fiber providers seeking E-rate support to deploy fiber networks. The discussion will examine the recent round of questions from USAC concerning special construction, the information applicants must collect to receive approval, the allocation of fiber strands, and the timing for lighting […]