Leading Rural Broadband Group Names New Executive Director - Telecom Industry Veteran to Guide Rural Mobile Broadband Alliance (RuMBA) USA

RuMBA USA has a new Executive Director. Peter Pratt, an industry veteran, was selected to replace Luisa Handem who is stepping down from the Managing Director's Role for the organization she founded more than two years ago.

Reston, VA, July 15, 2011 --(PR.com)-- The Rural Mobile & Broadband Alliance (RuMBA) USA, the broadband advocacy group for rural America, today announced the appointment of telecom industry veteran Peter Pratt as its new leader. Luisa Handem, the outgoing Managing Director and founder of RuMBA, has stepped down as Managing Director, but will continue on as the organization’s President.

This change in RuMBA’s leadership comes at a time of increasing challenges to the growth of the broadband infrastructure in rural America, which Pratt was selected to address.

“I am thrilled to be a part of RuMBA and look forward to providing our members and the public continued advocacy, leadership and education on broadband developments in rural and other unserved areas of our country,” said Pratt.

“Today with the USDA’s broadband loan program under constant pressure on Capitol Hill, and with Administration’s National Broadband Plan giving short shrift to rural America, in many cases, the coalition that Luisa so tirelessly built is now needed more than ever.”

“Peter has more than three decades of experience and leadership in the telecom sector, with particular strengths in industry analysis, public policy, and rural broadband affairs. His experience advocating for competitive telecommunications and robust broadband infrastructure for the rural unserved areas of our country is what the organization needs today,” said Handem.

She continued, “It is now time for me to step down and look further afield for opportunities to expand RuMBA. To that effect, I will be launching RuMBA Worldwide a year from now when I end a year-long sabbatical as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, doing media development work in Liberia.”

Handem, who launched RuMBA at the onset of the Obama Administration’s broadband stimulus program, grew the group to a 400-member strong organization in the intervening two years.

Upon accepting his new post, Pratt advised that the organization will soon introduce lower and flat rate fees for individuals and corporations to join RuMBA. RuMBA’s site offers free social membership, while full members can play active roles on RuMBA’s Advisory and Expert Committees, and become full Sponsors.

The Rural Mobile and Broadband Alliance (RuMBA) USA advocates for a robust broadband infrastructure for all of rural America. The group is comprised of rural independent telephone companies, rural-based Internet service providers (ISPs), wireless providers, public sector officials, industry suppliers, and rural economic developers. In addition to disseminating information on broadband technologies and their economic benefits to rural economies, RuMBA takes active positions on funding and regulatory legislation, and regulatory rule makings at the federal and state level.

For more information and to join the Alliance: visit www.rumbausa.com.

Contact: Mostafa Razzak
(O) 212.786.6036
(M) 917.912.0623

Luisa Handem Piette