Broadband Funding Specialist for Federal and State Programs
Sandeep has been at the center of broadband funding programs and public-private partnerships since 2009. He has collaborated with federal and state agencies, the United Nations, and a diverse set of service providers (e.g., cooperatives, national telcos, cable operators, mobile and fixed wireless providers, national research and education networks.) The commonality across this diverse portfolio involves the development of new, innovative programs and partnerships to bridge the digital divide by breaking barriers preventing equitable broadband access, affordability, and adoption.
Currently, he serves as a program advisor to the New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE) to implement and administer the Connect New Mexico Fund. He also advises the Illinois Broadband Program Office, responsible for the $400 million Connect Illinois grant fund. He serves on the application review panel and developed program components (e.g., scoring framework, application, etc.) He collaborates with HR Green, an engineering and management solutions firm, to advise local governments and service providers regarding public-private partnerships and go-to-market strategies for broadband and smart city initiatives.
He advised UNICEF and ITU on strategies, technologies, and funding models to connect schools and homes at scale in low-income countries in light of Covid-19 closures – as part of the GIGA Initiative. Prior, he served as Director of Public-Private Partnerships at OneWeb (a LEO satellite operator), where he developed go-to-market strategies and partnership models to connect satellite-dependent and highly unserved communities. He engaged with stakeholders across the global ICT ecosystem, including UN agencies (e.g., UNICEF, ITU, WFP), the World Bank, global government authorities, service operators (ISPs/MNOs), technology partners, NGOs, and NRENs.
Before OneWeb, Sandeep served as a Senior Policy Analyst and Broadband Program Specialist at the NTIA (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) to design and launch the $3.5 billion BTOP grant program that deployed over 115,000 new and upgraded network miles of backhaul infrastructure and connected over 25,000 community institutions across rural America. The program funded over 120 public-private partnerships with co-investments from industry, state/local government, and NGOs. He served as the Federal Program Officer to oversee 18 of the awards and commissioned an independent firm to evaluate digital and socioeconomic impact. He represented NTIA in providing technical assistance to state/local government (e.g., New York’s Broadband Program Office’s first-ever reverse auction) and international institutions. He served as Co-Chair of an interagency team to publish the National Broadband Research Agenda and authored several sections. He also served as NTIA’s representative on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative and National Strategy for the Arctic Region.
Before NTIA, he directed C-level sponsored strategy consulting engagements for leading telecom and wireless operators while at inCode. Typical deliverables involved a business case to measure the financial and strategic opportunity for new products, technology development, and market expansion. Formerly, he led industry and economic analysis for high-profile proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission and served as a speechwriter. His assessment led to the deregulation of the fixed-satellite service market by classifying COMSAT as a non-dominant carrier. While at the FCC, he prepared the initial drafts of Vice President Al Gore’s speech to the ITU in 1998 – entitled “Digital Declaration of Independence,” which encouraged regulatory authorities to leverage the Internet’s transformative power to elevate the economic and social standing of their communities. Ever since, his calling has always been to integrate private-sector ingenuity, government and non-profit leadership, and innovative partnership models to solve problems and drive sustainable change.