Fast Forward: John Schwartz

Publication date: 
July, 2016

“Trying to put band aids on things will never work," says John Schwartz, director and founder of the Voqal Companies. Here Schwartz talks about the work of Voqal to address the “Homework Gap.” He also addresses civic engagement and why political change is vital in making sure everyone has access to good schooling. A public media advocate for 40 years, Schwartz has founded community radio and television stations and brought wireless broadband services to cities throughout the U.S. In 1983, he started what is now called Voqal—five nonprofit organizations that have licenses in the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) band. Using the organizations’ spectrum, commercial operator Clearwire (a Sprint subsidiary) delivers 4G wireless broadband to most major U.S. cities. In exchange for use of the spectrum, Clearwire provides Voqal with royalties, which they allocate to their operations and grantmaking efforts. 

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