News Department

NJBPU president appoints director of Broadband Office

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Joseph L. Fiordaliso announced his appointment of Valarry Bullard as the Director of the newly created Broadband Office.

Bullard fills a key role for the State of New Jersey in achieving digital equity and broadband access and adoption for all residents and businesses.

“Broadband is an increasingly critical resource for residents to connect to educational, employment and telehealth opportunities, and for our business community, too” Fiordaliso said. “Ensuring all of our residents and businesses have access to high-speed internet is a priority for the Murphy Administration and I’m thrilled to have Valarry on board to lead our team in this effort.”

As the State of New Jersey’s first Broadband Director, Bullard will drive the state’s broadband strategy of equal access for all New Jerseyans and direct substantial federal and state funding that will soon become available by working with industry, communities, and agencies to ensure the greatest impact for digital literacy and inclusion. She also will focus on building out an enhanced staff and processes to manage funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden.

Bullard most recently served as the first Broadband Advisor and Transparency Officer for the New Jersey Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office. There, she focused on the coordination of federal, state, and local broadband-related services and programs. Bullard was also responsible for overseeing the result of the transparency website to track the State’s eligible and planned uses of both state and federal funds to help New Jersey residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other entities respond to or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before joining the Governor’s Office, she served as the Senior IT Project Manager and Software Development Specialist at the Department of Community Affairs where she was responsible for overseeing the modernizing of state applications and the migration of legacy applications.

She has an extensive technical background and experience in implementing long-term, large-scale federally funded programs and grants.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business and a Master of Arts in International Political and Economic Development, both from the University of Bridgeport.

“I am honored to serve as New Jersey’s first Broadband Director and grateful to President Fiordaliso for his confidence in appointing me to this critical role,” Bullard said. “Working in government has given me a window into how the digital divide impacts our most vulnerable communities from accessing the benefits of the internet.  My new position will allow me to collaborate with local and regional leaders to amplify marginalized voices and develop a strong digital inclusion ecosystem.”

The Broadband Office is working in conjunction with the Broadband Access Study Commission to develop their report of recommendations for addressing gaps in Broadband access and deployment for the State of New Jersey. The Broadband Office is also charged with implementing New Jersey’s Digital Equity Planning Grant and Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) programs, funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the anticipated funding for infrastructure through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.

Combined, these funds will help fully staff the New Jersey broadband office for planning, deployment, mapping, equity and adoption activities, stakeholder engagement and education, data collection and analysis, and a competitive program for broadband infrastructure projects.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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