Peter J. Pratt
Peter Pratt is a telecom industry manager, analyst, publisher, public policy specialist, and market strategist. He is the principal of the telecom sector advisory firm PrattNetworks LLC, based in San Francisco and Boston, and publisher of StimulatingBroadband.com, the industry’s go-to site for analysis of the federal broadband stimulus program and support programs for broadband infrastructure capitalization.
PrattNetworks LLC specializes in content marketing, public communications, public affairs, and regulatory strategy for cable, wireline, and wireless operators and equipment manufacturers.
During the Internet boom period, Pratt was Director of Market Planning for Metromedia Fiber Network (MFN, formerly NASDAQ: MFNX), a firm which became the world’s largest provider of dark fiber telecom infrastructure. As MFN achieved a peak market capitalization of $27 billion and position in the NASDAQ 100 Index. Pratt developed and managed network targeting strategies for the carrier, now AboveNet (NYSE: ABVT).
The AboveNet Boston network laid out by Pratt today supports the single highest concentrations of academic research and development, mutual fund management firms, and biotechnology investment in North America. Economic developers, property developers, and businesses have credited Pratt with the foresight to design and construct fiber deployments in Cambridge, MA, supporting this commercial district’s ascent to the leading worldwide center of biotechnology R&D.
Public Sector, Politics, Policy
Pratt began his career as an issues briefer for the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 1980 presidential campaign. In the early 1980s, Pratt began a nearly 30 plus year political relationship with Senator John F. Kerry, most recently serving as lead emissary to Native American tribes when Kerry was the 2004 presidential nominee. He has managed more than 40 political campaigns over three decades, including a U.S. congressional and state presidential primary campaign in his twenties.
In 1989, he was the first representative chosen by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), national professional organization of municipal communications regulators, to testify to Congress. Appearing before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance of the U.S. House Commerce and Energy Committee, he enunciated policies regarding cable rate regulation, customer service, and cable-telco competition. Several policies advocated by Pratt were incorporated in the federal Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. His testimony also marked the first municipal testimony to Congress advocating telephone company entry into the video delivery business, then a legal monopoly of the cable industry. This became Section 302 of the Federal Telecom Reform Act of 1996.
This assignment capped Pratt’s tenure (1984-1990) as Director of Telecommunications for the City of Somerville, MA. In 1987, he deployed the first fiber optic wide area network operated by an American city, and became one of few U.S. city administrators with consolidated authority over all regulatory and technical functions of civilian and public safety communications.
Prior to this position, Pratt was Director of Franchise Development for The Alda Group of Bridgeport, Conn., a cable operator founded by cable pioneer Victor Oristano, acquired by Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). He also served with television producer John M. Florescu in a media consulting firm which pioneered political advertising on local cable, helping to target the first major use of cable political ads in American politics.
Mr. Pratt served in Massachusetts government, tasked with the development of pro-growth IT/telecom public policies. As Manager of Telecommunications Initiatives for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, he framed policy positions and organizations, providing the foundation for the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.
Sector Analysis, Publishing, Research
During the 1990s, Pratt was Director of Telecommunications Research for Cahners Publishing Company’s market research unit and Telecommunications Editor for Individual/NewsEdge Corp.
Immediately following the 1996 Act’s passage, Pratt became one of the most widely quoted telecom industry analysts on telecom competition and market consolidation. His analysis has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Business Journal, Computerworld, Datamation, InfoWorld, Investors’ Business Daily, Lightwave, Mass High Tech, PhonePlus, Telephony, and USA Today.
Pratt also worked as telecom consultant, venture investor/partner, and owner of his own communications engineering firm. His assignments included implementing Enhanced 9-1-1 public safety dispatch systems and corporate call centers, and raising $50 million for a start-up cellular venture.
Pratt attended Boston University’s Graduate School of Management, and holds a Government degree from Bard College, where he was student body co-President. In Pratt’s hometown, Cohasset, Mass., he was elected to the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, and Water Commission, and appointed to the regional planning authority for metropolitan Boston. He resides in San Francisco.