Nicole Ferraro

Writer, Editor & Storyteller

United States

Hi, I'm Nicole. I'm a writer and storyteller based in NYC where I've worked as a tech journalist and editor in b2b and consumer media for 15+ years.

Today I cover broadband and the digital divide for Broadband World News and Light Reading, where I also host "The Divide" on the Light Reading Podcast. (Send pitches to [email protected])

Pre-pandemic, I hosted/performed in many live storytelling shows, including an award-winning solo show "Why So Much Shame?" I also created and ran Art, Humanity & Action: a series of live events/fundraisers, podcasts, and workshops to connect people with community activism and grassroots organizing.


Features + Reporting

Broadband World News
After 'unfortunate delay,' CostQuest will make US broadband map

The GAO denied a protest brought by LightBox, permitting the FCC to move forward with CostQuest as the US broadband map maker. But LightBox's CEO said a 'key element' of its protest wasn't considered and the company may pursue further legal paths.

Broadband World News
Senators probe Raimondo on broadband maps she doesn't oversee

At a hearing on Tuesday, senators pressed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the department's prep work to distribute tens of billions of dollars in broadband grants, and when the FCC will finish the national broadband map needed to get the process started.

Broadband World News
FCC starts process to stop digital redlining

According to a draft notice of inquiry, the federal agency will soon invite public comments on how to write its rules in order to eliminate and regulate digital discrimination.

Broadband World News
10M US households signed up for monthly broadband subsidy

The Broadband World News community site is intended for ultra-broadband network operators, ISPs, content and video service providers, regulators, investors and municipal/smart city network developers who must ensure that they are up to date with all of the technology, services, standards and strategic developments impacting the high-speed broadband access network sector.

Broadband World News
FCC moves forward with broadband nutrition labels

The agency is mandated by the Biden administration's infrastructure law to adopt regulations for easy-to-understand labels that allow consumers to comparison shop for broadband services.

Broadband World News
Alan Davidson confirmed as NTIA chief

Davidson's confirmation comes not a moment too soon, with the federal agency he now heads responsible for $48 billion in state broadband grant funding.

Broadband World News
NYC housing developments get people-powered broadband

Through the de Blasio administration's Internet Master Plan, local firms BlocPower and People's Choice Communications (PCC) are delivering low-cost broadband by and for the people of New York.

Broadband World News
Rosenworcel fields questions on FCC's broadband map in Senate hearing

In a confirmation hearing before the US Senate today, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel discussed the agency's crucial work on broadband mapping and said it has selected a bidder for the national broadband serviceable location fabric.

Broadband World News
Commerce Sec promises Fed oversight on state broadband plans

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at a White House press briefing that closing the digital divide will be a 'massive undertaking' and shared details on oversight plans and requirements for state funding.

Broadband World News
FCC vacancies threaten to derail US broadband plans

Without a permanent chair or adequate staff, and at risk of losing its Democratic majority, the FCC will fail to make meaningful progress on crucial broadband programs, a former agency official warns.

Broadband World News
The Divide: How broadband impacts public health

Interview with digital health equity consultant Dr. Amy Sheon on the impact of the digital divide on public health, how health policy and broadband policy need to intersect in order to address this problem and more.

Broadband World News
Experimental 'RFoF' broadband goes live in rural Missouri

Residents of Turney, Missouri – a village in Clinton County – have a new way to connect to the Internet. And stakeholders hope the experiment will help tackle the digital divide in the rural area.

Broadband World News
The Divide: New map shows 60M Americans lack Internet

On this episode, we hear from Eric Frank, CEO of LightBox, a real estate information and technology platform, on the company's new nationwide Internet connectivity map. While the FCC's most recent estimate shows 14.5 million Americans lacking Internet access, LightBox today puts that number at a much larger 60 million, or one in six Americans.

Broadband World News
How do Americans view broadband? It's complicated

A new survey from Allconnect shows that 87% of Americans consider Internet access an 'essential' utility, but only 16% call universal broadband access a top priority.

Light Reading
States set dates for closing their digital divides

When the US Congress eventually gets an infrastructure package to President Biden's desk, it will contain $65 billion for broadband, the country's most significant investment in Internet infrastructure to date. But several states aren't waiting around for that influx of cash to make multi-million-dollar investments toward closing their digital divides.

Broadband World News
FCC cheers 1M EBB signups as ISPs reportedly take advantage

The FCC asserts that over 900 broadband providers have signed up to participate in the program, but some customers seeking the subsidy say that ISPs are trying to push them into higher-priced packages.

Broadband World News
White House report cards reveal top and bottom of the broadband class

As the Biden/Harris administration continues to seek and build support for its $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, the White House issued a series of report cards for individual states, grading their overall infrastructure and outlining weaknesses in specific categories, including broadband.

Broadband World News
The FCC wants to know how bad your broadband is

As part of a new data collection effort on broadband service and availability in the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is going right to the people for details on their experience.

Broadband World News
Pop goes Loon

No doubt this was an ambitious and laudable project to connect people in the hardest-to-reach places, but that a Google/Alphabet company can't find the means to keep such an important service alive is disappointing and doesn't bode well for companies' collective will to do what's necessary to address the digital divide.

Samsung Next - Component
The year 5G finally arrived

Work is underway to expand 5G networks in the United States. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, for example, have been racing to rebuild their networks at the edge in order to enable the low-latencies and ultra-high-speeds that 5G promises.

Broadband World News
NYC's Verizon settlement furthers the 'Master Plan'

Following a legal battle, the City of New York and Verizon have come to an agreement that requires Verizon to expand broadband service to 500,000 of the city's households.

Dark Reading
SANS Launches New CyberStart Program for All High School Students

K-12 computer science teacher Scott Dooley a few years ago was facing a conundrum: he saw massive job growth in cybersecurity and a pipeline of great entry-level jobs, but he couldn't find the right resources or content to connect his students with the opportunities to truly learn cybersecurity and gain an interest in the field.

Samsung Next - Component
Rebuilding telco networks

As we move toward a future of endless applications that demand accelerated processing and ultra-low latency - for everything from VR and AR consumption to autonomous vehicles, personalized retail, real-time health diagnostics and beyond - telcos are seizing the opportunity to reimagine their network architecture and rebuild for the emerging edge computing opportunity.

Dark Reading
'Virtual Cyber Carnival' Kicks off Cybersecurity Awareness Month

A new initiative will run throughout the month of October, invites the general public to play cybersecurity games (and win fabulous prizes). What are your plans for Cybersecurity Awareness Month: changing your passwords, attending a few webinars, upgrading your firewall? How about spending the month playing games in a virtual Cyber Carnival?

Dark Reading
RASP 101: Staying Safe With Runtime Application Self-Protection

The dream of RASP is to empower applications to protect themselves. How close do current implementations get to living the dream? Here's what to know. One of the hopeful appsec solutions to emerge in the past decade is runtime application self-protection (RASP).

Dark Reading
Smart-Lock Hacks Point to Larger IoT Problems

Two recent reports on smart-locks vulnerabilities show that IoT vendors have a bigger job to do in ensuring their products are safely deployed and configured. According to Grand View Research, the global smart-lock market size was valued at $1.2 billion in 2019, with over 7 million devices sold that year alone.

Dark Reading
As More People Return to Travel Sites, So Do Malicious Bots

Attacks against travel-related websites are on the rise as the industry begins to slowly recover from COVID-19, new data shows. With summer holidays, long weekends, and relaxed restrictions on staying at home, the suffering travel industry is seeing some reemerging signs of life: organic visits to car rental websites have grown by 285% since April 1 after a significant drop in traffic during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Dark Reading
Malicious Bots Infiltrate Online Food Delivery

With grocery delivery in higher demand than ever, new add-ons have emerged to secure slots for consumers, presenting a new pathway for bad bots to wreak havoc. In the strange new era of COVID-19, securing a grocery delivery slot can sometimes feel like hitting the lottery.

Podcasts (Host)

Light Reading Podcast
The Divide: How Project Nandi is addressing Internet inequity in the Twin Cities

Guest: Ini Augustine, founder of Project Nandi, a program that provides devices, technical support and broadband assistance to local families in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Project Nandi was launched in 2020 following the onset of COVID-19 to help prevent Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian students from being left behind by remote learning.

Light Reading Podcast
The Divide: Francella Ochillo on documenting local perspectives in broadband policy

Guest: Francella Ochillo, Executive Director of Next Century Cities: a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, that works to support local officials and community leaders in their efforts to expand broadband.

Light Reading Podcast
The Divide: Blair Levin and Clint Odom on digital equity and inclusion

Guests: Blair Levin, who oversaw the creation of the National Broadband Plan under President Barack Obama and served as FCC Chairman Reed Hundt's chief of staff under President Bill Clinton; and Clint Odom, senior vice president of policy and advocacy at the National Urban League.

Light Reading
What's the story with Huawei?

Today on the show, Phil Harvey returns with an update on Huawei bans. Phil was on the podcast this summer talking about how US- and UK-imposed bans and sanctions on Huawei were causing upheaval for the industry. On this episode, he gives an update on the latest developments with these bans, and how he expects this will all play out in 2021.

Light Reading
What's the story with the 'streaming wars'?

Today on the show, Jeff Baumgartner returns with an update on streaming. Jeff was on the podcast this summer talking about the launches of HBO Max and NBCU's Peacock. On this episode, he gives an update on those streaming services and others that have been announced since then, and what the streaming landscape looks like as we head into 2021.

Light Reading
What's the story with satellite broadband?

Today on the show, we're talking with Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner about the state of satellite broadband. Jeff has been keeping us up to date on the much-talked-about Starlink satellite service from SpaceX, as well as other satellite competitors in the field like HughesNet and Viasat.

Light Reading
What's the story with mobile data in Africa?

On this episode of 'What's the Story?' - a new series from the Light Reading Podcast - Paula Gilbert, editor of LR's sister site Connecting Africa, talks with pod host Nicole Ferraro about mobile data growth in Africa: the latest news, why it matters and what's likely to happen next.

Art, Humanity & Action
A gifted speaker grabs the bullhorn

Justin Maffett is a lawyer and activist living in Yorkville on the Upper East Side of New York. Here's his story of growing up as a Black kid in predominantly white spaces, becoming an activist, and how a protest in his local community helped him find his voice in the recent and ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the horrific police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Art, Humanity & Action
A writer speaks up for disability rights

Jennifer Bartlett has long been using her voice to advocate for people with disabilities: first as a poet and a writer, and later as an activist in New York City. Here’s her story of how speaking up for disabled people at a Rise and Resist activist meeting led her to her current role within the MTA President’s Office for Systemwide Accessibility, where she works on changing the culture around disability access.

Art, Humanity & Action
A student battles every barrier

As an undocumented immigrant from Mexico growing up in the US, Jazmin Chavez learned at a young age that she would need to work especially hard to achieve her goals. Here's her story of how she did exactly that, while organizing to help others in the immigrant and undocumented community as well.

Art, Humanity & Action
A mama runs for Congress

Liuba Grechen Shirley, mother of two, made history during the 2018 midterms by successfully petitioning the FEC to use her congressional campaign funds for childcare. Since the election, she's used her experience running for Congress to launch Vote Mama: the first PAC to mentor and financially support moms running for office at all levels of US government.

Art, Humanity & Action
An artist reports at the border

Paola Mendoza believes in the power of art to move people to a place of action. That belief led her to becoming artistic director of the Women's March. And this past November, it took her to Mexico to tell true stories from the immigrants and refugees in the caravan traveling to the US.

Art, Humanity & Action
An understanding of being undocumented

Monica Sibri has been advocating for undocumented immigrants since she first began to understand what it meant to be one herself. Here's her story of crossing the border with her younger sisters at 16, learning she was ineligible for DACA protection-and how every hurdle in her path helped her learn

Art, Humanity & Action
A question about lockdown drills

From PTA meeting to prayer vigil, Laura House shares her journey to becoming a gun control advocate and the Brooklyn Community Outreach Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Personal Essays + Storytelling

The Artichoke Storytelling Series
Guilt Trip (video)

Personal storytelling filmed live at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY.

Modern Loss
Constantly Craving Loss

Dad died when I was 6, and life went on seemingly undeterred. All these years later, I find myself envious of those who have the chance to mourn.

The Story Collider Podcast
The Summer of West Nile

A remote disease comes very close to home for Queens resident Nicole Ferraro.

The New York Times
Grandma 1, West Nile Virus 0

At 16, my friends and I were savoring summer’s final moments. We wandered Whitestone’s desolate streets, sweating through winter garb, as helicopters doused our town with pesticides.

The Story Collider Magazine

I blinked my eyes open. Early morning sunlight sneaked through the blinds on my window, casting a glow on the mess on my floor. Sitting up, I saw my bedroom in complete disarray. There were ripped Hefty bags and stuffed animals spanning twenty-four years strewn across my rug...

Videos (Writing)