Founded in 2017, Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a broad-based coalition of more than 300 companies and organizations representing leading voices in agriculture, education, health care, veterans’ issues, technology and small business — committed to urgent action to completely eliminate the digital divide in every American community.
Broadband internet is vital for the expansion of economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. CAN believes a lack of broadband denies access to the full promise of the American Dream for too many of our communities. Americans without broadband internet need the resources required to afford broadband service, access to broadband-supported devices and the digital skills necessary to utilize the full potential of digital technology.
Unconnected and under-connected communities are relying on policymakers in Washington to act and advance permanent solutions to close the broadband gap and ensure every American can unlock the full potential of 21st century digital tools.
CAN encourages members of Congress to support a three-pronged approach to close the broadband gap completely and permanently in every American community:
- Deployment: Investments in mixed-technology for physical broadband infrastructure to reach Americans without access to broadband service in the most cost-effective and rapid manner possible.
- Adoption: Adequate funding to ensure all Americans can afford broadband service and access to the devices, like tablets and laptops, necessary to participate in the digital economy. America needs permanent funding mechanisms to ensure that the income insecure—whether they are living in urban centers or rural communities—all have access to the same opportunities.
- Skills: Programs to unlock digital skills every American needs to participate in our 21st century digital world. Without these skills, large portions of our population will not be able to utilize the full potential of digital technology to further their education, participate in our evolving workforce or access tools that can improve their health and quality of life.
There has been commendable progress already in areas to eliminate the digital divide, specifically legislative solutions in Washington that have helped clear regulatory burdens to innovation, maximize spectrum resources, improve mapping data and expand connectivity. However, there is much more that must be done, and Americans still stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide cannot wait. Americans are counting on action from Congress now.