CAN’S Take: Boosting Digital Equity Essential to Afford Every American The Same Opportunities

Press Release
January 26, 2021
Contact: Jon Conradi
[email protected]

The Broadband Gap Exacerbates Racial Inequality in America; Biden Administration Must Make Expanding Broadband A Priority

Washington, D.C. – On taking office, the Biden Administration set thematics for each day of the new president’s first weeks in office to highlight top priorities for the nation. Each day Connect Americans Now (CAN) will weigh-in with our take — outlining how eliminating the digital divide is critical to achieving these objectives. Today, CAN executive director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement on the administration’s Tuesday focus on racial equity.

“Our country can take meaningful strides toward affording every American the same opportunities by completely eliminating the digital divide,” said Richard T. Cullen, executive director of CAN. “Issues of digital adoption and skilling must be tackled by policymakers in Washington as part of a broader focus on addressing persistent racial inequality.”

“The digital divide has particularly exacerbated existing inequities during the pandemic as students without broadband at home faced a transition to remote learning and millions of low-income Americans lost their jobs,” Cullen added. “Initiatives like the Keep Americans Connected Pledge helped deaden the blow for some Americans in the short term but much more must be done to completely eliminate the digital divide and its implications like the homework gap in every community.”

A recent study from the Abell Foundation put the impact of the digital divide on racial equity in focus. The report analyzed Maryland and found 40 percent of residents who lack access to broadband are African American, while African Americans make-up just 31 percent of the state population. The study also found two-thirds of households stuck on the wrong side of the broadband gap are located in urban areas and that nearly 75 percent of households without access to broadband earn less than Maryland’s median income.

Read CAN’s statement on the administration’s Monday focus on “Buy American” HERE.

Read CAN’s statement on the administration’s Friday focus on rebuilding the economy HERE.

CAN is a coalition of more than 275 organizations and companies representing voices for agriculture, health care, education, small business, technology, veterans, rural advocacy and more — committed to completely and swiftly eliminating the digital divide in America through an all-of-the-above approach.

Read more on CAN and our mission HERE.


Join our fight to bring broadband to all rural Americans. Tell Washington to take action to bridge the digital divide now!