Connect Americans Now (CAN): Digital Equity Act Programs Can Ensure Underserved Communities Have Access to Digital Devices and Skills

NTIA Will Conclude Public Listening Sessions on Broadband Programs With Focus on Key Solutions to Improve Digital Equity in Every American Community

Press Release
February 23, 2022
Contact: Jon Conradi
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) executive director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement Wednesday ahead of the final National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) listening session gathering public input on its implementation of broadband programs established by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The last session will focus on Digital Equity Act Programs.

“The broadband programs established by the bipartisan infrastructure law offer a historic opportunity for meaningful progress toward creating a more equitable society where every community can unlock the full potential of digital technology,” Cullen said. “Bridging the digital divide in every American community will require ensuring access to the digital devices and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century classroom and economy — in addition to securing access to an affordable and reliable broadband connection.”

“The $2.75 billion dedicated to Digital Equity Act programs will help states create plans to foster equal access to broadband for historically underserved communities and fund projects that increase broadband accessibility and digital skills,” Cullen continued. “These critical programs can help ensure people in every U.S. community have the digital skills necessary to succeed in an evolving workforce, foster greater digital equity in our society and maintain America’s competitive edge in the world economy.”

“NTIA’s five-part listening session series has provided an important avenue for the public to provide feedback on the implementation of these historic programs,” Cullen added. “Now, Administrator Alan Davidson and NTIA must implement critical safeguards, including ensuring broadband deployment funding follows a technology neutral approach, to maximize the cost-effectiveness and positive impact of these programs — to permanently close the digital divide for as many people as possible as swiftly as possible.”

Read CAN’s recent comment letter on the NTIA broadband infrastructure programs, co-signed by 36 organizations, HERE.

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.

Learn more about solutions to permanently close the broadband gap HERE.

Read more on CAN and our mission HERE.


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