Connect Americans Now (CAN) Joined by 42 Organizations in Calling for Congress to Take Urgent Action to Permanently Eliminate the Digital Divide

Leaders in Agriculture, Education, Digital and Housing Equity, Health Care, Technology, Veterans Issues and More Tell Lawmakers to Pass Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Advance Additional Solutions to Close Broadband Gap

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

Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) sent a letter Monday to Congressional leaders, co-signed by 42 organizations, representing leaders in agriculture, education, digital and housing equity, health care, technology, veterans issues and more, highlighting the urgency for solutions to close the broadband gap and calling for lawmakers to swiftly pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and advance additional permanent solutions to permanently eliminate the digital divide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically underscored the urgent national imperative of closing the broadband gap to ensure every American has access to an affordable and reliable broadband connection and the digital skills needed to unlock the full potential of modern technology,” the letter reads. “[The] digital divide threatens access to the full promise of the American Dream for too many communities — both urban and rural. The challenge is especially acute in income insecure communities where too many cannot afford broadband service or lack access to infrastructure and devices.”

“CAN and the co-signed organizations below commend the progress thus far in Congress to advance the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This legislation represents an important first step in bringing affordable, reliable broadband and digital skills to every American — regardless of zip code,” the letter says. “While much more needs to be done to permanently close the broadband gap in every community, this legislation provides an essential $65 billion down payment toward bridging the digital divide through broadband deployment, adoption and digital skills training.”

“We encourage lawmakers in the House to work diligently to move the legislation to the president’s desk by the end of the month without further delay,” the letter says. “Congress must build on the positive momentum by advancing additional solutions to permanently bridge the digital divide… We encourage lawmakers, in both chambers, to use this opportunity to do more to secure digital equity by ensuring adequate financial support is available for every American household to afford broadband service and the devices needed to fully unlock the potential of digital technology — and to advance permanent solutions to ensure broadband service and digital skills are available in unserved and underserved communities.”

“Now more than ever, creating good jobs, lifting wages, reducing poverty, improving health outcomes and strengthening education depends on affordable, reliable broadband connectivity and access to digital devices and skills in every American community,” the letter reads. “We’re encouraged by the positive progress made to date and hope to see Congress capitalize on this unique opportunity to

permanently bridge the digital divide and ensure every American has access to an affordable, reliable broadband connection and the devices and skills needed to participate in the 21st century digital economy.”

Read the full letter HERE.

The full list of co-signers on the CAN letter includes:

National Organizations

ACT | The App Association

American Seed Trade Association

American Telemedicine Association



College Possible

Connect Americans Now

Connected Nation

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)


Council for Affordable and Rural Housing


National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Grange

National Rural Education Association

National Veteran Small Business Coalition


Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC)

Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition

Student Veterans of America

U.S. Canola Association

Regional, State & Local Organizations

Blue Mountain Networks

California Farm Bureau Federation

California Telehealth Network

Chehalem Valley Innovation Accelerator

Economic Development Partnership of Montgomery County


Greater Grenada Partnership

Mississippi Restaurant and Hospitality Association

Montana Rural Education Association

Nevada Farm Bureau Federation

Northwoods Association of REALTORS

Oregon Association of Nurseries

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

Oregon State Chamber of Commerce

Oregon Hop Commission

Oregon State Grange

Oregon Water Resources Congress

Thomas County Economic Development Alliance

Wisconsin Corn Growers Association

Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance

Founded in 2017, Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a broad-based coalition 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.

Read about how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will improve broadband connectivity and digital equity HERE.

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

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!