Participation in Affordable Connectivity Program Underscores Urgent Demand for Permanent Solutions to Completely Eliminate the Digital Divide
On Monday, the White House hosted a live event, to recognize the enrollment of more than 10 million households in the Affordable Connectivity Program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The program, recently established by Congress through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, provides financial assistance to help income insecure households afford broadband service. The participation of so many households in the recently established program highlights the urgency for additional permanent solutions to completely eliminate the digital divide.
Vice President Kamala Harris, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu participated in the event and underscored the importance of ensuring families in every American community have access to an affordable and reliable broadband connection.
Read what they had to say here:
Vice President Kamala Harris:
“During the pandemic, millions of people, families in particular, depended on high-speed internet. … The internet allowed folks to take care of their children and get their essential needs accomplished. … For so many of us, we use the internet as an essential and integrated part of our daily lives, and we take it for granted. And yet, today, more than 42 million people in our country — 42 million people — do not have access to high-speed internet. … Half of all the people who do not have high speed internet say it is because the monthly cost is too high. … Every person in our nation and every parent, no matter how much they earn, should be able to access high-speed broadband internet. … This milestone means more entrepreneurs are building digital businesses, more families are staying connected, more children in our country are able to do their homework at home — and this is only the beginning. … When we connect families and workers, students and small business owners with high-speed internet, we connect them with opportunity. The opportunity to work and learn remotely, to see a doctor online, to buy groceries through an app, to deposit a check without having to go to the bank. In short, the opportunity to live healthier, happier, efficient and more prosperous lives.”
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel:
“Thank you to the President, the Vice President and Members of Congress for the work you’re doing to make sure we close the digital divide — that means reaching 100 percent of us with high-speed internet access, because no matter who you are or where you live in this country, you need access to broadband to have a fair shot at 21st century success. Now is the time to make it happen, and thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we have more tools to make that possible than ever before. This matters, because during this pandemic, it has become crystal clear that broadband is no longer nice to have — it’s need to have, for everyone, everywhere. … The pandemic has also revealed that too many people in this country struggle to pay for this essential service, but given how important this service now is for day-to-day life, nobody should have to choose between paying for gas and groceries and paying their broadband bill. We can fix this. … Getting 100 percent of us online means every one of us will have a chance to connect, participate and create.”
Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu:
“President Biden signed this bipartisan infrastructure law just over 90 days ago — a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a better America. … It is also a real, present and immediate opportunity to ensure that every American has access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet from sea to shining sea. Quality internet service is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, to access health care through telemedicine, for farmers to use precision agriculture tools and to stay connected in this digital world that we all live in. … But broadband deployment can only be transformational if people can afford to purchase internet service being offered. … We know that information and access to knowledge can be the great equalizer in America. … That’s why this broadband program is what building a better America looks like.”
Read CAN’s statement on the Affordable Connectivity Program surpassing 10 million enrolled households HERE.
Read CAN’s recent letter on how the Administration can maximize the positive impact of broadband program resources HERE.
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.
Read more on CAN and our mission HERE.