Rallying around a plan to eliminate the digital divide by 2022, a diverse group of community leaders, rural advocates and top innovators today announced the national launch of Connect Americans Now (www.connectamericansnow.com) and the formation of local partnerships in Wisconsin. The new alliance will work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other policymakers to ensure that there is sufficient unlicensed low band spectrum in every market in the country to enable broadband connectivity.
“All Americans – regardless of where they live – deserve access to high-speed internet,” said Richard T. Cullen, Executive Director of Connect Americans Now (CAN). “Without a broadband connection, millions of students struggle to keep up with their assignments, Americans in rural areas are unable to fully utilize telemedicine, farmers are denied the promise of precision agriculture and businesses are unable to tap into the world of online commerce. Congress and the FCC must stand with rural America by allowing internet service providers to deliver broadband via white spaces spectrum.”
CAN’s local partners in Wisconsin include the Wisconsin Technology Council, Wisconsin Economic Development Association, Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, and Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families. CAN’s national founding members include Microsoft, ACT: The App Association, the National Rural Education Association, the Schools, Health and Library Broadband Coalition, Axiom, the Mid-Atlantic Broadcasting Communities Corporation, HTS Ag, and others. They also are spearheading an advocacy campaign in Washington, D.C., where FCC regulators have the authority to make sufficient unlicensed spectrum available in each market for high-speed internet. Read the full story here.