FERGUS FALLS, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Communicating for America (CA), a rural advocacy association committed to supporting health care initiatives and small businesses, today issued an appeal to expand access to high-speed internet for rural Americas and eliminate digital discrimination based on geography.
The appeal came in support of President Trump’s statement during his State of the Union address on Tues., Feb. 4. Trump promised an end to rural digital discrimination, providing high-speed internet access to all Americans. “I’m committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including and especially in rural America,” said the president.
“We were pleased to hear a commitment is being made to rural American technology. The time has passed for digital inequality for Americans based on where they live,” said Patricia Strickland, Chief Operating Officer of CA.
In July 2019 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized $524 million for broadband expansion in 23 states over the next decade. But more funding is needed to ensure all rural homes in America have equal access. In rural areas, only 65% of Americans have access to rural broadband. On Tribal lands, the percentage falls to 60%. When all households are combined, nearly 30 million Americans do not have the benefits of fast internet for streaming.
“Rural hospitals, telecommuting workers, children required to download homework from the internet, rural consumers needed telemedicine services - all of these are forced to trail behind because high-speed infrastructure does not exist. While we appreciate and support the FCC’s efforts, more needs to be done to get rural America level with the rest of the country,” said Strickland.
CA published an updated white paper on rural fairness issues in late 2018. Review the white paper section on rural broadband issues facing the nation.
About Communicating for America
Communicating for America, Inc. (CA) is a nationwide nonpartisan organization that represents about 100,000 small businesses, self-employed and agricultural members across America. Since 1972 CA has been working on small business, tax, healthcare and agricultural policy issues on behalf of its members. For more information visit www.communicatingforamerica.org.