WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Three leaders in the field of national broadband deployment and adoption — the Alliance for Digital Equality, Connected Nation, and Communications Workers of America — today announced a groundbreaking partnership designed with a near-term goal of educating the American consumer about the benefits of new broadband technologies, and retraining the workforce for new job opportunities in a variety of tech-related fields. Additionally, the partnership is poised to lead the long-term charge to improve the nation’s broadband infrastructure, as detailed in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The new partnership will launch a national consumer awareness and training platform that will increase broadband deployment and adoption in underserved communities throughout the nation, and ultimately, create job opportunities in the nation’s technology sector. Collectively, the three organizations are leaders in advocacy work related to expanding access to broadband in 38 U.S. states and territories — with plans to blanket the nation with progressive programming by end of 2009.
“The nation’s leadership has made improving our broadband infrastructure and job creation a top priority, and this new partnership is uniquely positioned to help make the connection a reality in the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn,” said Alliance Chairman Julius H. Hollis. “Collectively, our organizations have been seeking to eliminate communications barriers that divide communities for more than 13 years — which will allow us to meet the objectives spelled out in the ARRA signed by President Obama earlier this year.”
Closely following the February 17, 2009 signing of the ARRA, the Alliance and CWA took part in a briefing before members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. At the invitation of U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, the February 26 briefing focused on the Alliance’s two-year grassroots research on expanded broadband deployment, and the continued mission to secure broadband access for citizens in underserved communities across the nation.
On April 2, 2009, Connected Nation’s CEO Brian Mefford testified before the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet Oversight of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Broadband.
“The broadband stimulus represents a critical opportunity for all Americans, particularly those in communities that have been previously underserved or overlooked,” said Connected Nation CEO and Chairman Brian Mefford. “Connected Nation is excited about this partnership that brings together organizations with an unmatched history of working locally to ensure affordable access to broadband and to provide the training and support that encourages every American to engage in the networked world.”
CWA President Larry Cohen said: “With members in every state and community across the nation, CWA is committed to working with the Alliance for Digital Equality and Connected Nation to make sure that every child, every family, every community in America has the tools they need to participate fully in the Information Age.” Mr. Cohen added that “The Administration’s economic stimulus plan provides a real opportunity to close the current gaps in broadband coverage: lack of access to any broadband network by an estimated 10-12 million households, slow speeds compared to our global competitors, and adoption barriers due to the cost or technological barriers to computer ownership and Internet access. Our partnership is determined to help close these gaps.”
About The Alliance for Digital Equality: “Empowering Communities Across The Digital Divide.”
The Alliance for Digital Equality is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities. The Alliance also serves as a bridge between policymakers and minority individuals in order to help the public understand how legislative and regulatory policies regarding new technologies can impact and empower their daily lives. For more information on The Alliance for Digital Equality, please visit http://www.alliancefordigitalequality.org.
About Connected Nation: “Enabling Technology. Empowering People.”
Connected Nation is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for technology deployment and adoption. Connected Nation works with community stakeholders, states and technology providers to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information about Connected Nation, Inc., visit http://www.connectednation.org.
About Communications Workers of America (CWA): “The Union for The Information Age.”
The Communications Workers of America — the union for the Information Age — represents 700,000 workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It’s one of America’s fastest growing unions. CWA members work in communications, media, airlines, manufacturing and public service. For more information about CWA, visit http://www.cwa-union.org.
SOURCE Alliance for Digital Equality