Bowling Green, Ky. (April 21, 2020) – Connected Nation (CN) is providing a new resource for state and community leaders that will help them identify immediate and simple solutions for connecting more residents and businesses during COVID-19 quarantines.
“When local and state leaders began to implement shut down and ‘social distancing’ orders now nearly a month ago, we responded by providing resource guides to help low-income families, students, senior citizens, and others access or improve their internet,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, CN. “Now, building on that initial set of guidelines, it’s important that we continue to help community and state leaders close those gaps even further. That’s why we’ve developed easy to use, step-by-step response plans to improve connectivity at both the state and local levels.”
These plans provide simple but vital resources and solutions to help leaders at each respective level of government connect more constituents immediately. The State Response Plan can be found here: https://connectednation.org/state-recommendations-for-connectivity-2/. The Community Response Plan can be found here: https://connectednation.org/community-recommendations-for-connectivity/
More than 18 million Americans* do not have access to broadband (high-speed internet). Of that number, 45 percent are low-income families and 22 percent are rural residents. In addition, another 18 million school-aged children do not have access — a serious issue as most schools have moved to online teaching during coronavirus quarantines.
“This pandemic has put on full and painful display just how important closing the Digital Divide really is,” said Ferree. “It’s something our nonprofit has worked very hard at for nearly two decades. Our hope is that as a result of this crisis, we see a focused and sustained urgency placed on identifying the problem through more accurate broadband coverage mapping, funding for rural broadband expansion, and finding ways to help more vulnerable and low-income Americans adopt the technology. It shouldn’t take another crisis to teach us this painful lesson.”
*The above data was sourced as follows (updated March 2020):
Who lacks broadband access?
18.3 million Americans – FCC report on the Digital Divide
45% of low income families – most recent HUD figures
22% of rural residents – FCC updated data for marketplace report
18 million school-aged children – Senate report
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About Connected Nation: Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.
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