As a member of the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition, ClearBlade joins 120+ companies across multiple industries who are committed to bridging the digital divide in America
AUSTIN, TEXAS (PRWEB) DECEMBER 15, 2020
ClearBlade announced today that it is joining the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition (ACPBC or Coalition), a coalition of more than 120 organizations, spanning multiple industries, who are dedicated to helping close America’s digital divide. The ACPBC advocates for public and private sector investment to bring high-speed internet infrastructure to areas that lack access, in addition to advocating for policies and contributing their own resources to facilitate remote education, health and mental health services, job opportunities and more, with the goal of connecting and lifting up all American communities through access to modern digital technology. The Coalition is continually adding members who share a desire to connect the country.
“ClearBlade is proud to be a part of the coalition and participate in closing the digital divide to give all Americans equal access to technology. Bringing technology for IoT, Edge and AI to all parts of our country and all of its citizens will allow for improving the quality of life and better use our resources.” says ClearBlade CEO & founder Eric Simone.
Currently, the ACPBC is made up of more than 120 businesses, trade associations, and academic institutions. Over the past few months, the Coalition has collaborated on a number of activities to advocate for the expansion of rural broadband access. In July, the Coalition sent a letter to President Trump and congressional leadership urging them to “enact groundbreaking broadband connectivity legislation that includes the necessary resources to close the digital divide in this country.” Additionally, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Coalition organizations have established free, guest Wi-Fi access points outside their business locations in more than 2,000 communities across the country.
In April, the Coalition sent a letter to all 50 U.S. governors, asking for their support of the initiative and inviting them to leverage their own resources to add more Wi-Fi hotspot locations around their states. In addition, the Coalition asked states to support policies that would make telemedicine more accessible and affordable, and urged their support of robust state and federal infrastructure investments to solve rural internet connectivity challenges. Separately, the Coalition has worked closely with governors from 11 states who recently called on congress to pass groundbreaking legislation to bridge the digital divide.
The Coalition recognizes that bridging America’s digital divide is a costly goal, but firmly believes it is worth the investment. The Federal Communications Commission estimated in 2017 that it would cost $80 billion to bring high-speed internet to remaining parts of the country that do not have access, while a more recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimated it would require “between $130 and $150 billion over the next five to seven years, to adequately support rural coverage and 5G wireless densification.” Moreover, a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center has found that “better adoption of online tools and digital services by businesses outside metropolitan areas could create 360,000 new full-time jobs in rural areas and add more than $140 billion to the U.S. economy over the next three years.”
The Coalition plans to expand its membership and continue its advocacy work in the coming months. Many of the members have taken steps individually to help close the digital divide through donating funds and equipment, and part of the group’s activity will be to identify new ways to work together to maximize the reach of these actions and fill needs that have not previously been met.