For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2022
Contact: Jonathon Dworkin (NewDEAL Forum), 202-660-1340 x5, firstname.lastname@example.org
New DEAL Forum Broadband Task Force Co-Chairs Commend White House’s Broadband Affordability Announcement
Leaders of NewDEAL Forum’s working group release statement on partnership with 20 ISPs to lower costs
Washington, DC – Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, San Jose, CA Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Florida State Senator Loranne Ausley, who are co-chairs on the NewDEAL Forum Broadband Task Force and members of the NewDEAL Leaders network, applauded today’s announcement of a White House partnership with 20 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide high-speed and affordable internet plans. The announcement also included the launch of GetInternet.gov to help families and individuals navigate options and resources to access home broadband.
This initiative is the latest effort by the Biden Administration to close the digital divide, following last year’s signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes over $65 billion to invest in expanding broadband access and creates major opportunities for state and local officials. One of the new programs, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), provides qualifying families and individuals with a $30 monthly internet credit.
An estimated 48 million households in rural, urban, and suburban communities are eligible for the ACP and can access home internet at no cost. The ISPs involved in today’s announcement, which cover more than 80% of the U.S. population across urban, suburban, and rural areas, have committed to either increasing speeds or cutting prices to ensure they offer ACP-eligible households internet plans that meet the Administration’s criteria for being sufficiently high-speed (at least 100 Megabits per second in download speeds everywhere that the provider’s infrastructure is capable of it).
“As the pandemic has underscored, high-quality, high-speed internet access is no longer a luxury, but essential to nearly every aspect of people’s lives,” said co-chairs Gilchrist, Liccardo, and Ausley. “Today’s announcement represents another major step towards closing our country’s digital divide. With access to affordable high-speed internet as our tool, we can grow our economy, create jobs, and reduce costs in our communities. This public-private partnership between the administration and the ISPs will reduce costs and help more households access home internet connections at little to no cost.
“We commend President Biden for his unwavering commitment to solving this challenge and for recognizing the important role of state and local leaders. Throughout their efforts, the Biden Administration continues to empower leaders who understand the needs of their communities and are driving innovative solutions to address access, affordability, and digital literacy.”
The NewDEAL Forum’s Broadband Task Force was established last year, bringing together state and local officials with policy experts and partners from the non-profit and private sectors to: identify major obstacles limiting access to high-speed internet; develop state and local solutions; and advocate for a strong federal-state-local partnership. Earlier this year, the group released a report, Bridging the Digital Divide: Policy Proposals to Increase Broadband Access for All, highlighting promising policy solutions to address some of the biggest obstacles to internet access, including around: improving mapping and data collection; building new broadband networks in unserved and underserved communities; innovating to address affordability and adoption; enhancing digital skills; and increasing access to telehealth.
“I congratulate the Administration on another major accomplishment in their ongoing efforts to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet,” added Debbie Cox Bultan, CEO of the NewDEAL Forum. “Our Broadband Task Force is ready to spread the message about their efforts to a larger network of policymakers. A coordinated effort at the state and local level will help ensure more eligible-households access these benefits and get online.”
About NewDEAL Forum
The NewDEAL Forum is a Washington-DC-based non-profit organization which identifies and promotes innovative, future-oriented state and local pro-growth progressive policies that can improve the lives of all Americans. By facilitating the identification and spread of policy ideas, the NewDEAL Forum seeks to foster economic growth, reduce barriers to opportunity and promote good governance in communities, cities, and states throughout the country.
Its sister organization, the NewDEAL, supports a network of about 200 state and local officials — statewide officials, legislators, mayors, council members, and other local leaders across the country — who are pro-growth progressives. The organization brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable.