The Democratic candidate for Ohio Governor, Richard Cordray, released his long-awaited Infrastructure Plan last week, with a commitment to raise billions of dollars in new bond funding (but not taxes) for a variety of infrastructure investments.
It includes a section called “Expanding Access to Broadband”, reprinted here in its entirety. That section hasn’t gotten much attention from the media. It deserves more.
Of course Cordray’s plan starts with a focus on increasing fast Internet access for Ohio’s unserved rural communities: “One-third of Ohio’s rural households lack access to modern digital tools because of where they live, compounding inequities in school funding and other public services.” But it goes on to add: “Low-income residents in Ohio’s largest cities also face obstacles. Across the state, one million Ohioans have access to only one internet provider, leaving them at the mercy of broadband companies that can charge higher prices and provide unreliable service for too many people.” Read more
Ohio politicians looking for an issue that unites the interests of Ohioans on both sides of the “urban/rural divide” should take a long hard look at this map.
(Click on the double arrow on the left side of the map to enlarge it.)
Connect Your Community has joined with two hundred other organizations in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, urging him to “reject the… (FCC’s) new proposals that will debilitate the Lifeline program, the only federal program targeted at assisting low-income households with the cost of broadband and telephone service”.
The joint letter, coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and signed by 201 religious, civil rights, social service, technology and community organizations throughout the U.S., was sent to Pai today. CYC partners Digital C and Connected Insights, as well as the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, are also signers. (NDIA has submitted its own formal comments opposing the FCC proposals.)
You can download a copy of our letter to Chairman Pai here.
The FCC’s “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” on Lifeline, aimed at dismantling much of the “Lifeline broadband” structure created by the agency in 2016 under Pai’s predecessor Thomas Wheeler, is on track for action as early as April or May.
and ask your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to sign it too!