A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by someone I’d never met asking if I’d like to get involved with the Broadband for America coalition in Iowa. She said several people had told her that I might be a good person to help the organization. I’d never heard of Broadband for America but, following her smart move to stroke my ego, I decided to check it out. And then I immediately told her to sign me up.
As I’ve said many times before, I’m not a geek. I’m never the first to hear about the coolest new widget, nor the earliest to adopt it. And until recently, I am not one to keep up with the latest news affecting the technology sector. So while I know what broadband is (high-speed Internet access), I didn’t know why there was a coalition promoting it for America.
Broadband for America’s mission is simple: To make broadband access available to every household in the nation; to provide data transfer speeds to make broadband valuable to users; and to provide the bandwidth necessary for content providers to continue to make the Internet awesome. Why? Because broadband is essential for job creation and for keeping America competitive in the 21st Century.
I’m guessing nearly every person reading this has broadband at home. But I was surprised to learn that 100 million Americans do not. The Internet has become as important to our daily lives as electricity, so why shouldn’t it be as readily available to all? That’s the goal of the National Broadband Plan, an effort by the FCC that is supported by Broadband for America. The Plan—mandated by a stimulus bill in 2009—outlines suggestions for providing the country with broadband service over the next 10 years.
If all of that is old news to you (like I said, I’m often late to the show), you may be more interested in Broadband for America’s latest initiative. The organization is circulating a petition called “Hands off the Internet,” which urges those in Washington to stop it with unnecessary (and, in my opinion, dangerous) Internet regulations that could potentially destroy online innovation.
Time to step off my soapbox, which I promise not to drag out too often. Before I do, however, I would urge you to take a look at the Broadband for America site and—if you agree with what they are up to—sign the above-mentioned petition. It only takes a second but is at least one small way to have your voice heard.
…and now back to your regularly scheduled programming…