IIA Congratulates Nathan Simington on His Confirmation to the FCC

On December 8, the Senate voted to confirm Federal Communications Commission nominee Nathan Simington. IIA congratulated Commissioner Simington and looks forward to working together to improve the internet ecosystem for all Americans.

The full statement is available on the IIA site.

Kim Keenan and Amina Fazlullah on Closing the K–12 Digital Divide

IIA Co-Chair Kim Keenan spoke with Amina Fazlullah, Digital Equity Counsel at Common Sense Media, to learn more about Common Sense’s recent report with Boston Consulting Group, “Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning.” During the virtual fireside chat, Fazlullah provides an overview of the research and talks about what’s next for tackling the “Homework Gap,” which has become an education void due to the pandemic.

Part I and Part II videos of their discussion are available on the IIA site.

Keenan and Fazlullah also co-authored an op-ed, “Prevent the Homework Gap from Turning into an Educational Sinkhole,” published by Inside Sources on October 1. Their piece calls on Congress to provide direct support for distance learning and ensure those funds can flow quickly to students, with support for devices and connectivity allowing for a learning environment that will flexibly meet the needs of all communities.

IIA Highlights Gaps in Internet Connectivity for Students and Teachers

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students and teachers that typically attend and instruct class in-person are now expected to do so remotely. Unfortunately, lack of sufficient access to high-speed broadband is a persistent issue in the U.S., leaving millions of students at an educational disadvantage and hundreds of thousands of teachers ill-equipped to do their job.

In a series of informative social media posts and graphics, IIA highlighted this connectivity disparity and illustrated just how important high-speed internet access is to the future of our education system.

VIDEO CHAT: Rick Boucher and Betsy Huber on Closing the Digital Divide

Congressman Rick Boucher, IIA Honorary Chairman—who served Virginia’s 9th congressional district, which includes rural, mountainous areas—spoke with National Grange President Betsy Huber about the need to close the access portion of the digital divide by bringing broadband to unserved communities throughout the United States, primarily in rural America. National Grange is a member of the Internet Innovation Alliance.

Check out their discussion by watching the video clips available on the IIA site.

Boucher and Mehlman on Why a Government-Owned 5G Network Is a Bad Idea

On October 21, IIA Honorary Chairman Boucher and Co-Chair Bruce Mehlman had an op-ed published by CQ Roll Call, “Why a government-owned 5G network is still a bad idea.” In their piece, Boucher and Mehlman say that the private sector is best equipped to continue development and deployment of competitive wireless broadband networks to get them into the hands of consumers, businesses and government users as quickly, efficiently, and securely as possible.

Boucher on the Need for a Modernized Lifeline Program

IIA Honorary Chairman Boucher had an op-ed published on October 27 by Multichannel News magazine, “Viewpoint: Throw the Neediest a Modernized Lifeline.” With internet access now required for remote work and virtual learning, subscribing to a broadband service has never been more necessary for everyday life. Boucher believes that the Lifeline program can help to provide essential internet service to millions more American homes — but only through a modernized program that removes carriers from the role of middleman and is more accessible to low-income Americans through a direct benefit to consumers.

IIA statement on FCC RIF Order on Remand

On October 27, the FCC voted to adopt its Restoring Internet Freedom Order on Remand, concluding that the Order promotes public safety, facilitates broadband infrastructure deployment, and allows the Commission to continue to provide Lifeline support for broadband internet access service.

IIA released a statement welcoming this decision.