Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 2, 2008 – The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) applauds Connected Nation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for launching Connect!, a national campaign to promote the economic value and social benefits of broadband and related technologies.  The IIA, a broad-based coalition, is committed to widespread usage and availability of broadband.

“Universal broadband is critical to the success of our nation.  Collaboration between Connected Nation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one huge step in the right direction to raise awareness on this issue,” said Larry Irving, IIA Co-Chair. “Our nation needs to be talking about how to connect the ‘disconnected.’”

The national broadband awareness campaign today will kick-off with a press conference in Washington, D.C. and will feature a series of regional forums held across the United States over the coming months. These dialogues will address the ability of broadband to impact everything from economic development and U.S. global competitiveness to telemedicine, education and traditional industrial sustainability.

“We are encouraged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of a national non-profit that embodies the mission to connect communities with technology that facilitates a better quality of life,” said Bruce Mehlman, Internet Innovation Alliance Co-Chair. “ Improved healthcare, increases in the number of tech-related companies and jobs, and an environment for lifelong learning – that’s universal broadband .”

The cross-country tour aims to spark dialogue about broadband penetration in rural areas and has an overarching goal of promoting solid broadband policies and programs that will aid the economic health of the United States on a larger scale. Set to continue through mid-August, Connect! will utilize cities like Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, SC; Albany, NY; Olympia, WA; Kansas City, MO; and Fargo, ND as launching pads for the campaign’s messaging.

“With a modest increase in broadband adoption, the U.S. could realize a total direct economic impact of $134 billion annually including $92 billion in new wages from the 2.4 million jobs created through broadband growth,” said Brian Mefford, President and CEO of Connected Nation, Inc.  “To realize these results, public-private partnerships and events like these regional dialogues are necessary to foster the deployment of broadband to all communities while increasing user demand through state and local grassroots awareness and adoption campaigns.”

The Internet Innovation Alliance is dedicated to promoting the economic and social value of widespread usage and availability of broadband.
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About The Internet Innovation Alliance

Larry Irving and Bruce Mehlman founded the Internet Innovation Alliance ( in 2004.  The IIA is a broad-based coalition of non-profit organizations, businesses and trade associations committed to Universal Broadband.

Irving is president and CEO of Irving Information Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and technology companies.  He is the former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Clinton Administration.

Mehlman is co-founder of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti Inc., a bipartisan public affairs consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.  He is the former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the George W. Bush Administration.