Business and Community Leaders Support National Broadband Effort
Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2010 – Underscoring the need for an effective National Broadband Plan—a simple, coherent set of goals that complement and accelerate the efforts in the marketplace to achieve universal adoption of high speed Internet—seven community leaders joined the Internet Innovation Alliance’s Broadband Ambassador program today. Coming from diverse professional backgrounds, each ambassador’s common tie to the IIA is enthusiastic support for broadband Internet access and adoption for all Americans.
“These new Ambassadors bring strength to the IIA’s goal of developing and implementing the strongest possible National Broadband Plan,” said Bruce Mehlman, a founder and co-chair of the IIA. “Each of our new ambassadors knows firsthand the transformative capabilities of broadband Internet .”
The seven new IIA Broadband Ambassadors represent a diverse spectrum of talent. The ambassadors are:
Sylvia Aguilera, Executive Director of Http: Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP)
Harry Alford, President and CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce
Ed Foster Simeon, President, United States Soccer Foundation
Joseph P. Fuhr, Professor of Economics, Widener University and Senior Fellow, American Consumer Institute
Jimmy Lynn, Managing Partner, JLynn & Associates
Marcia Thomas-Brown, Program Manager for the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved
Navarrow Wright, Social Media and Internet Consultant, Maximum Leverage Solutions
Launched in July 2008, the IIA Broadband Ambassador program is a campaign to expand awareness and help government officials, community leaders and consumers understand the importance of universal broadband availability and adoption. The program enlists the participation of notable business executives, elected officials and academics across key areas including health care, education and technology. These prominent individuals advocate the importance of broadband to improving individuals’ quality of life and realizing national objectives.
In their own words, the IIA’s newest ambassadors share their thoughts on the importance of broadband Internet:
“HTTP recognizes the importance of expanding broadband deployment and adoption to all Americans. We’ve urged the FCC to focus on 100% broadband and efforts to promote broadband adoption before addressing other concerns that could take away from these objectives.” —Sylvia Aguilera
“We need to let broadband breathe and grow. Excessive regulation will lead to slower growth. Access and affordability can be sustained through less governmental intervention.”—Harry Alford
“As the U.S. Soccer Foundation expands its work in support of children in underserved communities, broadband is a critical tool. Broadband provides a cost effective means of delivering training for our anti-childhood obesity and youth development program. It also supports online vehicles that provide an efficient way to connect children in vulnerable communities with much-needed equipment and volunteers.”—Ed Foster Simeon
“The Internet has a tremendous positive multiplier impact on the overall economy and especially on the environment. Public policy should therefore encourage expansion of the Internet. However, telecommunications is highly taxed. We should not tax what we want to encourage.”—Joseph P. Fuhr
“Sports fans have always helped drive the adoption of media technology—going back to the days when radio and television were first becoming popular mediums. Approximately 70% of sports fans are displaced fans, meaning they don’t live in the areas where they grew up, but the internet and wireless devices are key tools to allow sports fanatics keep up and stay connected to their favorite teams and players. Broadband is the best way for fans to be able to track sports content, including the latest scores, stats, news and video highlights.”—Jimmy Lynn
“Underserved populations are often left behind due to the ever increasing digital and health divide. It is with this in mind that we must have broadband Internet in order for the American health care industry and those that they care for to fully adopt and utilize the benefits of health information technology, including telemedicine and electronic medical records. The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved is fully supportive of the IIA and its efforts to maintain focus on the development of a National Broadband Strategy and the adoption of broadband for the purposes of increased access to care and decreased cost among underserved populations, with an emphasis on communities of color.” —Marcia Thomas- Brown
“The core objective must be ubiquitous broadband. Any time spent debating side issues such as net neutrality is a real distraction, and the people who have the most to lose are already the socially and economically disenfranchised members of our national community – low-income, rural, urban, non-English speaking, tribal, minority, unserved and underserved populations. Our focus should be adoption, digital literacy and entrepreneurial education so that everyone can equally take advantage of the opportunities broadband provides.”—Navarrow Wright
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The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet – from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.
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