Obama’s broadband expansion plan done right will help Americans gain access

Jon Bartholomew, (207) 878-4126

A national media coalition has released a letter to Congress and President-Elect Obama regarding his inclusion of broadband internet expansion as part of an economic recovery plan. Common Cause is a member of the Media and Democracy Coalition, a collaboration of more than two dozen local and national organizations committed to amplifying the public’s voice in shaping media and telecommunications policy, and signed onto this letter. The following is a support statement by Common Cause President and CEO Bob Edgar.

“President-Elect Obama’s broadband expansion plan will help Americans in all parts of the country to participate fully in their democracy, as long as it is done right. Common Cause will work to ensure that as the plan is fleshed out, there will be accountability to ensure that federal funds are spent improving access to those least likely to be prioritized in the business plan of the telecom corporations. This plan has the potential to improve America in the long run and Common Cause will fight to make sure it lives up to that potential.”

Obama’s proposal includes a goal for true broadband in every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives.

The full broadband stimulus principles letter is available at www.media-democracy.net.