We are hardwired for connection, and we’ve built a global community that depends upon strong connections across infrastructure, investment, and opportunity. To be connected in our society signifies opportunity, and a critical way to be connected is through the Internet.
We’ve worked hard to create a national coalition of rural broadband advocates and to advance policies such as net neutrality and broadband subsidies for low-income families through Lifeline.
With fifty-three percent of rural areas (22 million rural Americans) not having access to broadband service, there is still work to do.
An open Internet helps bridge the isolation and neglect our communities experience. But getting online is not sufficient. In order for rural people to obtain the full benefits of the Internet, our voices, stories, and ideas cannot be downgraded to the slow lane. Network neutrality, the principle that all content on the Internet travels on the same fair lane, ensures that rural folk get the same exposure as those with power and wealth. It creates a level playing field unlike we have ever seen.
As our economy, culture, and civic engagement become increasingly tied to our presence online, rural communities depend on Network Neutrality to get a fair shake in the growth of our nation, and this week’s decision upholding the FCC’s Net Neutrality decision is a big win.
Also this week a coalition of organizations released the 2016 Internet Policy Platform and urged all 2016 candidates to support the policy goals outlined in it.
We think these goals are important to advancing opportunities for rural people and people everywhere, and we encourage support for them.