For Immediate Release
Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x22 or (703) 517-6273
Free Press Applauds Obama's Commitment to Internet for Everyone
WASHINGTON - In his weekly address on Saturday, President-elect Barack Obama vowed to "renew our information superhighway" as part of a massive plan to invest in public infrastructure and stimulate America's failing economy.
"It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption," Obama said. "Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm president -- because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world."
On Saturday, InternetforEveryone.org -- a broad-based initiative to connect every American to a fast, open and affordable Internet -- sponsored its first interactive town hall meeting in Los Angeles where hundreds gathered to discuss ways to address the digital divide. This discussion will be combined with feedback from other meetings and a digital forum and delivered by InternetforEveryone.org to the Obama administration and Congress as a national guide to building a better Internet.
Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, the organizer of InternetforEveryone.org, issued the following statement:
"We applaud President-elect Barack Obama's commitment to investing in Internet for everyone as a starting point for economic recovery. In our 21st-century society, having a connection to a fast and affordable Internet is no longer a luxury -- it's a public necessity.
"But right now, more than 40 percent of American homes are not connected to broadband. This digital divide isn't just costing us our ranking as a global Internet leader -- it's costing us jobs and money at a time when both are urgently needed.
"Obama's broadband stimulus must deliver to Americans the infrastructure they need for economic growth and social opportunity. Just like President Eisenhower seized the moment in the 1950s to bring together public and private interests to build our interstate highway system, now is our moment to make sure the information superhighway reaches every home in America."
Watch Obama's weekly address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGpIT2bVZDw
Read Free Press' 2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda: http://www.freepress.net/files/2009techpolicy.pdf
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net