The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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


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, -- 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 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, 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:

Read Free Press' 2009 Media & Tech Priorities: A Public Interest Agenda:

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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