The Communication Workers of America, the Alliance for Digital Equality, and Connected Nation announced a groundbreaking partnership on Monday, April 27, 2009. The three leaders in broadband advocacy will work together to educate "the American consumer about the benefits of new broadband technologies, and retraining the workforce for new job opportunities in a variety of tech-related fields," according to a joint press release.
In the long term, the partnership will lead the charge to improve the nation's broadband infrastructure as laid out by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Using a national consumer awareness-training platform to increase broadband deployment and adoption in underserved areas, the partnership will create numerous job opportunities in the U.S. technology sector.
The Communications Workers of America, sponsor of the Speed Matters Project, President Larry Cohen explained the importance of the partnership:
"With members in every state and community across the nation, CWA is committed to working with the Alliance for Digital Equality and Connected Nation to make sure that every child, every family, every community in America has the tools they need to participate fully in the Information Age. The Administration's economic stimulus plan provides a real opportunity to close the current gaps in broadband coverage: lack of access to any broadband network by an estimated 10-12 million households, slow speeds compared to our global competitors, and adoption barriers due to the cost or technological barriers to computer ownership and Internet access. Our partnership is determined to help close these gaps."
Connected Nation, according to their website, "facilitates public-private partnerships to increase access to and use of broadband and related technology, creating dramatic results that translate into economic and community development, better education, higher quality healthcare, more efficient public service and improved quality of life."
In his testimony to the United States House Commitee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet Oversight of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Connected Nation's CEO Brian Mefford said:
"The broadband stimulus represents a critical opportunity for all Americans, particularly those in communities that have been previously underserved or overlooked. Connected Nation is excited about this partnership that brings together organizations with an unmatched history of working locally to ensure affordable access to broadband and to provide the training and support that encourages every American to engage in the networked world."
The Alliance for Digital Equality is an organization that aims to provide a voice for underserved communities on matters such as information technology, telecommunications reform and product awareness.
Alliance Chairman Julius H. Hollis said:
"The nation's leadership has made improving our broadband infrastructure and job creation a top priority, and this new partnership is uniquely positioned to help make the connection a reality in the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn."