Madison, WI – November 9, 2011 – Citing broadband’s ability to spur economic growth and improve the quality of life for Wisconsin residents, a diverse group of organizations and leaders have formed a new state chapter of the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) to promote broadband availability throughout the state. IIA is a national coalition of business and non-profit organizations committed to helping the country achieve universal access to broadband.
“Broadband drives everything from our economy to educational opportunity, entrepreneurship and healthcare,” said Scott Newcomer, executive director of the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin, a member organization of the Wisconsin IIA chapter. “High-speed Internet helps businesses connect to new markets and students access education anywhere in the world. Broadband is also a key link in providing training for unemployed workers so they can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to find a job. These opportunities should be available to every family and business in the state, no matter where they live.”
The Wisconsin Business Council, the Wisconsin Coalition for Consumer Choice and the Wisconsin Independent Businesses, Inc. have joined the coalition. The organization has nearly 1,000 grassroots members who have signed IIA’s petition in support of broadband expansion.
Members of the coalition will spend the coming months educating state leaders and others about the importance of mobile broadband and its many benefits. The state ranks 45 among all states in broadband access, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s National Broadband Map. And U.S. Census figures show that nearly 17 percent of households in the state report no Internet usage.
“Our collective focus is ensuring that everyone has access to high-speed broadband Internet,” said Phil Prange, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Business Council. “Until we meet that goal, businesses that want to innovate and expand their communities will be at a disadvantage.”
The Internet Innovation Alliance supports reforming the Universal Service Fund to include broadband, more efficient use of spectrum and AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile, a move estimated to provide broadband access to more than 97 percent of our nation’s population.
Find out more about the IIA at http://www.internetinnovation.org. Supporters can also sign the IIA’s online petition promoting broadband access and adoption here: http://internetinnovation.org/activities/broadband-petition
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