Lack of access to the Web is a formidable barrier of entry for small towns and lower-income urban areas trying to participate in the increasingly innovative American economy. Lincoln Network, along with sponsors Google and Microsoft, will host Federal Communications Committee (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai at a conference to address solutions for communities that still lack access to reliable broadband.
According to Pew Research Center and other experts, this access problem disproportionately affects rural communities. There are currently 23 million Americans — roughly 39 percent of rural Americans — who don’t have reliable access to the Internet, according to FCC research.
“A lot of small communities are missing the basic infrastructure required to connect to the word wide web,” said Garrett Johnson, Lincoln Network co-founder. “This lack of infrastructure prevents communities from taking advantage of important tools provided by the Internet, and puts them at an economic disadvantage.”
A plan for investing in broadband infrastructure is one of the goals that Lincoln Network hopes to accomplish through an open discussion and fireside chat with Pai. The conference will also address reducing unreasonable red tape at every level and potential breakthroughs in technology that could bridge the rural broadband gap.
“Modern communities need broadband access to function in the 21st century economy,” said Aaron Ginn, Lincoln Network co-founder.
Both Johnson and Ginn said they hope the conference will be a starting point for a bipartisan dialogue to bring affordable and reliable internet access to 100 percent of Americans.
Attendees can RSVP to the event here. Lincoln Network event will be Tuesday, September 12, 2017, from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Galvanize, 543 Howard St. in San Francisco.
*Lincoln Network is a partner of Bold TV. Watch more about Lincoln on Bold TV here.*