Resolution Calling on the Federal Government to Maximize Stimulus Support for Broadband Internet Use and Adoption

NOTE: This resolution has expired.
 

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All Resolutions Passed at the 2009 Annual Conference

WHEREAS, among the approximately 92 percent of American households that have access to broadband Internet services, only about 61 percent of U.S. households subscribe;

WHEREAS, research shows that a “lack of interest” in broadband is one of the main reasons certain populations do not seek out broadband services;

WHEREAS, research also shows that many non-broadband households view broadband as being either irrelevant or difficult to use, and nearly half of the population that does not subscribe to broadband says it does not need such a connection;

WHEREAS, Americans that do not have broadband at home are disproportionately lower-income and older than average and fewer than one-quarter of such Americans have broadband at home;

WHEREAS, the Council of State Governments believes that widespread efforts to promote broadband adoption, use, and digital literacy are critical to improving the nation’s long-term competitiveness in a global market, and to achieving certain socioeconomic improvements in the quality of American life;

WHEREAS, expanding adoption, use and digital literacy skills will allow a greater number of Americans to fully take advantage of the benefits of broadband based applications such as tele-health, energy management and education opportunities online; and

WHEREAS, the broadband funding programs established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dedicate significant resources to promoting broadband awareness, adoption, use, and digital literacy by these populations.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments calls upon the federal agencies distributing the broadband funding included in the ARRA to expressly mandate that broadband awareness, adoption, use, and digital literacy programs receive funding priority;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments calls upon the federal agencies implementing the broadband funding included in the ARRA to follow Congress’ clear legislative intent with respect to broadband adoption, use, and digital literacy treat the mandated minimum expenditure of $250 million for these purposes as a threshold level with a maximum limited only by the size of the broadband stimulus program itself.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to members of Congress, the Administration, and the relevant federal agencies implementing the broadband funding programs including but not limited to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments calls upon all levels of government to work cooperatively with the private sector, nonprofits, and academia to develop robust broadband awareness, adoption, and use programs.

Adopted this 14th Day of November, 2009 at the CSG Annual Conference in La Quinta, CA.