Gov. Jay Inslee joined a bipartisan coalition of governors today to send a letter to the president and congressional leadership requesting federal investments to ensure internet access for every American. Broadband is an essential element to COVID-19 recovery, especially in rural communities across our state and nation.
The letter reads, in part:
"Some 18 million Americans lack access to broadband internet connectivity, 14 million of whom reside in rural America. In today’s economy these communities, businesses and families without adequate access are left behind, and the consequences are staggering from an economic, health, education, and social standpoint.
"Broadband is not a luxury, but rather critical infrastructure that’s vitally important to our economic future and national security. While the investment to-date is much appreciated, we believe it is only a down payment in the total investment needed to close this gap.
"This investment will unleash economic potential, promote stable job growth that’s resilient in times like these, and ensure all businesses and families can participate in the digital economy. This investment will unlock the potential of a new generation of technologies for healthcare advancement, ensure that school children across America have access to the best educational tools, foster new ways of doing business, stimulate the advancement of agricultural and food production technologies and give states and communities the opportunities to capitalize on smart infrastructure deployment."