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Statement of Progressive States Network on Broadband Policy Positions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 25, 2011
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Press and New Media Specialist, Progressive States Network, cmonaco@progressivestates.org

Statement of Progressive States Network on Broadband Policy Positions

Progressive States Network supports the development of a comprehensive plan to increase local investment and economic growth and protect consumers’ rights through universal access, adoption, and utilization of broadband.  This year, we are focusing on promoting policies that protect the development of municipal systems, non-profits, co-ops, and other local alternatives that promise to bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to more people.

More than twenty states now have laws restricting cities, municipalities, and towns from building and operating their own broadband networks. In the 2011 legislative session, four states considered anti-community broadband legislation, while pro-community broadband bills were introduced in four other states. These developments demonstrate that communities across the nation face both great threats and great opportunities in providing expanded broadband access to their residents. As a leading national voice on state broadband policy, we have repeatedly highlighted how community broadband legislation is critical to the economic prosperity of states, and will continue to do so.

Progressive States Network is also closely monitoring the comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the reform of the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline and Linkup programs. These funds have a direct impact on the states, many of which have created their own pools to subsidize and facilitate access to telecommunications to rural communities and low-income households.  We believe it is imperative to promote policies that encourage awareness and adoption of these programs at the state level, including education on the benefits of the fund.

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About Progressive States Network:

Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.