With the passage of HB 1701 the Washington State legislature once again demonstrated its understandingthat when combating the digital divide states must not just addressaccess issues, but must also focus on dealing with the barriers to broadband adoption by individuals.
This Dispatch will outline how funds allocated in the ARRA aim to support broadband initiatives and how states can leverage broadband to create efficiencies, increase opportunities and begin to bridge a major resource divide in our country by implementing progressive broadband initiatives.
The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has earmarked an unprecedented amount of money to broadband and associated technology programs. This recognition of the role broadband currently plays and will play in all aspects of our lives, from energy management to healthcare, underscores why its imperative for states to think strategically about how to facilitate universal broadband access and adoption and to integrate broadband into numerous state goals.
AT&T's new cutting-edge television service, U-Verse, is creating frustration for community programming advocates and being investigated by both state and federal officials. After receiving a large number of complaints, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, launched an investigation into the U-Verse system's underminging of access to PEG channels (i.e. Public Education and Government stations).