CWA 7901’s Elder to co-chair broadband access group

Citing broadband’s ability to spur economic growth and improve the quality of life among many communities, a coalition of businesses, unions, and non-profit groups have formed an Oregon chapter of the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) to promote broadband access and adoption throughout the state.

IIA is a national coalition that includes companies such as AT&T, OneEconomy, and Connected Nation.

“Broadband drives opportunity in everything, from our economy to education and entrepreneurship to health care,” said Madelyn Elder, president of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901. Elder recently was named co-chair of Oregon IIA, along with Brad Hicks, CEO of the Medford/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

“High-speed Internet helps businesses connect to new markets and students connect to classrooms anywhere in the world. Those opportunities should be available to every family and business person in the state, no matter where they live,” Elder said.

Oregon IIA will spend the coming months educating state leaders and others about the importance of mobile broadband and its many benefits. The state ranks 27th in the country in Internet access, according to the National Broadband Map.

The Internet Innovation Alliance supports reforming the Universal Service Fund to include broadband. It also supports the more efficient use of spectrum, as well as the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, which it says is a key way to achieve broadband availability to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population. For more about IIA, go to www.internetinnovation.org.

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