Today, Public Knowledge announces its partnership with the Center for Rural Strategies to organize the Appalachian Ohio-West Virginia Connectivity Summit Tuesday, July 18 in Marietta, Ohio.
The Connectivity Summit will bring together key players from across the country to brainstorm strategies for expanding broadband access to rural communities. Activities will include a day of workshops and panel discussions at Washington State Community College, followed by an evening town hall meeting at Marietta High School.
Speakers include Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner; Kate Forscey, Government Affairs Associate Counsel at Public Knowledge; Christopher Mitchell, international community broadband expert; and Marty Newell, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Center for Rural Strategies. You may view the itinerary for a full list of speakers and register for the Summit or town hall.
The following can be attributed to Kate Forscey, Government Affairs Associate Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“In 2017, broadband is essential. Connectivity makes the difference in access to a solid education, healthcare, and a stable job. Connectivity is the difference between your 911 call connecting to a first responder, or going unanswered. Yet more than 20 million Americans in rural communities still lack basic access to high-speed broadband, which is necessary to participate in daily life.
“That’s why we’re excited to partner with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and our friends at the Center for Rural Strategies to organize the Appalachian Connectivity Summit. Appalachia's experience in staying connected in the 21st century perfectly demonstrates the challenges facing areas where the increasingly consolidated broadband market has left millions of people behind.
“Whether it’s big cable companies favoring certain websites over others, or overcoming geographic barriers to getting folks in rural and low-income areas the high speeds we see in wealthier big cities, it’s time to have serious conversations about rural broadband. When everyone has access to robust, affordable, and competitive communications networks, we all benefit. It’s time to figure out how we get there.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.