Coalition Letter on Broadband and Digital Infrastructure

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 6:00am

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

           As Congress prepares to consider infrastructure legislation, the business community urges you to prioritize enhancing America’s digital infrastructure and achieving the goal of connecting all Americans.  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how critical it is for Americans, especially healthcare providers, students, and government, to embrace digital tools.  The internet has helped to keep the “digital lights” on for small business struggling during the pandemic.

           The pandemic has highlighted gaps in America’s digital infrastructure.  Although private-sector networks led the world in connectivity during the height of the pandemic, the last year demonstrated a lack of access to high-speed connectivity.  Government information technology systems that Americans relied on crashed because they were outdated and insufficient.

           As Congress considers an infrastructure package, we urge you to take the following steps to modernize digital infrastructure:

  • Embrace Public-Private Partnerships to Deploy Broadband: America’s private sector has built one of the largest and most advanced communications infrastructures in the world. Congress should direct funding to build broadband networks to areas of the United States that lack access to broadband as defined by the FCC as 25Mbps/3 Mbps.  America’s connectivity strategy should embrace the private sector and avoid government-operated networks.
  • Address Connectivity Affordability the Right Way: COVID-19 impacted millions of Americans’ ability to pay for essential services. Congress has already taken temporary steps to help Americans pay for broadband through programs like the Emergency Broadband Benefit.  To address long-term affordability, Congress should undertake steps to modernize existing programs like Lifeline as opposed to pricing and technology mandates.
  • Modernize Federal, State, and Local Government IT: Government information technology is infrastructure. Unfortunately, too many government IT systems are woefully outdated and delay economic growth.  For example, many states continue to rely on 1950s era technology to address 21st century challenges like COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery.  State government benefits systems crashed trying to deliver needed assistance during the pandemic. Similarly, agencies continue to use paper tracking for pandemic and vaccine tracking.  Government must first and foremost modernize its own systems in collaboration with private-sector solutions.

           Investing in digital infrastructure will enable the United States to better compete internationally, promote post-pandemic economic growth, and better prepare for emerging challenges.

Sincerely,

Alabama

Coastal Alabama Business Chamber

Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce

Arizona

Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce

Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce

Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce

Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce

Greater Phoenix Chamber

Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce

Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce

Prescott Chamber of Commerce

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce

Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

Springerville-Eagar Regional Chamber of Commerce

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce

Tucson Metro Chamber

West Valley Chamber of Commerce Alliance

Yuma County Chamber of Commerce

Arkansas

Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce

California

Armenian American Chamber of Commerce

Bay Area Council

Beaumont Community Chamber of Commerce

CalChamber

Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce

Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce

El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce

Fremont Chamber of Commerce (CA)

Fresno Chamber of Commerce

Gateway Chambers Alliance

Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce

Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce

Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce

La Mesa Chamber of Commerce

La Verne Chamber of Commerce

Lake County Chamber of Commerce

Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce

Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

National City Chamber of Commerce

North Orange County Chamber

Norwalk Chamber of Commerce

Orange County Business Council

Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association

Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce

Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

San Marcos Chamber of Commerce

San Mateo Chamber of Commerce

San Pedro Chamber of Commerce

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce

Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce

Vallejo Chamber of Commerce

Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA)

Vista Chamber of Commerce

Walnut Creek Chamber o Commerce & Visitor Bureau

Colorado

Aurora Chamber of Commerce

Basalt Chamber of Commerce

Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce

Logan County Chamber of Commerce

Steamboat Springs Chamber

Superior Chamber of Commerce

Florida

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

South Tampa Chamber of Commerce           

Georgia

Fayette Chamber of Commerce

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Hawaii

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

Kapolei Chamber of Commerce

Iowa

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance       

Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce

Greater Des Moines Partnership

Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

Idaho

Boise Metro Chamber

Illinois

Chamber630

GLMV Chamber of Commerce

Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce

Indiana

Aspire Johnson County

Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Owen County Chamber of Commerce

Westville Area Chamber of Commerce

Kansas

Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce

Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky

Commerce Lexington Inc.

Grayson County Chamber of Commerce

Greater Louisville Inc. - The Metro Chamber of Commerce

Russell County Chamber of Commerce

Louisiana

Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce

Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.

Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber Southwest Louisiana

Massachusetts

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Maryland

Howard County Chamber

Maryland Chamber of Commerce

Olney Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Michigan

Adrian Area and Tecumseh Area Chamber of Commerce

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Minnesota

Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce

Minneapolis Regional Chamber

Redwood Area Chamber & Tourism

Missouri

Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB

Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce

Montana

Billings Chamber of Commerce

Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

North Carolina

McDowell Chamber of Commerce

Moore County Chamber of Commerce

North Dakota

Greater North Dakota Chamber

Nebraska

Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce

Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership

New Jersey

NJ State Chamber of Commerce

New Mexico

New Mexico Chamber of Commerce

Nevada

Carson City Chamber of Commerce

Laughlin Nevada Chamber of Commerce

Mesquite NV Chamber of Commerce

Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Vegas Chamber

New York

Capital Region Chamber

Corning Area Chamber of Commerce

North Country Chamber of Commerce

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce

Ohio

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce

Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance

Trotwood Chamber of Commerce

Oklahoma

Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce

Poteau Chamber of Commerce

Shawnee Forward

The State Chamber of Oklahoma

Oregon

Bandon Chamber of Commerce

Bend Chamber of Commerce

Boardman Chamber of Commerce

Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce

Greater Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce

Hillsboro Chamber

Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce

Portland Business Alliance

Oregon Business & Industry

Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

The Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Medford & Jackson County

Pennsylvania

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce

Cambria Regional Chamber of Commerce

Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry

Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce

Greater Reading Chamber Alliance  

Lancaster Chamber

Main Line Chamber of Commerce

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

South West Communities Chamber

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce

South Carolina

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce

Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce

Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce

Texas

Alamo Chamber of Commerce

Austin Chamber of Commerce

Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce

Georgetown Chamber of Commerce

Greater Houston Partnership

Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce

Odessa Chamber of Commerce

Richardson Chamber of Commerce

Rio Grande Valley Partnership

Texas Association of Business

Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce

Utah

Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce

Davis Chamber of Commerce

Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce

St. George Area Chamber of Commerce

Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce

Virginia

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce

Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce

Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Vermont

Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Washington

Association of Washington Business

Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce

Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce     

Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce

Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce

Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Shelton-Mason County Chamber

Silverdale Chamber of Commerce

Wyoming

Evanston Chamber of Commerce

Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce