i2-news - FIRSTMILE.US FORMED. GOES TO BAT FOR BIG BROADBAND IN THE U.S
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FIRSTMILE.US FORMED. GOES TO BAT FOR BIG BROADBAND IN THE U.S
- From: "Lauren B. Kallens" <>
- To: <>
- Subject: FIRSTMILE.US FORMED. GOES TO BAT FOR BIG BROADBAND IN THE U.S
- Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 11:19:39 -0400
Eureka, California (May 5, 2005) -FirstMile.US, a California-based
non-profit, was officially launched today at the Redwood Coast Rural Action
meeting. Its goal: Big Broadband Everywhere. Its method: educating,
advocating and focusing the national debate on the power and promise of big
broadband until the FirstMile.US vision-that every member of the American
public has access to affordable, big broadband-is achieved.
In 21st century America, digital infrastructure is as relevant to economic
vitality and personal well-being as electricity and water utilities. From
rural communities like California's Redwood coast to metropolitan centers
like Philadelphia, access to big broadband forms the lynchpin of a strong
industrial base and the creation of solid, high-paying jobs.
U.S. advocates of big broadband are stymied by the nation's employment of
20-year-old technologies and dismal global ranking of 10th in per capita
broadband use. In response, President Bush has set a national goal of
affordable access to broadband technology in every corner of America by
"We are a country of ostriches with our heads in the sand when it comes to
where our big broadband futures lie. FirstMile.US is not going to take it
anymore," said Susan Estrada, president of FirstMile.US.
"Today's launch of FirstMile.US expressly addresses our country's outdated
and ineffective attitude toward broadband-specifically big broadband.
FirstMile.US will provide an action platform for all of us who are
frustrated with the lackluster status-quo. It's America's turn to lead. And
FirstMile.US will take us there. First on our agenda:
spotlight rural communities like California's Redwood Coast and visionary
states like Kentucky, which are embracing the first mile and enable the
replication of those successful endeavors across the nation."
"The genesis of ConnectKentucky's Broadband Initiative is a comprehensive
broadband strategy for this state. This initiative will give Kentuckians the
opportunity to plug into the global economy from their communities. We're
pleased to serve as an exemplar for FirstMile.US." said Brian Mefford,
President and CEO, ConnectKentucky.
"We've fallen far behind Japan and other Asian states in deploying broadband
technologies. Efforts like those of FirstMile.US are crucial if the U.S.
intends to capitalize on the digital dividends of broadband - economic
growth, increased productivity, and improved quality of life," said Thomas
Bleha, recipient of an Abe Fellowship, author of a forthcoming book on the
race for Internet leadership and previously a Foreign Service officer in
Japan for eight years. "Today, nearly all Japanese have access to
high-speed broadband, with an average connection speed 16 times faster than
in the U.S.-for only $22 a month," noted Bleha.
Most experts agree that we need at least 100 megabits of broadband bandwidth
to support the kind of applications expected in the next five years. Some
have even suggested that one gigabit of bandwidth is essential by 2010. Big
broadband refers to a variety of broadband connection characteristics that
allow great strides in the types of applications used. These include the
size of the bandwidth, latency
(bottlenecks) as well synchronicity.
FirstMile.US is a public-benefit corporation, incorporated in California and
is in the process of establishing non-profit status.
Susan Estrada, President
Voice: 760-510-8406 x1#
- FIRSTMILE.US FORMED. GOES TO BAT FOR BIG BROADBAND IN THE U.S, Lauren B. Kallens, 05/06/2005
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