MIL-OSI USA: U.S. Rep. Lawrence Hosts Digital Equity Roundtable with FCC Chair Rosenworcel, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, Community Leaders and Detroit Public School Educators and Students


Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (14th District of Michigan)

May 16, 2022

Press Release

Roundtable follows President Biden’s recently announced program to lower costs for high-speed internet

Detroit, MI – Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) hosted a digital equity roundtable with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, City of Detroit Director of Digital Inclusion Joshua Edmonds, digital inclusion advocates, and Detroit Public School educators and students. The discussion focused on affordable internet access, the FCC’s work to bridge the digital divide, the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). 

“Reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. But here in Michigan and across the country, the lack of internet access is a real problem and a barrier to success for our students, workers, and so many others,” said Rep. Lawrence. “I’m grateful that we have leaders like FCC Chair Rosenworcel, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, and community advocates who are dedicated to closing the digital divide for good. While we’ve made tremendous progress in strengthening our broadband infrastructure, we know that there’s still so much more work to do.”

“For far too long the conversation around closing the digital divide overlooked the needs of urban communities, like Detroit. Not anymore. Thank you to Congresswoman Lawrence for hosting me to learn directly from the educators, students, and community advocates impacted by and addressing the lack of universal internet access,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We have more work to do to get us all connected, but more programs to do something about it than ever before.  I’m looking forward to working with state, local and federal leaders like the ones I met today to make the most of these investments.” 

On May 9th, President Biden announced a plan to expand access to affordable high-speed internet access—securing commitments from 20 leading internet providers to “either increase speeds or cut prices, making sure they all offer ACP-eligible households high-speed, high-quality internet plans for no more than $30/month.” In total, more than 1300 providers are participating in the ACP, with more than 90 in Michigan alone.