Citizens For A Digital Future Launches Kentucky Chapter/Highlights Major Issues Impacting Broadband Access In Kentucky

Oct 23, 2012, 10:30 ET from Citizens for a Digital Future

Coalition promotes access to new technology and better service for Kentucky consumers

FRANKFORT, Ky., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citizens for a Digital Future (CDF) announced today the official launch of its Kentucky Chapter.  The group was joined by several prominent Kentucky organizations in highlighting key policy areas dealing with broadband access and adoption that will become the focus of its efforts in the state.

CDF is a national coalition whose members support and advance policies that encourage broad deployment and robust enhancement of broadband and digital technologies.  CDF has been a driving force in numerous other states when it comes to advocating for policies that will create more opportunities for citizens to access wireless broadband technology. 

"In order for consumers to have access to the latest technologies and best services possible, it is essential for Kentucky to keep up with the communications infrastructure by ensuring state laws are keeping pace with new and innovative technologies," said John Watson, of Citizens for a Digital Future Chairman. "Kentucky's communication laws have not been updated since 2006, before the launch of the first iPhone, with the last federal modernization of communication laws taking place in 1996."

CDF recognizes that adoption of and access to broadband technology has become increasingly critical for education, economic development, healthcare, the environment and others.  The group is organizing a Kentucky chapter because the state is unfortunately lagging far behind many other states when it comes to the availability of broadband access and wireless coverage. 

"The Kentucky Chamber believes the path to prosperity lies in fostering conditions that promote the expansion of jobs and companies that provide them," said Bryan Sunderland, Kentucky Chamber VP of Public Affairs.  "With seven states along our border and technology making it increasingly easy for businesses to locate anywhere, it is essential that Kentucky maintain a competitive edge in the race for jobs and economic growth.  Availability of broadband plays an important role in supporting and fostering job growth." 

With many small businesses still struggling to gain traction during a difficult economy, it is more important than ever for Kentucky's legislators to exhibit leadership and propose policies that will encourage private investment in new technologies and jump start the state's jobs recovery.

"Kentucky has before it a golden opportunity to incentivize private investment in new technologies and gain economic efficiencies," says Hance Haney, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute – a national public policy think tank.  "Ensuring that consumers reap the full benefits of competition will require further revision of telecommunications law in Kentucky to remove investment barriers for telephone service providers."

Technology is playing an increasing role in the education of Kentucky students and preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow, especially technology that utilizes wireless broadband like tablets and other mobile devices.

"With the extensive global resources that can be accessed by a student in the palm of his/her hand through a wireless device, printed textbooks (and in some ways, classrooms) are becoming obsolete, so curriculum is being written for a digital platform," said Gary Gerdemann, Executive Director of CDF-Kentucky. "The future of education in Kentucky is going to require a developed wireless infrastructure because the technology that students will use will depend on it."

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About Citizens for a Digital Future: Citizens for a Digital Future is a coalition of non-profits, organizations and industry members that recognizes that adoption of and access to broadband technology has become increasingly critical to the environment, education, economic development and health care, among others. Its members support and advance public policies that encourage transparency, broad deployment and robust enhancement of broadband and digital technologies.

SOURCE Citizens for a Digital Future