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Broadband Plan Anniversary: Some Goals Met but More Work Needed


Yesterday, March 16, marked the fourth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan.  When it was released four years ago, this plan was lauded as the FCC's roadmap to universal broadband access, intended to expand access and bring affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity to Americans in every corner of the country.  This connectivity is essential for us all, and in particular for women and women-owned businesses - without it, full participation in our global economy and modern life is virtually impossible. 


Here at WIPP, we've long advocated for increased access to affordable broadband service because of the critical role Internet-based networks fulfills for women, as well as for our businesses and loved ones.  Access to fast, modern high-speed broadband connectivity means access to professional opportunities, distance learning classes, telework jobs, civic engagement, and even health care.  It delivers growth opportunities to businesses, helping those businesses run more efficiently and competitively in the global marketplace.  Broadband connectivity also delivers much greater possibilities for higher education, job training, and professional networking. 


In the plan, the FCC identified broadband as "the great infrastructure challenge of the 21st century," and set important goals designed to meet that challenge, many of which line up with our own tech principles.  In only four years, the private sector and the FCC have already made incredible progress toward meeting those goals, and we applaud those efforts.  Additionally, the upcoming spectrum incentive auction is a chance to make underused spectrum available to wireless carriers, thereby easing the strain on mobile networks while also funding FirstNet (a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders) with auction proceeds. 


The National Broadband Plan also recognized the vital role that private investment plays in the work to expand access and enhance broadband service.  The plan explained that the old-fashioned "Plain Old Telephone System" network infrastructure was incapable of meeting future needs, and that maintaining that obsolete network required carriers to spend money on lines that hardly anyone relied on anymore.  Meanwhile, consumer demand and continued tech innovation have driven private investment into modern, lightning-fast broadband network infrastructure.  Investment in our country's broadband infrastructure has been substantial: Estimates report that this investment totaled $1.2 trillion between 1996 and 2011. And last year, a White House report said since 2009, private sector investment into these networks came in at over $250 billion. In fact, the top two wireless carriers last year led all companies in all sectors in investing in our nation's future.  


Four years ago, the FCC presented a path that leads to expanded access, and those efforts are starting to pay off.  But achieving truly universal access to broadband will not be possible without significant additional private investment.  In order to achieve that goal, smart telecom regulations must be put in place; companies must have regulatory certainty.  Rules that both encourage investment into next-generation networks and that accelerate the movement forward to an all-broadband future will enable continued innovation, economic growth, and universal access for all Americans.  We encourage the FCC to study and learn the realities of today's marketplace, and ensure that any policies and regulations in the future accurately reflect today's dynamic and competitive ecosystem.


The National Retail Federation's Retail's Big Blog reported on the difficult issue of veteran unemployment.  This is an issue that many of our WIPP entrepreneurs are working on, and it is an issue we must face and deal with head on.   The blog, however does give us good news from the retail sector on hiring with Walmart, AT&T among the top employers!      Good works meet good business: Retailers continue to deliver good jobs for our veterans  

We're incredibly grateful for the thousands of individuals and organizations that have helped share the life-saving message of It Can Wait.

On September 19 during the second annual pledge day, Drive 4 Pledges day, we saw the power of organizations like yours along with the national wireless leaders and other advocates put on full display all across the country.This collaboration speaks to the strength of the movement and produced an amazing outpouring of results, including:

  • More than 2,000 activities staged nationally and nearly 700 state and local proclamations issued about Drive 4 Pledges Day.
  • More than 30,000 #ItCanWait tweets generated 150M+ impressions.
  • More than 2,000 new Instagram photos tagged with #ItCanWait.

Most notably, as a result of this activity, we received more than 200,000 pledges on Drive 4 Pledges Day - bringing us to more than 3 million pledges to date!

Although Drive 4 Pledges Day is over, the movement will keep spreading the message of the dangers of texting while driving. We encourage everyone to continue their effort. Whether it's pledging to never text and drive, encouraging someone to do the same or initiating a new, creative way to get the word out, you can make a difference. You can also start your own pledge campaign with Causes and raise money for youth-focused programs to spread the word about the many dangers of texting while driving-more information at The reality is, the behavior affects all of us.

Because of you and your support, we are making great strides toward putting an end to texting while driving. You've helped turn this issue into a national conversation and a social movement with the power to save lives.

AT&T in partnership with three other communications companies commissioned a video from noted filmmaker Werner Herzog. The emotionally powerful video, which educates viewers on the dangers of texting while driving is being distributed to schools nationwide. It is a 'must watch' video for drivers and parents of divers.

Also in the news in this is op-ed from The News Tribune. The op-ed quotes former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on the on the dangers of texting while driving. It provides information about recent legislation and mobile applications designed to prevent distracted driving.

As we get closer to September 19, Drive 4 Pledges Day, we encourage you to follow news around efforts to educate on the dangers of texting while driving and to amplify anything you find particularly interesting.

The Rise of Women In Tech

11:51 AM October 29, 2012

Take a look at the Infographic on the Rise of Women In Tech. There is no question that women's participation in the sciences and particularly in technology is rising - we see it reflected in our WIPP membership and in particular our members that are successful federal contractors. I'd like to know how you think this rise will impact the growth of their businesses and/or their rise into senior management positions in the corporate world. What else needs to be done? What steps do you think we should take to leverage this information?







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