I wanted to be sure the CNI community was aware of this important action; in the current emergency even more than ever, universal high quality broadband access is essential for many, many reasons. Our students rely on it.
This is an extract from a message from John O’Brien, the President of EDUCAUSE; note that the Association of Research Libraries was one of the organizations that signed onto the letter. The letter can be found at
“Last Friday, twenty-nine (29) higher education associations and organizations joined an EDUCAUSE letter to Congress on student broadband access and research and education (R&E) broadband infrastructure. We want to ensure that policymakers understand these vital issues and address them in national decisions on emergency needs and the long-term digital divide that has contributed to them.
The pandemic has left many students, particularly those in underrepresented and rural communities, without the access to broadband and computers that they need to effectively continue their studies while away from campus. Even as some institutions look ahead to reopening their campuses, not all will, and those that do will continue to face the demands of physical distancing as well as the possibility of renewed closures. Thus, EDUCAUSE and its partners believe that Congress must act to help students from unserved and underserved communities get and stay online regardless of their personal circumstances. Otherwise, students in need risk unacceptable delays in academic progress if they don’t lose their opportunity for higher education altogether.
Likewise, as Congress considers investing in broadband infrastructure as part of a potential economic stimulus bill, it must not forget the unique role that the nation’s R&E networks play in advancing learning, research, and service as well as broadband access. We included with our letter the comments previously submitted by Internet2 and The Quilt that highlight how modest levels of funding could allow our nation’s R&E backbone network (Internet2) and the state and regional R&E networks that link to it (Quilt members) to provide much greater support for community anchor institutions—and thus for connectivity in local communities. Such investments would also greatly increase network capacity for research at a time when academic research must depend on network connectivity as never before.”