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What’s Needed to Close the Digital Divide

(see original release here)

June 16, 2021

AT&T CEO John Stankey Discusses What’s Needed to Close the Digital Divide

John Stankey, chief executive officer of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), spoke Thursday, June 10, at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. on how Congress and business can work together to provide high-speed internet connections to millions of Americans.

In a discussion with David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, Stankey talked about the societal and economic impacts of the digital divide and the President’s $65 billion proposal to connect every American to the internet.

Stankey said the Administration’s proposal does a good job of addressing the lack of broadband infrastructure in many rural areas. But smart public policy is also needed to address the affordability issue afflicting many low-income urban communities. He also touched on the practicality of municipalities owning and operating local broadband networks.

Making broadband accessible and affordable to all Americans in a sustainable way requires significant capital investment and close collaboration between the public and private sectors. “But the economic and social benefits of narrowing the digital divide will more than pay for itself,” Stankey said.

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