ALA ready to bring high-capacity broadband to libraries with FCC’s O’Rielly and Wheeler

New FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

New FCC Chair Tom Wheeler (image via)

The American Library Association congratulates Tom Wheeler and Michael O’Rielly on their Senate confirmation to the Federal Communications Commission. As Senator Thune referenced in Wheeler’s nomination hearing last June, this is a pivotal time in communications history and it is prime time for visionary leadership. ALA is ready to shape a vision for broadband access for America’s libraries and the communities they serve. ALA also thanks Acting Chairwoman Clyburn for her leadership during the interim period. Her hallmark dedication to the public interest is exemplary and ALA deeply appreciates her direction on these issues. In the immediate future, the current E-rate proceeding holds the greatest promise for America’s libraries to ensure they have access to affordable, high-capacity broadband today and over the next decade. ALA appreciates the strong support of Senator Rockefeller for the E-rate program and thanks him for bringing its importance to the attention of the newest FCC Commissioner and Chairman.

“Libraries in communities across the country are clamoring for broadband speeds that support the countless services libraries provide K12 students, their families, and the general public,” said ALA Washington Office Executive Director, Emily Sheketoff. “Libraries cannot afford to wait and the current E-rate proceeding provides us the opportunity to put an E-rate program into place that ensures libraries and schools are equipped for what the public needs.”

ALA looks forward to working with the full Commission in the coming months.

Marijke began at OITP in 2009 to support a grant project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation looking at broadband capacity in public libraries. She immediately became immersed in broadband adoption and E-rate issues and has not looked back. Marijke leads and coordinates all of ALA’s work on E-rate. She is also co-chair of the Edlinc Coalition, the primary coalition promoting E-rate policy for libraries and schools at the national level. In addition to E-rate, Marijke supports the Program on Networks focusing on broadband adoption issues for diverse populations. Marijke also serves as Program Director for OITP’s emerging portfolio on children, youth, and technology. Prior to coming to OITP, Marijke worked for several community organizations that focused on empowering at-risk populations, especially focusing on youth and pre-school children. She continues to have a strong inclination to find projects that address access to information barriers so everyone, regardless of circumstance, can access, apply, and benefit from information in any format. Marijke received her master’s degree in library science from Indiana University, Indianapolis.

Posted in E-Rate, OITP, Public Libraries, Telecommunications, Washington Office News Tagged with: , , , , , ,
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