On July 14, 2020, long-time broadband and telehealth advocate, Craig Settles, released a statement reiterating the importance of telehealth opportunities for both urban and rural residents. It urged Congress and federal regulators to direct broadband funding for telehealth initiatives towards disconnected urban populations with the same vigor that has been applied to rural telehealth programs. Inadequate broadband infrastructure in any municipality, regardless of zip code, limits telehealth opportunities for communities that need it the most.
Next Century Cities’ Executive Director, Francella Ochillo, joined Craig Settles on the July 22nd podcast episode of Gigabit Nation. They discussed a range of topics related to broadband access and adoption. As Francella explained in the interview, access to high-speed connectivity is a challenge for Americans in unserved and underserved communities across the country. She urged policymakers and legislators at every level of government to be international in their partnerships with community leaders and disenfranchised populations to develop effective broadband deployment strategies. Finally, Francella reiterated that, in order for disconnected residents to enjoy the health, educational, and economic benefits that accompany digital citizenship, both public and private stakeholders must invest in and collaborate on local connectivity solutions which must continue to evolve.