Land O’Lakes and 48 Others Form Coalition to Bring High-Speed Internet to Rural Areas

Today, 49 organizations across a diverse set of industries formed a coalition to close the gap in “America’s digital divide.” Land O’Lakes spearheaded the venture recruiting companies like Hershey, Nestle, Cargill, Bayer U.S. and Microsoft to form the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition (ACPBC).

The Coalition’s goal is to connect and uplift all American communities by providing access to modern digital technology, namely high-speed internet. The group will advocate for public and private sector investments to bring these amenities, especially to rural areas, while promoting and contributing to the options for remote education and health services, jobs, and more.

“All too often, farmers, business owners and even school children are disadvantaged by being on the wrong side of our country’s digital divide, a problem that has become more acute as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “But this isn’t just a rural issue. The American Connection Project Broadband Coalition represents a mix of companies from tech, health care, agriculture, and more who understand the ramifications of our country’s broken internet infrastructure and who have the willingness and expertise to help address this need. We are so grateful to our partners who recognize that connecting all Americans is possible and who are willing to work with us to close our country’s digital divide and invest in our collective future.”

The Coalition has already started to act on its mission. In April, the yet-to-be-formed ACPBC contacted all 50 US Governers petitioning them to support the initiative and to do their part with creating solutions for more accessible high-speed connections in rural areas, and to advocate for more telehealth options.

Today, the Coalition sent a letter to the Trump administration urging them to “enact groundbreaking broadband connectivity legislation that includes the necessary resources to close the digital divide in this country.”

“As we look to help our nation recover from this global pandemic, let’s make a smart investment in the future competitiveness of this country and ensure that all Americans, in both rural and urban areas, are able to access the internet.” The Letter said.

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