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Statement of Commissioner Copps on the Launch of

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Released: May 16, 2011


News media Information 202 / 418-0500

Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

TTY 202/418-2555


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order
constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).



May 13, 2011

Joshua Cinelli at (202) 418-2000



"I applaud the cross-governmental effort led by NTIA and the Department of Education
to create a portal that will connect citizens to educational materials to build the necessary digital
literacy skills necessary for success in the 21st century. I am glad that the FCC was a partner in
this effort because we know all too well that broadband intersects with just about every great
challenge confronting our nation today--be it creating jobs, expanding equal opportunity,
providing quality education, overcoming our costly energy dependence, ensuring health care for
everyone, maintaining a nourishing environment, empowering people with disabilities, restoring
our global competitiveness, and making sure we have the news and information that our
country's democratic dialogue requires to sustain itself. There is no solution for any of these
challenges that does not have a broadband component to it. Economic recovery and job creation
depend upon all of us having the information tools we need to develop ourselves, find
opportunity, and help our nation compete.
"Getting broadband out to all our citizens is not just something that would be nice for us
to do. It is something essential for us to do if we want to provide individuals the opportunity to
live productive and fulfilling lives in the Twenty-first century and something equally imperative
if we want our country to have a competitive edge in this challenging world. This is why I am an
ardent supporter of the new literacies--digital literacy, media literacy and news literacy. It's
crucial that meaningful support is given to educate our citizens about how important this is to
their futures and that they must learn how to navigate the awesome power of the Internet. It's
crucial that, with the proliferation of websites, our young people--and us elders, too--can
distinguish between trustworthy and not-so-trusty places on the Net and that we provide our
young citizens the education they need to create media and to be their own editors. And it's
crucial that our new town square of democracy, which will be paved with broadband bricks, is
open to all and accessible by all.
"We all remember that famous quote from Thomas Jefferson who, when talking about
newspapers--the broadband of its time--said that, if given the choice, he would prefer
newspapers without government over a government without newspapers. But that wasn't all he
said. Jefferson went on to say, `But I should mean that every man should receive those papers,
and be capable of reading them.' At this critical juncture two hundred years later we would be
wise to heed that advice. It is absolutely critical that we extend the power of broadband to all
corners and with it advance our democracy. I urge all relevant stakeholders to explore and thank those responsible for this achievement."
- FCC -

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