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Petition Calls for Free Broadband Access for All Texans


Jordan Hicks, Spectrum News Article (7/15/20): Petition Calls for Free Broadband Access for All Texans

AUSTIN, Texas — As COVID-19 forces us to be more reliant on technology to stay connected, a Texas nonprofit is leading a movement to expand access to the internet.

What You Need To Know

  • Group wants all Texans to have access to broadband internet.

  • Austin Urban Technology Movement launched its Texas Technology for All campaign.

  • Campaign includes a petition calling for Gov. Greg Abbott to include AUTM on the state’s broadband development council and Operation Connectivity.

The Austin Urban Technology Movement launched its Texas Technology for All campaign. Their goal is to ensure every household in Texas has free broadband internet and the technology to use it, especially in underserved minority communities.

AUTM President and CEO Michael Ward Jr. said it's the organization's way to make sure the people in those communities aren’t left behind as technology continues to evolve. “We’re moving where the majority of the United States is now no longer going to be non-white,” Ward said. “We’re now putting a direct foundation or tools to ensure the success of our non-white community.”

The nonprofit also wants to create more opportunities for people in those communities to break into the tech industry. Ward said teaching folks how to use that technology is key to sparking interest in tech-related jobs.

“People believe that having access to a device will solve the problem, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Ward said. “You have to have the internet, you have to understand the device you’re using, you have to understand what type of products or applications that are on the device that your school wants you to use, or your job.”

The campaign includes a petition calling for Gov. Greg Abbott to include AUTM on the state’s broadband development council and Operation Connectivity, the governor’s initiative to bring internet and technology to Texas school districts. Ward says it gives the group a seat at the table in the capitol to push for the types of changes they say Texas needs.

View source version on spectrumlocalnews.com:

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5 Comments


I hope to that people who even are not from Texas are willing to sign the petition since everyone deserves to be able to have equal access to technology

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Carl Webb
Carl Webb
Jun 16, 2021

As someone that was once on the other side of the digital divide, I know the importance access to the internet plays in people's lives. Lack of fast and reliable internet service can have a very negative impact to the quality of life. As I shelter in place at home from my construction job, I can very well imagine just how much more difficult it would be for me to survive and thrive in this pandemic. I'm so fortunate to have been able to communicate and even learn new skills on my computer while staying safe at home. I want everyone to be able to have this ability also. It was through the internet that I found out about the…

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It would be great to achieve the goal of free broadband internet for everyone in Texas! This petition brings us closer to that goal being realized.

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I think this petition is a great way to bring awareness to the predicament many Austin community members face in an increasingly online based world.

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I’m grateful to see that people are getting this opportunity to get technology and get in such a great industry!

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