March 20, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) and a group of bipartisan leaders on the Senate Broadband Caucus today hosted an event on closing the digital divide and helping create new education opportunities for students, teachers, and administrators. The event, “Connecting Our Students: Closing the Digital Divide and the Future of Education,” featured remarks by caucus co-chairs U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as well as Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission. Joining the Senate Broadband Caucus panel with information technology and education leaders was Susan Corbett, CEO of Axiom Technologies in Machias. Corbett has been a leader in expanding broadband infrastructure in Washington County and throughout the state of Maine, and has worked with libraries, schools, and universities to close the digital divide for Maine students.
“In today’s highly-connected world, it is critical students have the opportunity to access 21st century technologies that can help them grow and learn,” Senator King said. “In Maine, closing the digital learning gap must be a top priority so children – particularly in in rural parts of the state – can do their homework, explore their intellectual curiosities, and unleash their potential. It’s wonderful to have a community leader like Susan Corbett working to advance these important efforts in Washington County, and I’m grateful that a strong bipartisan group is doing the same in Washington, D.C.”
Senator King is a co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, and has been a strong proponent of broadband infrastructure initiatives. Connectivity in rural regions is a key part of Senator King’s economic agenda to help grow Maine’s rural economy, support innovation and create jobs. During his time in office, Senator King has supported the modernization of federal broadband programs, including the FCC’s E-rate program, which supports school and library internet access. Last August, he hosted a listening tour with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to discuss the importance of rural broadband for rural education, healthcare, and economic growth. Senators King and Capito also successfully advanced bipartisan federal legislation in 2015 to support innovative strategies to connect rural students to the internet outside of the classroom, and wrote a letter to then-Education Secretary John King in April 2016 urging that he implement the changes.