Lafayette, LA Provision of Affordable High-Speed Internet Services for All

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Lafayette, LA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Introduced on 5/17/05 (It's unclear whether or not it was adopted.)

Source File: http://www.lafayettela.gov/pdf/council/agenda/051705/council/joint%20special/R-042-2005.pdf

Text:

RESOLUTION NO. R-042-2005
A RESOLUTION OF THE LAFAYETTE CITY-PARISH COUNCIL AND THE LAFAYETTE PUBLIC UTILITIES AUTHORITY COMMENDING THE VOLUNTEER DIGITAL DIVIDE COMMITTEE’S REPORT ENTITLED “BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: CROSSING OVER TO A TECHNOLOGICAL FUTURE TOGETHER,” WHICH ENCOURAGES THE PROVISION OF AFFORDABLE, HIGH-SPEED INTERNET SERVICE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL OF THE CITIZENS IN THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE AND CALLING UPON THE LAFAYETTE UTILITIES SYSTEM TO PROMOTE ITS FIBER FOR THE FUTURE PROJECT IN ORDER TO SUPPORT ELEMENTS OF THIS REPORT

BE IT RESOLVED by the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority, that:

WHEREAS, “Several studies have found that students with access both at home and at school do better academically than their counterparts with only school access. For example, a Michigan State University study found that after low-income children were given home Internet access, their overall grade point averages and, in many cases, reading test scores, improved. Those who spent more time online saw greater improvements, which researchers attribute to the increased reading that Web use entails.” “Children, The Digital Divide, And Federal Policy,” September 2004, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

WHEREAS, according to recent data (2004) from Nielsen/Netrating and the Pew Internet and American Life Project:

  • Over four-fifths of all households that lack Internet access at home have incomes below $50,000.” Expanding the Digital Divide & Falling Behind on Broadband, October 2004, by Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America.
  • “Half of all households with incomes above $75,000 have high speed Internet at home. About half of all households with incomes below $30,000 do not have any Internet at home. The penetration of high-speed Internet in this group [those with incomes below $30,000] is around 10 percent.” Ibid.

WHEREAS, according to data collected by United States Department of Education in 2001:

  • “While 75% of children from families earning over $75,000 a year have gone online, less than half (49%) of those from families earning $20-$35,000 and only 7% of those earning under $20,000 a year have gone online.” “Children, The Digital Divide, And Federal Policy,” September 2004, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • “While half (51.7%) of all children with family incomes of $75,000 or above have Internet access at home, just 15% of those with incomes between $20-25,000 do.” Ibid.

WHEREAS, we now live in a digital age, a time when information technology is pervasive in most of our lives; and

WHEREAS, those who lack meaningful access to technology experience a new form of poverty and new barriers to success; and

WHEREAS, a healthy economy and community maximizes the potential of technology to deliver information, products, and services to accelerate the entry of low income people into the economic mainstream; and

WHEREAS, in today’s society, a computer and Internet access in the home are the keys to connecting all residents to opportunity in the most efficient manner; and

WHEREAS, effective use of the resources of the Internet requires high-speed Internet access, a computer, software, available training and technical support, and affordable costs; and

WHEREAS, barriers that prevent Lafayette’s people from advancing fully into the information age include structural barriers to entry, motivational and historical barriers to entry, and barriers to full participation; and

WHEREAS, minimizing or reducing these specific barriers is considered to be of primary importance to the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority; and

WHEREAS, the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority deem it essential that assistance to low income residents should go beyond access to the Internet, computers and software to include education about online resources that help residents join the economic mainstream, such as distance learning, job training courses, employment opportunities, resume programs and web-based business; access to Lafayette City-Parish services; on-line financial transactions; and participating on-line in democratic processes; and

WHEREAS, the Lafayette Utilities System has invited a volunteer group to form the Digital Divide Committee to study and make recommendations on strategies that address these issues; and

WHEREAS, a resolution of the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority is in order to call upon the Lafayette Utilities System to incorporate elements of the report issued by the Digital Divide Committee entitled, “Bridging the Digital Divide: Crossing Over to a Technological Future Together,” into its Fiber for the Future project, thereby providing support and encouragement for the provision of affordable high-speed Internet service for the benefit of all the citizens in the City of Lafayette; and accordingly

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority, that:

SECTION 1: All of the aforedescribed "Whereas" clauses are adopted as part of this resolution.

SECTION 2: The development of programs that benefit low income residents’ utilization of technology, such as the affordable availability of computers, the provision of educational programs and the adoption of principles such as the universal availability of service, should be encouraged.

SECTION 3: The Lafayette Utilities System is commended on its partnership with the Lafayette Parish School System to connect all of the schools of our parish with the fiber-optic system.

SECTION 4: The Digital Divide Committee is commended for its examination of the issue of the digital divide, including how to identify the underlying causes of the digital divide, and further to formulate principles, recommendations, plans, and procedures on how to address the digital divide in connection with the Fiber for the Future project, and that the Lafayette City- Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority endorse the principles and recommendations embodied in the committee’s study.

SECTION 5: The Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Lafayette Public Utilities Authority call upon the Lafayette Utilities System to incorporate elements of the report issued by the Digital Divide Committee entitled, “Bridging the Digital Divide: Crossing Over to a Technological Future Together,” into its Fiber for the Future project, thereby providing support and encouragement for the provision of affordable high-speed Internet service for the benefit of all the citizens in the City of Lafayette.

SECTION 6: All resolutions or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

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