May 22, 2018/Press

Republicans Celebrate Broadband Connectivity – 10 Years After Voting Against It

Raleigh – Lt. Governor Dan Forest, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and North Carolina Republicans are hosting an event today to celebrate North Carolina becoming the first state with broadband access in all public schools – even though every single Republican voted against the creation of the program more than 10 years ago.

The School Connectivity Initiative (SCI) was created in 2007 to bring new technology infrastructure to public schools, allocating funding for broadband access, equipment, and support services.

All but one Republican senator voted against the measure, including now-Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, as did every single House Republican, including now-Speaker Tim Moore.

That hasn’t stopped Republican leaders from taking credit for the program. Yesterday, Speaker Moore touted the achievement on Twitter:

North Carolina first state with broadband access in all schools, “opportunity for an excellent education to all public-school students.” [Speaker Tim Moore, Twitter, 5/21/18]

Meanwhile, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has led the charge against a free and fair internet. Under Pai’s leadership, the FCC repealed net neutrality rules, which prevented internet service providers from slowing down or manipulating internet traffic.

The move opens the door to allow companies to discriminate against consumers or charge higher prices for the same service. The students Pai, Forest, and North Carolina Republicans are visiting today could be forced to pay higher prices and face reduced access to the web all so big telecom companies can get richer.

“Republicans’ attempts to take credit for a program that nearly every single member of their party, including both of their current leaders, voted against is the height of hypocrisy,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “Republicans actively tried to block efforts to bring high-speed internet to our schools ten years ago and they continue to attack a free and fair internet today.”