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“Closing the Digital Divide to Create Economic Opportunity” | Charter Communications Group Vice President of State Government Affairs Marva Johnson | February 08, 2022

“It’s not just the economic impact of broadband on our lives, but on the quality of our lives.”

Charter Communications Group Vice President of State Government Affairs Marva Johnson discusses the upwards of 2.3 million Floridians that are without broadband internet before a February 8, 2022 meeting of The Economic Club of Florida.

Show notes

Charter Communications is a national provider of broadband, the high-tech network of lines that provide Internet, phone, and TV services to our homes and businesses.  Marva Johnson shared her views on the current access and affordability challenges, their economic impact, and the public-private partnerships that seek to close the digital divide, especially for low-income families.

“There are upwards of 2.3 million Floridians in rural and even some urban areas that are without broadband.  They don’t have access to online banking, healthcare, and educational tools that have enhanced the quality of our lives,” Johnson told the Club.  But that also represents an economic loss to Florida.  “That cost is between $2.25 billion to $17 billion that could otherwise be brought to the state through greater commerce,” she added. 

Johnson explained that the reason for the digital divide is often geographical, as rural areas lack the infrastructure, such as utility poles to run the broadband cable.  The Florida Legislature this session is considering proposals to create a framework to help expand broadband into underserved areas, including pole replacements. 

But she said there are also affordability and socio-economic reasons.  The Federal Communications Commission set aside $20 billion, in part to provide a $30 monthly cable credit to low-income households, but has only spent $10 billion to date.  “Charter is wiring one million locations across the country and we’ll spend another $3.8 billion ourselves in providing infrastructure and services to make it happen, so this is not a government giveaway,” Johnson said.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

The Economic Club of Florida podcast, provides an extended platform for discussion to educate, engage, and empower citizens on important economic, political, and social issues. Based in Tallahassee, Florida, the Club has featured distinguished speakers on engaging topics of national importance since 1977. To learn more, including how to become a member, visit or call 850-224-0711 or email [email protected].

Date of recording: 02/08/22