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Black History Month is one of the most celebrated cultural heritage months on the American calendar, highlighting and celebrating the important contributions to our society by Black innovators, entrepreneurs, scholars and artists. But our celebrations should not begin and end in February.

It’s in that spirit that today we remember and honor the Black inventor Lewis Latimer, who is responsible for making electric lighting affordable for the average household and who is the namesake of a groundbreaking national digital equity plan announced earlier this year by the National Urban League (NUL).

Times have changed since Latimer’s development of the incandescent light bulb in the late 19th century. Broadband internet access is now considered a basic household necessity like electricity. But, the unfortunate reality is that millions of Americans - many of whom are people of color - still do not have home broadband access due to barriers related to high-costs and lack of competition.

Last year, the NUL took a hard look at why broadband connectivity lagged in communities of color, and set out smart policy solutions to improve connectivity to all communities. Starry is proud to support this effort and to lend our voice to this critically important issue. After all, we have one mission at Starry and that’s to connect as many people as possible to affordable, high-quality home broadband.  

Named after the inventor, the NUL’s Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion focuses on assuring that all Americans, regardless of race, income, or location, have affordable broadband access in the home so they can fully participate in our modern economy and society. The plan includes a robust agenda to target availability, adoption, and access through collaborative efforts from public and private partners. The full plan and recommendations can be found here.

Contributing to this plan is another way we continue to promote and support the expansion of affordable broadband access across the country. We look forward to continuing this work with the NUL and other like-minded stakeholders to create a more equitable, inclusive, and connected society.


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