As a King County resident, I’m writing to bring attention to the unfortunate lack of reliable internet access in my community.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the culture of work, school and medical care online. It’s unacceptable to me that many struggle to access internet services. A 2020 King County study found 1 in 5 residents have inadequate web access. Parents and children shouldn’t have to travel miles to connect to online schooling. Ambitious teens can’t rely on cellphones or coffee shop parking lots to access the net.

We need practical solutions to fix this problem. I’m thankful to leaders like U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell who push for policies making broadband accessible, like the Emergency Educational Connections Act and increased FCC subsidies. We should also support business innovations expanding access, like SpaceX satellites, or Ligado utilizing the unused internet spectrum.

King County is home to the University of Washington, Microsoft and Nintendo. Innovation is part of this region’s DNA. Continued innovation and social growth is only possible with equitable internet access. There’s no reason why our neighbors should struggle to access the web. Enhanced broadband subsidies, expansion programs and tech innovations will finally close this digital divide.

Marvin Rosete, Renton