Go Big or Go Home! CBA Petitions ABA for $40 Billion for Broadband Infrastructure for Rural America, 0619 COBJ, Vol. 48, No. 6 Pg. 4

Position:Vol. 48, 6 [Page 4]

48 Colo.Law. 4

Go Big or Go Home! CBA Petitions ABA for $40 Billion for Broadband Infrastructure for Rural America

Vol. 48, No. 6 [Page 4]

The Colorado Lawyer

June, 2019



The expression goes "Go big or go home." We at the CBA are certainly not going home.

This is my third and final article in Colorado Lawyer on broadband infrastructure and the critical role that it plays in the practice of law and access to justice in rural Colorado and rural America.1 "Approximately 24 million Americans lack broadband (high-speed Internet) access, 96% of whom live in rural areas."[2] And more than half of Americans making less than $20,000 per year have no connection to the Internet.3 Colorado is no different, and our technological deficiencies could soon result in a crippling inability to practice law in non-metro Colorado. Since becoming CBA president, I've been a staunch advocate of working with local bars, the private sector, and all levels of government to successfully transport the 50% of our membership practicing in out state Colorado to this side of the digital divide.

Perhaps the closest comparison in American history is the distribution of electricity. Not only did home access to electrical power make tasks easier and modern inventions more accessible, it literally transformed this country. Broadband and the infrastructure to support its accessibility is equally trans formative; in some rural areas, the town's very existence depends on it. So that brings us to why the CBA has determined to "go big" rather than "go home."

With the help of our exceptional committee of ABA delegates and a retained consultant, we have determined that as many as 40 other states share our access to justice crisis because they too lack critical broadband infrastructure.

After recently visiting with our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. and meeting with other state bar leaders, Colorado stepped out of the crowd to lead an effort to "educate" Congress on the modern crisis facing not only rural Colorado, but rural America. The CBA, through its ABA delegate, has drafted a resolution, supported by an extensive...

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