Proposed Senate Bill Would BRIDGE Digital Divide

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A bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Bennet (D-Colorado), King (I-Maine) and Portman (R-Ohio), would make $40 billion available through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to close the Digital Divide.

The Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy (BRIDGE) Act would give priority to unserved, underserved and high-cost areas to promote broadband affordability, adoption and digital inclusion. Eligible fund recipients include all states and DC, U.S. territories, and tribal governments, and any entity receiving funds from them.

Funds may be used for a variety of projects and services, including: Deployment of broadband networks to eligible areas; Connection to community anchor institutions; Broadband planning; Distance learning; Telehealth; Installation of internet and Wi-Fi infrastructure; Support of affordable broadband programs; Support of digital inclusion programs; Development of skilled workers necessary for the deployment of high speed broadband; and Acceleration of the completion of existing broadband projects

With so many Congressional projects with huge price tags and relatively little public benefit being bandied about daily, this seems like a very beneficial and comprehensive proposal to close, if not eliminate entirely, the Digital Divide.