Brad Smith, Microsoft Senator Patimalay, supports the expansion of Internet access through digital equity legislation.

Senator Patimalay, D-WA.

Senator Patimalay calls a strong and affordable Internet connection “must have” for all Americans, adding Microsoft Brad Smith and other digital access advocates to improve broadband access and affordability across the country. Promotion of additional federal spending to.

“It’s time to invest heavily in broadband,” Murray said in an online conversation about his law. $ 1.4 billion digital equity law.. Smith, president of the Seattle tech giant, agreed and called for internet access to be a basic need for everyone.

“Broadband has become electricity in the 21st century,” Smith said.

Murray, who co-sponsored the bill with Republican Senator from Ohio, Rob Portman, is looking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants in local projects by covering three broad categories. Help them get internet devices beyond mobile phones; teach the skills to navigate the online world.

According to the panel, the pandemic has not exposed what is known as the digital divide. Everyone said they have known about this problem for years. Instead, they said that after months of working and learning at home, it was no longer possible to ignore the problem.

“When the school was closed in March 2020 due to a pandemic, it quickly became clear to me and my colleagues that children could not go to school without work equipment and a broadband connection at home. appropriate. Said Susan Enfield, Principal of Highline Public School.

She added: “What I want to keep in mind is that we have known about the digital divide for years and we have chosen to look away because we can.”

Murray, Smith and Enfield participated Lisa Rosen Bloom, Secretary General of King County Library Systems Sharonne Navas, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Equity in Education Coalition, and David Keyes, Digital Equity Program Manager, Seattle.

Navas said a detailed investigation by the Equity in Education Coalition during the pandemic found that more than 18,000 households in King County did not have internet access and more than 285,000 students across the state did. had no internet access. I did.

In part, this information prompted Kitsap County Congressman Drew Hansen. Successful promotion of legislation to enable local governments Become an Internet service provider and expand the range of broadband.

Effective in 3 weeks, Hansen’s HB1336 Empower utility districts, counties, cities and port districts to deliver retail broadband services to subscribers in the same way private companies like Comcast do. The bill allows municipalities to become Internet service providers.

But Navas said he had to do more. The pandemic has shown that the Internet has become a requirement in the fields of food, housing, education and medicine. “(Internet) was one of the technical elements that set this situation up,” she said.

Brad Smith, Microsoft Senator Patimalay, supports the expansion of Internet access through digital equity legislation.

Source link Brad Smith, Microsoft Senator Patimalay, supports the expansion of Internet access through digital equity legislation.


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