Washington, D.C. – Today, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement on the introduction of the Digital Equity Act, co-sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Angus King (I-ME):
“NLC is proud to support the bipartisan Digital Equity Act, which would equip everyone, in every community, with the digital skills and access needed to succeed in today’s interconnected world. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the digital divide into a digital crisis, with communities of color, people with disabilities, low-income households and rural communities increasingly left behind. Access to reliable broadband is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity – and we owe it to our communities to get them connected.
“We applaud Senators Murray and Portman for their leadership and collaboration on such an important piece of legislation at such a critical time for our nation’s communities.”
The Act establishes grant programs to build and implement digital equity plans in all fifty states and help communities access funding for digital inclusion projects. A recent survey found that 34 percent of lower-income broadband users struggled to afford internet during the pandemic, and 59 percent of lower income parents reported last fall that their kids faced digital obstacles while trying to attend school online.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.