October 24, 2021

Report: “Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces $40 Billion Bill to Close the Digital Divide”

UPDATE: Here’s the official news release about the introduction of the Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy (BRIDGE) Act along with the text of the bill, a section by section summary, and a one page overview of the legislation.

About the From The Washington Post:

Three senators plan to introduce legislation Tuesday that would spend $40 billion to make broadband Internet more affordable and accessible under one of the largest bipartisan proposals to address the digital divide.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Angus King (I-Maine), highlights the growing support in both political parties to boost federal funding to bring more Americans online. The senators say the closure of businesses and schools during the coronavirus pandemic made clear the need for expanded Internet access.

The bill, called the Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy Act, signals the importance some are attaching to Internet connectivity amid broader negotiations over infrastructure spending. Portman is among 10 senators brokering a bipartisan deal to improve the country’s roads, bridges, pipes and broadband infrastructure.

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There have been other bipartisan proposals to address broadband gaps in recent weeks, but they have been much smaller. Last week, Portman and King joined Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in introducing legislation that would allocate more than $1 billion to local Internet projects.

Read the Complete WaPo Report

Note: For an intro to the bill introduced last week see, Senators Murray, Portman, and King Introduce Major Bipartisan Legislation to Close Digital Divide, Promote Digital Equity; Legislation Endorsed by ALA, ULC, and Others (June 10, 2021)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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