Senate and House Democrats pledged, on Thursday, to grant all Americans access to high-speed Internet in an effort to close the digital divide.
The proposal is part of the party's new economic agenda, "A Better Deal," named after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's national infrastructure investment.
High-speed Internet is crucial to this economic plan, which focuses on better jobs, better wages and a better future, according to Democrats. Today 34 million Americans have no broadband Internet; two thirds, or 23 million, are from rural communities, said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos who serves central Illinois.
"The electricity of today is Internet high-speed access," she said. "It starts by making a $40 billion investment to broadband all over the country."
Industry organization USTelecom approved the measure.
"Closing the digital divide won’t be easy or inexpensive, but an economic jump-start for areas without access to broadband Internet service will be worth the investment and remains a national priority," said USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter in a statement.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.