Provisions in Draft Text of Build Back Better Act Will Support Access to Digital Devices and Learning and Library Resources for More Americans
October 29, 2021
Contact: Jon Conradi
Washington, D.C. – Connect Americans Now (CAN) executive director Richard T. Cullen released the following statement Friday commending the White House and Congressional leaders for maintaining a commitment to supporting greater digital equity in infrastructure.
“Connect Americans Now commends President Biden and Congressional leaders for maintaining their commitment to additional solutions to increase digital equity and help bridge the digital divide,” stated Cullen. “Access to an affordable, reliable broadband connection, and the devices needed to unlock the full potential of digital technology, are essential to protecting and realizing the American Dream in the 21st Century economy and classroom.”
“In a letter sent to policymakers earlier this week, CAN was joined by 42 organizations representing a broad base of leaders, in calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and provide additional resources for programs like the Emergency Connectivity Fund in subsequent legislation,” Cullen continued. “We are encouraged to see that message being heard and look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to advance permanent solutions to completely bridge the digital divide.”
Draft legislative text of the Build Back Better Act released by the U.S. House Committee on Rules Thursday included $475 million for the Connected Device Grant Program and $300 million for the Emergency Connectivity Fund. According to the legislative text, the Connected Device Grant program will provide “connected devices for free or at a low cost to an eligible household.” According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “the Emergency Connectivity Fund is a program that will help schools and libraries provide tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency period.”
Founded in 2017, Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a broad-based coalition of more than 300 companies and organizations representing leading voices in agriculture, education, health care, veterans’ issues, technology and small business — committed to urgent action to completely eliminate the digital divide in every American community.
Read CAN’s letter, co-signed by 42 organizations representing a wide array of voices, to Congressional letters calling for the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and additional permanent solutions to close the digital divide HERE.