MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-District 7, announced Thursday she joined forces with Senate and House Democrats to introduce one of the proposals of the party's new economic plan.
The component of the plan is called "A Better Deal: Universal High-Speed Internet." The idea is to invest $40 billion into broadband infrastructure so that Americans who are without service from big internet service providers will have access to the internet.
"The internet is that lightening rod of the 21st century that is required in order to get good paying jobs and really provide the state of the art services to rural America," said Sewell. "One has to have internet connection."
The plan also creates the opportunity to improve the way the nation approaches the safety of its citizens and to create maps that accurately indicate areas that are without internet access. Supporters of this plan hope this will ensure rural Americans are included in plans to improve connection and access.
"In our state, eight percent of the schools do not have Internet connection. A disproportionate amount of those are in my district," Sewell said.
There are four principals the plan centers on:
- Providing federal support to create a Universal Internet grant Program to provide high-speed, cost effective internet service to every community that needs it, including rural areas and local governments.
- Creating accurate maps showcasing areas without adequate internet access so those who are without are able to get the internet access they need.
- Providing necessary internet speeds.
- Upgrading the safety framework nationwide by providing grants to public safety groups so they can modernize the way they respond to residents who are in need of emergency services.
A release from Sewell's office stated 34 million Americans, including 23 million rural Americans, do not have adequate Internet access.