WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today applauded passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of key provisions within the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will provide billions of dollars for expanding broadband access, especially in unserved communities.
Kathryn de Wit, project director for Pew’s broadband access initiative, issued the following statement:
“This is a historic moment in broadband policy, demonstrating bipartisan agreement around a single idea: Universal, affordable broadband means a stronger future for communities across the country.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides an unprecedented investment in broadband infrastructure, devices, digital literacy, and affordability and will accelerate America’s progress toward universal high-speed internet access. It continues Congress’ efforts to improve federal standards for speed, accountability, and equity in broadband. And, for the first time, Congress has empowered entities closest to the problem of insufficient and unaffordable broadband access—state and local governments—to solve it. Some of them have already made inroads here.
“This legislation reflects years of research from Pew and others showing that funding alone isn’t enough to bridge the digital divide. Now the operational support provided by the bill will help state governments collect data, draft broadband plans, and coordinate with partners to increase high-speed internet access. These evidence-based activities, informed by the progress state and local leaders have already made over the last several years, will guide how federal funds are used to expand broadband access across the nation.
“We look forward to working with policymakers and others to close the digital divide and secure broadband access for all Americans.”