“It’s Time to Bridge the Digital Divide,” says Congresswoman Robin Kelly
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly, ranking member of the IT subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, joined the Democratic Caucus’ push to ensure that every American home has Internet access. An estimated 9 percent of all Illinoisans and 56 percent of rural Illinoisans, lack broadband Internet access.
“Access to the Internet opens new doors of opportunity for Americans. From attending college and learning new farming techniques to keeping up with the news, family and friends, the Internet is a vital source of information that should be accessible to all American families. But too many, Illinoisans and Illinois small businesses are locked out of these opportunities and the 21st century economy because they don’t have quality, high-speed Internet access,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “It’s time to bridge the digital divide, especially for rural and underserved communities.”
Today, Congressional Democrats unveiled their plan to invest billions in bringing quality, high-speed Internet access to more than 34 million Americans. Two-thirds of those living without high-speed Internet live in rural communities. Our plan also includes funding to modernize the nation’s aging 9-1-1 system.
“I support this initiative because a Will County small business should be able to sell their products to consumers all over the world,” added Congresswoman Kelly. “A student in Windsor Park should be able to complete her homework assignment at home, instead of going to school early or trying to find a library with Internet access.”
Congresswoman Kelly has worked extensively to bring Internet access and Internet-based opportunities to the Second Congressional District.
In March, she led the effort to bring WiFi connectivity to Pembroke Township and Hopkins Park. The project was completed using only companies from Illinois and thanks to a strong partnership with local and county leaders and businesses. In May 2016, she effectively worked to close the WiFi “hole” in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.
“While the majority of Americans without quality, high-speed Internet access live in rural communities, the challenge of closing the digital divide exist in all communities and neighborhoods, urban, suburban and rural,” noted Congresswoman Kelly.
Additionally, the Congresswoman is working to modernize government technologies, ensure mobile-friendly government websites and empower communities to recruit and retain high-tech businesses, incubators and career training programs.