House Passes Digital GAP Act, Co-Sponsored by Rep. Bera
Bipartisan legislation promotes internet access in developing countries to spur economic growth, improve education and health, and empower women around the world
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passed last week H.R. 1359, the Digital Global Access Policy (GAP) Act, cosponsored by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA). The Digital GAP Act will increase public and private investments in global internet infrastructure, aiming to provide at least 1.5 million people with internet access by 2027.
“Internet access is a catalyst for economic, social, and educational growth,” said Rep. Bera. “It’s paramount that we continue to push for reliable and secure internet access, especially in developing countries, where people have not been able to see the benefits of this powerful tool. I’m proud that the House passed this critical piece of legislation and urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up this bill.”
According the United Nations, over half of the world’s population is offline, with a majority residing in developing countries. Women are disproportionately affected by the digital gap in these countries, where there are on average 23 percent fewer women online then men. Bringing internet access to the more than 4 million people who do not have it would increase global economic output by $6.7 trillion and raise 5 million people out of poverty.
The bill directs the Department of State to advance U.S. policy to promote investments in secure internet infrastructure and increase internet access across the world, while urging the use of the internet to bolster democracy, gender equity, and human rights.
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