Congresswoman Nikema Williams & Bipartisan Colleagues Introduce Bill to Expand Internet Access in Homes Across the Country

Sep 08, 2022
Press

WASHINGTON This week, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) joined Congressman William Timmons (SC-04) to introduce the bipartisan Home Internet Accessibility Act. Additional original cosponsors include Reps. Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), and Al Green (TX-09).

People rely on high-speed Internet for work, learning, and connecting with the community. The Home Internet Accessibility Act will gather information on all federally assisted housing that lacks the capacity to support broadband service and will task the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with producing an action plan, including retrofitting, to close Internet service gaps across our country.

Congresswoman Nikema Williams, member of the Financial Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee said: 

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen how vital high-speed broadband is for our daily lives. But too many coverage gaps exist, hurting marginalized communities. I recently hosted a broadband roundtable and my constituents were loud and clear: it’s too tough simply getting their homes connected. Congress must close the digital divide but first we must know where connectivity gaps exist. The Home Internet Accessibility Act is an important step to ensure every home is connected to broadband and everyone can unlock the opportunity at our fingertips—no matter your ZIP Code, no matter your bank account.”   

This legislation is endorsed by the following organizations: American Library Association, Building Owners and Managers Association, Common Sense, Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, EducationSuperhighway, Institute of Real Estate Management, LeadingAge, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Metro Fair Housing Services, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), National Affordable Housing Management Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of Housing Cooperatives, National Council of Teachers of English, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Housing Conference, National Leased Housing Association, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Multifamily Housing Council, National Urban League, Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), UnidosUS, Urban League of Greater Atlanta, US Ignite, Volunteers of America National Services, and YouthBuild USA.

Gail Williams, Executive Director of Metro Fair Housing Services said

“Broadband access for all residents of federally-assisted housing is critical. Passage of Congresswoman Williams’ Home Internet Accessibility Act would ensure that lawmakers can identify the disparities in Internet access and its direct impact on underserved populations – families with children, low-income workers, women, persons with disabilities and people of color.”

Nancy Flake Johnson, President & Chief Executive Officer of Urban League of Greater Atlanta said:

“The Urban League of Greater Atlanta joins the National Urban League in endorsing this bill. Internet access is one of the great divides in our society. Lack of it puts individuals and families at a disadvantage in nearly every aspect of well-being and advancement – in education, health, jobs, income generation, and more. We endorse this effort by Congresswoman Williams to close the racial and income gap and make high-speed broadband accessible to every home across the country regardless of ZIP Code.”

Dale Royal, Executive Director of LISC Atlanta said:

“LISC thanks Congresswoman Williams for introducing the Home Internet Accessibility Act. The legislation is an important step forward to better understanding the digital divide and will ultimately help to inform more evidence-based options to increase access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband within federally assisted housing.”

John Valverde, President and CEO of YouthBuild USA, said:

“Broadband Internet access is crucial to closing skills and equity gaps across the nation, particularly for opportunity youth. It is a foundational need for our economy, our education system, and the overall strength of our communities. It is incumbent upon legislators, both federal and state, to make high-speed internet connectivity a priority and find solutions that will help close the digital divide once and for all. YouthBuild USA commends the leadership of Congresswoman Nikema Williams on such a crucial issue, and we look forward to seeing this bipartisan legislation become law.”

Click here for the text of the Home Internet Accessibility Act

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.

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