Closing the Digital Divide
In Gary’s travels across Michigan and conversations with constituents, one thing is clear: we need to expand access to high-speed broadband, especially in rural and underserved communities. Just as connecting all homes to electricity was a 20th century priority, expanding broadband must be a 21st century priority. As we live in an increasingly interconnected society, taking classes and doing business has become more reliant on high-speed broadband than ever.
In March 2020, Gary’s bipartisan Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Data Act (DATA) Act became law. He introduced the legislation with U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to improve the accuracy of broadband availability maps by strengthening the process by which broadband data is collected. Accurate maps are key to closing the digital divide in rural and urban communities across Michigan. The law also empowers local communities where this digital divide is felt the most by introducing a new process for consumers, state, local and tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data.