Digital inequality is a problem that exists in Maryland and throughout our nation. While some see it as a digital divide, I view access to the internet as a critical need of all people. This is especially true following changes brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic. In Maryland there are over half a million homes without reliable broadband access and 18% of our fellow citizens do not own a desktop or laptop computer. Those living without the ability to go online are unable to participate in the economical, educational, entertainment, networking, and telework opportunities that it provides.
- Seek federal funding for the 2nd District that provides digital equality for all residents. This funding will provide both broadband and public Wi-Fi options.
- Provide internet service providers with incentives to increase digital infrastructure development in urban and rural areas. We’ll encourage the formation of public-private partnerships to install or upgrade Wi-Fi and wired access to the internet in areas that are lacking the needed resources.
- Pursue programs throughout the 2nd District to provide refurbished laptops and hotspots for those in need. These units will be provided through our libraries and schools. Free training will be provided with each unit to demonstrate proper use and care. In addition, we’ll work with community organizations to provide software and links to job training and placement, civic services, educational platforms for children, and more.