September 28, 2017

Manchin pushes plan to increase internet access | WV Metro News

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is pushing a plan to bring high-speed internet to communities across the United States as part of the Democratic Party’s proposal to increase jobs and wages.

A Better Deal will include investing at least $40 billion in federal funding to provide adequate and affordable internet services nationwide, while also upgrading existing infrastructure to provide high-speed internet.

In a detailed statement, Democrats compared the plan to the rise of electricity access under the New Deal. President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the Rural Electrification Act in 1936, in which the federal government gave loans to local cooperatives for developing electricity services.

Manchin said at a press conference Thursday rural states like West Virginia are in need of adequate access.

“This is as important if not more so than what we did in 1936,” he said. “Let me just tell you from the way we speak, plain-speaking in West Virginia, this is a good deal. This is a really good deal.”

Manchin added internet access is a needed tool in one’s daily life, ranging from medical personnel in the field to students completing homework assignments.

“If you want to wipe out abject poverty,” he continued, “you better let us be connected. Give us a chance because some people are not going to leave their home. That’s their culture. That’s who they are.”

The Senate Democrats’ Twitter account also retweeted tweets from Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Maria Cantwell of Washington State and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in support of net neutrality, the idea of allowing users to have equal access to available internet content. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has previously stated he is in favor of removing net neutrality.