Calling the Internet a 21st century necessity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program to bring faster Internet connections to more low-income households, particularly to help students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.
Under ConnectHome, the public, private and nonprofit sectors have pledged to work together to provide high-speed connections and digital devices to more families at lower cost.
More than 90 percent of households headed by a college graduate have Internet access, Obama said. But fewer than half of low-income households have similar access. In this day and age, Obama said the “digital divide” puts these individuals at a disadvantage by limiting their educational and economic opportunities because the Internet is increasingly needed to find a job, finish homework or keep in touch with family and friends.
“In this digital age, when you can apply for a job, take a course, pay your bills … with a tap of your phone, the Internet is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” Obama said in Durant, Oklahoma, on the first day of a two-day visit to the state. “You cannot connect with today’s economy without having access to the Internet,” he said.