Sinema Talks Closing the Digital Divide at Arizona State University Congressional Conference

Aug 25, 2022

Senator highlighted the $65 billion her Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law makes in deploying high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities – including Tribal and rural areas – in Arizona and across the country
Senator applauded Arizona State University’s innovative approach to digital equity and ensuring connectivity for students

TEMPE – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke at Arizona State University’s Advancing Innovation & Access in Digital Learning Congressional Conference about the importance of internet connectivity and digital equity, and the strides her bipartisan infrastructure law makes towards closing Arizona’s digital divide. Sinema applauded Arizona State University (ASU) for its leadership in serving those without reliable internet access.
“During the pandemic, we all quickly learned first-hand that families across Arizona depend on reliable and high-speed internet… Without it, students can’t learn, patients can’t access health care, and businesses can’t thrive. That’s why, when I led negotiations on the bipartisan infrastructure law, I ensured we included historic levels of investments in our nation’s infrastructure so we could expand internet access to the last mile of our state. ASU – with a talented faculty and innovative resources – will continue to be a force in leading our state and its students into a new digital future,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law. 
Sinema’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law makes historic and sweeping investments in repairing and upgrading America’s critical infrastructure, including $65 billion to deploy high-speed broadband, expand broadband internet access, and help families afford broadband service. Specifically, Sinema’s law invests over $14 billion to make internet more affordable and requires internet providers to offer a low-cost option to participate in federal broadband deployment funding. Following passage of the infrastructure law, the Federal Communications Commission established the Affordable Connectivity Program using the funding Sinema secured to help Arizonans access affordable internet. The program provides eligible families $30 a month toward their internet bills and $75 a month toward internet service in tribal areas.
For seven years in a row, ASU has been recognized as the nation’s most innovative university. During her remarks, Sinema noted that ASU’s partnership with the Future of Tech Commission – a collaboration that brings together the ASU community with an independent and bipartisan group of leaders to develop solutions addressing Arizona’s digital divide – represents the strong, innovative steps towards digital equity ASU is undertaking. 
Last month, Sinema and fellow Arizona Senator Mark Kelly announced nearly $3 million for Diné College’s CONNECT NAVAJO Project — an initiative to improve educational opportunity on the Navajo Nation by improving internet access, providing more hardware, and investing in information technology (IT) personnel.