On May 15, Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced a bill to provide free Internet access to public housing residents. H.R. 2372, the Closing the Digital Divide for Students Act, would allow the cost of high-speed Internet service to be included in the utility allowance for public housing households that have children who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
The bill would require households to use the least expensive Internet provider and to pay for installation and necessary equipment. In addition, the Internet service must include a protective filter allowing adults to regulate their child’s Internet use.
“Today’s Internet access is as essential to students as textbook, pencils and paper. When low income students do not have reliable access to the Internet, they fall even further behind their peers,” Mr. Foster said in a media release.
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.