U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) wants to close the digital divide that currently exists in Georgia and other states across the country. Earlier this week, Ferguson introduced the Connect America Now (CAN) Act  which he says would encourage rural-focused internet service providers with tax incentives that allow them to purchase underinvested networks and expand their gigabit capability.    

According to the Georgia Congressman, this legislation will also provide states with a new financing mechanism for broadband infrastructure. Broadband access in rural Georgia has been a key issue with state and federal officials — especially in the past year when the  COVID-19 pandemic forced students take part in on-line learning and had many people working remotely from their home.  

“Closing the digital divide is critical to ensuring that every community – regardless of zip code – has access to 21st century opportunities,” Rep. Ferguson said. “Broadband has become increasingly necessary in recent years for workforce participation, access to healthcare, and schooling. Unfortunately, far too many rural communities lack this crucial service.”   

Ferguson went on to say that his bill would  “spark private sector investments by removing the barriers that are prohibiting growth in rural communities.”  

“Improving broadband access has also been especially important for delivering vital telehealth services amid the pandemic, linking patients directly to their healthcare providers from the safety of their own homes.” 

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