Vice president discusses ‘Internet for All’ in South Carolina visit
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Vice President Kamala Harris promoted the Biden administration’s achievements on broadband internet access during a visit to South Carolina, recently minted as the site of Democrats’ first presidential votes of the 2024 campaign.
In Monday’s trip, her fourth to the early-voting state since becoming vice president, Harris lauded more than $175 million being spent to help improve high-speed internet infrastructure at historically Black colleges and institutions, which she called “centers of academic excellence.”
“Many of those that we focus on currently do not have reliable access to high-speed internet on campus,” said Harris, herself a graduate of an HBCU. “This means that more students will be able to use the internet for their everyday needs.”
She said the investments “will be transformative because we know when we connect people with high-speed internet, we connect them with opportunity.”
It comes as Democrats are putting an even bigger spotlight on the Palmetto State – with the party moving the state’s presidential primary to be first on its calendar in 20-24.
“It is so good to be back in South Carolina,” Harris said.
In South Carolina – Harris says Benedict College and Claflin University will each be receiving about $3 million.
The White House says it’s targeting these schools in this program – because it recognizes they’re part of communities that have historically faced a disproportionate lack of access.
“We have to be intentional, and many that we have focused on currently do not have access to high-speed internet on campus,” Harris said.
The money for this program is part of the billions of dollars the federal government has put toward expanding broadband.
The push to expand broadband access is a bipartisan one in South Carolina.
Last week, Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn joined Republican Gov. Henry McMaster at the State House – to announce a new statewide program designed to identify where connectivity is needed most.
Equalizing access to high-speed internet has been a priority for Biden, who in 2021 signed into law a $1 trillion infrastructure package that, alongside traditional public works projects like building roads and bridges, included $65 billion for broadband expansion.
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