President Obama said lower-income people in America need access to high-speed Internet in their homes in order to compete in today's markets, and he's using his national platform to press the public and private sectors to do something about it.
"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, during a two-day visit to the state, Fox News reported. "You cannot connect with today's economy without having access to the Internet."
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Obama referenced the "digital divide" that sets low-income households at a disadvantage for economic opportunities, and announced the kick-off of ConnectHome – a public-private-nonprofit partnership to provide high-speed Internet to lower-income households. The program will soon go forth in 27 cities, as well as to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The Choctaw Nation is headquartered in Durant but has 200,000 or so Native American members in southeast Oklahoma. Taxpayers will provide $50,000 in grant dollars for the Agriculture Department to disburse to the Choctaw Nation, Fox News reported.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, meanwhile, has selected 27 cities for ConnectHome attention, including the District of Columbia; Little Rock, Arkansas; Camden, New Jersey; and Durham, North Carolina.