Nonprofit wants Internet access included in low-income housing budget

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WASHINGTON-A national campaign has been launched to bring high-speed Internet connections to low-income housing, an effort with bipartisan support from Congress and top U.S. tech firms.

One Economy, a nonprofit group, wants to change the way states distribute low-income housing credits so that broadband access is considered part of the housing operating budget, like other household utilities. So far, 12 states have amended housing policies to support One Economy’s “Bring IT Home” program. The group said the nearly 12 million people who live in affordable housing have no Internet links.

Developers would choose what broadband technology-wireless, landline or cable-would be deployed.

“Most people agree that broadband is the most exciting new development in communications today. As policymakers work to accelerate its deployment, they must bring the same level of commitment and investment to ensuring that broadband reaches poor and isolated communications as they did with telephone and electricity,” said William Kennard, managing director of the Carlyle Group, an investment firm, and chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the late 1990s.

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