Washington (September 26, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded committee passage of his legislation to help expand quality and open access to the internet in the developing world. Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously agreed to advance H.R.600, the Digital Global Access Policy Act, or Digital GAP Act, which is based on Senator Markey’s DIGITAL AGE Act, which he first introduced in 2016.


“American ingenuity created the internet and American leadership should help bring its power to the developing world,” said Senator Markey. “Bridging the global digital divide can help promote prosperity, strengthen democracy, expand educational opportunity and lift some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable out of poverty. The Digital GAP Act is a passport to the 21st century digital economy, linking the people of the developing world to the most successful communications and commerce tool in history. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this legislation signed into law and to harness the power of the internet to help the developing world.”


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.


The Digital GAP will make it the policy of the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and others to expand internet access in developing countries to help reduce the digital divide with the developed world. American diplomatic and development resources will support countries’ efforts to build internet infrastructure, ensure the internet can be used to promote democracy and good governance, and encourage international partners to contribute to improving internet access for women, minorities, and marginalized groups in the developing world. More than half of the world’s population remains offline, and developing countries remain far behind global connectivity averages.