Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at Benedict College on accessible, affordable internet

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — On Monday afternoon,  Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to around 200 students, staff, and other local officials at Benedict College’s David Swinton Campus Center.

The Vice President highlighted continued efforts around the Biden-Harris Administration’s Accessible Affordable Internet For All Act.

“The ability to connect to high speed internet is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity,” says Vice President Harris.

The Vice President also says more than 24 million American households still do not have internet access, including 137,000 households here in South Carolina.

Monday’s visit comes just days after Congressman Jim Clyburn and Governor Henry McMaster announced the bipartisan “Get Connected SC” campaign which invests in broadband access across South Carolina.

Vice President Harris says investments in affordable access to high speed internet is transformative for communities.

“Because we know when we connect folks with high speed internet, we connect them with opportunity. The opportunity to get an education. To train for a new career. To build a business. And to see a doctor. We give people the power to build for our collective benefit — healthier, happier and more prosperous lives,” says Vice President Harris.

She also says more than $175 million dollars is being invested in expanding high speed internet access at 61 HBCU’s and minority institutions. This includes a grant for $3 million at Claflin University and a grant for $3 million at Benedict College.

Joint Benedict and USC student Maleah Screen says affordable accessible internet has multiple benefits.

“It can improve our houselife, our family life for anyone in the nation. Not only someone who is a college student, but someone who is working, someone who is a senior who needs help at home, someone at home maybe even homeless trying to look for a job. Or trying to look for something to start their life up,” says Screen.

Vice President Harris says work has already begun on building better internet infrastructure in more than 300 communities across the US.

Categories: Local News, News, Politics, Richland