September 07, 2017

Senators Hassan, Gardner Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Mobile Access to Government Websites

Connected Government Act Requires New Federal Websites to be Mobile-Friendly, Expanding Access to Critical Services and Information

WASHINGTON – Today, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the bipartisan Connected Government Act to expand access to government services and information by requiring all new federal websites to be mobile-friendly. Given that low-income Americans rely on mobile broadband – as opposed to in-home broadband – at higher rates, the bipartisan bill would expand the reach of government services and information for lower income households. The legislation would also support the 80 percent of Americans who experience disabilities who use wireless technology every day.

“Studies have found that mobile devices are surpassing desktop use for accessing the web, and ensuring that the federal government is up to speed with the technology that Granite Staters and Americans depend upon in their daily lives is critical to the success of our people in the innovation economy,” Senator Hassan said. “The bipartisan Connected Government Act will help provide access to government services and information for individuals who rely on mobile technology, including low-income households who more heavily rely on mobile broadband and Americans who experience disabilities. I will continue working across party lines to move this common-sense measure forward.”

“Providing mobile-friendly government websites is an important step the federal government can take to provide better service for the American people,” said Senator Gardner. “As more and more Americans rely on their mobile devices to access information and websites, it’s important the federal government has websites designed for mobile platforms. The Connected Government Act will promote common-sense transparency and bring the government into the 21st century.”

The Connected Government Act would require all new government websites intended to be used by the public to be mobile-friendly. The bill also requires the General Services Administration to submit a report to Congress on agency compliance with this law within 18 months of enactment. Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) previously introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senators Hassan and Gardner also introduced the AIRWAVES Act, which will help lay the groundwork for 5G technologies by ensuring the future spectrum needs of wireless carriers are met. The AIRWAVES Act also designates a percentage of spectrum auction proceeds to go toward broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, like rural parts of New Hampshire and other states.  

###