Legislation that would provide $40 billion to expand broadband access is expected to be introduced Tuesday in what will likely be one of the largest bipartisan proposals aimed at addressing the digital divide, The Washington Post reported.

The bill — the Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy Act, or Bridge Act — is being co-sponsored by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Angus King (I-Maine). The senators cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a major reason for needing to expand broadband access.

Bennet predicted that demand for easier access would continue to grow after the pandemic is over as hybrid work and school environments become more common.

“I think it’s very exciting as long as everyone in the country has access to broadband,” Bennet told the Post. “If they don’t, we’re going to see the digital divide creating a greater divide than what already exists between kids living in poverty and more affluent kids.”