BOSTON (AP) – U.S. Sen. Edward Markey wants to give the world internet access.

The Massachusetts Democrat has introduced legislation to help expand quality and open access to the internet in the developing world. Markey said more than half of the world’s population remains offline, and developing countries remain far behind global averages.

As of 2016, more than 80 percent of households in the developed world had internet access, compared with just 41 percent of households in developing countries and 11 percent in the world’s least developed countries.

Markey’s bill would direct the State Department and other federal agencies to encourage a competitive market for investment and innovation in internet infrastructure and services.

Markey said bridging the global digital divide can promote prosperity, strengthen democracy, expand educational opportunity, and provide better health care.