Our broadband infrastructure is a joke to most anyone outside of Australia. Hopefully this well change that.
President Obama on Friday announced 66 new broadband grants and loans totaling $795 million, part of the administration’s continued rollout of Recovery Act grants meant to expand high-speed Internet connections across the country.
The awards range from a $5.2 million network infrastructure grant in McCarthy, Alaska to $17.5 million to projects at 190 anchor community institutions in economically distressed areas of Washington D.C. The District government applied for the grant, saying the funds would help bring better Internet service to 650,000 residents and 30,000 businesses.
In a speech this morning at Andrews Air Force Base, Obama described how the awards will create 5,000 jobs immediately and more in the long term.
“And once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable,” he said. The announcement came amid a lackluster jobs report this morning, reported by my colleague Neil Irwin.
On Thursday, Rep. David Obey, chairman of the appropriations committee, proposed that $602 million in broadband awards be trimmed and redirected toward funding deficits for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Some critics say the broadband grants haven’t resulted in the immediate jobs benefits that the stimulus plan was intended to generate. The administration will announce Friday, however, that the new awards will result in 5,000 immediate jobs. Joining Obama in the announcement was Commerce secretary Gary Locke and Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
Because clearly reducing our debt by less than the cost of a single day in Iraq & Afghanistan will create more jobs than bringing our internetfrastructure outt’ve the stone age. Good job Dems.
ps. Comment section is — predictably — full of morons repeating slogans about “out of control spending” and blah blah, as though this wasn’t appropriated over a year ago in a bill that they’ve already had their say on. This isn’t new spending you fucking imbeciles.