The federal government has announced 126 projects that will use $1.2 billion from the economic stimulus package approved last year by Congress to expand broadband or high-speed Internet access to dozens of underserved rural communities.
"The broadband projects announced today will give rural Americans access to the tools they need to attract new businesses, jobs, healthcare, and educational opportunities," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in announcing the grants. "The Obama administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America provides a gateway for businesses and key anchor institutions - such as libraries, schools, public safety and community centers - to provide services to thousands of Americans," Vilsack added. He also noted that the projects would create jobs.
Earlier this year, President Obama set a 10-year goal for connecting 100 million U.S. households to affordable 100-megabits-per-second Internet service. He has pledged to put broadband in every American home. Currently, the U.S. ranks 12th in the world in terms of broadband connectivity.