Broadband stimulus funds are slowly, but surely being seen trickling in to all regions of the country. These funds are part of the Obama administration’s hope to bring broadband service to 98% of the country within the next five years. This hope will not only give residents access to services that they have never had before, but it would also stimulate the economy by providing jobs as well as cutting down on other costs.
Most of the several billion dollars available is earmarked for bringing the broadband internet service to areas that are rural or that are already underserved. Numerous studies have already shown that internet access is critical for communities to continue to grow and thrive. The internet also opens up previously closed doors allowing for online shopping and education. All fifty states are benefiting from these funds and each has their own plan for the money.
For example, in California, the state has already cashed in a $ 46.6 million dollar grant. This grant is earmarked for expanding broadband service to the San Joaquin Valley. Government officials say the move will provide an infrastructure that will provide a better future for residents and will allow the region to stay competitive economically. The expansion will include 1,371 miles of fiber optic cables which will bring broadband services to an additional 1.5 million homes and even more businesses.
The state of Florida is also the recipient of several million dollars. The Sunshine State is using $ 24 million in order to expand broadband over eight counties. This rural region will benefit from the additional economic development as well as provide new opportunities that have not been available before.
Indiana is also using the funds in order to expand the internet. In addition, specific companies are getting in on the action and using money awarded from the federal government to do their part as well. For example, Tri-County Telephone Company is using almost $ 600,000 in funds to expand rural broadband access. The company has also received an additional $ 200,000 in private funds in order to complete the work.
Missouri is also dividing up funds between companies in order to bring internet service to those in rural regions. The state has awarded $ 1 million to Finally Broadband which will bring the internet to rural regions across several counties. Government officials say that the broadband connections will make it easier for farmers to be able to sell their products to a much larger community and as well as being able to enhance production. This expansion will help in economic activity as well as job growth in areas where both would have remained stagnant otherwise.
North Carolina is also using $ 15 million toward rural internet expansion. This expansion will be centered around five counties in the western half of the state which will now be serviced by an additional 100 miles of fiber optic cables.
Finally, Ohio is giving Com Net, Inc. $ 30 million of federal funds in order to bring
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