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White House Unveils $182 Million for Broadband

[caption id="attachment_388" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Vice President Joe Biden (Photo Credit: Whitehouse.gov)"]Vice President Joe Biden (Photo Credit: Whitehouse.gov)[/caption] Vice-President Joe Biden will announce in Georgia today the the release of Stimulus broadband grants and loans for underserved communities.  The funding will be available to schools and hospitals to expand affordable access to broadband internet connections, and is the cornerstone of achieving wide-spread health information technology (HIT) adoption in rural America. The program, part of the $7 billion set aside in ARRA for broadband, will make an initial investment of $182 million for 18 projects in 17 states, with $2.5 billion planned for physically deploying new broadband technologies.  The additional $4.5 billion will be used, then, to help make use of those technologies. Federal broadband funding is a key component to widespread HIT adoption, and has proven to be the catalyst in previous leaps forward for internet technologies in the past.  The overall effort of fully adopting broadband and HIT, though, will require collaboration and support from both  government and private entities.  It is fortunate, then, that some major telecommunications companies, like AT&T, have set a goal of 100 percent broadband coverage in the US by 2014. So with this announcement, we become one step closer, yet still many steps away, from a fully integrated rural HIT system. For the full announcement, please click here.

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