Ohio Senator opens doors for broadband
Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a seminar with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Connect Ohio, and broadband providers to discuss the benefits of broadband expansion. The USDA is largely responsible for rural development and a primary focus of the broadband expansion is on rural communities.
Sen. Brown and Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-IA) led early debates about and fought to secure funding for broadband access. And now that the $7.2 billon is earmarked, states and service providers are working to coordinate efforts to secure funds.
"Small towns and rural communities have been overlooked for too long. We have an obligation to fight the so-called 'digital divide' between urban and rural communities--the future of our state depends on it," said Brown.
And last week's summit was a critical step towards helping Ohio's rural communities. The preparation and planning will make it easier for Ohio to secure and use stimulus funding.
Dallas Tonsenger, the Undersecretary of the USDA, joined the summit and is excited to begin using the stimulus funding to bolster the economies, education systems, and health care systems in rural communities.
"We're anxious to get the money out as soon as we can," he said. "Together, we need to reach all corners of the country."
The state is accepting applications from potential providers until August 14th. The application information can be found at http://broadbandusa.sc.egov.usda.gov/.
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