Sen. Klobuchar encourages Obama to fund broadband in economic stimulus package
On Monday, January 5, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) sent a letter to President-Elect Obama urging him to include broadband investments in his upcoming economic recovery plan.
Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees all telecommunications issues, and was a co-sponsor of the Broadband Data Improvement Act (S. 1492) – signed into law earlier this year.
“As a country, we have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status. We must now do the same for broadband Internet access. In addition to creating educational and health care opportunities, broadband can create opportunities for businesses and employment that would otherwise not exist in rural communities.
“In these tough economic times, broadband deployment creates jobs – not only the direct creation of jobs in the tech sector, but also the creation of even more indirect employment opportunities by increasing access to broadband.”
In early December, President-Elect Obama announced in his weekly radio address that he would be including money for broadband deployment and adoption in his economic recovery plan:
“Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm President because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world.”
Sen. Klobuchar cites her recent trip to 22 of Minnesota’s counties and the Broadband Roundtable she held in conjunction with it for her dedication to closing the digital divide. At the roundtable, Tim Lovaasen of the Communications Workers of America presented CWA’s broadband stimulus proposals – designed to bring broadband to rural underserved areas, increase broadband speeds, and stimulate demand.
“I commend you for your focus on using 21st Century technology to create jobs and help our economy be more robust and competitive in the long-term. I look forward to working with you in making broadband available to all Americans.”
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