Federal stimulus boosts broadband for nation, WisconsinFresh on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) comes an announcement that $23-million in federal stimulus money will boost high-speed Internet and create jobs in Wisconsin.
By: Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Fresh on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) comes an announcement that $23-million in federal stimulus money will boost high-speed Internet and create jobs in Wisconsin.
Rural libraries and schools are expected to most benefit from the funding, which also includes another $5.8-million chipped in from the state.
8th District Representative Steve Kagen was on hand when the announcement was made in Green Bay this week. The news comes as critics debate whether the ARRA has actually delivered on job creation. The Democratic Congressman responded to an audience member who repeatedly questioned him where the money was coming from, by asking him why he didn’t challenge spending on the War on Terror or several tax cuts for the “ultra rich” during the previous administration.
"Jobs trump debt," concluded Kagen.
President Obama's Deputy Commerce Secretary, Dennis Hightower, was also present for the announcement. Hightower said the White House has estimated that rougly 50,000 jobs will be created nationwide through the $7-billion commitment for broadband. Some of those jobs will be direct, such as hiring workers to dig trenches and lay cables. Others will be indirect, including teachers and entrepreneurs.
When the work is done, 90-percent of the state's libraries will have high speed internet, along with 80 percent of school districts.