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Obama's $8B Broadband Plan Launches Tuesday

Next Tuesday, the White House will launch its high-speed Internet plan using more than $8 billion in stimulus funds. Leaders from the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and Federal Communications Commission will meet to discuss how the different agencies will use the funds to rural and other areas that don't currently have high-speed, or broadband, access to the Web.

There are separate programs at the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications & Information Administration and the USDA's Rural Utilities Service that fund construction of new high-speed Internet networks. They are mostly focused on rural areas where carriers have not built their networks because of the high costs of laying down fiber, cable lines and other services that are sparsely populated.

At this first meeting, USDA Secreatry Tom Vilsak, FCC Acting Chairman Michael J. Copps, and Commerce's Acting Chief Rick Wade will also outline future meetings where public comments and questions can be aired. President Obama has consistently said throughout his campaign that broadband Internet lines in every American household will enable communities to create 21st century jobs.

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 6, 2009; 4:15 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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What a waste. If they want high-speed, there's satellite Internet and terrestrial wireless already. These are provided by large and small businesses.

They're spending our money to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

Posted by: tchtic | March 7, 2009 9:20 AM

Hey Comrades,

Does this mean we all get a discount on our internet service? Or does this mean we get to pay more in taxes to support other peoples internet?

When we all voted for change, it wasnt to change our country from one we all love to one we all loath.....

It seems we need to move elsewhere for a while to live in a Democratic Republic again...

Posted by: indep2 | March 7, 2009 3:01 PM

This is a problem. Everyone can't afford Wild Blue or Hughes Net and they both provide awful service. Not everyone lives where cellular can get service. It may not be as big a problem as they claim but it is a problem. I for one live in a rural area and will not use satellite because of the high latency. ISDN is not an always on service and is too expensive anyway. And no carries provide internet service way out there where I live. I'm glad they are addresses it but I wish it didn't cost so much. And no, no one will be getting a discount on their internet lol. Don't I wish.

Posted by: timbadimm | March 7, 2009 10:42 PM

Since when is a right to have access to internet and cell phones. Its unfortunate with the profits these companies make that they are unwilling to provide service to the fringe areas for service sake. That will never happen with greed and corporate/shareholder obligations being what they are.
Also what "21st century jobs" are we talking about? Some things that readily come to mind are fraud, ebay, and porn. Most other businesses require us to show up at the office. I haven't really given it much thought because I believe its just another earmark without a name attached. The governments way of stealing from others to endear themselves to their constituents but term limits is a different blog.

Posted by: Mel8 | March 10, 2009 11:48 AM

What would be good would be if this nation had an internet access policy that enabled all persons to have access to the same internet facilities (the limiting factor being individual computers), rather than a smorgassboard of choices that are difficult to understand for many (most?) people. As one person indicated, what will happen will be low-income or middle class people will be paying in order that other people can get better internet than they can.

If the internet is that important, if on-line access is that important, perhaps it should be available as a government utility.

Posted by: Dungarees | March 10, 2009 2:13 PM

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