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Obama Backing New Broadband Projects

Washington – The federal government
will invest over $1 billion in new
broadband projects that could create some 5,000 jobs and help spur economic
development in depressed communities, The White House said.

President Obama is expected to announce the Recovery Act grants and loans

The funds, which include nearly $800 million from the Departments of
Commerce and Agriculture, and over $200 million in private investment, will be
used to build and improve infrastructure and expand computer center capacity
for public use in libraries, community colleges and other public venues.

The White House cited an

released last year by the National
Economic Council

suggesting that wiring homes and businesses through
Recovery Act investments could create tens of thousands of jobs and expand
economic development and job opportunities in communities with little or no
broadband access.

Earlier this week President Obama signed an executive memorandum
endorsing a plan to make 500 megahertz of federal and commercial spectrum
available for wireless broadband services over the next 10 years.

Today’s announcement followed a
mixed unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor statistics putting the June jobless rate at 9.5 percent,
six-tenths of a percentage point below its high last year.