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AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK HIGHLIGHTS RURAL BROADBAND PROJECT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FUNDED THROUGH THE RECOVERY ACT
WASHINGTON, December 21, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today highlighted the newly announced Recovery Act Broadband Infrastructure project in Bretton Woods, N.H., that will receive $985,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Vice President Joseph Biden announced on December 17 during an event in Georgia that this project is among the first wave of broadband Recovery Act projects to be funded. Congress provided $2.5 billion in Recovery Act funding to USDA to help bring broadband services to rural un-served and underserved communities.
"As we work to chart a stronger future for our rural communities, broadband infrastructure will play an important role in creating new economic opportunities and help put more people to work," said Vilsack. "The broadband funding we are providing will bridge the digital divide in areas of the country that have been historically underserved, while strengthening local and regional schools, businesses and healthcare institutions."
The Bretton Woods Telephone Company, Inc. will use a $985,000 USDA Rural Development grant to provide high-speed, two-way broadband service to more than 400 households, businesses and anchor institutions in northern New Hampshire. Installing a high-speed broadband system will encourage tourism, which can substantially improve the local economy. Visitors will be able to stay in Bretton Woods while remaining connected to their businesses and other interests. Tourism is key to the Bretton Woods economy.
Bretton Woods received a $180,000 USDA Rural Development infrastructure loan in September 1994 and a $456,750 loan in August 1995 to build telecommunications facilities in New Hampshire. The company has repaid both loans in full.
"Providing high-speed broadband services to New Hampshire's unserved and underserved regions is a crucial driver of economic recovery, creating jobs and enhancing our global competitiveness," said Senator Shaheen. "I'm glad that the Bretton Woods Telephone Company will be able to use these funds to improve services, giving the region's businesses additional resources to survive these challenging economic times and thrive in the years ahead."
The awards are designed to help underserved - and often hard-hit - communities overcome the distance and technology barrier by expanding connectivity between educational institutions, enabling remote medical consultations and attracting new businesses - as well as the jobs that come with them. They are part of an over $100 billion investment in science, technology and innovation the Administration is making through the Recovery Act to lay a new foundation for economic growth.
Funding of the individual recipient is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan, grant or loan/grant agreement.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery . More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov .
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).