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Houses Passes Stimulus Package With Billions For Broadband Deployment

The House has passed an economic stimulus package that includes billions for broadband deployment by cable operators, telcos and others.

"We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the economic stimulus package which establishes broadband as a national priority by promoting consumer adoption of broadband services and the deployment of broadband to unserved and underserved areas throughout the country," said National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow. "The measures adopted in the conference report will fuel our nation's investment in technology to map, modernize and expand our broadband infrastructure, helping drive our economic recovery with new jobs, better educational opportunities, and more efficient access to healthcare. We look forward to working with policy makers at all levels to help extend the benefits of broadband to all Americans."

USTelecom gave the bill a shout-out as well.

“We applaud the Senate and House for timely action on this important legislation," said USTelecom President Walter B. McCormick Jr. "Like all Americans we want to see these stimulus efforts succeed in reviving our nation’s economy and putting Americans back to work. Once the bill becomes law, we stand ready to work constructively with President Obama, Congress, the NTIA, RUS, and other policymakers to expedite as much as possible the realization of these benefits throughout our connected economy.”  

The Senate is expected to pass the bill within hours.

In addition to providing about $7 billion in grant money for the broadband rollout, the bill gives the FCC a year to come up with a plan to deliver broadband to everyone in the country.