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President Pushes Broadband

President Barack Obama was back stumping for broadband in a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday.

While he did not mention broadband in his outlining of infrastructure initiatives during his prime time press conference Monday night, he did in a plug for that part of the stimulus package according to a copy of his prepared remarks supplied to B&C.

In talking about the fact that 90% of the jobs created will be in the private sector, he included, "Jobs constructing broadband Internet lines that reach Florida's rural schools and small businesses, so they can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world."

The president is stumping for his package as Congress pares back some of the initiatives to try to insure passage in the Senate. House Republicans were unanimously against the package that passed in the House.

The bills contain billions for broadband rollouts-about 6 billion in the House version and $7 billion (down from $9 billion) in the Senate version after compromise discussions between Democrats and Republicans last week.

The new administration has made connecting the county to the Internet one of the priorities of his economic recovery plan, both as a playing field-leveler for rural and poorer areas and as a stimulus to job creation.