Hearings Set to Talk About High-Speed Web Access

USDA and U.S. Commerce Department to hold public meetings on high-speed Internet technology.

Making a better Web available to everyone has been a government goal since the last presidential administration. Leaders in the Obama Administration are working to fulfill the promise of broadband access to all - including those who live in the country. This week Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced another series of public meetings on the Broadband Technology Program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - both to be held in Washington, DC.

The hearings - March 19, 23 and 24 - will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce at 1401 Constitution Ave., NW. The meetings will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the most effective way for USDA to provide grants and loans for broadband systems. Congress authorized $2.5 billion to USDA and $4.7 billion to the Department of Commerce for broadband access.

"President Obama's broadband initiatives will accelerate the availability of broadband in unserved and underserved areas spurring much-needed job growth and economic activity," says Vilsack in a press statement. "These meetings provide invaluable feedback and guidance from the public on how to distribute funding in the most efficient and effective manner."

All meetings will be streamed live at www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandrants. Materials are also arcived at the same Web site.

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