As the Obama Administration kicked off its National Rural Tour of America in Pennsylvania on Wednesday Vice President Joe Biden announced that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was making available loans and grants of $4 billion to bring broadband to un-served and underserved communities.
"Today's announcement is a first step toward realizing President Obama's vision of a nationwide 21st century communications infrastructure - one that encourages economic growth, enhances America's global competitiveness, and helps address many of America's most pressing challenges," Biden said.
Biden was joined in Wattsburg, Penn. by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genakowski.
"The Department of Agriculture's Broadband Initiatives Program will bring high-speed Internet service to communities across the country, create thousands of jobs, and improve economic, healthcare, and educational opportunities available in rural communities," Vilsack said. "This funding is a down payment on the President's commitment to bring the educational and economic benefits of the internet to all communities."
As part of the first stop on the National Rural Tour, USDA also announced the launch www.RuralTour.gov, where all Americans can follow the progress of the Rural Tour with additional cabinet secretaries in the coming months.