Himes Announces Broadband Access Award to Bring Jobs, Economic Opportunity to Connecticut
BRIDGEPORT, CT—Today Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) joined with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling and Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia to announce a $93.8 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award to enhance broadband access throughout Connecticut. This investment in high-speed internet infrastructure will help bridge the technological divide in the state’s underserved communities and support investments in education, health care and public safety. The funding will benefit all of Connecticut’s 3.4 million residents. Many towns and entities within the Fourth Congressional District will directly receive funding.
“This award is another example of our work to create jobs in the near term, while also building a foundation for sustainable job creation in the long term,” said Himes. “Projects that will benefit from this investment will connect those who have, for too long, been without the full economic, educational and social benefits of high-speed internet access.”
Leading the initiative, the Connecticut Department of Information Technology has said that funding will be used within the state to generate growth in economically distressed areas and to offer new or substantially upgraded service to public libraries, community colleges, charter schools, public safety entities, local governments, and non-profit and for-profit entities.
This significant investment in broadband enhancements will preserve and create jobs in the infrastructure sector throughout the state, spur technological advances in education, health and public safety, stabilize state and local government budgets by leveraging coordinated management and procurement efforts, provide broadband access, education, awareness and training to communities and allow for immediate provision of services by third party providers in areas currently underserved.
“High-speed Internet access is increasingly important for communities to thrive in today’s digital economy,” said Lawrence E. Strickling. “This Recovery Act investment will improve public safety and educational services throughout the state, create jobs, and help lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth.”
"Using wireless technology to level the economic and social diversity in Stamford has been a long standing goal for the city. This funding will provide the financial means to achieve the goal. The citizens of Stamford (and throughout the state) will be positively impacted by allowing greater access to wireless technology. Today's demands of immediate access to information and communication through the use of public wifi wireless has become a requirement for social advancement and Stamford is now poised to lead the advancement,” said Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) more than $4 billion to NTIA to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability.