GENTRY Arkansas was among the first states to receive federal stimulus grants for expanding access to broadband Internet services.
Connect Arkansas is a private non-profit organization that has been officially designated by the state to receive stimulus funds for expansion of broadband. The organization received about $2.1 million in federal grants in October, which it will spend to map the regions in Arkansas where infrastructure is lacking for broadband access. The head of Connect Arkansas told legislators that he hoped more grant money would be awarded in the next two months. Greater access to broadband Internet services has been a legislative priority for years. One reason Arkansas was among the first to receive federal stimulus grants is that legislators and state agencies have already put in a lot of time and work toward providing broadband access in remote areas.
Expanded access to broadband Internet service is an economic development issue. Isolated areas without Internet access are unlikely locations for modern industries that must compete globally. Greater access to the Internet has become essential for communities that want to provide an adequate education to its young people. For people of all ages, the availability of the Internet is now a quality of life issue. In greater numbers than ever, retirees who want to stay connected with family members are using email, Facebook and social media.
Broadband is another name for high-speed Internet, which is faster and more powerful than dial-up.
News, Pages 5 on 12/16/2009
Print Headline: Capitol Reports