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TMCNet:  Eshoo: Is Broadband Stimulus Working

[February 26, 2013]

Eshoo: Is Broadband Stimulus Working" Yes.

Feb 26, 2013 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) -- Rep. Eshoo's prepared remarks for tomorrow's broadband stimulus hearing are included below.

Statement of Representative Anna G. Eshoo as Prepared for Delivery Subcommittee on Communications and Technology House Committee on Energy and Commerce "Is the Broadband Stimulus Working " 2322 Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2013 Mr. Chairman, the answer to the title of today's hearing "Is the Broadband Stimulus Working," is a resounding yes. The investments made in broadband infrastructure are having a profound impact in local communities around the country.


Thanks to BTOP funding, the Rural Iowa Telehealth Initiative is enabling Iowans living in rural and medically underserved areas to receive the affordable health care they need. In Oregon, the Monroe Telephone Company has used BIP funds to bring Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to more than 2,300 residents, 29 local businesses, and 7 local institutions. And at the College of Menominee Nation in Wisconsin, BTOP funding has enabled the reservation to open a Community Technology Center, where only dial-up Internet was previously available. These are real-life stories of how the Recovery Act has changed lives.

As we've discussed in oversight hearings throughout the last two Congresses, there are always challenges along the way. The solution is not to attack the overall merits of the program. Instead, rigorous oversight by NTIA, RUS and the Inspector General of these respective agencies is necessary to ensure projects remain on track and achieve their intended goals.

There is no doubt we have much more work ahead because approximately 19 million Americans remain unable to obtain a broadband connection. The problem is particularly pervasive in rural and tribal areas, where between one-fourth and one-third of the population remains without access to broadband. The BTOP and BIP programs are helping to tackle these challenges and with this Subcommittee's continued focus on broadband, we can and will one day be the envy of the world in availability and speed of service.

I thank each witness for your commitment to expanding the deployment and adoption of broadband nationwide. In particular, I'd like to offer a special thanks to Bruce Abraham and Joe Freddoso who have traveled to Washington today to share the successes of their BTOP projects.

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