President Promotes Broadband


President Barack Obama was back stumping for broadband in a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday.
While Obama did not mention broadband in his outlining of infrastructure initiatives during his primetime press conference Monday night, he did make put in a plug for that part of the stimulus package, according to a copy of his prepared remarks.
In talking about the fact that 90% of the jobs created will be in the private sector, he did mention "jobs constructing broadband Internet lines that reach Florida's rural schools and small businesses, so they can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world."
The president is stumping for his package as Congress pares back some of the initiatives to try to ensure passage in the Senate. House Republicans were unanimously against the package that passed in the House.
The bills contain billions for broadband rollouts--about $6 billion in the House version and $7 billion (down from $9 billion) in the Senate version after compromise discussions between Democrats and Republicans last week.
The new administration has made connecting the country to the Internet one of the priorities of  its economic recovery plan, both as a playing field-leveler for rural and poorer areas and as a stimulus to job creation.