Broadband for all 50 states....
On Friday, President Obama announced a $795 million government program that will see over 900 healthcare facilities across the country receive broadband access.
In the report, it was stated that the investment will support 66 new Recovery Act broadband projects nationwide that, according to the grantees, will not only directly create approximately 5000 jobs up front, but will also help spur economic development in some of the nation's hardest-hit communities, helping create jobs for years to come.
It will be a major boost to the Obama Adminstration which has been criticized for a lack of news jobs in the wake of the global recession. For the healthcare industry though, it is a major boost with the FCCs National Broadband Plan estimating $700 billion in savings over 15-25 years from telehealth initiatives. Healthcare costs already account for 17 percent for GDP, totaling $2.5 trillion.
Not just healthcare affected...
As well as healthcare sites, the broadband roll-out will also benefit tens of millions of Americans and more than 685,000 businesses and 2400 schools across the country.
In his speech, the President stated that the $795 million in grants and loans through the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture has been matched by more than $200 million in outside investment, for a total public-private investment of more than $1 billion. It is hoped that it will be more than enough to bring broadband service to communities that have little or no access.
Benefits to healthcare
While it may be another massive investment into a sector that has already seen mounting costs due to the President's healthcare reform, it is hoped that new or increased broadband access will help medical professionals provide cost-efficient remote diagnoses and care.
Not just that, but with broadband access, communities can compete on a "level playing field" to attract new businesses, while schools can create distance learning opportunities for those who live further afield.
The grants and loans are part of an overall $7.2 billion investment the Recovery Act makes in expanding broadband access nationwide – $4.7 billion through the Commerce Department and $2.5 billion funded through the Department of Agriculture.
For a complete list of the 6 projects with amount of grant, description of work and location, click here.
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