Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Real Cha-Ching

It is almost a travesty that there's a giant portion of our state without broadband or cable internet access. This is costing those regions jobs, keeping the kids in those schools in the digital stone age (dial-up). From Governor Patrick's daily briefing:
Governor's Briefing
November 5, 2009

Expanding Broadband

Wrapping up a two-day trip to Washington, DC, Governor Patrick meets with President Obama today after visiting with Massachusetts's congressional delegation to discuss jobs, the economy, and health-care reform. The Governor met with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday to secure stimulus funds that will help expand high-speed internet across the Commonwealth and spur economic development in every corner of the state. Learn more here.

  • Increased broadband availability, an important part of Governor Patrick's plan to position the state for long-term recovery, will lead to new jobs, better health care, and better public education services across Massachusetts.
  • Internet access is no longer a luxury--it is a necessity. The Governor expects that his move yesterday will help secure more grants to continue his plan to close the digital divide.
  • Specific proposals developed carefully by Governor Patrick's administration for Boston and Cape Cod will improve internet reliability, develop more public computing centers, and provide free high-speed internet access in public housing.
  • The largest plan for broadband expansion is for the Berkshires. The $107 million project is expected to create up to 3,000 new jobs and bring high-speed internet to 43 towns in Western Massachusetts that currently receive little or no broadband service.
  • Governor Patrick's close relationship with the Obama administration has already secured millions of dollars in federal recovery funds for education and emerging sectors like clean energy and biotechnology. Today, Massachusetts is making the long-term investments that will create jobs and lay the foundation for enduring economic growth.
Governor Patrick's relationship with Barack Obama has certainly helped in the stimulus funds department and one can easily see the fruits of the investments these projects are making, both the stimulus money and the money the state had already invested through the bond bills passed a few years ago. As bad as the "Great Recession" has been, Massachusetts, as a state, has fared better than most -- I have to think Governor Patrick's steady hand is part of the reason why, sparing our cities and towns as much as possible, while looking for future growth potential under every rock and pebble, even as we have to make bone-deep cuts.

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