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STIMULUS FUNDS WILL HELP EXPAND INTERNET ACCESS

Obama says the project will provide jobs and boost communication.

WASHINGTON - More than a year after Congress passed the economic stimulus package, President Barack Obama announced that $795 million of that money will go toward expanding Internet access across the country to provide jobs and improve communication.

Obama's plan, announced Friday, will allocate more than $1 billion for installing broadband Internet across the country.

About $800 million of that will come from the tax-sponsored stimulus package;the rest will come from outside investment.

"We're competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries and the markets of tomorrow take root right here in the United States," the president said. "We're moving forward. And to every American who is looking for work, I promise you, we are going to keep on doing everything that we can."

The plan will create 66 infrastructure projects across the country and more than 5,000 temporary jobs, Obama said. It also will benefit more than 685,000 businesses, 900 health care facilities and 2,400 schools.

The money is part of $7.2 billion in the stimulus package set aside to expand broadband Internet access. The president announced a separate plan to increase spectrum levels in order to make wireless broadband connection to the Internet more accessible.

"Once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in a digital age will be immeasurable," Obama said.

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