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Evans urges broadband applications

COLUMBUS—State Representative Clyde Evans (R-Rio Grande) is encouraging southern Ohio businesses, organizations and residents to work together to apply for a share of $7.2 billion in federal stimulus money for broadband Internet technology.

Applications for the first of three phases of federal broadband stimulus funding available under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 are due Aug. 14.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce will award grants and loans to support advanced broadband infrastructure, awareness and public computing center projects between August 2009 and September 2010.

“This is an important opportunity for southern Ohio,” Evans said. “Since the Recovery Act mandates a short timetable, it is important for state agencies and others who are applying for this funding to hear from businesses and individual citizens who still do not have access to high-speed Internet.”

“The availability of broadband, in a world that is increasingly reliant on high-speed, easily accessible Internet, is now more important than ever,” said Evans.

“Universal high speed internet access is critical to rebuilding rural economies, like those in southern Ohio, as wireless networks enable entrepreneurship to flourish and attract new types of cutting-edge, high-tech businesses.”

Connect Ohio, a public-private partnership that works with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the state and close the digital divide, is helping southern Ohio communities in the stimulus funding process.

Rep. Evans encourages any interested business, organization or individual citizens to contact Connect Ohio or his office to make sure that the 87th district is not left out of the stimulus funding awards.

Businesses or community organizations that do not have broadband access and would like to participate in a local application for funds that is already in process should contact Connect Ohio and they will attempt to put them in contact with the organizations that are applying for local broadband availability projects.

Individuals that do not have access to broadband in their homes (other than satellite service), are encouraged to call toll-free at 1-866-881-9424 or write to: Connect Ohio, 232 N. Third St., Ste. 201, Columbus, OH 43215.

If residents have Internet access at a library or at work, they can fill out an online inquiry at www.connectohio.org/_forms/Broadbandinquiries.php

Evans can be reached by calling his office at (614) 466-1366 or by writing to: Representative Clyde Evans, at 77 S. High St., 10th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.