Gov. Phil Murphy and Congressman Gottheimer visited Sussex County today to highlight federal funding through the American Rescue Plan to expand broadband access for rural, low-income, and moderate-income areas of New Jersey.
The money will be drawn from an overall pool of nearly $190 million in funding for capital projects from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan. This money is in addition to the $6.2 billion the state will receive in State Fiscal Recovery Funds, also part of the American Rescue Plan.
Additionally, legislation is under way to create a Broadband Access Study Commission to evaluate broadband access in New Jersey.
“Every New Jerseyan deserves access to reliable, affordable, and fast broadband internet,” said Governor Murphy. “Unfortunately, too many residents and businesses, especially in rural and low-income areas of our state, are still unable to take advantage of broadband internet access. Along with our congressional delegation and our Legislature, we are working to ensure that those living and working in New Jersey have access to reliable high-speed broadband services.”
“For the sake of our families, economy, schools, and health care, we must continue fighting for communities across Warren and Sussex Counties to help boost their broadband connectivity. That’s why I fought to include dedicated investment for broadband infrastructure in the recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Now, every county and town in Sussex and Warren County will be clawing back federal dollars that they can use to improve connectivity. We also need to get the dollars sent to the State of New Jersey for rural broadband to right here in Sussex and Warren,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “With partners on both sides of the aisle and at every level of government, I believe we can get this done.”
“Ensuring the most hard to reach areas of New Jersey have access to high speed Internet is an absolute necessity, especially in light of the last year” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “It is crucial that we close the digital divide so our schoolchildren and businesses have the same educational and economic advantages regardless of where they are located. I am proud to join Governor Murphy and Congressman Gottheimer in elevating this critical issue.”
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