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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mikulski Announces Landmark Broadband Funding at SU

class=""MsoNormal"">SALISBURY, MD---At a press conference at Salisbury University, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) announced she has succeeded in her fight to secure $2 million in federal funding to bring broadband network capability to the Eastern Shore. The project will connect NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility, schools, universities, medical centers, businesses and consumers along the entire Shore.

class=""MsoNormal"">“America is in an amazing race—a race for breakthroughs and new ideas, a race for discovery and new knowledge, a race to remain competitive in the new century. I want the Eastern Shore to win this race,” said Senator Mikulski. “That’s why I am so proud to announce a $2 million federal investment to help build a broadband superhighway. The Shore can now remain competitive to attract new jobs and to educate the next generation.”

class=""MsoNormal"">The building of this network will be a major source of future economic development, spurring job creation and innovation in the region. Funding will be used to lay fiber optic cable along existing highways from Wallops north going through Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico counties toward Salisbury. The State of Maryland and the private sector will also continue funds to build this network in phases. The final phase of construction will connect the Wallops Facility to the lower shore. When completed, the broadband network will cover the entire Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland.

class=""MsoNormal"">“Bringing broadband to Wallops brings broadband to the entire Eastern Shore,” said Senator Mikulski. “This means economic development, job growth and innovation whether you are a small business, a school, a major employer or a NASA center.”

class=""MsoNormal"">“Forty years ago, interstate highways were crucial for economic growth in our rural areas, now it’s the information superhighway. The Eastern Shore is changing—our space, high tech, healthcare and higher education facilities need broadband—so do our poultry producers, construction companies and our small businesses,” added Senator Mikulski. “Today, we can finally see a future where all Eastern Shore residents will have access to affordable high-speed internet service. We are taking the first step in making that vision come true.” Senator Mikulski fought for the funding as part of the Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies 2006 spending bill, which has been sent to President Bush for his signature. Senator Mikulski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the senior Democrat on the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee.
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