$2.4 million grant to give rural area broadband access

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$2.4 million grant to give rural area broadband access

The Columbus Dispatch – WASHINGTON — A Mount Gilead-based electricity cooperative has received an early Christmas present from the federal government in the form of a $2.4 million grant and loan package that will help extend broadband access to parts of rural central Ohio.

A broad array of Ohio Democrats yesterday touted the federal stimulus dollars won by Consolidated Electric Cooperative, from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Sen. Sherrod Brown, Reps. Mary Jo Kilroy of Columbus and Zack Space of Dover, and Gov. Ted Strickland.

The money was part of several billion dollars' worth of broadband-access grants announced last week by Vice President Joe Biden, and there is more to come in the near future, Vilsack said on a conference call.

Vilsack and Ohio officials said the money could lead to about 5,000 homes in northern Delaware, Morrow and western portions of Knox and Licking counties gaining access to broadband high-speed Internet lines.

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