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Dept. of Agriculture Announces $34.7 million in High-Tech Grants

in Broadband's Impact/Education/Health by

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2011 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this week the dispersal of $34.7 million in grants through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program provides low interest loans and grants to hospitals, schools and other entities that provide either medical care or education via telecommunication.

This latest round of grants will fund 106 projects across 38 states and the Marshall Islands.

"Too many rural areas cannot take full advantage of the opportunities afforded by broadband for improved education and health care.” Vilsack said, “ These funds will help communities enhance their educational and training programs and deliver improved health care services for their residents"

Some examples of how the money will be used include the Alaska Gateway School District Project, which plans to direct its $350,232 grant to provide education services to 11 schools.  Integris Health in Oklahoma City, Okla., will use the $496,516 to install teleconferencing equipment in 20 schools and health centers across the state.

The full list of award recipients can be found here.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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