Broadband funds fit into stimulus package

Funds to spur universal broadband Internet access reportedly will end up as part of a federal government economic stimulus package, according to a senior aide to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) It has not yet been finalized how much funding will be allocated for broadband, or much the full stimulus package will be worth (though $500 billion has been mentioned as a possible figure).

The commitment would be a victory for a broad array of telecom industry forces, from individual company CEOs to the Communications Workers of America and other associations that have been pressing President-elect Barack Obama and Congress for the last couple days in a so-called "call to action" to include broadband-growth funding in the package. It also might be considered surprising given that the talk of help for telecom prior to this week mostly has been buried under the cries from the auto industry, and the financial services and housing sectors.

For more:
- CNN Money has the Dow Jones wire story
- Ars Technica follows the call to action

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