New Jersey counties seek broadband funding

Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester counties in New Jersey recently submitted a joint bid to the United States Department of Commerce to improve broadband access and reliability for their residents. If awarded, the funding will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The improved broadband infrastructure would help the counties improve wireless phone service as well as broadband speed in their area of New Jersey. The counties included the need to improve government communications and public safety in their proposal as well as goals for improving educational and financial opportunities for their towns.

The county governments also believe that improved broadband speed will allow them better communication with each other.

“Not only will it help us to enhance, expand and reinforce our emergency response services, but it will allow data sharing among the four counties, vastly improving our ability to maintain government operations during a disaster recovery situation,” Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson said.

Whether or not the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed National Broadband Plan is a success, the funds states have received from the ARRA has enabled several of them to improve broadband speed already.

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