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National Grange Lauds Obama’s Order for Broadband Expansion

By National Grange Press Release (6/14/12)

  JUNE 14, 2012 --

The National Grange today lauded President Obama’s decision to sign an Executive Order that will make broadband expansion up to 90 percent cheaper and faster for those along federal lands and roadways.

This plan will drastically expand and speed the deployment of broadband access for rural Americans.

“By connecting every corner of our country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students become more informed and our citizens become more engaged,” National Grange President Ed Luttrell said. “Further, this Executive Order will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work, a priority for every American, not just those in rural areas.”

The White House will also announce the formation of a new public/private partnership known as “US Ignite.” The new alliance will consist of nearly 100 partners, including major cities, corporations, and non-profit groups, joining forces with over 60 universities to develop new networks that run up to 100 times faster than modern Internet services.

The President’s Executive Order will require the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and the US Postal Service to offer carriers, both large and small, an easier approach to leasing federal assets to expand their broadband infrastructure and services.

The US Ignite Partnership will create a nation-wide network of communities and campuses with incredibly fast and programmable broadband services, with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. The networks created by this partnership will be used as tests for building the next generation of broadband networks.

“The National Grange believes, just like President Obama, that rural Americans cannot wait for broadband access, and is thrilled to hear this president has made such access a priority,” Luttrell said. “America’s farmers and ranchers need broadband services to stay connected and competitive in today’s digital era. Having access to the same services and privileges as our urban counterparts will drastically change the way rural America does business.”

Established in 1867, The National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more than 2,100 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation’s leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States. For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org.

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