WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ — County Executives of America (CEA) today announced a plan to bring free broadband wireless service to more than 51,000 Kenosha County households without access to broadband. If approved, the plan would also help create 2,000 job opportunities in Kenosha County.
To enable free broadband service, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must vote to make the airwaves available for this purpose by September 30, 2010. Consumers can support the plan by visiting www.FreeBroadbandNow.com where they can petition the Obama Administration, the FCC and Congress to take action allowing millions of Americans access to affordable broadband.
Kenosha County is part of a nationwide initiative for which the CEA, working with M2Z Networks, has applied for $122 million of stimulus funds to jumpstart broadband development in 12 member counties. This grant application is one being considered by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) of the Commerce Department for the remaining $2.9 billion in broadband stimulus monies Congress allocated in the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act (ARRA) to make broadband affordable and universally available throughout the country.
The NTIA will announce the recipients of the stimulus funds by September 30, 2010 and its decision will hinge on whether the FCC has approved use of airwaves for the free broadband plan. Consumers can petition the FCC vote to approve use of airwaves for the free broadband plan before September 30, 2010 by visiting www.FreeBroadbandNow.com.
In a letter of support to the NTIA, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser wrote, “Absent grant of this application, these important services will not be available at a rate that many of our residents and public safety agencies can afford.” He added, “Kenosha County will be unable to provide equal access to broadband services for the low income and other populations that have been disadvantaged by the high cost of broadband services.”
CEA has selected M2Z Networks to build out the networks in each county. John Muleta, CEO of M2Z Networks, said, “Affordable and interoperable broadband services are essential for public safety officials, educators, hospital administrators, librarians and county employees at every level. Working with CEA member communities like Kenosha County, M2Z is committed to making free broadband service a reality for millions of Americans trapped on the wrong side of the broadband divide.”