Healthcare systems in rural America could benefit from some of the $1.8 billion in federal dollars released today and marked for projects to expand broadband access.
Projects in Arkansas, California, Mississippi, Nevada, the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere have been awarded tens of millions of dollars to bolster wireless projects, courtesy of the 2009 bill meant to stimulate the economy. Many projects are aimed at helping hospitals, providers and other emergency responders.
A proposal by the Nevada Hospital Association netted the group roughly $19.6 million to develop and operate a statewide telemedicine network, while Mississippi is in line for $70 million to help deploy a wireless broadband network for hospitals and other providers.
“The broadband projects announced today will give rural Americans access to the tools they need to attract new businesses, jobs, healthcare and educational opportunities,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a written statement. His department, as well as the Commerce Department, will administer the funds.
Some 94 projects received funding. More projects are expected to be announced in the future.