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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Delahunt Announces $32 Million Broadband Stimulus Award to OpenCape Project

StimulatingBroadband.com 3/02/2010 San Francisco - Congressman Bill Delahunt (D-MA-10) today joined with Senator John Kerry, Congressmen James McGovern, Barney Frank and Stephen Lynch, and Governor Deval Patrick to announce a $32 million broadband stimulus project award to the non-profit OpenCape Corporation.
Rep. Bill Delahunt, right, with Sen. John F. Kerry, at a
Massachusetts State House Hearing.
(Photo: Bizuayehu Tesfaye, AP)
OpenCape has assembled $8 million in matching funds to compliment the middle mile categorical grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA).

The funding will allow OpenCape to build critical middle mile capacity for the Cape Cod region. The open access network will create opportunities for jobs, economic diversification, and regional efficiencies in government. It will support broadband options for anchor institutions, enable last mile providers to reach un- and underserved areas, and offer an emergency network in this hurricane-vulnerable region.

Delahunt made the announcement at the Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, MA, located in his Massachusetts tenth congressional district which stretches from his hometown in Quincy to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape.

"This project will literally bring hundreds of real jobs directly to southeastern Mass. through its construction and operation, while boosting our economy and providing expansion opportunities to Woods Hole, and our schools and business that have been held back by infrastructure limitations in the region," said Delahunt (above left, with Sen. Kerry at a Massachusetts State House hearing).

"OpenCape is an essential element of the future economic development of our region and will lay an important foundation for job creation for years to come,” concluded the Congressman, who serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“This is a gigantic shot in the arm for the Cape and an excellent example of the Recovery Act in action. I’ve been a broken record for years about universal broadband and this is part of getting to that goal. Our community and our congressional delegation came together to construct a model proposal for a regional broadband initiative with widespread benefits and I sent multiple letters of support for the project. I’m very grateful to Secretary Locke and his team for their hard work," stated the Bay State's senior U.S. senator in a press release first issued today by Delahunt's Washington office.

"On the Cape, too many people still don’t have access to broadband service, the network requires redundant services to provide for public safety, and our community college and research institution needs have lagged behind due to a lack of capacity or high cost. This investment will make high-quality service available across the Cape, make us more competitive, help create jobs and boost our economy,” concluded Senator Kerry.

“This is great news for economic development for South Coast communities like Fall River, as well as the Cape,” Rep. McGovern said. “Access to cutting-edge communications technology is absolutely essential for us to compete in the global 21st Century economy. I want to commend Sen. Kerry for his strong leadership on this issue.”

"This project yet another example of how the Recovery Act is providing near term stimulus coupled with a vision towards the future by providing the region with an improved telecommunication infrastructure that will reap many long-term economic benefits,” said Congressman Barney Frank.

“The internet is now a necessary and critical component of everyday life. This funding will expand and improve access to broadband, making our public institutions and public safety networks more efficient, while making our businesses more competitive and creating jobs for the region,” Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. “I am pleased to see stimulus funds being used for the OpenCape broadband initiative.”

“This is all about jobs and economic opportunity for the Cape and Islands, which is our central focus,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for working with us to bring this help home for the Cape and Islands."

“OpenCape is the product of years of work and collaboration by organizations and individuals across our region,” said OpenCape’s President, Dan Gallagher. “It’s a vital part of the region’s long term growth and competitiveness strategy and we are excited to have assembled all of the necessary funding to immediately begin building the OpenCape network.”

OpenCape, under the leadership of Dan Gallagher from Cape Cod Community College, is a regional effort dedicated to meeting the full range of communications needs for business, education, government, disaster response, and individual citizens. Its goals and network design evolved over three years through summits, conferences, and meetings with stake holders and constituencies across the geographic and functional spectrum. StimulatingBroadband.com.
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