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Federal stimulus money for broadband approved

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin schools and libraries will get increased broadband access paid for with federal stimulus money under a plan that has been approved by a legislative committee.

The Legislature’s budget committee on Wednesday unanimously approved spending nearly $23 million in stimulus money to add fiber optic connections in 82 schools and 385 libraries.

The state would be required to come up with matching money to pay for the expansion.

Gov. Jim Doyle said the federal money will ensure communities can meet the need for additional bandwidth and ensure that citizens have equal Internet access “regardless of demographics, geography or economic status.”

He said the project will also help businesses, law enforcement agencies and others in the targeted areas.

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