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Walker pushes for expanded rural broadband

SEYMOUR, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is asking the state Legislature to pass a bill that allocates about $35 million to expand broadband and technology in rural areas.

Walker was in Seymour on Thursday, where a year ago he held the first of more than 70 listening sessions in the past year. The governor says a re-occurring theme at the sessions has been access to reliable broadband Internet.

The proposed legislation provides an additional $35.5 million for broadband expansion efforts and TEACH grants over the next three fiscal years.

The TEACH program provides money to schools, libraries, and other educational institutions to upgrade technology and train teachers from small and rural school districts.

The funding comes from a surplus in the Universal Service Fund, which was established in 1993 to address telecommunications needs.

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