Earlier this month, Kansas received a $2 million slice from the $7.2 billion pie that is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s program to expand broadband infrastructure nationwide. Kansas was one of 21 states to receive the money.

This initiative should help the Internet reach all corners of Kansas.

Lt. Gov. Troy Findley told the Associated Press that he hopes increasing the availability of broadband to all Kansans will help the state come out of the current recession stronger than before because it will allow Kansas residents residents easier access to education, health care and other government services via the Web.

Before the broadband expansion can commence, an assessment will have to be preformed of where broadband is needed. This is expected to start in 2010, according to the report.

For this all to work, though, Internet Service Providers will have to agree to make the broadband available to more people.

I think this is a wonderful thing. I grew up in the country where the best we could get was a dial-up connection that was spotty at best. Trying to do homework at home with the use of the Internet was a futile task.

Now I live in town where getting high-speed Internet piped into my home is easier, but I will never forget the frustration felt when attempting to use the Internet when I was still in high school.

That sound of the modem dialing the ISP drove me nuts. I still cringe when I hear anything similar.

Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was first announced, I have not been a fan of it. It is going to create such a huge amount of debt for our country to overcome that I fear it could easily be counterproductive.

But, this is one piece of that program I stand behind.

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