Government stimulus spending is a contentious issue right now in Washington. But the $7.2 billion in the last stimulus package for extending high-speed Internet access is just beginning to be spent, and the beneficiaries could not be happier.
Cynthia K. Wegener and her husband, owners of a farm and horse-breeding business in western Kansas, will be able to upload a photograph of a horse to show a potential buyer in seconds, not the 20 to 30 minutes they now need with dial-up service. “I just cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it is to do anything with it,” she said.
And in remote Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska, with limited Internet access, the program will bring more fundamental changes, expanding the health care options, for example, to allow doctors in Anchorage, 400 miles to the east, to see patients via videoconference.
“This is the first time in my 25 years in health care where technology has a direct impact,” David P. Hodges, the chief information officer for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. “It sure gives you a new perspective on what you do for a living.”
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