U.S. President Barack Obama announced a $1 billion plan to invest in rural broadband infrastructure Thursday, saying his administration has “the tools” to get the nation’s small businesses online.
Obama said he wants to “make sure we’re not missing the forest for the trees” when it comes to providing broadband access.
The president made the announcement at a White House event that highlighted the “wonderful opportunities” of the internet and the internet of things.
He also announced $500 million in federal stimulus funds, which will be used to improve internet access and broadband deployment in the nation.
Obama has also made it clear that he wants Americans to be able to access information online, which includes social media, the internet, video games, and streaming services.
He recently signed an executive order to increase access to public information on the internet.
According to the White House, Obama’s office estimates that rural areas will get a net gain of $2.6 billion over the next three years through broadband investments.
Obama said in his announcement that his administration is targeting the “vast majority” of Americans who are not connected to the internet at home.