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Remarks by Angela Simpson Deputy Assistant Secretary National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Education Exchange Kick-Off & Signing Ellijay, Georgia
August 28, 2014

Remarks by Angela Simpson
Deputy Assistant Secretary

National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Education Exchange Kick-Off & Signing
Ellijay, Georgia
August 28, 2014

—As Prepared for Delivery—

Thank you to the North Georgia Network, Parker FiberNet and ETC Communications for inviting me to speak at today’s ceremony to mark the official kick-off of Georgia’s new regional Education Exchange. I am thrilled to be able to share this day and this terrific milestone with you.  My name is Angela Simpson and I am the deputy administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the principal advisor to the President on telecommunications and technology policy issues.

NTIA is honored to have been part of what has made today’s announcement possible through our broadband grant program – the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. This $4 billion grant program funded by the 2009 Recovery Act, invested in roughly 230 projects nationwide to expand access to and use of high-speed Internet services - including two of the three broadband networks that are joining forces today to launch the new Education Exchange in rural Appalachia.

We awarded a $33.5 million grant to the North Georgia Network to build a 1,100-mile fiber-optic network across 12 counties in the Appalachian foothills of North Georgia. And we awarded a $21.3 million grant to the Appalachian Valley Fiber Network to deploy more than 500 miles of fiber across the lower Appalachian Valley in Northwest Georgia and Eastern Alabama. In 2009, Vice President Biden kicked off announcement of our grants in nearby Dawsonville, so it’s great to be able to come back today and see all the great work done.

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