A proposed $6bn (£4.3bn) US broadband programme to help rural communities is a step closer to reality.
Members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce voted on Friday to approve the grant, which is part of a larger economic recovery package.
The $6bn would be used to build wired and wireless broadband infrastructure systems which would bring internet services to rural communities and other areas which US internet providers have yet to reach.
"This legislation is an important step towards getting our economy back on track," said Henry Waxman, chairman of the committee.
The package was proposed last week by the House Appropriations Committee with the aim of spurring economic development, and helping to create new businesses in rural parts of the country.
Other proposed investments include a $10bn (£7.2bn) commitment to scientific research facilities, and a $32bn (£23bn) investment in building a 'smart' electrical grid. $1bn (£728m) has also been earmarked for improving school technology programmes.
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