TORRINGTON — More money for roads and bridge projects, and $100 million to improve internet access for outlying towns, including those in the northwest corner, is coming to the state, according to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
The senator was joined by U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5, state Reps. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, and Michelle Cook, D-Torrington, and city Mayor Elinor Carbone, in announcing the help coming to the region.
Connecticut is expected to receive $100 million to expand broadband coverage across the state and make high-speed internet access affordable for families who otherwise can’t afford it, according to Blumenthal.
The federal investments to improve high-speed internet access and affordability is possible as a result of the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Package, according to officials.
“It’s a proud day for us all,” Blumenthal said.
“It’s game-changing, for Connecticut and for our country, because we’re making solid, sound investments ... and those investments will bring jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “This money will make things better for everyone.”
The investment is intended to help connect “Connecticut residents to reliable high-speed internet, a critical utility for Americans to do their jobs, participate in school, and access telehealth services,” the senator said in a release.
“We’ve been focused in our discussions on the lack of access to broadband service in Connecticut, and we fought hard to make this part of the infrastructure package,” Hayes said.
“This will help provide services for schools, for telehealth services; we got an enormous amount of money,” she said.
Carbone, who has discussed broadband improvements with the City Council in the past, said towns such as Torrington are where the need for better service begins.
“I’m incredibly grateful that our state leaders have fought so hard for us,” she said.
“All the information that we share with the public starts here. It’s very important,” Carbone said.
Cook pointed out that sometimes, northwest Connecticut feels forgotten.
“But we’re not,” she said. “If we don’t have good connectivity, people suffer; all our work’s for nothing.”
President Joe Biden on Wednesday also spoke about his $1 trillion infrastructure plan as an eventual fix for the nation’s inflation and supply chain woes, according to the Associated Press. Biden asked Americans to have patience to wait for construction to begin. The president said the funding would improve transportation of products and supplies from overseas, and within the U.S. would help lower prices, reduce shortages and add union jobs, according to AP.