Broadband funds stimulate laments from companies

WASHINGTON, DC - WASHINGTON (AP) - When Congress included $7.2 billion for broadband in last year's stimulus bill, its goal was to bring high-speed Internet connections and information-age jobs to parts of the country desperate for both things.

Now as the government awards the money, some phone and cable companies complain that not all of it is being used to bring broadband to places that lack it. Instead, these companies say, much of the money will lead to government-subsidized competitor networks in places where they already offer service.

Yet government officials handing out the awards insist the money is being well spent. They say they want not only to expand high-speed Internet access, but also improve it in regions that already have it.

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