By Eric Auchard
LONDON (Reuters) – With world economies fast running out of steam, it may seem an unlikely time for cash-strapped governments to discover universal broadband access as an urgent national funding priority.
Yet in this financial plague year, the Great Broadband Bailout of 2009 is rocketing up the political agenda as the global economic crisis deepens further.
Massive programs to save the banking sector are failing, so far, to revive business confidence. Instead, governments must stimulate the real economy, creating jobs and income that get the working world moving.
Building faster, more pervasive internet networks creates jobs and opens new avenues for business. It joins traditional ways of priming the economy like ditch-digging and pothole-fixing to save roads and bridges or newer efforts to invest in green energy, health care or education.