If I told you that there were parts of Alabama, West Virginia and Montana without high-speed internet you'd probably shrug and think nothing of it.

But if I said to you that the challenge of accessing high-speed internet connections was a real problem in New Jersey, you might be surprised, if not a little concerned.

But that's exactly what's happening in Cumberland and Salem counties. The residents in these rural New Jersey counties have been looking to access the same information highway as the rest of the state and most of the nation for years.

Salem County
Salem County

Unfortunately, the effort has been stalled by Big Corporate. Not to mention the billions of our tax dollars going everywhere BUT America!

Enter constituent service champion, Congressman Jeff Van Drew.

He's calling out media giant Comcast for delaying and pushing to create come competition in South Jersey while providing critical technology to our southern counties.

He joined me on the show Tuesday to explain the fight to modernize and utilize public funding to actually help people in America instead of the constant flow of our tax dollars going overseas.

Congressman Jeff Van Drew explained that the grant is for 24 million dollars and provides for internet infrastructure and will allow for future competition among providers.

The bottom line is that from education to small business to first responders the lack of high-speed internet and in some cases no internet access at all puts a limit on progress and public safety. The plan has to be approved by the local commissioner board so local stays in control.

Once approved, the second amount to finish the job of delivering the access is another $4 million.

Congressman Van Drew summed it up with a great quote from President Ronald Reagan explaining that the job of government is to help people, not to tell them what to do.

On the other side, Rosemary Becchi, who heads up a New Jersey advocacy group called Jersey First, is speaking against the spending saying that it's not the role of government to run a broadband network.

It's a classic market-driven argument that is based on Rosemary's solid economic background and desire to make sure taxpayers aren't footing the bill for yet another failed government program.

She joined me on Tuesday to explain her position.

She pointed to the economic challenges in the Cumberland and Salem county areas and said simply that the taxpayers can't afford another spending and borrowing project

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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