President: 4G Wireless Access to 98% of Americans Within Five Years
Obama plans to begin State of the Union address with praise for contentious debate, but calls for working together
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/25/2011 8:57:48 PM
But the President also used the opportunity to tell parents it was their job to turn off the TV and make sure their kids get their work done, and for the U.S. to do a better job of deploying broadband, saying that "South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do."
He pledged that "Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next
generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn't just about a faster Internet and fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age" (see below). He christened it the National Wireless Initiative.
The FCC Tuesday voted to launch a framework for an interoperable broadband communications network. The commission has also pushed the national broadband plan as a way to boost online education and health monitoring.
The President talked of both, saying the broadband push is about "a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."
After pointing out that there was an empty chair where injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords should have been sitting, he waded right in, suggesting that it was not just about talking more civilly to each other, but working together to solve problems that can't be solved without cooperation.
"It's no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years," President Obama said early in the speech. "The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that's a good thing. That's what a robust democracy demands. That's what helps set us apart as a nation," he said.
The President continued: "But there's a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater - something more consequential than party or political preference."
He evoked the Tucson tragedy on a personal level as well, saying that "the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled."
"What comes of this moment is up to us," he said. "What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. I believe we can. I believe we must."
Sounding like a president with a split Congress moving to the middle to try and govern, he said: "New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all - for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics." And in a line sure to warm the hearts of industry, he said: "We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business."
New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all - for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.
"At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else," he said. "It's
whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded."
He also put a couple of Internet companies in rarified company, saying it was a nation of "Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It's how we make a living."
Talking about the need for a better-educated workforce, the President said: "Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline."
* In an e-mail to reporters, the White House outlined the wireless broadband challenge this way:
"Launching a National Wireless Initiative to provide 98% of Americans access to high-speed Internet: To move toward connecting every American to the digital age, including rural communities, the President announced that he will work to help business extend the next generation of wireless services to 98 percent of all Americans.
This National Wireless Initiative will enable businesses to grow faster, students to learn more, and public safety officials to access state-of-the-art, secure, nationwide, and interoperable mobile communications. For public safety officials, this can mean the difference between success and failure, or even life and death; as such technologies can allow emergency workers to access building designs at the scene of an accident and police officers to send pictures to one another in real-time. Finally, the initiative will foster the conditions for the next generations of wireless technology, nearly doubling the amount of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband (through incentive auctions and other mechanisms to ensure spectrum is used more efficiently) and providing critical support for R&D in wireless innovation."
First of all, nobody ever said "4G wireless" so please, do not put words in the President's mouth. He said the "next generation" of high-speed, and 4g is currently already here, sorry to burst your bubble. Second, all you do in this article is reiderate what the President said... isn't that extended plagiarism? Plus you are just speaking "mumbo jumbo" and wandering off away from your original purpose as if something distracts you as your writing. How did you ever become an author for a site like B&C? I can now say that I officially feel dumb-founded and flabbergasted after witnessing such a preposterous decision by such a reputable firm such as B&C.
He is not "shoving" anything into people's head. He's making an educated business decision about the fate of our economy and the fate of our children. He is saying that this is what needs to be done so that our children have the jobs of tomorrow, rather than India or China taking them away (again.) As far as the postal service, they made bad decisions by not preparing themselves for the digital age and as a result the demand for their services is becoming a thing of the past. Sure, anyone could easily "cut their internet" or "sell their computer"! The only persons they are hurting is themselves. To me, that is like saying to a caveman "Don't use that fire to cook food, we might learn to use it to our benefit". For sake of time and patience I leave you with this quote: "You're a moron".
Daniel - 1/26/2011 2:38:05 PM EST
@T This isn't about government subsidized internet, it's just about getting the actual signal to people so they have the opportunity to pay for it.
Jason - 1/26/2011 1:03:02 PM EST
Taylor, if you're talking about telling people to get off the Internet, then why are you here - on the Internet - on this site - posting this nonsense? You sound like a hyprocritical idiot. How dare you tell me and everybody else what to do with their lives. It's too bad B&C can't make this site entirely subscription so I don't have to read anymore of your crap. And I'm Catholic, so don't go there.
T Dog - 1/26/2011 12:07:41 PM EST
So, when did Internet access become a God-given right?
I've been paying for my access for years, and now I have to work to pay for unemployed people to have Internet and 4G access?
This will most certainly be a aid to prostitutes and drug dealers, who do a lot of business via cell phone and Internet!
Dan Wood - 1/26/2011 10:29:07 AM EST
He's shoving more of this digital revolution into people's heads.
Here's an advice. Cut your internet, sell your computer, laptop, and TV and start going back to the Pony Express. There's a big world outside that needs to be explored. That's right. People who are addicted to the Digital Revolution needs Jesus as their savior, and stop using the internet. They also need to do some other activities that are not computer or TV related. Sit at the dinner table with your family, have fun outdoor activities, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding, skiing, you know roughing it in the Great Outdoors with no technology distracting you. And sing praises to the Lord.
The Digital Revolution is responsible for laying off Postal workers and shuttering post offices. Lazy obese people are way worse than me and they use the internet to pay their bills online. We'll I say the internet stops here. Save your money and cut your internet. Start supporting your local post office, and pay your bills in checks and money order, write letters to your families in handwriting, not computers. Shun the Digital Revolution.
As quoted from the bible:
"Idle hands are the Devil's work."
Josh Taylor - 1/25/2011 9:46:35 PM EST
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