Obama: wireless Internet for 98% of Americans in five years

By on January 26, 2011, 1:11 PM
US President Barack Obama said quite a lot during his State of the Union speech. Specifically interesting to us is the bold promises he made regarding the Internet, according to a transcript posted by CBS News:
Within the next five years, we'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. This isn't just about -- (applause) -- this isn't about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age.

It's 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.

All these investments -- in innovation, education, and infrastructure -- will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.

The Obama administration has endorsed making 500 megahertz of spectrum available over the next decade to meet the growing demand for broadband services, including from the proliferation of tablets and smartphones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hopes to repurpose 120 megahertz of spectrum through incentive auctions where television broadcasters would voluntarily give up spectrum in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.

Last month, the FCC admitted that 68 percent of US broadband connections weren't really broadband. If Obama has his way, that number will have to start dropping very, very quickly.





User Comments: 20

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princeton princeton said:

How about you tell the wireless carriers to stop branding their services as 4G. Sprint isn't using the true WiMAX specifications and T-mobile is an HSPA network.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I prefer fiber optics, thank ya very much. Wireless is lousy for gaming, streaming, etc., especially when you have to share.

princeton princeton said:

TomSEA said:

I prefer fiber optics, thank ya very much. Wireless is lousy for gaming, streaming, etc., especially when you have to share.

With wireless it isn't so much the speed(ok in the US it is the speed) but the latency. Here even with 42mbps wireless net your ping can still be anywhere from 30-200.

dedparrot said:

how about free access to healthcare for 98% of Americans in five years.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

dedparrot said:

how about free access to healthcare for 98% of Americans in five years.

Everyone already has free ACCESS to healthcare. I'm going to assume you meant free healthcare though.

How about not. The other 2% don't even have enough money to pay for everyone nor should they.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

dedparrot said:

how about free access to healthcare for 98% of Americans in five years.

Looking around at all the tubby diabetic elementary school kids, I say no.

If their parents have the money to buy them soda and hamburgers, they can pay for the insulin shots at 14 themselves.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

While this sounds good and all for the American public, we already technically achieved this. The government should be focusing on increased competition in both wired/wireless markets and real consumer-friendly policies in regards to NN rather then these pointless promises.

Princeton said:

How about you tell the wireless carriers to stop branding their services as 4G. Sprint isn't using the true WiMAX specifications and T-mobile is an HSPA network.

That's the ITU's responsibility and they pretty much caved to the marketing teams of major wireless providers.

dedparrot said:

how about free access to healthcare for 98% of Americans in five years.

Never going to happen with special interests controlling us.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Princeton said:

How about you tell the wireless carriers to stop branding their services as 4G. Sprint isn't using the true WiMAX specifications and T-mobile is an HSPA network.

The ITU gave the OK for wireless carriers to brand their wireless services as "4G" even though none of their networks meet the criteria to qualify as such (100Mbps bandwidth, particularly). Not much that can be done now. :-(

And to defend themselves in case the rules change, carriers claim that their "4G" network is "fourth generation"... not the actual 4G standard.

princeton princeton said:

Rick said:

Princeton said:

How about you tell the wireless carriers to stop branding their services as 4G. Sprint isn't using the true WiMAX specifications and T-mobile is an HSPA network.

The ITU gave the OK for wireless carriers to brand their wireless services as "4G" even though none of their networks meet the criteria to qualify as such (100Mbps bandwidth, particularly). Not much that can be done now. :-(

And to defend themselves in case the rules change, carriers claim that their "4G" network is "fourth generation"... not the actual 4G standard.

I'll continue to throw glass bottles in their windows until it is rebranded 3G :P

Lamberty said:

I LOL'd, but I'll provide the bottles

windmill007 said:

Fiber!!!

I agree...Fiber for all... That's what they should be doing!!! That would create a lot of jobs!!

Guest said:

Bummer that I fall into the 2% that have no access to healthcare whatsoever. I make too much to receive any health from state health insurance and no where close enough to pull out money for insurance. Sucks, to be lower middle class. Seems like no matter what happens we're screwed! I have a laundry list of medical problems that effects me daily and haven't been able to receive treatment for anything in years while it progressively gets worse. Oh well, that's the way it goes...right? There are people suffering more than me in this world.

yRaz yRaz said:

Guest said:

Bummer that I fall into the 2% that have no access to healthcare whatsoever. I make too much to receive any health from state health insurance and no where close enough to pull out money for insurance. Sucks, to be lower middle class. Seems like no matter what happens we're screwed! I have a laundry list of medical problems that effects me daily and haven't been able to receive treatment for anything in years while it progressively gets worse. Oh well, that's the way it goes...right? There are people suffering more than me in this world.

As an autistic epileptic with eczema, know exactly how you feel. I work full time and go to college full time(17 credits this semester). Not a single break for the hard working class, but the people with a weeks paid vacation every year and "mental health" days, those are the REAL hard workers. Now let me go back to mopping the floor so I can make my next tuition payment. State only pays for my epilepsy medications, my eczema is completely uncontrolled.

I will keep working my 80+ hour weeks to work my way through school, the republicans can keep saying that I'm a lazy bum that want's free health care. I cannot express how angry and disappointed I am with my fellow American. Who cares about helping disabled people, tax cuts for the rich are obviously more important.

windmill007 said:

A Government Public Health Care option would of helped everyone. We were close...but some people thinks otherwise. Apparently they never tried to purchase health insurance on there own to see what it cost. I think a low cost option around $50 a month or so would work for most people. But $300+...come on get real...lol Most people will just go without and suffer....yeah that's helping our fellow Americans.

Guest said:

Honestly, wireless anything is not very reliable. Companies who sell the technologies are very clever in how they express themselves, making their technology seem 100% reliable without actually saying it.

Anyone who's ever setup a wireless network will know how intermittent service can be.

I work for a major TV content distributor. Wireless is off the board for our designs because being responsible for those customer calls gets expensive due to the shear volume of issues customers have.

Guest said:

98% of americans? wow! all 35 countries?

Guest said:

Lets send a message to Internet companies to stop capping are Internet when we are paying for the speed .they shouldn't be allowed to slow us down because they don't like how much we download or upload. Namely Time Warner.

Guest said:

What they giveth they can take away. Case in point.... Egypt.

Guest said:

fiber for all. i think WIFI will be too slow

Guest said:

I agree! I do not understand how some citizens of this country can be so selfish and heartless that they are willing to let their fellow man literally die so they can keep a few extra dollars in their pockets. As long as they can afford to take care of themselves, they couldn't care less about anyone else. Smh...

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