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Thursday, February 10, 2011

President Obama: Opening Up The Lines of Communication

The President travels to Marquette, Michigan today where local businesses have been able to grow as a result of broadband access, with particular benefit in exporting goods to new markets around the world.   He will briefly meet with local business owners who have used broadband access to grow their businesses and four senior technology executives that contributed to the design of the Wireless Innovation Fund.  (Video here).

Prior to delivering remarks at Michigan's Northern Michigan University, the President will participate in a demonstration of how the university’s WiMAX network has enabled distance learning for university and community students.

Currently the WiMAX connection allows professors to contact student teachers in the field to observe and communicate with them about their experience. NMU professors also use the WiMAX to connect to K-12 classes where master teachers are teaching so that education students can observe them in action. For the distance learning demonstration, NMU's Professor, Joe Lubig, will connect to one of his student teachers at Negaunee High School about his teaching experience, and then Professor Joe Lubig will direct the students to turn their attention to the screen so they can observe a master teacher at the Powell Township School.

The visit comes as part of the President's plan to win the future by catalyzing the build-out of high-speed wireless services that 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. 

"To do this, though, we have to up our game. To attract the best jobs and newest industries, we’ve got to out-innovate, out-educate, out-build and out-hustle the rest of the world.  That means investing in cutting-edge research and technology, like the new advanced battery manufacturing industry that’s taking root right here in Michigan.  It means investing in the skills and training of our people.  It means investing in transportation and communication networks that move goods and information as fast as possible."

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a National Wireless Initiative to make available high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans.

Included in the 'Initiative' are plans to provide 98% of Americans access to 4G High-Speed Wireless (many rural areas are without this service); and to develop and deploy a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety.

The president outlines his administration's plans to play for these inititiatives:

" make room for these investments, we have to cut whatever spending we can do without.  That’s why I’ve proposed that we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years, which would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and bring that spending to the lowest share of our economy since Eisenhower was President."

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