President Obama Announces Plans for Next-Generation Broadband Connectivity

“And in the 21st century, in this age of innovation and in technology, so much of the prosperity that we’re striving for, so many of the jobs that we want to create depends on our digital economy.  It depends on our ability to connect, and to shop, and to do business, and discover and learn online, in cyberspace.”

President Obama offered insights into his plans to advance broadband across the country in his speech Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This follows Obama’s statements on improving cyber-security and preventing cyber-attacks earlier this week.

Obama highlighted the benefits of high-speed Internet: local business growth and a boost in economic development, giving small business owners a chance to compete with businesses across the globe, and distance learning to complete an online degree and increase employment opportunities.

In the last 6 years, the Obama administration has oversaw the installation or improvement of over 113,000 miles of broadband infrastructure across the country and offered tax incentives to improve and increase broadband availability and access. Currently, 98% of Americans have access to broadband Internet (in Illinois, 99.75% of citizens can access broadband), but there is still room for improvement when it comes to 21st century speeds and provider options are lacking in many markets.

President Obama also reiterated his position on net neutrality and encouraged states to abolish laws that prevent competition and municipal broadband. The Department of Commerce will also assist local government in establishing their own broadband networks and the USDA Department of Agriculture is offering new loan opportunities to rural providers. Obama hopes these efforts and a summer 2015 national Community Broadband Summit will move the United States into global competitiveness in the broadband arena.

The White House has issued a fact sheet on President Obama’s plans for next-generation broadband connectivity. View the fact sheet HERE.  

The White House has also released a short message from President Obama on our nation's need for improved broadband. Watch the video HERE

Tags: broadband, illinois, infrastructure, Obama, Rural, United States

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Partnership for a Connected Illinois 1337 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL 62704 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546