Monday, March 15, 2010

A broadband catapult for America

Power. Clean water. The Interstate highway system. It’s easy to forget that the advantages of modern American life result from basic infrastructure investments made by earlier generations.

Tomorrow the FCC will release a national broadband strategy. The plan will set goals for expanding broadband to unserved and under-served areas, promote greater speeds, and drive consumer demand. It will harness this communications technology to urgent national priorities, such as jobs, education, health, energy, and security. In short, the plan will lay the groundwork for investing in America’s future.

Yes, the Internet was invented in the United States. Yes, we once led the world in broadband development. But now, networks in many countries, from Western Europe to East Asia, are faster and more advanced than our own. Long after we recover from this recession, this broadband gap will be a dead weight on American businesses and workers, unless we act now.

As with the space race in the 1960s, America needs a national effort by our scientists, engineers, companies, educational institutions and government agencies. Just like that great national adventure, we need near-term and long-term goals.

Broadband is an essential input to expanding business, education, and healthcare opportunities everywhere. As soon as possible, we need to bring Internet access to every community, from rural America to the inner cities.

But we also need even more ambitious objectives -- or “stretch goals” -- that test the limits of our ingenuity. When President John F. Kennedy summoned the nation to space exploration, the immediate goal was to send an astronaut in orbit around the earth. But JFK called for “putting a man on the moon” because he knew that dream would inspire Americans to literally reach for the stars.

The private sector has a big job to do, and needs to carry much of the investment. For our part, we plan to build and test an ultra-high-speed broadband network in at least one U.S. community. We are excited by the amount of support our proposed testbed has received from local communities and individuals.

But smart, tailored public policies are critical too. Let’s install broadband fiber as part of every federally-funded infrastructure project, from highways to mass transit. And let’s deploy broadband fiber to every library, school, community health center, and public housing facility in the U.S.

I support a national broadband strategy because ubiquitous broadband connectivity can catapult America into the next level of economic competitiveness, worker productivity, and educational opportunity. But as in the past, we will make this breakthrough by choice, not chance.


Oscar said...

Perhaps this is the first communication of the company reflecting US AND THEM respect other countries in a competitive way. I'm sure about the "Don't be Evil" slogan but ...

Thanks for your attention and sorry for my English from Spain.

Z said...

This isn't really us vs. them. Google is a US based company, investment in the US broadband infrastructure is of direct benefit to both the efficiency of their operations, and their ability to connect with a large number of their costumers. The fact that the US is behind other countries is stated only as a way to inspire US readers to contact their representatives and insure a updated broadband is realized.

chrislandau said...

Google makes a bigger effort than any other company I can think of to engage other countries, cultures, or languages. Too bad their wireless robot warriors will one day take over every country. GGG; Google Global Government.

Jim said...

We have consistently underestimated the role that increased information can play in technology advancement. But faster information does not equate to a better society. For example, can and should your children progress at different speeds than their classmates? Not in today's educational system. There's more to change than the availability - it's the use of information. Less Farmville, more biology. Can you fix that, Google?

Suhail Manzoor said...

I think its about time! I look forward to the day when its not just the President who works from home but all federal employees who choose to do so. In order for that to happen, there needs to be hyper fast networks and hopefully, this initiative will achieve that.

Lady G's Journal said...


My office look forward to working with the wonderful “conversion” opportunity of the four-part mega opportunity: President Obama’s ARRA-American Reinvestment and Recovery Act +U.S. Department of Education Technology Plan 2010 + FCC/Federal Communication Commission Broadband Plan and Google's test-bed opportunities.

Needless to say, I will provide a pitch for Milwaukee. However, based on recent experience I hastily caution Google to watch for "hype-rhetoric-spin" and demand transparency, customer care, best practices, accountability; and, most of all, INCLUSIVENESS of the People, especially People of Color, the Work-Challenged and families caught-up in Concentrated Poverty areas.

Be sure to demand that planning, design, implementation, development and the BUY-In is from the very START. Anything less, is a cruel joke on the People and guaranteed results that will be far less than your goal.

We can do so much to close the “widening” broadband gap - wireless, high speed, access, literacy, fluency, employment gap -to really make America more infrastructural and systemically sound in its core quality of life issues, economic development issues, environmental issues and global competitiveness.

We can in short-order begin to raise the level of sustainability in the towns, villages, small cities and large urban cities by including neighborhood-level stakeholders/talents (child-youth-adult-senior) who have been traditionally and consistently left out of the success formula.

This will help raise our global status/ranking from #20 to par and better than #1 South Korea.

Now is the time, but it cannot be at the 30,000 feet level, it must be "ground-level" - "neighborhood-level", "End-User Level", “business owners/entrepreneurs at the neighborhood-level, “family-level”, “student level”, “senior-level” tied to the health provider-level, government level, etc.

Mary Glass – Chair/CEO
Milwaukee Professionals Association