Obama commits to broadband investment

President-elect Barack Obama indicated in his weekly radio and YouTube address Saturday that broadband and national Internet access would be part of what has been referred to by observers as the "new New Deal," Obama's plan to attack economic crisis and rampant unemployment through massive national infrastructure investment. In the early 20th Century, that meant money for highway construction and other public works projects, but in the 21st Century, the Internet is getting added to the list.

Obama said Saturday, "It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption." Glad we finally know where he stands on that issue-we're kidding, since among other things, Obama already is being called the first broadband-conscious president. Obama also unfortunately resurrected the phrase "information superhighway."

Obama's verbal commitment to broadband and Internet investment comes after an aide to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week indicated that Congress would include technology infrastructure investment as part of a multi-industry economic stimulus package. Also, Obama's words answered the "Call to Action for a National Broadband Strategy" made by a coalition of dozens of telecom companies just over a week ago.

For more:
- Broadcasting and Cable recaps the Obama speech

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