Speaking at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan Thursday, the President proposed a new national wireless initiative in a city where high-speed internet services have served as a model for the what the future of America could look like.
His plan would expand wireless coverage to 98% of Americans, while reducing the deficit by nearly $10 billion by making more government spectrum available. (Video below)
“For decades now, this university has given a new laptop to every incoming student, with Wi-Fi stretching across campus,” said Mr. Obama. “But if you lived off-campus, like most students and teachers here, you were largely out of luck. Broadband was often too expensive to afford. And if you lived a bit further out of town, you were completely out of luck, because broadband providers, they often won’t build networks where it’s not profitable, just like they wouldn’t build electrical lines where it wasn’t profitable.”
“This university tried something new. You partnered with various companies to build a high-speed, next-generation wireless network,” he explained. “And you managed to install it with six people in only four days without raising tuition.”
Today, Marquette is one of America’s most connected universities, and enrollment is near the highest it’s been in 30 years.
And what’s more, they told nearby towns that if they allowed the University to retrofit their towers with new equipment to expand its network, then their schools, first responders, city governments could use it too. As a result, police officers can access crime databases in their cars and firefighters can download blueprints on the way to a burning building.
It’s opening up an entire world to local entrepreneurs, too. For local businesses, broadband access is helping them grow and prosper and compete in a global economy.
WATCH the video explaining how the new national initiative will help the US innovate in the 21st century…