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Obama delivering on promise for nationwide wireless access

by Kelly MacNeil on February 10, 2011

In his January 25 State of the Union Address, President Obama promised to bring nationwide wireless coverage to the United States, and on Wednesday, February 10, the president followed through with a $5 billion wireless investment plan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, the wireless access initiative will not only create jobs and increase rural access to the internet, but also decrease the government deficit via sale of the wireless spectrum.

"Within the next five years, we'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans,” promised Obama in his State of the Union Address. “It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It's about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world."

According to the International Business Times, the new government investment in wireless will include 4G high-speed access, a national wireless spectrum devoted to public safety, and a $10 billion contribution to help reduce the national deficit, an amount made possible through sales generated from the wireless spectrum auction.

The current government deficit, which is not the same as the national trade deficit, is about $14.13 trillion and 96.4 percent of 2010's gross domestic product, according to the United States Department of Treasury's 2010 Debt Position and Activity Report.

While Obama's State of the Union focused on ways to make America more competitive in business and job-creation, the president's announcement on the nationwide wireless plan will be made in Marquette, Michigan, a region that has benefited from increased wireless access for small businesses.

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