As with many, I watched the State of the Nation speech given by President Obama last night. I was interested in the overall speech and like many of you; I have an opinion regarding its effectiveness in dealing with our current economic environment and confidence levels. However, this blog is about IP Communications and any and all activities that affect it. To that end, I caught only one word, "broadband". It was use in a fashion that assumed Americans understand the issues with "laying broadband". I am certain they do not.
Years ago, we coined a phrase "Information Super Highway". It was during a time that access to the Internet was primarily through dial up access at rate hovering around 24kbs. Today we really need to have an information super highway that can position our businesses, industries and education system to compete and interact with other countries.
It was a great applause line regarding high school dropout rates to say, "It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country." However, without improved access, reduced prices and higher bandwidth, schools, businesses and industry will not be able to maintain the perceived leadership position of this country. Polling shows that we are barely in the top ten when broadband access is compared to other industrialized nations. Polling shows that most Americans that do not have broadband do not understand the value of it. If we are going to create a "Super Highway" that has the same value to our economic system as the Interstate Highway system, broadband needs to be listed as a priority by the people not just bureaucrats and technocrats. And to do that, it must be understood.
President Obama identifies the national railroads and land grant colleges established under Lincoln as visionary and a symbol of leadership during a difficult time. I am certain that he and his potential nominee for the FCC believe the expansion of broadband is strategic to our nation. I would only note that using broadband once out of 6,242 words is not enough.