It seems that even when IP communications gets a mentioned in the State of the Union address, it is only as a prop for some other thing. The 2011 State of the Union address had 6940 words, 6 mentions of the Internet and no mention of telecom, telecommunications or related words. As bad as this looks, it is still better than last year where out of 7291 words, there was no mention of any of the above.
President Obama failure to telecommunications last night continues to disturb me. This is an industry that supports millions of jobs, is essential to the success of nearly every business and must be continually improved in order to remain competitive in a global economy. There was a reference regarding broadband access and to the speed of existing services. However, there was no clarion call to expand access or speeds. President Obama referred to the Internet to promote the concept of infrastructure investments and innovation. That’s not a bad thing, it just doesn’t advance the issues of Access, Speed and Price (ASP), nor does it allude to the important policies the FCC decides in addressing access charges, net neutrality or universal service reform.
I understand the change in the political climate in Washington and across the country. I do not think raising the consciousness of the value and importance of telecommunications in this country increases the deficit or size of government. In fact, I am very much against government initiatives that address access as I maintain that it is only by examining the three elements, access, speed and price (ASP) that we understand our telecommunications position in the world.
I do not buy into platitudes or actions done for show. However, when President Obama appointed America’s first CIO and CTO, I expected more emphasis on the use of technology to improve our lives and our government. Regrettably, conducting a Google search on Aneesh Chopra or Vivek Kundra doesn’t pull up any recent speeches or achievements. They are so little known that I bet you don’t know which is America’s CIO or CTO and I am not going to tell you.
Last night’s speech raised some very interesting points regarding the merits of infrastructure and technology investment but they were popular buzz words; high speed rail, clean energy, and education. Wireless did make the speech so there is still hope for a real national discussion about the direction of telecommunications, broadband, VoIP, SIP Trunking and, key to Broadvox’s merger success, Unified Communications.