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High-Speed Wireless Coverage Part of the American Dream

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January 26, 2011

High-Speed Wireless Coverage Part of the American Dream

By Jaclyn Allard, TMCnet Web Editor

Last night, Jan. 25, U.S. President, Barrack Obama, addressed the American people not as two separate parties, but as fellow human beings, sharing in the pain of the recent Tucson, Ariz., shootings. With two years of contentious debates and fierce bickering behind us, President Obama reminded us it is time to let go of our losses, pick ourselves up and move forward. It is our differences that make us a united American family, and sometimes our humanity is shaken such as with recent events, but we remain bound as one people, always looking ahead with dreams, plans and determination.

President Obama commented on the nation’s next steps saying, “What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.” Among the many collaborative plans for tomorrow, such as education, immigration, road and rail work, President Obama addressed the need to expand high-speed wireless services to meet the voracious appetite of consumers and businesses that would help give momentum to the initial positive changes we have been seeing in the economy recently.

Take for instance Google, as TMC (News - Alert) recently reported, it was a strong quarter for Google (News - Alert), originally estimated around $6.06 billion, with an actual reported 4Q revenue of $6.40 billion. Lots of online shopping means more searches for products, more advertisement clickthroughs, and higher rates for those advertisements. With the 2010 holiday season behind us it was apparent consumers continue to use mobile technology and Web self-services as shopping tools. Throughout December, 5.6 percent of all site visits were initiated from a mobile device. IBM (News - Alert) in an analysis found that both Black Friday 2010 and Cyber Monday (News - Alert) 2010 delivered strong double-digit growth over 2009.

Commenting on the recession’s hard hit to American morale, “[The] world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I've seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts on once busy Main Streets. I've heard it in the frustrations of Americans who've seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear — proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game….The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there's an Internet connection.”

Therefore, it only makes sense to push for the growth of high-speed wireless coverage. President Obama expressed his belief that within five years we can make it possible for businesses to deploy the next-generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. The main goal here is to connect every part of America to the digital age. However, there appears to be some public debate on if the task is possible since airwaves are a finite resource and demand is almost limitless.

President Obama urged us to remember that “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. It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.”

The digital age is upon us, and as TMC reported, in the past few years there has been an increase in the use of home computers for Web meetings and as a cost-effective way to make phone calls. Started in the business world, the practice now has moved into the homes of millions, who are taking advantage of this form of communication. It has become “commonplace” to connect and meet with family, friends, even doctors via the Web. In order to deal with the needs of the patients, doctors have begun to recognize the value of Web meetings. Retirement communities are assisting residents with connecting to loved ones and doctors.

Endorsing the construction of 500 megahertz of wireless airwaves, or spectrum, The Obama administration plans to meet the growing demand for broadband services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) hopes to repurpose 120 megahertz of spectrum through incentive auctions where television broadcasters would voluntarily give up spectrum.

The question, however, is how easily will television broadcasters be swayed to exchange spectrum for a cut of the proceeds? Is President Obama’s declaration to work together tomorrow persuading enough?

Jaclyn Allard is a TMCnet copy editor. She most recently worked on the production team at Juran Institute, a quality consulting firm producing its own training and marketing materials. Previously, she interned at Curbstone Press, a nonprofit publishing press in Willimantic, CT, and fulfilled the role of Editor-in-Chief for the literature and arts journal published by the University of Connecticut. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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