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More Jobs After Obama Approves Broadband Capacity Expansion?

More Jobs After Obama Approves Broadband Capacity Expansion?

US President Barack Obama (L) and US General David Petraeus make their way through the Colonnade for Obama to make a statement in the Rose Garden June 23, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC. [AP]

June 28, 2010

President Obama signs a memorandum today committing the government to provide 500 MHz worth of new broadband to ease the use of electronic equipment ranging from cell phones to laptop computers.

Under the memorandum, the government will begin identifying specific sources of the new spectrum; they will come from both the public and private sectors, including television broadcast and mobile satellite facilities.

“The President’s plan will nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum available to unleash the innovative potential of wireless broadband,” says Larry Summers, director of Obama’s National Economic Council. “This initiative will catalyze private sector investment, contribute to economic growth, and help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

The comments are from excerpts of a speech Summers plans to deliver later today to the New America Foundation.

Here are some other comments Summers plans to make:

• This is policy is a win three times over. It creates prosperity and jobs while at the same time raising revenue for public purposes like public safety and increasing our ability to compete internationally.

• The most important innovations are those that create possibilities that could not have previously been imagined, and with them create the industries of the future and millions of new jobs . Projects like these do not come along every generation. We are in the middle of another one of those revolutions right now.

• A crucial task of government in the years ahead will be to support job creation through measures that increase private demand. This is why promoting exports is so important and that is why creating new access to the spectrum is so important.

• At their root, these initiatives involve the government acting as a catalyst for private sector investments and growth.

In the tradition of transcontinental railroad and the land grant colleges and universities, opening up spectrum will create the foundation for new private sector investment and economic activity that would not have been possible without the coordinating and organizing role of government.

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