President To Promote Broadband In Iowa Speech

A White House official told the Des Moines Register Saturday that the President will outline new steps to increase access to high-speed broadband when he visits Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jan, 14, which has a 1-Gigabit broadband network provided by Cedar Fall Utilities.

The speech will come only a few days before the President is expected to talk once again in his State of the Union (SOTU) speech (Jann.20) about the importance of high-speed broadband deployment and adoption—it has been a theme in recent SOTU's, as well as cybersecurity and privacy online.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who was a tech policy adviser to candidate Obama and President Obama, has already been doing some spadework on that effort, signaling last week that the FCC wanted to make 25 Mbps (downstream) broadband the new definition of high speed and had concluded that was not being delivered to all Americans in a timely fashion.

The FCC has also made speed a priority in the FCC administered E-rate program for underwriting high-speed broadband to schools and libraries. In last year's State of the Union, the President focused on connecting more schools to high-speed broadband.

Notable for its absence during the SOTU last year was any mention of the state of the network neutrality rules, which the President supported as both candidate and President. But the President has arguable made up for that since then by late last year coming out strongly for Title II reclassification of Internet Access under Title II, arguing that without it ISP's would be able to restrict access.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.