President includes wireless broadband deployment in jobs package speech

President Obama last week included his wireless broadband deployment plan as part of the American Jobs Act that he announced in a speech to Congress Thursday night.

Part of the plan includes incentive auctions designed to raise funds and free up broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband services.

"Expanding Access to High-Speed Wireless in a Fiscally Responsible Way: The President is calling for a deficit reducing plan to deploy high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans, including those in more remote rural communities, while freeing up spectrum through incentive auctions, spurring innovation, and creating a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety," says a White House-distributed fact sheet on the bill.

The President's plan also calls for $25 billion to be allocated for school modernization that includes Internet-ready classrooms for more than 35,000 schools.

In his speech, the President said he would ask the new bipartisan deficit panel to find enough money to pay for the programs. That suggests that incentive auctions are likely a part of that proposal.

"We applaud the President's recognition of the crucial role mobile broadband can play in spurring job growth and boosting the nation's economy," said Jonathan Spalter, chairman of wireless advocate Mobile Future, said in a statement. "Recent data shows that making additional spectrum available for wireless will lead to 500,000 new jobs in America. We strongly encourage lawmakers to make more wireless spectrum available quickly to meet exploding consumer demand, fuel our technology-driven economy, and unleash investment and new economic opportunities."

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article

Related articles:
CBO: Incentive auctions could bring down national deficit by $6.5B
Spectrum incentive auctions proposal clears Senate committee
As long as they're voluntary, Rep. Walden backs incentive auctions

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