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Obama's Plans for Mobile Broadband for Everyone

Earlier this week, U.S. President Obama gave his State of the Union speech, which was enhanced with slides for the first time ever.

While many topics were touched upon and lofty goals were set (quite a number of which won't even be near realized even if Obama serves another term), the ones that caught our eye had to do with technology.

The USA is vast, and its population is spread out. Unlike a nation like Japan or Korea, covering an entire country with a similar level of internet and wireless service is a considerably more difficult undertaking. (Canada faces the same challenges, but the vast majority of its population lives in the southern part of the country.

Obama set the goal to blanket 98 percent of the U.S. population with high-speed wireless coverage. He did not specify if this would be done through investments from AT&T, Verizon, or other carriers, nor did he reveal how many G's this wireless coverage would have. He did say:

"Our infrastructure used to be the best, but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater Internet access than we do."

"Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn't just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age. 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."

Check out Gizmodo for a pretty good choice of clippings from Obama's speech. One that we particularly liked was:

"We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair."