Obama announces initiatives to expand broadband access

June 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama announced several initiatives Friday to expand broadband and provide more access for wireless Internet users.

The initiatives include a memorandum directing federal agencies to be more efficient in their use of the broadband spectrum, making more capacity available to consumer and business broadband users, the White House said.

The administration also plans to invest $100 million in spectrum-sharing and advanced communications.

The administration also plans a "Spectrum Technology Day" to showcase "advances in spectrum sharing and other innovations aimed at satisfying the nation's surging demand for wireless services and applications," the White House said.

The White House also released a report, "Four Years of Broadband Growth," concerning actions the administration has taken to expand broadband access. The report's findings included:

-- Since 2009, the percentage of American homes reached by high-speed broadband networks more than quadrupled from less than 20 percent to more than 80 percent, and average broadband speeds have doubled.

-- From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of American households with a home connection to broadband has surged from 4.4 percent to 67 percent.

-- Annual investment in U.S. wireless networks grew more than 40 percent from 2009 to 2012, from $21 billion to $30 billion.

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