Today, President Barack Obama went to the country’s first high-speed networked city, Cedar Falls, Iowa to make his case for expanding affordable broadband Internet across the country. While high speed Internet is already available just about everywhere via libraries, schools, and other public WiFi access areas, getting that access into the home has been the call of many liberal politicians. It’s easy to see a city like Cedar Falls as the model for installing high-speed broadband fiber directly to each home. The difference, of course, is that the infrastructure in Cedar Falls wasn’t installed by the federal government, but by a collaboration between private industry and the local government.
Not content to stay with just Cedar Falls, Iowa’s Governor Branstad hopes to see Iowa take the next step and connect every citizen, business, school and rural area to high-speed affordable broadband Internet. The governor hopes to do this via legislation that pairs corporate incentives, tax advantages, and fiscal planning to the initiative. The arguments for affordable broadband service typically center around greater opportunities for economic development and growth a well as the potential for greater access and advantages in education and health care.
The president hasn’t visited Iowa since 2012, so this seems to be a significant issue in his docket that the hopes to influence for passage at the state level. Where it leaves Iowa and advances to any sort of federal legislation remains to be seen (we hope not, as I don’t believe the federal budget has any room for new spending on that scale).
Source: Des Moines Register