Benton Delivers Broadband Action Plan to Obama Administration
December 2, 2008
Implementation of the America COMPETES Act to Craft National Broadband Strategy
In a visionary blueprint for the use of technology and innovation, the Benton Foundation proposes that President-Elect Barack Obama take immediate action to connect the nation to broadband, which will unleash billions of dollars in economic development, create over a million jobs, enhance America?s global competitiveness, deliver superior health care and education, reduce energy consumption and environmental degradation, improve public safety and homeland security, and reinvigorate democracy.
"On January 20, 2009, Americans will turn to President Barack Obama to make good on the promises he made during the 2008 election," said Charles Benton, Chairman, CEO and Trustee of the Benton Foundation. "One clear goal articulated by candidate Obama is that every American should have the highest speed broadband access - no matter where they live, or how much money they have. This goal is not achievable overnight nor with the simple stroke of a pen. However, President Obama can immediately exercise strong leadership to improve the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy by acting to craft a National Broadband Strategy."
AN ACTION PLAN FOR AMERICA: Using Technology and Innovation to Address Our Nation?s Critical Challenges offers a draft Executive Order to implement the America COMPETES Act, legislation which Sen. Obama co-sponsored. Specifically, the Benton Foundation calls on President-Elect Obama to take immediate action to establish a Presidential Council on innovation and competitiveness, a provision of the law he helped perfect, but that has been swept under the rug by President Bush.
"In this time of economic hardship, the Obama Administration should undertake a concerted national effort to deploy universal, robust, open, and affordable broadband Internet access that will unleash billions of dollars of economic development and create over a million jobs," said ACTION PLAN author Jonathan Rintels, Executive Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media. "This critical 21st century investment in broadband will vastly outweigh its cost, delivering better health care, education, energy conservation, homeland security, government transparency, and other benefits for generations to come."
The Presidential Council envisioned by Congress in the America COMPETES Act would include policymakers at the highest level of government and 50 experts chosen by the President. The Council will deliver by January 1, 2010 a National Broadband Strategy, a coherent road map of goals and policies that complement and accelerate efforts in the marketplace to achieve universal adoption of affordable high-speed Internet connections.
"By adopting a bold and imaginative action plan on Day One to connect all of our citizens to robust and affordable broadband, President Obama will enable America to catch up to and surpass our global competitors on broadband, while at the same time utilizing technology and innovation to address our nation?s critical challenges. The President will deliver to all our citizens the opportunity they seek for their children and themselves: to reach for the American Dream in the Digital Age," said Charles Benton
A copy of the report is available at: http://benton.org/action_plan
Jonathan Rintels wrote this report. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization formed by creative artists to preserve in America?s media the original, independent, and diverse creative voices that enrich our nation?s culture and safeguard its democracy. Creative Voices? Board of Advisors includes many prominent Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Peabody, and other award-winning media artists.
The Benton Foundation is a private foundation that works to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy. We pursue this mission by demonstrating the value of media and telecommunications for improving the quality of life for all. Also see Universal Affordable Broadband for All Americans How to Modernize Universal Service for the 21st Century and Connect Americans to a New Era of Digital Opportunity by Benton Foundation Senior Fellow Jim Kohlenberger ().
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