U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday proposed that the government auction off its portion of the wireless spectrum to private companies. He says the move would boost access to high-speed Internet and cut the federal budget deficit at the same time.

Speaking at Northern Michigan University, Obama said in his prepared remarks that the government could gain as much as $28 billion from the sales.

The proposal calls for the government to invest $5 billion into a so-called "Universal Service Fund" designed to ensure public broadband access, $10.7 billion to set up a wireless network for public safety, $3 billion for research and development of wireless technologies and $9.6 billion to pay down the deficit.

The auctions would enable businesses to provide Internet access to at least 98% of Americans -- up from almost 95% today -- within five years, Obama said.

The remarks follow up Obama's most recent State of the Union address, in which he vowed to make high-speed wireless access available to almost all Americans. Access to so-called "4G" technology, which is more than 10 times faster than current high-speed access systems, would help spur economic development while improving public safety, Obama said.


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gpfs

Anyone notice who the big invester was in the North Dakota oil find? CHINA! I wonder who the big investor will be in this plan? I have this urge to do laundry!

February 11 2011 at 12:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jkennedy806

Yup and then HE can install the kill switch. Stay out of telecommunications Barry, you have tanked the economy with your fraudster banksters and how about Axelrod's wife getting her fund raiser bank rolled by Bof A. Just stay out of it.

February 11 2011 at 11:14 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dwuzze

Gee, Obama can sell "air" to private business as a defecit reducer and all the pukes can think of is taking food programs and such from poor people

February 11 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dwuzze's comment
jkennedy806

How's he going to do this?? I have dial up

February 11 2011 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jkennedy806

How's he going to do this?? I have dial up

February 11 2011 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
acyrerre

JUST MORE TAX PAYERS MONEY GOING DOWN THE DRAIN. MORE B.S. FROM A LOUZY LEADER.

February 11 2011 at 9:30 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cwaged1002

So the Government (taxpayers) is going to spend billions to set up the Wifi system nation wide then sell it to private industry(who will be able to deduct the amount of purchase against Corp Taxes Owed) who will then reap billions in profits from consumers. Who says Obama is not a friend of "Business?" The working class may as well lay down die, there is no future for them.

February 11 2011 at 9:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cwaged1002's comment
Trevor

First, the goons are NOT proposing "to spend billions to set up the Wifi system nation wide then sell it to private industry". Instead they are proposing to SELL the spectrum required for nationwide broadband so the PRIVATE SECTOR can "spend billions to set up the Wifi system nation wide". In other words, spectrum is akin to a raw material used in production. While the raw material by itself might be a required component of the finished good, BY ITSELF the raw material is of little utility. The government is properly realizing in this case that government ownership of the means of production is a recipe for failure, as can be plainly observed by looking around the world. Moreover, how will private secotr entitities "eap billions in profits from consumers" if not by providing a good or service that is in demand by consumers? Would you rather than consumers don't receive the goods and services they demand so as to limit the profits generated by virute of providing those goods and services. Why not just chop off your nose to spite your face?

February 11 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
almagayle50

The pres should be careful. With all Americans having access to high speed internet, he might find out they're as angry as the Egyptians.

February 11 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to almagayle50's comment
jkennedy806

I am as angry as the people in Egypt. I have a government that doesn't listen to me neither do Repub or Dem's. The government gives money to foreign countries and illegal aliens, financially supports useless programs that do nothing TARP/HAMP, and I sit here trying to find a job, any job.
Is he going to construct the satellite dish receivers along the same route as the high speed rail system he's hooting and hollering about. Oh and if he decides to kill PELL grants, he won't be visiting many colleges every weeks cause the Dean will not be his best friend anymore.

February 11 2011 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
licwinko

i'm confused with this article, if the government is going to auction off its portion of the wireless spectrum, then why is the government investing 5 billion - universal service fund - i don't know, makes me uneasy, like the internet will be monitored by the government, its hard enough now to try and find actual truths on the economy and percentages........for a minute there a flash of cuba went through my mind.....maybe i just need more coffee, or its just too early

February 11 2011 at 4:22 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to licwinko's comment
Trevor

The government is proposing to use a portion ($5 billion) of the total sales proceeds ($28 billion) in an attempt to more broadly extend access to sparsely populated areas where such access might likely be otherwise uneconomic. The good news is selling to the private sector assets that are not germane to the intended role of government makes the goons less important in citizens lives, while helping to ensure those assets are utilized in a manner deemed most useful by the private sector instead of being misallocated to serve the needs of the goons. The bad news is using a portion of those sale proceeds to finance the inherently failed assumption that goons know more regarding the allocation of citizens resources to braodband access than do citizens. Just like previous failed social engineering in areas like home ownership or education or health care, the view that broadband access is some "public good" is certain to create more harm than good. Can you say, "unintended consequences"?

February 11 2011 at 10:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
WHO EVER WHAT EV

What are the consequences for selling the governments portion of the wireless spectrum? Is it worth it for just 3% of the population and a spending spree with the money made? I appreciate trying to pay some on the deficit though but it's such a small amount compared to how much is made from this sell.

February 10 2011 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Lapp

Get and stay of the section of the economy. You deal with the rest of the worlds governments.

February 10 2011 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dave Lapp's comment
thependance

What does this say?

February 10 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply