I was excited to read that President Obama has set his sights on ensuring that cities can develop their own broadband networks, should they choose to do so. While working with the Georgia Municipal Association, we had a couple of close calls that would have prevented Georgia cities from operating their own broadband networks. President Obama is going to hold a press conference tomorrow to outline his plan for improving broadband connectivity. His main initiatives include:
1. Pushing for an end to laws in states that prohibit the development of broadband services;
2. Growing a network of cities committed to growing broadband connectivity in their communities;
3. Provision of technical assistance for the development of broadband networks in community;
4. Offer of loans and grants for rural broadband providers; and
5. Creation of Broadband Opportunity Council tasked with identifying regulatory barriers with the goal speeding up broadband deployment and uptake.
This is important to watch. The US economy is bouncing back in some ways, but there is yet more economic potential to realize. After following the writings of founders and investors like Marc Andreesen and Peter Thiel, I am convinced that the internet economy will be driving that realization for the next several years. We need as many people as possible participating.