The first Presidential Debate was all about creating jobs for the middle-class. But leaving out broadband as a key economic driver was an oversight and mistake by both candidates. Observers seemed more concerned with presentation, preparedness, and likeability. In essence, the focus incorrectly shifted to a winner and loser based on personal semantics. Each candidate missed a great opportunity to tout broadband as a 21st Century job creator for America.
Besides the Wireless Industry, which still enjoys a resemblance of competitiveness in the marketplace, our broadband wire-line infrastructure is woefully inadequate to meet future economic needs. As a global competitor we rank about 20th in speeds, pricing, and accompanying availability for business startup access and growth. While other countries enjoy fast and cheap broadband to fuel economic viability, we continue to allow a few large companies to control these important metrics.
National Broadband Infrastructure
Having a national broadband infrastructure plan to wire our country with a globally competitive model creating jobs that are permanent and sustainable should be a top political message for both candidates. The void in over-hauling our vast infrastructure, while creating a needed competitive environment for true innovation, is unmistakable in my opinion. Google Fiber Project, a private company initiative in Kansas City, seems to be the only move to change the broadband competitive landscape.
As with our current National Interstate Highway System, created by Dwight Eisenhower, which connected businesses with delivery of goods; a national broadband system should be implemented as global competitiveness is shifting to an Internet-based economy. Granted, it is a challenging task due to our geographic boundaries, but as our historical national highway system proved, sustainable jobs were created both directly and indirectly, driving economic prosperity for the middle-class.
Middle Class Economics
Believing that putting Americans back to work is a key metric in solving our debt crisis, both Obama and Romney should be outlining solutions that can have a long-term impact on raising the standard of living. Competition is a true driver with government partnering with private sector businesses to accomplish the task. But dealing with personal semantics is any indication of future debates; we will miss the point in the power of broadband to bring us together in solving our economic issues.
A bi-partisan effort to strengthen America’s global economic impact must not be under estimated, not only for short-term success, but long-term generational success and broadband is a major player to that end. Our nation cannot be divided in solving our most pressing issues, less we fail our social responsibility in bringing back the economic power once enjoyed by all Americans.