The plan for broadband

Technology blogs and commentators are applauding a part of President-elect Obama's plan for economic recovery laid out in his most recent weekly address: the promise to make broadband internet access available in every corner of the country, and to push hospitals and doctors' offices to improve care and cut costs by adopting electronic medical records.

"It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption," President-elect Obama said in the address. "Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I’m President -- because that’s how we'll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world....[and] the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system -- and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives."

"Bravo!" the technology blog editor Sam Diaz wrote at ZDnet.com.

"Today, we really see what he plans to do," wrote Gizmodo.

"I'll take this opportunity ... to just join in the chorus of celebration that Barack Obama pledged to fix our gawd-awful broadband status in America," Jeff Jarvis wrote at BuzzMachine.com. "It would fast-forward the inevitable. It would spark innovation and jobs and trade and education."

Free Press, a media reform organization that advocates for expanding broadband access, praised the initiative.

"We applaud President-elect Barack Obama's commitment to investing in Internet for everyone as a starting point for economic recovery," Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver said in a statement. "This digital divide isn't just costing us our ranking as a global Internet leader -- it's costing us jobs and money at a time when both are urgently needed."

At its meeting next Thursday, December 18th, the Federal Communications Commission is due to vote on a plan that could lay the groundwork for expanded wireless broadband access as soon as next year. (According to USA Today)

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