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Obama to give speech on Internet access in Iowa Wednesday


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21552463Des Moines Register:

President Barack Obama is coming back to Iowa next week to pitch ideas for expanding Internet access.


On Wednesday, Obama will fly in to give a speech proposing new steps to increase access to affordable, high-speed broadband across the country, a White House official told The Des Moines Register on Saturday morning.


"Further details on the president's travel to Iowa will be available in the coming days," the official said.


Sources told the Register that Cedar Falls Utilities will host the event at 2 p.m.


Cedar Falls is Iowa's only gigabit city, which means the highest-speed fiber, with capacity up to 1 gigabit per second, is laid directly to homes and businesses - the gold standard of Internet communications.


Broadband is also one of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's top initiatives for the upcoming session of the Iowa Legislature, although a proposal he backed failed to pass in the statehouse last year. Obama's visit will fall a day after Branstad formally unveils his revamped "Connect Every Acre" plan, which would offer incentives aimed at ensuring Iowa farmers have mobile broadband access in fields where they run increasingly high-tech agricultural machinery.


Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said in a statement on Saturday: "We appreciate that President Obama recognizes Governor Branstad's work to make Iowa a leader in connecting its citizens, main street businesses, schools and agriculture to high-speed broadband internet. In this legislative session, the governor will continue to aggressively pursue legislation that positions Iowa for the future by connecting every acre of the state through high-speed broadband internet."



If the Internet goes public, these promises won't mean much...


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