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President Bush comes out in support of broadband

Thu, 06/13/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

In what was most likely music to the tech industry's ears, President George W. Bush said "this country must be aggressive about the expansion of broadband, we have to."

In a speech to high-tech executives yesterday, Bush said the country should commit to deploying high-speed Internet access more rapidly, although he did not outline a specific plan to make this happen. He instead said, "a lot of the action is going to come through the FCC."

"The role of government is not to create wealth; the role of our government is to create an environment in which the entrepreneur can flourish, in which minds can expand, in which technologies can reach new frontiers," said Bush.

Broadband has been a hot topic of debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but tech leaders have been pushing for White House support since January. A group of tech heavyweights visited Washington just before the State of the Union to try and get Bush to mention broadband on the national stage. That obviously did not happen, but many believe the President's speech yesterday is a step in the right direction.

"There's a growing demand for a greater supply of broadband. (Yesterday) the President joined that chorus and we are thrilled," said Michael Boland, senior vice president for Legislative Affairs at Verizon Communications Inc.

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