Obama to reveal wireless broadband plans during Michigan speech

President Obama will use a speech at Northern Michigan University to explain his administration's plans for delivering wireless broadband access to 98 percent of the American populace. The telecommunications industry and its friends in the broadcast space could be hanging on every word.

The plan could affect broadcasters which would, in turn, affect cable operators and other service providers who have to deal with broadcasters. The FCC has been trying to find ways to pry more spectrum from the death grip of broadcasters. If it succeeds--and the plan seems to hinge on that spectrum--the broadcasters would be more dependent on cable, telco and satellite service providers to get their signals to end users. This, in turn, could have an impact on must-carry and retransmission deals.

The administration's aim, though, is less concerned with incumbents and more concerned with bringing rural America up to speed with broadband. "It's an economic story of empowerment," White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said. "Rural stakeholders see this as a critical piece to participate in the 21st century economy."

For more:
- the Washington Post has this story

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