in rural Nevada, and in cities and towns across the nation.
During a speech on Wednesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the president pointed out that the city of about 40,000 people has among the fastest Internet speeds on the planet.
“So today, Cedar Falls is Iowa’s first gigabit city,” said Obama. “Here’s what it means: Your network is as fast as some of the best networks in the world. There’s Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, Cedar Falls.”
Obama says Cedar Falls has next-generation broadband Internet because it built its own network over the past two decades, rather than depending upon big corporate Internet service providers. He says only about half of rural Americans have access to high-speed Internet from any source.
According to Obama, he is taking executive action that will direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other government agencies to do “everything they can” to expand broadband access in rural America.
“I’m directing federal agencies to get rid of unnecessary regulations that slow the expansion of broadband or limit competition,” said Obama. “The Department of Commerce, they’re going to work to offer support and technical assistance to communities that want to follow your lead and set up their own networks. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing new loan opportunities for rural providers.”
Obama says rural communities have the right to have access to affordable high-speed Internet, which he says has become a necessity for any city, anywhere, to compete in a global economy.