At yesterday's White House Science Fair, President Obama announced that we've reached our major broadband connectivity goal -- 98 percent of Americans nationwide are now connected to high-speed wireless Internet, surpassing any point in history.
"Four years ago, I set a national goal to provide 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless Internet so that any young scientist or entrepreneur could access the world’s information," the President said. "Today, I can announce that we have achieved that goal, and we did it ahead of schedule."
In 2011, President Obama challenged the public and private sectors to work together to expand wireless access, and set the ambitious goal of providing 4G mobile broadband to at least 98 percent of Americans. To help reach this goal, the President launched his ConnectED initiative in June of 2013, designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. It also empowers teachers with the best technology and training to make the most of it.
The President also traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa earlier this year to announce his plan to promote “Broadband that Works” -- a public-private effort to help more Americans get access to fast and affordable broadband.
Both prior to and during this year's State of the Union address, the President released new aspects of his plan to ensure all Americans have access to affordable high-speed broadband. You can watch the President outline some of these aspects here:
Initiatives like these are the reason that we are nearly two years ahead of schedule when it comes to connecting Americans to high-speed wireless Internet.
But we’re not stopping there. The President also announced yesterday that he’s creating a new team called the Broadband Opportunity Council, which will be co-chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Agriculture and made up of leaders across government who will work with businesses and communities to invest in next-generation Internet nationwide. This includes a special focus on rural and underserved Americans. More than $7 billion of Recovery Act funding went to increasing broadband connectivity to underserved areas, and we have installed or upgraded more than 174,000 miles of high-speed broadband infrastructure.
Finally, the White House will carry forward this momentum by hosting the Community Broadband Summit this June. The summit will help connect community leaders so they can learn from one another and hear about our progress on other broadband initiatives.