Obama rests big goals, hopes in wireless broadband

Obama touted the need for even the most remote areas to get sufficient wireless coverage, saying it will allow farmers in Iowa or Alabama to sell their products globally.

The debate over the D Block of spectrum also appeared to get a brief allusion in the president's speech. He gave a nod to calls for public safety officials to gain access to mobile broadband. 

"It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device," he said.

Obama also made the case for wireless as a boon to education and healthcare, referencing "a student who can take classes with a digital textbook or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."

The White House had already laid bare its belief that the wireless Internet will spur economic growth after it backed policies to devote more of the airwaves to mobile broadband last year. 

 Obama again construed the Internet as a great economic hope during his speech.

"Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection," he said. 

Touting the need to encourage American innovation, he also referred to the the ways the Internet has changed the marketplace. 

"Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution," he said.