Obama praises FCC plan to expand broadband

President Barack Obama praised the Federal Communications Commission for its new National Broadband Plan, promising he would "build upon" current efforts to expand high-speed Internet access across the country.

In a statement late Tuesday, Obama also seemed to hint at some early areas of agreement between the White House's broadband efforts and the FCC's newly minted broadband goals.

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Obama said he supported programs that improve access to mobile broadband, encourage industry innovation and help establish an "interoperable public safety" network -- all aims the FCC also outlined in its National Broadband Plan, which it released early Tuesday.

Consequently, Obama commended FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for preparing the report, which lawmakers authorized and the president signed into law as part of the 2009 federal stimulus.

"America today is on the verge of a broadband-driven Internet era that will unleash innovation, create new jobs and industries, provide consumers with new powerful sources of information, enhance American safety and security, and connect communities in ways that strengthen our democracy," Obama said in his statement.

"Just as past generations of Americans met the great infrastructure challenges of the day, such as building the Transcontinental railroad and the Interstate highways, so too must we harness the potential of the Internet," he added. "Expanding broadband across the nation will build a foundation of sustained economic growth and the widely shared prosperity we all seek."

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