State of the Union Speech Addresses Broadband Issues

Pete CodellaBroadband

Last night, President Obama addressed the Congress and the Nation in his State of the Union Address. The President announced several priorities for his administration, including two that we’d like to point out.

First, the President mentioned improving our infrastructure to attract more companies and more jobs to the United States.  Included in the discussion of infrastructure, we were happy to hear mention of high-speed Internet and high-tech schools. 

America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire — a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and Internet; high-tech schools, self-healing power grids.The CEO of Siemens America — a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina — said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And that’s the attitude of a lot of companies all around the world.

The President also announced the issuance of an executive order to address cybersecurity issues.  As we continue to deploy networks and increase number of devices connected to the Internet, there is no doubt that we all need to be aware of security and privacy issues.

America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. Now, we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

And that’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.

But now Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. This is something we should be able to get done on a bipartisan basis.