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Comparing Romney to Obama on potential broadband policy

Posted September 20th, 2012 in Broadband, Election 2012, FCC, Government Regulation, Mitt Romney, net neutrality, Obama and tagged , , , by Alton Drew

Last week the Innovation Technology and Information Foundation released a report comparing the expected policies and platforms of President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and the Republican and Democratic parties in a number of areas including broadband, special access, and spectrum. Here is a summation of the findings in the report.

On broadband, specifically a digital infrastructure, President Obama has promoted a robust wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure capable of supporting an enhanced electrical grid, health care, and education. The Romney campaign has not articulated a position on the nation’s digital infrastructure.

The Obama Administration would like to see high-speed wireless capability within reach of 98% of Americans. The Romney campaign has not taken a position on expanding high-speed wireless access, but current FCC members agree with Democrats on the issue of modernizing the Universal Service Fund mechanism to support access to broadband.

In the area of special access, the Democratic majority on the FCC supports suspending deregulation of special access, while Republicans want to see deregulation continued.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the USF should be modernized so that rural and underserved households receive greater access to broadband services.

Republicans are opposed to the FCC’s net neutrality rules that were imposed in December 2010. Democrats, including the President, have been steadfast about removing the rules. While Democrats would like to see net neutrality rules not applied to wireless services, Republicans want the same forbearance for both broadband wireline and wireless services.

Can we really say we see any surprises?

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Mittens is not a Social Media Shot Caller, Baller Like POTUS. Not Yet Anyway.

Seems like presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Willard M. Romney has a ways to go to catch up with incumbent Barack H. Obama in terms of a social media presence, according to Investors.com. Mr. Romney allegedly has 251,000 followers on the micro-blog platform, Twitter. On the social networking behemoth, Facebook, Mr. Romney has 1.6 million “friends”.

Mr. Obama is doing better on both platforms. Mr. Obama has allegedly 14.6 million disciples on Twitter while his Facebook acquaintances number approximately 26 million.

It’s not surprising that Mr. Obama would have a commanding lead in the social media world. He has shown his preference for connectivity via technology ever since entering the White House and making arrangements for a special Blackberry that would allow him to stay connected while keeping people with ill will at bay.

Also given Mr. Obama’s relative youth and being a member of a minority demographic that makes disproportionate use of cellphones and Twitter, not only should we find Mr. Obama to be a proponent of social media use, but we should also expect him to exploit it to its fullest.

It’s not to say that Mittens can’t catch up. At this juncture it’s about how you leverage those social media resources versus how many Twitter followers are making you feel like Jesus.

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Surprising that Romney Hasn’t Harped on Wireless Broadband as a Driver for the Economy

Posted April 19th, 2012 in Broadband, CTIA, economy, Election 2012, Mitt Romney and tagged , , , by Alton Drew

We are in the silly season of American politics. The presumptive nominee for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Willard Romney may be facing incumbent President Barack Obama in the November general election. Mr. Romney comes from the tech-prevalent state of Massachusetts, yet has failed to leverage in his campaign any experience he has with the benefits of technology in his home state.

It’s a missed opportunity. According to the CTIA, wireless data traffic has increased 123% over last year. In 2010 there were 62 million mobile-to-mobile devices worldwide. By 2020, that number, according to data cited by CTIA, is expected to top 16 billion.

CTIA also addressed the economy, concluding that for every dollar invested in wireless broadband, $7-$10 dollars would be added to our gross domestic product. Along with growth in GDP would come an additional 771,000 jobs added for the purpose of deploying 4G networks. These jobs would pay on average 50% more than jobs in other production industries.

Talking economic growth without mentioning the nation’s biggest influence on economic growth is like bringing a gun to a gun fight without any bullets.