On February 10, President Barack Obama discussed the National Wireless Initiative in an address at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. The Initiative plans to expand wireless coverage to 98 percent of Americans while reducing the deficit by nearly $10 billion by making more government spectrum available.
“…[T]his university tried something new. You partnered with various companies to build a high-speed, next-generation wireless network. And you managed to install it with six people in only four days without raising tuition. Good job. Good job, Mr. President. By the way, if you give me the name of these six people, there’s a whole bunch of stuff in Washington I’d like to see done in four days with six people. So today, this is one of America’s most connected universities, and enrollment is near the highest it’s been in 30 years. And what’s more — and this is what makes this special — you told nearby towns that if they allowed you to retrofit their towers with new equipment to expand your network, then their schools, their first responders, their city governments could use it too. And as a result, police officers can access crime databases in their cars. And firefighters can download blueprints on the way to a burning building. And public works officials can save money by monitoring pumps and equipment remotely. And you’ve created new online learning opportunities for K-12 students as far as 30 miles away, some of whom can’t always make it to school in a place that averages 200 inches of snow a year.” - President Barack Obama