Commerce Secretary Don Evans made the following remarks at the Broadband Technology Expo in Washington, D.C. on March 6, 2002:
As the President has made plain, economic security is a top priority for his administration. The high tech industries represented here are the backbone of the American economy in terms of jobs and growth.
- We are here to talk about another issue vital to America's economic security: high speed access to Internet - broadband. The President understands the need to make broadband available to every American, from every walk of life.
- Innovations like broadband are absolutely vital to US economic security. Technology advances are credited with 50 percent of US growth since WWII.
IT alone accounts for two-thirds of productivity growth. In turn, productivity growth reduces price inflation.
IT accounts for one-quarter of US economic growth, so it will help speed economic recovery.
Over the next 10 years, broadband is expected to add half a trillion dollars - $50 B a year - to the economy. And building the national broadband network will create over 1 million new jobs.
- Broadband is the next step in the Internet revolution. It makes Internet surfing seem like riding on a super-fast bullet train, unlike today's slower connections.
- Broadband access and services will revolutionize the way people use the Internet and will provide valuable services to consumers.
Long-distance learning will bring opportunity to people in places where little or none exist today. Ninety percent of American colleges and universities by 2005 will provide education to anyone who can log on, whoever they are and wherever they live.
The real promise of telemedicine envisions people getting home check-ups...24-7 monitoring of patients without confining them to a hospital bed...real time second opinions from the world's foremost experts.
High speed connections will let airport security officials match passenger data against the most current biometric or national security databases. Broadband allows companies to store valuable data off-site, protecting it from a disaster or terrorist attack, such as we saw on September 11th.
Most of our best ideas and innovations come from small businesses. They are well represented here, because they are the ones who will come up with those "killer" applications that will stimulate widespread deployment of broadband technology.
- So the question is: How are we going to make our vision for a new, high speed Internet world a reality? How are we going to get more people using broadband? Answer: Create the right environment...that is precisely what the Bush Economic Plan is all about.
- We need to find ways to unlock demand for broadband.
The President's Committee of Advisers on Science & Technology is looking at roadblocks to broadband deployment and usage.
Commerce's TA & ESA held a March 25 workshop to examine productivity-enhancing applications that will drive broadband usage (such as supply-chain management and customer relations).
Of course, we will continue to work with Congress and the FCC to further roll out broadband.