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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.
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.
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.
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.