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Anna Gomez, Deputy Administrator NTIA, Introduces Out Connect - Infrastructure for the 21st Century Transcript

It is a pleasure to  be here to  participate in the  Competes video  series and to  discuss the  important role of  broadband Internet  in boosting  America's  competitiveness. One of  the Obama  Administration's  priorities is  expanding  affordable access  to and adoption of  high-speed Internet  in America. This is  a key element of  the President's  strategy to build the  innovation economy  of the future -- one  that supports new  and better jobs, and  enhances  America's global  competitiveness. Our emphasis on  broadband stems  from the fact that it  is a vital link to  providing  opportunities to our  citizens to  participate more  fully in the global economy.  When  you don't have  regular access to  high-speed Internet,  you don't have  access to all the  educational and employment  opportunities it  provides.  Consider this:

Approximately 80  percent  of Fortune  500 companies only  accept job  applications online.

About 60 percent  of working  Americans use the  Internet as an  integral part of their  jobs.

And, Global online  transactions total  an estimated $10  trillion annually.

But despite the  growing importance  of the Internet in  daily life, 28 percent  of Americans never  go online. Many  towns and anchor  institutions - such  as schools,  libraries, and hospitals-- do not  have adequate  broadband service. Thanks to the  Recovery Act, I'm  pleased to say that  NTIA is investing in  a host of projects  nationwide to help  close the gap.

NTIA is overseeing  approximately 230  projects to expand  broadband access  and adoption.  These projects are building and  upgrading  broadband  infrastructure,  expanding and  improving public  computer centers,  and promoting sustainable  broadband adoption  through computer  training and other  approaches.  Because of these  grants, small  businesses in  Vermont are  receiving training to  better utilize the  Internet.  Unemployed  residents in West  Virginia are using  resource centers to  access the Internet  to seek employment and  learn basic  computer skills. And, our projects  have connected fire  stations in  Maryland,  elementary schools  in Hawaii, and rural  health clinics in  Alabama to high- speed broadband  Internet. More high-speed Internet means  more small  businesses,  entrepreneurs and  farmers with better  access to:  National and  international markets,   Skilled  employees; and a broader array of  vendors, suppliers and customers.

We will continue to  vigorously oversee  the projects to  ensure they are  completed on time,  on budget, and  deliver the  promised benefits  to communities.   I encourage you to  explore the web site  and learn more  about the  importance of  digital infrastructure  to America's  competativeness.
Thank you.