Monday, January 26, 2009

The Obama Presidency: Good for the Internet?

Known for using the Blackberry and social networking on the Internet to his political advantage, will newly elected US President Barack Obama return the favor by improving America’s Internet infrastructure?

By: Vanessa Uy

Despite attempts at objectivity, most of us still find it hard not to fall in love with the newly elected US President Barack Obama, especially his political platform. But basing on his “restoring science to its rightful place” portion of his inaugural speech, does the newly elected president be able to fulfil his promise of improving America’s Internet infrastructure which according to some telecommunications experts is on average 15 years out of date. Even President Obama’s Internet address points out that the US is ranked 15th in global broadband adoption.

According to save the, broadband technology in the US is not only in some parts 15 years behind, but also even in highly urbanized areas, broadband Internet infrastructure is largely underutilized – even untapped – when it comes to its educational related use. Given the on-going global economic downturn, should information technology firms reevaluate their goals for 2009? Especially when most of the world’s commercial activity is now under Internet hegemony.

Calling US President Barack Obama as the first “Internet President” would be an understatement if you knew the true extent of his knowledge of the utility of the on-line medium when it comes to the US political campaign landscape. Not only that, he is also the first US president to have his official portrait taken with a digital camera, it is safe to say that President Obama is also the first US president to have fully embraced the “digital revolution”. Given President Obama’s affinity and savvy of the Internet, is there anything he has to gain from it in its improvement.

President Obama’s “Blackberry dependence” would be less of a headache to the US Secret Service personnel assigned to him if the Internet infrastructure is improved to the point that on-line security safeguards can be added with the ease comparable to that of mathematical geniuses envision very large prime numbers. Plus an improved American Internet system could create its own contribution in stimulating the ailing global economy since these days our worldwide commerce is largely Internet-based. Not only that, education – on a global scale - could benefit as well when new ideas can easily be spread around the world. Like reexamining the way we approach in the treatment of some cancers and related medical research. The Internet is now an indispensable part of the global economy. If America starts to improve theirs, very soon, our global economic downturn will not last as long as predicted by naysayers.