Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Obama's Technology Plan

Barack Obama will unveil his Technology Plan before a visit today at the Google Headquarters. Senator Obama plans to appoint a technology czar, appropriately called Chief Technology Officer, or CTO.

Obama's policy for Open Government will put the new CTO in charge of open meetings which are transmitted via live feed between his Cabinet members, legislators and various agencies. Even more exciting is that he plans for a public comment period on the White House web site before legislation is signed.

He plans to aggressively support broadband access, and even wants to change the subsidies that are given to carriers to only include those who are providing both phone and broadband to rural areas.

He wants to make the open wireless spectrum available to lease to 3rd parties, so that major companies cannot buy it and sit on it to prevent competition.

Obama has come out before in support of Network Neutrality, but this is more comprehensive. Obama's plan imposes minimal regulatory burden. While he would allow the idea of offering "tiers", his plan makes certain that all companies are offered the same terms.

He calls for a review of the H1-B visa program, first by trying to bring the jobs to America through training, but secondly to remove or alter the country-specific caps on permanent visas. This will protect the workers from exploitation by employers, because of limitations on short-term visas.

Overall, this plan is very encouraging, because we've had so many people making laws and decisions about technology that do not understand it. I compare it to Utah's putting teetotalers in charge of the booze. It makes no sense. We definitely need the Technology Czar!

[Update] JM Bell has video!

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