President Bush said some smart things today on innovation at the Commerce Department. Along the way, his address hit on electronic medical records, distance medicine and distance learning, and innovations in border security. But for telecom diehards, the juicy stuff was saved for the second half of the speech when he talked about making broadband affordable (no taxes on it) and regulator mandated unbundling (support for the FCC decision). He also hit on BPL and Wi-Fi as promising new technologies.
At a separate venue, Senator Kerry talked about the digital television transition today. While I haven't seen the text of his speech, the Kerry plan on technology and innovation is here.
My take: It is about time. Major party candidates near-always give lip-service to telecom and technology issues. Al Gore invented it. Bob Dole thought it would make him hip. (He didn't and it didn't.) This year concrete policy proposals are being put forward on spectrum, DTV, and wireline broadband. These are not the easiest issues to put on bumper stickers, but they gird much of the economy. A national candidate's attention to tech issues shows his or her seriousness about the future of America.