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Top 10 technology priorities for president Obama

09 Nov 2012
US President Barack Obama

Earlier this week citizens in the US decided that president Barack Obama was deserving of a second term as leader of the free world, re-electing the president over challenger Mitt Romney.

While Obama has plenty of work to do in nearly every facet of the country, notably the economy, many of his most important challenges lie in the technology sector, also a key sector for future economic growth.

And what happens in the US often impacts on the rest of the world including the UK, so it's with great interest that we await the next four years of Obama's presidency to see what action he takes, if any, on the key issues facing the sector.

V3 has put together a countdown of what we see as his 10 biggest issues to deal with as he begins the next four years as commander-in-chief.

10. Net neutrality legislation

Tunnel of numbered data This is an issue which has been on the table since President Obama began his first term. Consumer rights groups want regulations put in place so carriers cannot deliberately throttle or limit traffic based on the application being used or the destination of the connection.

Carriers, meanwhile, argue that the government is attempting to regulate their ability to manage traffic on their networks and optimise connection speeds. The FCC recently tried to put strong protections in place, but conservatives moved to block or limit the protections.

Hopefully by 2016 we will finally have concrete guidelines put in place regarding network neutrality. 

9. Spectrum access for wireless broadband networks

Mobile spectrum antenna against sunsetUsers love wireless broadband platforms, but securing and managing the spectrum space necessary to accommodate them is becoming a hassle. With operating frequencies at a premium, carriers are buying and selling wireless spectrum blocks for billions of dollars.

Part of this was enabled by a move from the government to repurpose frequencies not being used for other purposes. Much like the UK, spectrum from areas such as government communications and analogue TV transmissions were repurposed and licenced for wireless broadband networks.

While the repurposing helped, the administration will need to stay on top of the issue if it wants to keep up with the soaring demands being placed on service providers.

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Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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