State of the Union, 5G Connections Continue to Rise, Georgia and America Pledge Telecom Collaboration

President Joe Biden commented on closing the digital divide in his first State of the Union address.

State of the Union, 5G Connections Continue to Rise, Georgia and America Pledge Telecom Collaboration
Photo of President Joe Biden delivering the State of the Union with Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, by Ashlan Gruwell

March 2, 2022 – President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address Tuesday night, which included a reaffirmation of his administration’s commitment to provide access to high-speed internet to all Americans.

“We’ll… provide affordable high-speed internet for every American—urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities,” said Biden, who in November signed a historic infrastructure bill that includes $65 billion for broadband.

The president also doubled down on the bill’s “Buy American” provision, which requires a chunk of federal funds be spent on American products and which some groups are already pressing to be reviewed because of how much they claim it will hinder builds.

Biden also praised various companies who are investing their own money and creating new jobs, most notably chip maker Intel. Intel will be building a “$20 billion semiconductor ‘mega site’,” which is expected to generate 10,000 new jobs.

In addition, the president shared with the nation that if the American Innovation and Choice Act is passed, Intel will grow their investment to $100 billion, which Biden said “would be one of the biggest investments in manufacturing in American history.”

Over 1 billion 5G connections expected in 2022

Groupe Speciale Mobile Association’s Mobile Economy Report 2022, released Wednesday, projects that 5G connections will surpass one billion in 2022 and two billion by 2025.

Overall, 5G’s rollout performance has been better than its predecessors, 3G and 4G, the report said, which illustrated the point by noting 5.5 percent of all mobile connections were 5G 18 months after 5G’s release, while 3G and 4G held less then 2.2 percent of mobile connections at the same time after their respective launches.

In addition, GSMA, an industry organization representing the interests of global mobile operators, said it projects that in 2025 there will come a time when a fifth of mobile connections will be 5G and that “more than two in five people globally will live within reach of a 5G network.”

Alex Sinclair, the chief technology officer at GSMA, stated that “the launch of 5G services in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year means that the technology is now available in every region of the world, so we are set to see more growth and more transformation for services.”

FCC chairwoman signs a memorandum of understanding with country of Georgia

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and the country of Georgia that promises “bilateral cooperation in telecommunications and media policy,” said an FCC press statement Wednesday.

“Now more than ever it is essential that we come together and renew our commitment to communications that can build connections and help sustain peace…I look forward to strengthening the ties between our agencies and cooperating on communications policies that deliver real results for both of our respective countries,” said Rosenworcel.

Georgia’s signee was Ekaterine Imedadze, the country’s National Communications Commissioner. In 2019, she joined the NCC of Georgia as the head of telecom market regulation and became the commissioner in 2021.

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