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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release October 13, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today, I am pleased to sign an Executive Memorandum that will help ensure that America maintains its leadership in two of the most important technologies driving the U.S. economy -- wireless telecommunications and the Internet. I am directing federal agencies to work with the Federal Communications Commission and the private sector to identify the radio spectrum needed for the "third generation" of wireless technology. These so-called 3G systems will allow Americans to have mobile, high-speed access to the Internet and new telecommunications services anytime, anywhere.

My Administration is committed to strengthening U.S. leadership in the information and communications industry. Over the last five years, the information technology sector has accounted for nearly one-third of U.S. economic growth, and has generated jobs that pay 85 percent more than the private sector average. The action I am taking today will help U.S. high-tech entrepreneurs compete and win in the global marketplace. It also will allow consumers to enjoy a wide range of new wireless tools and technologies, such as handheld devices that combine services like a phone, a computer, a pager, a radio, a customized newspaper, a GPS locator, and a credit card.

I am confident that federal agencies, working with the private sector, can develop a plan for identifying the spectrum that will meet the needs of the wireless industry and is fully consistent with national security and public safety concerns. As made clear in a report released today by my Council of Economic Advisers, time is of the essence. If the United States does not move quickly to allocate this spectrum, there is a danger that the U.S. could lose market share in the industries of the 21st century. If we do this right, it will help ensure continued economic growth, the creation of new high-tech jobs, and the creation of exciting new Internet and telecommunications services.

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