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President Obama Mentions Apple-Backed School Broadband Initiative During State of the Union Address

presidential_seal During his yearly State of the Union address, President Barack Obama mentioned that the Federal Communications Commission, along with tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon, would be providing the framework needed to connect over 15,000 schools and 20 million students to high-speed Internet over the next two years.

The move is a part of the ConnectED initiative that the President announced back in June, which pledged to connect 99% of students to next-generation, high-speed broadband within five years, at speeds no less than 100 Mbps and with a target of 1Gbps.
Last year, I also pledged to connect 99 percent of our students to high-speed broadband over the next four years. Tonight I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, we've got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit.
Apple also provided a statement to The Loop about its role in the ConnectED initiative:
“We are proud to join President Obama in this historic initiative to transform America’s schools,” Apple said in a statement provided to The Loop. “Apple has a long history in education, and we have pledged to contribute MacBooks, iPads, software and our expertise to support the ConnectED project. We look forward to announcing more details with the White House soon.”
An accompanying fact sheet to the State of the Union address [PDF link] also stated that the President will announce "new philanthropic partnerships" with the tech companies mentioned throughout the coming weeks. Apple was also mentioned during last year's State of the Union, with the President lauding the company's move to again build Macs in America.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
---Dom Hélder Câmara

We should have an education system that is properly funded because of a democratic will to take care of every child, rather than having to applaud the bread and circuses distraction of charity and philanthropy.

If the system were working correctly, we wouldn't need welfare, or any other kind of after the fact handout.

Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.
Rating: 21 Votes
12 months ago

Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


Why is it the government's responsibility to do most of this? I agree that education is a purpose of government, however last time I checked I work to feed myself, I work to buy my clothes, I work to pay the mortgage, and I got my job on my own - I didn't need the government to "give me a meaningful [job] to do".

It is not the government's job to do these things. It is an individual's job to do these things. It is in a government's best interest to provide a temporary lifeline for those that fall on bad times, and to make sure that the capitalistic system cannot be taken advantage of by those in power (read: i'm in favor of advancing minimum wage so that those who do work hard can at least afford the above), but in the end, it is an individual's responsibility to provide the means by which they are to survive unless they do not have the physical or mental capacity to do so.
Rating: 11 Votes
12 months ago

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
---Dom Hélder Câmara

We should have an education system that is properly funded because of a democratic will to take care of every child, rather than having to applaud the bread and circuses distraction of charity and philanthropy.

If the system were working correctly, we wouldn't need welfare, or any other kind of after the fact handout.

Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


Seriously, this is the most intelligent comment that I have read on Macrumors in months.
Rating: 10 Votes
12 months ago

Why is this important


Why do you think it isn't?

You just don't get it.

The things you say are straight out of the republican play book.

If you're happy with a country where far too many people are poorly educated and/or can't afford meaningful education, where people have poor jobs, where people can't afford housing, and where crime is prevalent unlike any industrialized nation.

I have questions for you: Is this really your opinion? Is this something that is truly rational and cohesive, in your mind? Or are you simply regurgitating what a large mass of the conservative population thinks they believe?


I'm the furthest thing from a Republican, and the guy is right. None of that is the government's job. People have to learn to take care of themselves. Quit depending on the government to do everything for you. That's how we got in this mess to begin with.
Rating: 9 Votes
12 months ago

... would be providing the framework needed to connect over 15,000 schools and 20 million students to high-speed Internet over the next two years.


Porn.

Cross country sexting.

And a plethora of distractions keeping most kids out of the loop.

I remember something similar back when the iBook was created. It hasn't helped our schools develop better students or academicians. We're slinking down on the world stage, but shoveling money into kitsch-tech which is seen as a magical-pill solution for our ills.

Good for Apple and other tech companies. Good for the big-gov. machine. Bad for 99% of the students and the taxpayers below the salt.
Rating: 8 Votes
12 months ago

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
---Dom Hélder Câmara

We should have an education system that is properly funded because of a democratic will to take care of every child, rather than having to applaud the bread and circuses distraction of charity and philanthropy.

If the system were working correctly, we wouldn't need welfare, or any other kind of after the fact handout.

Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


I like the sound of that, except that you can't legislate people to ignore their nature of greed and envy. The ability to work hard and reap the rewards (not always monetary) is what drives progress. Your utopian world can never work because not every job in society is equal. In who's eyes will it ever be fair to reward a janitor the same as a brain surgeon? Not everyone is intrinsically motivated.
Rating: 8 Votes
12 months ago


Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


Why would I bother to get an education if I know I will be given food, clothes, housing, and a meaningfull job?
Rating: 6 Votes
12 months ago

... If you're happy with a country where far too many people are poorly educated and/or can't afford meaningful education, where people have poor jobs, where people can't afford housing, and where crime is prevalent unlike any industrialized nation. ...


I don't feel you read my comments very well. I specifically made exceptions for education being something the government has responsibility for, and I said that I supported raising the minimum wage so that those who are hard working can afford to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, etc.

What I do not agree with is the notion that it is the government's responsibility to provide food, housing, etc, for the people. While it may be necessary for the government to set policies that allow for these things to be available/affordable, it is an individual responsibility to do what is necessary to obtain them. I do not agree with government handouts of food or housing for anything other than short term lifelines for people who have fallen on bad times or for people who are unable through physical or mental inability to provide for themselves.

The initial quote that I was responding to that I disagreed with (with the above caviats) was this:

Educate people, feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads, give them meaningful work to do, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


I would suggest that this re-phrased quote would be a bit more on-target:

Educate people, provide them the opportunity to feed themselves, clothe themelves, put a roof over their heads, and do meaningful work to better their situation, and then your fears of crime and war disappear.


I still do not believe the fear of crime and war disappear. As long as there are humans on this planet, there will be crime, war, and fear. However, I can live with the notion that there would at least be less crime and less war.

For the record: I am not a republican, nor am I a democrat, nor am I a libertarian or a any other party. I am proudly independent.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago
From some of the comments, there seems to exist an opinion that the government isn't responsible for educating its citizens or improving their health.

I'm not even addressing the fact that my teacher friends who work their butts off in high school are facing state and federal cuts so massive they have to work on their own time in such things as "book fairs" on weekends in order for surrounding schools in their area to simply have textbooks let alone the fact most textbooks are dated back to the late 90's (I was floored when a friend who teaches AP Chemistry showed the textbook for the class with a last revision from 1998, and so much has changed since). Let's forget all that, and blame the parents, who are working two jobs just to make ends meet in an economy that has shifted to higher home values, goods, and other necessary expenses such as power utilities, mortgages (and no, they did not buy into a mortgage above their means, and most of my late 30-something friends who have masters degrees and full time employment cannot afford a home in medium sized cities let alone children), and have been earning increasingly less over the past 30 years while the cost of living rises.

Born in '76, I grew up in a different time and with a "country club" mother in a single income family. I am from an affluent family, I am extremely thankful for what I have been given but do not take it for granted nor am I out of touch with the plight of the middle class that this - and many other first world nations - are struggling with today. Yet home values have become exorbitant, average family income is dismal, many aren't receiving enough education to become part of a skilled and proper global work force (we're 27 among other first world nations in quality of life, etc with basic skills far below average - that's pathetic), and insurance costs are astronomical. Having dual citizenship from being raised in London, I can go back to the U.K. and receive top medical care - no premiums, co-pays, network approvals. My friend Daphna married and she and her husband, being British, live in London, earn British Sterling Pounds, she earned a masters at the University of Bristol (or Brighton, I forget) after a BA from Syracuse University (only cost her £3000, nothing compared to the tens or hundreds of thousands for a BA), was able to get her ACL and knees fixed since she couldn't afford it in the U.S. and is running again (surgery, medications, therapy - even cab fare was covered), no insurance companies or third party administration costs (which are roughly 70% of our health insurance costs), and is loving life. She was in such disbelief being from the states, she ran the math, comparing healthcare costs and taxes in the U.S. versus those in the U.K., and was amazed she was paying more in sate and federal taxes in NY along with health insurance that covered basic care than what she is paying in the U.K.

My point in all this, if we do not have a healthy, well educated population, that effects ALL of us, collectively. As a nation, we are as strong as our weakest link. If we are ill equipped to compete in the global market, we will never improve as a nation. I find it amusing that people are forced to have car insurance, yet when health insurance comes up everyone loses their freaking minds. We have become a selfish nation, focusing on short term goals and missing the big picture. Couple this with our out of control military spending (we outspend China and N. Korea by 75:1 or great, that's insane) and privatization of homeland security, military and prisons (one of the reason California prisons are over crowded), we won't improve any time soon.

We need to realize both parties are in this mess together. Stop fighting each other, stop being selfish and assuming people are lazy or acting entitled because they want to work hard, educate themselves but can't afford it or public schools are severely underfunded. We have become a nation divided through political rhetoric and corporate owned "news" media that we're too busy believing the rhetoric and fighting each other instead of working through matters in a reasoned, educated and compassionate methodology. We're reactionaries, and most aren't educated enough to understand the system, thus creating an emotionally charged, ignorant, under paid and over worked nation with its finger on the trigger (how many shootings this year already? lost count).

So keep believing that education and health are a luxury and not a right. This will definitely produce a globally prepared work force and improve our economy. ;)
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago

Umm.. no. I want a government that keeps it's dirty hands out of my paycheck. If I want to donate to a charity, it is my choice. I do not want to be overtaxed to fund ridiculous stimulus projects. I do not want government to dabble in the auto industry, banks, or healthcare. I want to be left alone. I want a small government.


And this is why we're all doomed to failure, people. America has become a country of solipsists. Our neighbors have nothing to do with us, because we believe ourselves islands separated from the rest.

I'm rich solely because of my hard work. Not because I live in a system that allows me to convert my hard work to material wealth.

----------

I know.
YET he got elected to a second term.


Well...yeah. But that's because he was the lesser of two *******s.
Rating: 5 Votes

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