Obama says high-speed broadband is a necessity, not a luxury

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks at Cedar Falls Utilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.

CEDAR FALLS, IA -- President Barack Obama says high-speed broadband is not a luxury but a necessity.

The president is promoting a plan to expand access to broadband communications services by increasing competition.

Obama says faster Internet service will create jobs and allow local businesses to grow. He was speaking Wednesday from Cedar Falls, Iowa, which provides high-speed Internet to residents.

Obama is criticizing laws in 19 states that he says stamp out competition. And he is encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service.

His stance is at odds with major cable and telephone companies such as AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc. that currently provide Internet service, often with little or no competition.

Obama says big companies are trying to keep out competitors.