Statement by the President: Third Generation of Wireless Technology (10/13/00)

                         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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