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President Barack Obama promoted plans Thursday to bring high-speed wireless to nearly all American households, pushing his domestic agenda in a small, snowy city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on a day of dramatic developments in Egypt.
Obama kept in touch with his security team throughout the trip and opened his remarks at Northern Michigan University with brief comments on the events overseas, where President Hosni Mubarak appeared close to resigning. But in a late-night speech Egypt's president announced he was transferring some powers to his deputy. Mubarak did not step down from office. "We are witnessing history unfold," Obama said.
He then turned to the importance of investing in wireless technology, part of a new White House focus on innovation, competitiveness and infrastructure as a pathway to jobs and "winning the future." The president compared the goal of extending wireless access to important successes that connected previous generations of Americans: the building of railroads and the federal highway system.
"For millions of Americans, the railway hasn't shown up yet," Obama said. "For our families and our businesses, high-speed wireless service: that's the next train station; it's the next off-ramp. It's how we'll spark new innovation, new investments and new jobs."