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PacTech and Technology Association of Oregon Talk Mobile Tech with U.S. Representative Greg Walden

Last week we joined the Technology Association of Oregon to host an event in Portland highlighting the astonishing growth in Oregon’s mobile app economy.  A recent study ranked Oregon #4 app-intensity economy in the country as the app economy is a NEW force driving the tech sector.  In 2011 app economy revenue was nearly $10 billion—by 2016 it’s expected to be over $46 billion!  It’s a booming enterprise, and Oregon is in a unique position to capitalize on the budding industry.  Our goal was to walk away with ideas about how to continue this success.

The event featured Jonathan Spalter of Mobile Future who pointed out that U.S. consumers spend a whopping 127 minutes per day using apps and that app use has grown exponentially.  In 2008 it took 9 months to reach a billion downloads, and by the end of this year we’ll be downloading 2 billion per week.  The event also featured U.S. Representative Greg Walden (OR-2), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where he works on key policy challenges facing the mobile tech sector.  In his remarks, he talked about the power of mobile connectivity and described how vital mobility is to delivering services like public safety, education and healthcare throughout his rural district.  He also discussed several initiatives that he and other committee members are working on to facilitate more private investment in technology.

Critical discussions with these high-profile leaders brought consensus: Oregon’s success in the mobile economy is the result of local entrepreneurs innovating, investing, and employing the local workforce and having the right regulations in place to ripen the environment for investment and innovation.  While Portland companies like Giftango and Crowdcompass are creating the latest mobile app, Rep. Walden is working to assure their future growth.  He has worked on policies to reallocate more spectrum, a wireless resource needed for mobile growth, and to limit stifling over-regulation of the Internet that could kill the capital investments needed to build the modern high-speed broadband networks necessary to meet growing consumer mobile demand.  And last week the House unanimously passed his Internet Freedom bill (H.R. 1580).

Oregon’s Silicon Forest is leaning more on mobile, and the path to greater connectivity and economic growth looks clear.  The question is: can we continue to pave the way?  As our elected leaders work to find solutions, chances look pretty good.

Categories Broadband Revolution, Featured Story, Wireless Explosion | Tags: | Posted on May 22, 2013

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