This week presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released her campaign’s Tech & Innovation Agenda, which included a significant commitment to increasing broadband access if she were to be elected.

The largest commitment in the Agenda was that “by 2020, 100 percent of households in America will have the option of affordable broadband that delivers speeds sufficient to meet families’ needs.”  

As a bipartisan membership organization of mayors and city leaders committed to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access, Next Century Cities is interested in how policymakers and candidates for elected office envision improving broadband connectivity, and will highlight all plans and agenda from presidential candidates that address such issues.

Some specific components of Hillary Clinton’s Tech & Innovation Agenda were notable from the perspective of increasing access to next-generation internet: 

  • Digital Inclusion: The Agenda outlines several actions aimed at increasing digital inclusion, such as investing in programs like the Rural Utilities Service Program and supporting Lifeline modernization and community-based digital literacy programs.
  • Community Innovation Competition: A new competitive grant program outlined in the Agenda would aim to encourage community-based innovation to increase affordable and accessible internet, leveraging the $25 billion Infrastructure Bank she seeks to establish. Communities who could receive such “Model Digital Community” grants would be ones that seek to reduce regulatory barriers and coordinate the development of broadband infrastructure with other services, two policy recommendations also found in our 2015 Policy Agenda.
  • Connect Anchor Institutions: The Agenda proposes increasing the kinds of locations that qualify as anchor institutions to leverage the existing E-rate program. Potential new anchor institutions listed in the proposal include transportation infrastructure like train stations or airports, recreation centers, and public buildings such as career centers.  
  • Reallocating Spectrum and Instituting New Spectrum Policies: The Agenda calls for releasing spectrum currently underutilized by the Federal government and instituting new spectrum policies.
  • Increase Competition: The agenda advocates for increasing competition in the broadband marketplace through policies such as one touch make-ready pole attachment rules.

Hillary Clinton’s full Tech & Innovation Agenda can be viewed here.

Next Century Cities is excited that increasing broadband access for more Americans is being lifted up as a campaign issue in 2016. We will share other candidates’ viewpoints on policies such as internet access and broadband competition as they are made available.