Politics

Clinton's Goal: All U.S. Homes To Have Internet By 2020

| by Ray Brown
Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said she wants WiFi in every home as part of her technology and innovation initiative.

The former Secretary of State announced her plan in Denver, where she said she plans to improve the nation's technology infrastructure to provide more public WiFi access and, by 2020, WiFi in every household.

In addition, Clinton said she would expand 5G mobile data and invest in STEM education programs.

“No doubt, lots of good stuff included in Secretary Clinton’s tech agenda," Bobby Franklin, CEO of National Venture Capital Association, told USA Today. "If the details are as good as the blueprint, we would be very supportive of this type of agenda in a Hillary Clinton Administration.”

Tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley largely praised Clinton's technology plan, but some were wary that it didn't fully grasp the reality of the tech industry's needs.

"All the talk about STEM education is nice, but let’s be realistic," said R. Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. "We need a system that enables more than just college. There are technical jobs that don’t require a traditional four-year degree and what we need to do is foster this type of learning. More private-public partnerships in creating these training programs will help in crafting skill sets and jobs as they evolve."

While Clinton's plan might not meet every need of some tech entrepreneurs already in the business, certain aspects could appeal to future entrepreneurs.

Although Clinton is opposed to the idea of free college tuition for poor students, she is willing to forgive student loan debt for entrepreneurs who launch start-up businesses “that provide measurable social impact and benefit” in poor communities. Those who meet the qualifications would be eligible for up to $17,500 of loan forgiveness after five years.

And for other entrepreneurs, they could qualify for a three-year, interest-free deferment on their federal student loans, as could early joiners, including the first 10 or 20 employees of a startup.

Karen Kornbluh, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and an adviser to the Clinton campaign, told The New York Times: “This is a pragmatic plan that could help leverage what happens in Silicon Valley so that there’s innovation and job growth throughout the country.”

Sources: USA Today, HillaryClinton.com, New York Times / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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