Women In Comms

Clinton Tech Plan Draws Sharp Contrast to Trump's Thinking

Seeking the high-tech community's support, Hillary Clinton has come out with an activist federal technology policy that focuses on 5G, diversity, broadband and much more. The wide-ranging document from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is in sharp contrast to the so-far limited pronouncements made on tech-related issues by her presumptive Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

Clinton -- who was the first lady when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, setting the policy that has helped shape the modern media and communications landscape in the US -- issued a technology policy summary document that touches on a number of key current and future comms issues.

One main plank of the document calls for:

    Connecting every household in America to high-speed internet by 2020, while hooking up more public places like airports and train stations to the web and enabling them to offer free WiFi to the public, and helping America deploy 5G and other next-generation systems that can offer faster wireless speeds and help unleash the Internet of Things.

The 5G candidate?
In fact, the document stresses more than once that Clinton will help "foster the evolution to 5G." This might turn out to be more than just an idle campaign platitude.

The government officials appointed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by the next president in 2017 will be the ones who actually oversee the transition of next-gen 5G mobile technology from test beds and trials today to the commercial networks expected to arrive in 2020.

For instance, the FCC is currently moving with uncharacteristic haste to open up the first high-frequency spectrum bands for 5G. Current Chairman Tom Wheeler has said this is crucial to maintain the US "lead" in wireless. (See FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14.)

The Commission, however, has already said that it will need to identify more spectrum for capacity-hungry 5G networks in the future. That work is due to start this month, but would likely be inherited by the next FCC. (See FCC Comm. Names 4 Initial 5G Bands for US, Eyes More.)

For all the latest news on 5G, visit the dedicated 5G site here on Light Reading.

Not surprisingly, Clinton, the first female candidate ever selected by either major party to run for president, also stresses diversity as part of her tech platform. "We must break down the barriers to full and equal participation by all groups in the 21st century economy," her policy document says. (See WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches .)

Clinton vs. Trump on Tech
It is hard to present many substantive comms and tech policy differences between Clinton and trump, the Republican hopeful, yet. That's simply because Trump, the property developer and reality TV star, has not yet said much on the matter. There is no equivalent policy document that's been issued by the Trump camp, for instance.

Still, the two candidates are diametrically opposed on Net Neutrality. Clinton says she backs the open Internet rules established by the FCC, and her voting record as a US senator from New York backs this up. (See FCC Wins Key Net Neutrality Ruling.)

In contrast, Trump, via Twitter, his preferred platform, described Net Neutrality as a "top down power grab" in 2014.

While Clinton's policy paper suggests she will push for an open and free Internet at home and aboard, Trump has said that he will "see Bill Gates" to "close up" the Internet in an attempt to counter the radicalizing influence of ISIS on Twitter and the web.

Trump is also making higher wages for workers on H-1B visas an issue in his campaign platform, but not necessarily because he cares about their economic condition. "Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the US, instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas," the Trump Campaign website states.

Clinton's tech policy document, meanwhile, says the candidate will aim to "attract and retain" top overseas talent. "Hillary would 'staple' a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions, and support visas that allow top entrepreneurs from abroad to come to the U.S., build companies, and create jobs for American workers," the paper says.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 7/5/2016 | 11:27:23 PM
Re: Clinton plan Haaaaaa! Very topical.
FbytF 7/5/2016 | 9:37:35 AM
Clinton plan As I recall, when Hillary was asked about wiping clean the hard drive from here private server, she asked, " wiped, you mean like with a rag?" So I'm certain she understands the complexity and implications of a long term communications plan.
DanJones 7/1/2016 | 4:01:16 PM
Re: Clinton tech proposals The dearth of info from the Trump Camp all told is frustrating. Maybe he thinks it's a side issue? Can be got to after the election?
danielcawrey 7/1/2016 | 1:19:45 PM
Re: Clinton tech proposals It's a little concerning Trump doesn't support net neutrality. Open access for the internet is important, perhaps Trump's experience woking in real estate has made him believe closed systems are somehow better. I'd have to disagree, that's for sure. 
inkstainedwretch 7/1/2016 | 12:37:27 AM
No shame... , wait a sec. No shame in picking highlights.

But now that I look at the headline, who's responsible for the non sequitar "Trump's thinking"?
DanJones 6/30/2016 | 9:37:48 PM
Re: Clinton tech proposals Indeed, [look behind the curtain here!] I agreed to take this on this morning, opened the full document and was like "woah, gonna need to focus on just a few issues here, or this could take a long while!"
inkstainedwretch 6/30/2016 | 7:59:34 PM
Clinton tech proposals Lots of interesting proposals here.

1) For foreign students, "staple" a green card to a STEM Ph.d or Masters degree, sidestepping the rightfully controversial H1-b visas.

2) Investing in R&D, which shouldn't be controversial, but is.

3) Encourage STEM education, expand the opportunities for learning computer science, and train more STEM teachers. Shouldn't be controversial, but will be.

4) Spending a total of $45B on programs for minorities and other disadvantaged groups to provide a pathway into the tech workforce. Shouldn't be controversial, but it will be.

5) Policies that make pole attachment and tech-infrastructure digs easier.

6) Encouraging public-private broadband ventures. Any municipal participation in broadband makes some people apoplectic.

But wait! There's more! Follow the link Dan provided!
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