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Clinton pledges broadband access for all households by 2020

Clinton pledges broadband access for all households by 2020
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSinema invokes McCain in Senate acceptance speech Sinema defeats McSally in Arizona Senate race Hillicon Valley: Social media struggles with new forms of misinformation | US, Russia decline to join pledge on fighting cybercrimes | Trump hits Comcast after antitrust complaint | Zuckerberg pressed to testify before global panel MORE says her administration would aim to give every American household access to high-speed internet service by 2020.

“Hillary understands that investing in high-speed broadband and next-generation wireless is a win-win for jobs: it will put people to work in building out and upgrading our digital networks, and it will create millions of opportunities for people who can get online more easily, innovative, start companies, and sell their products,” her campaign said in an agenda released Tuesday morning.

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The agenda promises that all households will have the option of subscribing to “affordable” broadband internet service by 2020 with “speeds sufficient to meet families’ needs.”

Ten percent of Americans — roughly 34 million people in total — currently lack access to broadband internet, according to a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report.

But that number climbs to 39 percent for Americans in rural areas, where it is often more difficult and less cost-effective for internet service providers to expand their service. In comparison, only 4 percent lack access in urban areas.

Forty-one percent of people on tribal lands also lack access, according to the study.

The pledge is part of a technology policy agenda released by the campaign in advance of Clinton’s appearance at a co-working space in Denver, Colo., to talk about tech issues.

She promises to invest more federal monies in expanding free wireless internet service to public places, like train stations and airports, and pledges to “foster the evolution” to 5G wireless technology.

Clinton’s tech platform includes several items likely to please the mainstream tech community, including calling for the protection of cross-border data flows, efforts to change aspects of the immigration system for high-skilled workers and supporting patent reform.

“Hillary’s technology policy agenda will position American innovators to lead the world in the next generation of technology revolutions — from autonomous vehicles to machine learning to public service blockchain applications,” the campaign said.

The campaign also promised to defend several Obama administration initiatives and policies. The campaign pledged that she would support the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules and make permanent the U.S. Digital Service, an Obama-era team that brings top-flight tech talent to work with government agencies.

The campaign said Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, “believes the government has an important role to play in laying a foundation for broad-based innovation and economic growth — by reducing regulatory barriers to entry, promoting healthy competition, and keeping the internet free and open."

The agenda also includes measures designed to support young entrepreneurs. It proposes allowing entrepreneurs to defer their student loans for as long as three years while their companies are still startups. The platform also backs increased access to science, technology, engineering and math education.

Clinton’s embrace of the tech industry stands in contrast to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE.

Trump has made no commitments on tech policy and is seen as generally hostile to tech and its priorities. He once suggested “closing that internet up in some way” to combat the threat of extremism, called for an Apple boycott when the company was feuding with law enforcement over encryption, and has slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s position on immigration reform.