Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will invest $275 billion over five years on the US infrastructure -- if she's elected, that is. A key part of the plan is to bring "world-class broadband" to every American with a view to increasing competition and equality in the workplace.
While acknowledging the importance of investing in road, rail, and other transport infrastructures, Clinton also wants to invest in the technology of the future. Embracing the Internet of Things, she wants to create "smart cities" that will be filled with connected citizens, businesses, and services, including free Wi-Fi.
It's a bold statement, but the Democratic candidate wants everyone in the US to have access to a broadband connection by 2020. Saying that "high-speed Internet access is not a luxury; it is a necessity for equal opportunity and social mobility in a 21st century economy" she wants to provide everyone with access to "affordable broadband that delivers world-class speeds sufficient to meet families' needs".
In a briefing, Clinton explains the importance of investing in the future:
It means building airports and air traffic control systems that set the world standard for efficiency, reliability, and safety -- saving time, money, and energy on every trip. It means a smart, resilient electrical grid that powers America’s clean energy future. It means safe, smart roads and highways that are ready for the connected cars of tomorrow and the new energy sources that will power them. And it means changing the way we make our infrastructure investments -- so that every dollar we spend goes further.
Clinton is not just talking about broadband internet access in the home; she also wants to invest in free public Wi-Fi. Gigabit connectivity is destined for train stations, airports, mass transit systems, and other public buildings. There are also plans to push the move to 5G and to tap into the currently unlicensed ranges of the wireless spectrum. $275 billion is not a small sum of money to conjure up, but Clinton says that the cash can be raised through business tax reform.