TechTank: With New Investments in Broadband Infrastructure, Can We Finally Close the Digital Divide?

Nicol Turner Lee
Monday, April 19, 2021, 11:34 AM

The latest episode of TechTank

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

President Biden has put forth a Build Back Better agenda that now includes physical infrastructure and job creation to stir economic recovery in the United States. Broadband infrastructure is included in his trillion-dollar plan, alongside water, roads, and bridges, as well as the modernization of schools and other institutional assets. Making high-speed broadband and the applications it enables available to all citizens are at the core of his agenda, which resonates with the recent proposal of a “Tech New Deal” by podcast co-host, Dr. Nicol Turner Lee. Prior to President Biden’s announcement, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn released the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act with Senator Amy Klobuchar and other Democratic co-sponsors. The bill introduced comprehensive broadband infrastructure legislation to get high-speed broadband access to all Americans, with a specific focus on closing the digital divide. The proposed legislation will invest over $94 billion in infrastructure, and ensure internet access for citizens to learn, earn, and access telehealth from a viable broadband connection.

In this episode of TechTank, Dr. Nicol Turner Lee speaks with Rep. Clyburn about his new legislation and with former Federal Communications Commission Acting Chair and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. The discussion will touch upon Dr. Turner Lee’s proposed “Tech New Deal” as a path for reaching the proposed legislative goals of the House Majority Whip’s proposed legislation.

You can listen to the episode and subscribe to the TechTank podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Acast.

Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank. Dr. Turner Lee researches public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Her work also explores global and domestic broadband deployment and internet governance issues. She is an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development.

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