Washington’s next big tech battle: closing the country’s digital divide

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President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are forging ahead with new plans to boost high-speed internet around the country, hoping that their signature crusade — deregulation — might help spur better web access in the country’s hardest-to-reach rural areas. The bid to boost broadband is expected to become a small but critical component of infrastructure reform, a still-evolving proposal that could set aside $200 billion in federal funds to upgrade the guts of the United States — including aging roads, bridges and tunnels.

Whether Democrats and Republicans can actually bridge the digital divide, however, may very well hinge on something far more analogue — whether they can narrow the political gap still between them. “From a Wall Street perspective,” said Blair Levin,  architect of the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan, “would you be betting on a big infrastructure package actually happening and having an impact right now? I don’t think so.”


Washington’s next big tech battle: closing the country’s digital divide