ALA asks presidential candidates about broadband plans

Tonight, candidates for president Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face one another in the first presidential debate of this election in Hempstead, New York, at Hofstra University, moderated by NBC’s Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. The theme of tonight’s discussion will be “the direction of America, achieving prosperity, and securing America.”

Clinton Trump

ALA and other groups have addressed an open letter to debate moderators, calling them to ask candidates about broadband access in their infrastructure plans.

Both candidates have expressed that updating our country’s infrastructure is critical to economic development and America’s global competitiveness. We believe our digital infrastructure—broadband to homes, schools, libraries, and other community anchor institutions and businesses—should be part of that conversation. That’s why today we have joined a number of groups on an open letter to the 2016 presidential debate moderators, calling them to ask candidates about how they’ll address broadband in their infrastructure plans. The letter outlines our shared position that many Americans lack access to digital infrastructure and calls on the debate moderators to ask the following question of candidates:

“Home broadband internet access has become an essential tool for education, employment, civic engagement, and even healthcare. Yet 34 million people still lack access to affordable high­speed internet. What will you do as president to help expand access to affordable high­speed internet for everyone in America?”

The debate will run from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

About Ellen Satterwhite

Ellen Satterwhite an ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Fellow and Vice President of the Glen Echo Group. She has years of experience at the intersection of technology and policy, including as a co-author of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and as Consumer Policy Advisor to the Commission. Satterwhite earned a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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