TechTank: With New Investments in Broadband Infrastructure, Can We Finally Close the Digital Divide?
The latest episode of TechTank
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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The latest episode of TechTank
This podcast is part of a three-part series on the various parts of a Tech New Deal, a proposal to center technology as part of our economic recovery efforts that includes infrastructure, workforce development, local investments in adoption and use, and national service.
In the days leading up to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, social media platforms were flooded with hate speech and misinformation. Months before, there were also denouncements by former President Donald J. Trump about the proposed content moderation practices of private companies, as well as their use of Section 230 protections.
It took only days after armed mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol, for platforms like Facebook and Twitter to decide Trump’s tweets were more than just “saber rattling.”
In the coronavirus era, doctors visits have gone virtual—much like nearly every aspect of everyday life. So telehealth means a patient talks to their doctor right from the epicenter of their personal world. And those little things that make us human? They’re front and center.
With Election 2020 coming to a close, President-elect Joe Biden is moving to assemble his administration and set his policy priorities. The new leader faces many challenging technology issues from antitrust, privacy, and content moderation to China and digital disparities made worse by COVID-19 as well as the kinds of folks to put into key tech policy positions. He does this at a time of diminished Democratic numbers in the House of Representatives and a Senate where party control is yet to be determined.
The phrase “telecommuting” was first coined in the early 1970s by a NASA employee named Jack Nilles. Nilles claimed telecommuting could offset traffic congestion, promote resource conservation, and be a major convenience for those so engaged. In addition to the societal and environmental benefits, CEOs of major companies said it increased productivity and offered greater flexibility for workers, as workplaces across the country adopted it as an option.
Early in March, the COVID-19 pandemic began burning a furious path across the U.S., shuttering schools, and sending 50 million students home. Some of the nation’s largest public school districts, including New York City and Los Angeles, were the first to close their doors for the remainder of the academic year.