RNC week: Axios co-founder Mike Allen hosted a conversation on the future of broadband access, featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, FIL founder Frank Luntz and Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Frank Luntz discussed the need for investment in accessible broadband as a key part of upskilling and job training, especially during the economically turbulent pandemic.
- On the necessity of broadband access: "This is not a political issue. This is not a partisan issue. Elected officials on the federal and state and local level have a responsibility to provide these programs so that people are able to make a difference in their lives."
Brad Smith highlighted how rural areas are severely impacted by lack of broadband access and the need to close this divide.
- "Broadband is the electricity of our age. If you want to use a telehealth service. you need broadband. If you want to take a community college course online, you need broadband...But in so many of our rural communities in the United States today, that is missing."
Unpacking the relationship between Silicon Valley and DC, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy discussed worries in Congress about Big Tech and the outsize impact that large tech companies have on the flow of information.
- "Their power is only getting larger, and in the world of COVID, it's getting larger because they have more influence. But I don't think they're forthcoming on a lot, I have real concerns on what Google has been doing."
Thank you Microsoft for sponsoring this event.