13. Achieve Statewide 5G and High-Speed Broadband Access by 2026
While there is a great deal of focus on the competitive race underway between China and the United States to become the first major economy to build out the next generation of internet connectivity, there is another competition occurring within the United States that is just as important for the future of the State of Maryland. If Maryland is to attract the best American technology companies and entrepreneurs, the state must be able to provide access to world class technology infrastructure. This is a zero sum competition with other states and localities in the country – to be first in this effort is to ensure our leadership in high skill industries like biotechnology and cyber security.
Beyond creating a competitive economic advantage for the state, providing truly universal internet connectivity is a matter of justice for families who are otherwise frozen out of opportunities, particularly youth who are at a disadvantage when it comes to education.
To this end, by the end of Peter Franchot’s first term, every citizen in Maryland will have access to high-speed broadband and 5G wireless technology. Under a Franchot administration, access to the internet will become a right for each citizen in step with access to clean water and clean electricity. This will be a Herculean effort, requiring the full weight of Maryland’s financial, regulatory, and statutory authority.