November 21, 2016 Last Updated 10:11 am

Nine ways a Trump presidency might change the tech industry

Guest Column: Karl Volkman, Chief Technical Officer of SRV Network, Inc., discusses how President-elect Donald Trump could impact tech innovation

As the world is still recovering from the shock of President-elect Trump’s unprecedented victory over Hillary Clinton, many people are wondering what the future of America will now hold. Changes are expected across the board, including in the tech industry.

Here are some key areas in the tech industry that a Trump presidency might impact:

  1. Net neutrality: Trump is expected to oppose net neutrality, along with other Republicans. If net neutrality goes forward as big corporations like Comcast and Verizon desire, large corporations will essentially dominate the Internet, which means that users will completely be at the whim of these companies—companies which already have some of the lowest customer satisfaction ratings in the country. Not only will these companies dominate the industry, they will also dictate what you can access on the web. Large businesses will be able to pay cable providers top dollar in return for high download speeds, while small businesses will essentially be edged out. It is a lose-lose situation for everyone, except of course, the monopolizing companies who will get to dominate every piece of the pie.
  2. Infrastructure:  Trump’s proposals are to rebuild all of our infrastructure including energy, communications, and security which all are based on high use of technology.  Businesses and workers within these industries will benefit from government contracts.
  3. Trade: To bring back jobs that have fled to other countries, our industries must be retooled.  These days the best manufacturing processes are using robotics and other high-tech approaches. It is expected that Trump will funnel funding to developing and supporting these measures.
  4. National Defense and Defeating ISIS: Anytime there is an investment in the military, there is an increase in DoD contracts which have bolstered high tech companies.  ISIS is primarily an Internet denizen on the Dark Web.  To beat them at their game, the US must be better at technological surveillance, and President-elect Trump will likely invest plenty of money into defeating cyber-terrorism.
  5. Privacy. In the wake of the San Bernardino attacks, Trump was outspoken about his opinion of Apple and how they did not loosen their security measures for the FBI. It is expected that Trump will continue to prioritize transparency over privacy, as he has said before that surveillance measures are a necessary cost of security.
  6. Amazon under fire.  Trump has also been outspoken against Amazon. He says that the tech giant is unfairly avoiding taxes. If he attempts to go after Amazon as he has promised, these changes could be reflected in the prices consumers pay for things like Amazon Prime.
  7. Immigration. Trump is notoriously tough on immigration policy. If he makes changes to the H1-B visa program, as he has promised to do, tech could be looking at a severe drought in international talent.
  8. The merging of two giants. Trump has said that he would block AT & T’s takeover of Time Warner, as he believes it would give too much power to too few people. Time will tell if he will make good on this promise, but if he does, critics warn that innovation and connectivity could be negatively impacted as a result.

volkman-200All in all, President-elect Trump is a confirmed capitalist, and as such, his policies will likely favor large business and technology. Whatever changes come, it is certain that the tech industry will continue to grow and flourish regardless of who is in the White House.

Karl Volkman has been Chief Technical Officer of SRV Network, Inc. since 1996. Volkman, who graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, studying Computational Mathematics, is an expert in UNIX, NT, Netware Operating Systems, Local Area Network and Wide Are Network environments, Network design, Implementation and troubleshooting.

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