Days after Apple, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley companies visited the White House, President Trump is preparing to meet with more tech and telecom executives Thursday to talk about drones, Internet access and startups.
The daylong meeting will involve government officials, wireless carriers such as Verizon and Sprint, and venture capitalists such as Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL.
Trump is expected to meet with the visitors in the afternoon following a series of workshops. The insights from the meeting are likely to inform the administration as it pushes ahead with a deregulatory agenda and a focus on infrastructure. And as the White House seeks to grow the job market, funding for startups will also see a heavy emphasis, said Michael Kratsios, deputy U.S. chief technology officer.
"We'll discuss ways we can expand geographic diversity in tech investment," he told reporters Wednesday, "so that the tech industry can better access diverse pools of talent."
Telecom industry officials are planning to explain the benefits of 5G mobile data, a forthcoming successor to 4G LTE that could help power a growing network of connected devices, such as smart appliances and wearables. Federal regulators have already taken steps to free up the airwaves for 5G, and some of the nation's biggest providers are aiming to bring the technology to market in the next few years.
Drones, meanwhile, still face key regulatory hurdles. Businesses want to use drones for everything from railroad track maintenance to agriculture, but the Federal Aviation Administration is still working on crafting rules that will allow companies to operate drones beyond the pilot's direct line of sight.
The meeting could set the tone for the administration's plans for technology in the coming years, said a senior administration official, speaking confidentially to discuss internal deliberation.
"We're using this as a launchpad for a couple of emerging technologies where we see a lot of action and policy on the rule-making front," said the official. But, the official added: "There's obviously a lot more we can cover."