If Obama gets his way, all Americans would have broadband Internet access, whether they live in big cities or remote villages. Online life would be safer, with better defenses against cybercriminals. And there would be greater access to government, with online services to let anyone question members of the president's cabinet or track every dime of the U.S. budget.

"I think it's not going to happen in the first 100 days, but I think a lot of this can happen in the first term," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, a media reform organization based in Washington.