Vice President Kamala Harris Internet Broadband Announcement
In June 2021, Vice President Harris made lengthy remarks on providing internet access to communities. She spoke about investing in high-speed internet access to improve Americans' lives.
She noted that the indigenous communities had played a role in helping the nation since time immemorial. Native Americans have also been active in defending the nation as military members and built the nation as entrepreneurs, artists, and academicians.
However, disparities still exist among communities, one of them being the lack of high-speed internet access by 40% of people on tribal lands.
This led to a lack of access to vital services, and the pandemic has demonstrated the role the internet plays in making services accessible. There's a need to speed up the internet access program for rural communities, according to the VP's recent speech on 21 March 2022.
A Long Overdue Project
When the project finally comes to fruition, it'll be an amazing achievement for the citizens of the United States. It's hard to imagine that many areas in the country are still without internet coverage in 2022.
A respondent from a rural farm in Michigan notes that even the simplest things are difficult to accomplish in the area. Residents currently use wireless repeaters from corn silos to get internet in their communities. The telephone lines don't support the internet, and the cable companies will not build out coax or fiber.
Streaming is difficult on wireless and simple tasks like multifactor authentication take several minutes to complete. Email and text messages also take several minutes to come through on various communication apps. Due to these delays, it's tempting for users to skip critical online security measures, which is risky.
Satellite Connections Are Not Stable
The VP's remarks that many rural communities rely on satellite or old dial-up internet connections couldn't be more true. The solutions look appealing because of the low cost of getting services available in remote locations.
The satellite, for example, is easy to upload from any remote location but is quite unreliable. Hughes Satellite was the only option in some areas, yet it was so slow that it couldn't meet the users' demands. Dial-up connections rely on old telephone cabling, which is readily available.
Most rural areas are now hopeful of getting services from Starlink soon. The big question is how the government plans to subsidize these remote locations.
It'll require the input of the government agencies and Internet Service providers to bring the rural communities at par with the cities concerning internet connectivity.
One recommendation is for the government to partner with an ISP that doesn't already have a monopoly on an area. The competition will only be fair in a space with few or no options. This would be a great start for those who can't afford or don't have access to internet connectivity.
Internet Access Is a Necessity
Access to the internet has become a day-to-day necessity for the American household. Over the past two years, the world has seen many avenues of life become an online reality, a factor that pushed the need for internet connectivity to the forefront of the American mind. Online schooling, remote work, entertainment, and telehealth are becoming virtual activities.
There's now no doubt that internet access is vital for daily living. Over the past several years, cities have been adopting fiber to give internet access to their residents in quick order.
How Will Communities Benefit?
Among the many benefits of providing high-speed internet across the country is the ability for communities to get additional educational opportunities not currently available. The project will also make it possible to access healthcare services without traveling long distances. Overall, internet access provides for increased growth and household income.
To one respondent, this announcement is similar to the Federal-Aid Highway Act that was signed into law in 1956—having highways across the US gave equal footing to many people who hadn't had full access before. It paved the way for the creation and growth of more businesses and gave many people mobility they lacked before.
The administration wants to do the same thing with Broadband Internet. As important as highways were in the 1950s, having access to the high-speed internet is much more important for the functioning of citizens in the USA. Internet access will lay the foundation for everyone to connect with the rest of the world. This is a much-needed step.
The Challenges of Providing High-Speed Internet Access
Sadly, the journey to ensuring every community in the country is connected to the high-speed internet won't be easy. Provisioning it for rural communities comes with high costs associated with this size of scale. Providers will have a considerable challenge they might not have faced when providing high-speed internet to cities and their suburbs.
There's also the question of who the government will partner up with to do the work to completion. The question is valid because cable providers have ignored this task for years. The much the country can do is take a wait-and-see pose while hoping that the project will materialize.
Now more than ever, everyone understands that internet access enhances access to vital services. Lack of access to the internet translates to a lack of access to the vital needs of families and individuals.
An example is when the pandemic hit. Healthcare services had to come through the internet, and a lack of internet meant the difference between getting professional care and suffering the consequences of infections.
In America, the high-speed internet is a lifeline, and there's still a lot to do to ensure everyone is connected. If everyone involved can do their part, it could go a long way in making this a reality.
At DataEcon, we believe in playing our role faithfully and effectively. We say yes when other IT companies in Dallas say no. We're here to create great IT experiences for Dallas and Fort Worth businesses. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for all your internet and IT-related business needs.