Vice President Kamala Harris On High-Speed Internet Access
Key Points from The Article
- The rural areas have been without reliable internet connection for years.
- The government has plans to bring high-speed internet to the Tribal land.
- Access to the high-speed internet will revolutionize access to vital services.
- Government agencies plan to partner with ISPs to implement the project.
- The project won’t be without challenges.
The pandemic made it clear that the country needs reliable and high-speed internet access. When the government put down lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus, people turned to the internet for various services. These include medical appointments, learning, and communication with friends and family.
Sadly, some areas in the country lack reliable internet services, which saw some school-going children miss out on learning. The situation reveals a lack of equity within the country, which VP Harris has committed to rectifying.
In her speech, the VP said there’s a need to speed up the rural communities’ internet access program to bridge the gap between tribal lands and the cities.
Being a key player in the technology industry, Retrofit Technologies reached out to some respondents to seek their thoughts about this move by the government.
A Timely Project
It’s unimaginable that some parts of the country are still without internet coverage in this day and age. One respondent from a rural farm in Michigan felt that the project had come at the right time. When the government finally implements broadband access, everything concerning technology will be easier to achieve.
Currently, residents in the area use wireless adapters from corn silos to get a connection. The telephone lines are not viable for internet connectivity, and the cable companies are lax in building out fiber or coax.
Since the internet speeds are unreliable, even the simplest things are hard to do. For example, email and text messages take a long time to come through or be delivered.
Streaming on wireless is almost impossible, and tasks like multifactor authentication take ages. With such delays, users become frustrated and skip critical online security measures, putting their accounts at risk.
Unstable Satellite Connections
The VP is aware that many rural communities rely on old dial-up internet connections because of the low cost of these internet solutions in remote settings. The satellite is easy to commission but quite unreliable in rural areas. For example, Hughes Satellite was the only available option in some areas, yet it didn’t meet users’ demands because it was slow.
Rural communities hope to get reliable and high-speed internet from Starlink soon. The process may not be as smooth as it appears, with questions about how the government will subsidize the remote locations.
There’s a significant need for government agencies to partner with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The move should bridge the gap between rural communities and cities concerning internet connectivity.
One of the respondents recommended that the government identify an ISP that doesn’t already have a monopoly on an area. Doing so could facilitate fair competition in a space with few or no options. It could create an excellent start for communities that can’t afford or lack access to an internet connection.
The World Cannot Do Without the Internet
Internet access is a daily necessity, not only for the American household but global communities.
Over the past two years, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, many avenues of life have become an online reality, pushing the need for the internet to the forefront of the American mind. Remote work, telehealth, entertainment, business opportunities, and schooling are now more virtual realities than physical activities.
Internet access is undeniably vital for daily living. For the past several years, many cities have turned to fiber to avail internet connectivity to citizens seamlessly and reliably.
How Will the High-Speed Internet Project Benefit Communities?
One of the greatest benefits of this project is that communities will get access to more educational opportunities currently unavailable for their children. It’ll also be easier to access healthcare services through online platforms, erasing the need for lengthy travel. Overall, there will be an opportunity for increased growth and household income.
One respondent likened the high-speed internet project to the Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956. During that time, the road infrastructure was in bad shape, but this changed in a big way after signing the bill.
The availability of highways across all cities in the United States provided an equal footing to the country’s residents, some of whom hadn’t enjoyed full access before. The development paved the way for the expansion of more business establishments. Many people also enjoyed the kind of mobility they hadn’t been privileged to enjoy before.
The same thing is likely to happen with the Broadband internet project. As important as highways were years back, internet access is more crucial today for the full functioning of citizens. It’ll enhance globalization, a much-needed step in opening up rural communities to the rest of the world.
Challenges with the Broadband Internet Project
Sadly, the journey to ensuring every community is connected to the internet will be challenging. It features high costs associated with its size, presenting providers with a significant challenge they probably didn’t face before. It also provides high-speed internet to cities and their surrounding areas.
There’s also the issue of who the government will partner with to bring the project to fruition. The question stems from cable providers’ ignoring the task for so long. For now, all that citizens can do is to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, hoping that everything will work out as planned.
High-speed internet access is a lifeline for private and public lives in this country and globally. There’s a lot the government needs to do, now more than ever, to ensure every human being is connected—limited access to the internet spills over to vital services, curtailing the quality of life. The country is watching to see if the broadband project will become a reality as promised.
Retrofit Technologies is one stakeholder in the technology industry, and we are looking forward to the said transformation. We know it’ll be a win-win situation for everyone. Meanwhile, we provide IT managed services, infrastructure management, and cybersecurity organizations throughout New England. Contact us today for a free consultation for all your IT needs.