Across the Country, Innovators Applaud the Economic Value of Broadband
There is no doubt that the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs has helped drive our economy and quality of life forward. With Faces of Innovation entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological changes, it is no surprise that news outlets are interested in what they have to say. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:
Chicago residents today have near-universal access to broadband Internet thanks to private sector leaders who have invested more than $1.2 trillion since 1996 to build our country’s Internet infrastructure. But universal adoption continues to be elusive.
Many individuals lack the training to make use of Internet tools. Others don’t own the necessary computer hardware, and some just don’t think the Internet is relevant to their lives.
Libraries can be the critical link to helping people overcome these challenges. They provide free high-speed Internet access, a computer to anyone who wishes to use one and hands-on assistance to teach people how they can benefit from new digital tools.
Historically, professionals needed to live physically close to their jobs in order to work Monday through Friday. High-speed Internet has helped change this dynamic by allowing a person to be accessible from almost anywhere, across time zones and outside of traditional working hours.
While some people may prefer to be less connected, the reality is these changes have significantly expanded opportunities and created flexibility for many Colorado workers. At a time when the economic recovery is still fragile, this flexibility is critical to getting people back to work or keeping them in their jobs.
Health care services providers, managed health care companies and other companies are regularly developing new digital health care tools, all of which are enabled by the investments made in America's broadband networks.
From simple innovations like apps that allow people to monitor their heart rate to transformative advances like telemedicine -- which connects health care providers and patients over the Internet -- health care is being revolutionized.
Broadband has revolutionized the traditional education model through virtual learning and mentoring programs. By allowing people to access educational resources from a computer in their own home, students have expanded learning opportunities that were previously unavailable in traditional brick and mortar schools. The benefits extend to both exceptional students that might find themselves unchallenged in the classroom, as well as those with a greater need for one-on-one interactions. One such organization is StudentMentor.org which aims to connect mentors and mentees across the country.