Broadband: Investment in our Future
Broadband technology is transforming our nation's ability to solve many of our most pressing problems. Building broadband infrastructure increases local investment and creates American jobs, reduces energy consumption through advances in virtual workplaces, improves rural health care and provides for increased quality of education for remote areas through virtual classrooms. Broadband networks continue to drive American innovation while helping to provide solutions to American societal challenges.
Recently, the issue of "net neutrality" or more appropriately called--net regulation has come up in Congress. "Net neutrality" would prohibit broadband providers from dedicating high quality services for educational, health care and small businesses purposes because all traffic would have be treated the same. That means grandma's remote heart monitoring system or a live tele-conference for a top educational seminar will be indistinguishable as a teenager illegally downloading high definition movies or someone sending malicious SPAM. Not only would the proposed "net neutrality" legislation apply to traditional in-the-ground wireline networks, but in its newest iteration, would also apply to mobile wireless networks as well--even as the technological limitations of wireless networks would seemingly make this requirement one that could potentially overload cell towers because of the inability of providers to manage traffic.
High quality broadband is essential for the growth and development of many sectors of society. The absence of overly restrictive "net neutrality" regulations and the increased consumer demand for new applications and faster networks has encouraged providers to deploy new technologies more quickly and efficiently benefiting not only the everyday internet user but also our schools, health care system, small businesses and the environment.
Investment in broadband networks has dramatically increased in the last ten years due to an environment free from regulation. The demand for ultra fast broadband networks and the services that run on these networks are creating dramatic increases in economic prosperity. For every percentage point increase of broadband penetration in a state, employment increases 2-to-3 tenths of a percent per year. Broadband has transformed our economy and provided Americans with the opportunity to stay competitive in the growing global economy--let's continue down the path of increased job growth and innovation and not government red tape. After all, these broadband networks will continue to provide solutions to our more pressing American societal challenges as well.
Dr. Gerald Felando is a former Southern California state legislator and board member of Californians for Video & Technology Choice.