Millions of Americans lack basic broadband internet access (25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload) making them unable to take advantage of the educational, entertainment, and economic opportunities enjoyed by those who do have access to higher speeds.
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High-speed broadband can spur rural growth
Broadband connectivity has become essential to foster the development of the local economy and bring digital inclusion. In a 2017 Survey conducted by Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development, small and rural communications providers in the United States created nearly 77,000 jobs and supported more than $10 billion in economic activities across a wide range of industries1. Even Federal and State governments have realized the importance of high-speed broadband networks to uplift rural communities. Broadband infrastructure enables scalability for precision agriculture and other emerging technologies alongside benefits to public safety, and access to education and health services.
Digital inclusion also helps with socio-economic development
As COVID raged across the globe, distancing families & decimating economies, high-speed broadband became essential to facilitate work from home, study online, have a doctor’s appointment, and even shop for groceries. Disadvantaged communities had to suffer more as jobs were lost, and local administrators realized the importance of symmetrical broadband connectivity as a means to encourage alternate entrepreneurial ventures. Such steps will go a long way toward mitigating longstanding issues of digital inclusion, mostly in low-income, rural, and tribal communities.
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These efforts will also enable to bridge the digital divide. Much has been written about the growing digital divide, and how to overcome this glaring disparity. Federal and State broadband programs like USDA’s ReConnect and FCC’s RDOF are steps in the right direction, but they still seem like a drop in the ocean. Also, these are only helping to take care of the Money problem. The challenge also lies in accelerating the implementation of these programs by ensuring that there is enough skilled manpower, construction equipment, adequate product supply, and sustained profitability for those companies who are a part of this ecosystem.
Build the next generation of digital infrastructure with STL Partnerships across communities, government, institutions, and other relevant stakeholders, as well as the ability to use funding effectively from diverse sources, are critical to enabling robust broadband networks across the US. Public-private partnerships will play a leading role in closing the broadband coverage gap. The need is to ensure technology-led design and deployment of this planned infrastructure in the most cost effective and time efficient way. This is where STL, an industry leading integrator of digital networks can add immense value.
STL is pioneering large rural broadband networks in India along with some sophisticated integration projects across the globe. Please click here to learn more on
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