Over the past three years, there has been a paradigm shift in American workplaces. Millions of workers are no longer tethered to traditional offices 5 days a week. For many of these employees, the main thing needed to complete their work is a high-speed internet connection. Several years ago this would have been unthinkable, both culturally and technologically. But, thanks to private sector investment and sound public policy, the buildout of broadband infrastructure has brought America’s Excellent Internet to households around the country.
While broadband enabled this sea change in how people work, what were the wider implications? A new report by Dr. Raul Katz of Columbia University and Telecom Advisory Services for Network:On shows how remote work has impacted the world.
Dr. Katz found that since high-speed broadband is inseparably linked to remote working, and the latter appears to have become a social fixture of the future, the government needs to close the digital divide.
The causal chain, beginning with broadband availability, is clear:
America’s Excellent Internet made it possible for millions to pivot to remote work during a critical moment when it was made necessary. Dr. Katz found that high-speed broadband is inseparably linked to remote working and that because telework seems to be here to stay, the urgency to close the digital divide has never been greater. To do so, policymakers should prioritize creating policy frameworks that allow operators to deploy broadband infrastructure where it is needed and that encourage internet adoption in targeted communities.
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