In 1996, movie rental stores were ubiquitous and cell phones were few and far between. The modern Internet was unimaginable – web pages were largely text-based and could take almost a minute to load. Google wouldn’t even exist for another two years.
We’ve made incredible strides since then, and our infrastructure has made incredible strides too. Moving forward, California must continue to support and expand the infrastructure needed for the 21st century and beyond.
Read below for just some of the ways that investments in 21st century communications infrastructure will create huge economic and social benefits for all Californians.
Better infrastructure means doctors can provide better patient care. Data captured from emerging non-invasive health-monitoring sensors, such as disposable bandages and ingestible pills, will support expanded mobile-based care, self-care, and more accurate diagnostics—all of which have the potential to both improve care and reduce costs, and can only be achieved through improved network connectivity. When paired with remote physician monitoring, these innovations could save the US healthcare system $197 billion over the next 25 years.
In the future, officials envision a reduction in physician visits for elderly patients and persons with mobility challenges, as those visits could be replaced by video conference over high-speed internet connections. Doctors and various medical units will also be able to share large files, such as retina scans, x-rays, and vascular imaging that could speed diagnosis and lower patient costs.
For California to realize the social and economic benefits of emerging and future communications technoogies, it must have an equally advanced communications infrastructure to support them. As other states and countries take steps to facilitate network upgrades, California’s communications infrastructure will need to be updated or risk being unprepared for future requirements placed upon it.
With the coming wave of digital demand, investments in 21st century infrastructure are needed to seize the benefits that new communications technologies offer. To meet these shifting demands and to keep California economically competitive, policies can be put in place that will give communications providers greater flexibility to innovate and reduce barriers to investment.