In case you haven’t heard, President Obama used ten different pens on Tuesday to sign an economic stimulus package worth $787 billion meant to rescue the downturned U.S. economy. As a part of this package, $7.2 billion was set aside to help provide high-speed Internet access to rural areas of the country.
An article from the LATimes offers a good explanation as to why providing high-speed Internet connections to rural America could be so beneficial to the economy:
“The idea is that such service would encourage companies to locate in these areas, spur local entrepreneurs to start Internet-dependent businesses, and encourage economic growth by linking these regions to technologically more advanced and productive parts of the country”
What does this mean for the online marketing crowd? It means the space we work in is only growing stronger and the government recognizes this. Sort of a no-brainer, but positive reinforcement is always nice to hear. And with the increasing use of online technologies that require high-speeds (videos!), having a faster connection is more important than ever.
If things go to plan, companies will grow and new ones will form. And where do you think this will happen the most? You’re right. Online. By making it easier for more and more people to use the Internet at efficient speeds, business on the Internet will become even more substantial. More companies will join the e-commerce ranks and be able to extend their business past local customers. That’s the global economy at work people.
What about those who still just don’t get the Internet?
Along with the possibility of laying fiber-optic cable and setting up new wireless towers to extend both wired and wireless access, the bill also calls for such things as computers and training to help people better understand how to use the Internet. I suppose for many (myself included), connecting and using high-speed Internet is considered commonplace. It’s been a part of my life for so long now that when I hear there are large areas of our technologically advanced country without high-speed access, it seems odd to me. I can’t help but think of what Homer Simpson once said,”Oooo! They have the Internet on computers now.”
But then I step back and realize, it’s not so much that some people don’t know what the Internet is, it’s that they don’t have sufficient access to see what it has the potential to be. $7.2 billion should help shine a light.