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Boosting Connectivity Prepares Communities for New Opportunities and Services

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Why is it so important for governmentsto invest in connectivity right now?

When we look at the technology landscape, and specifically 5G, we see that for governments and constituents there is a need for greater speeds and more connectivity. Everyone from young students to older adults needs secure and reliable connectivity to accomplish so many daily tasks.
That’s why 5G is important, as well as investing in and adopting that technology. We have a great 4G network, but building on top of that and having a 5G network will meet today’s requirements for bandwidth and speed while preparing for future accommodations and new advancements.

What role does public expectation playin the push to enhance connectivity?

During the pandemic, connectivity efforts increased rapidly. Today, people still expect those enhanced connectivity options. Instead of going into a government office to turn in paperwork, for example, users want to be able to do that from their phone.
Having 5G infrastructure enables governments to find new ways to serve their constituents. For example, if someone sees a pothole, they can simply take a picture of it and submit that, which includes information on the location of the pothole. With 5G technology, an agency can now send out a drone for immediate inspection and stream back what is needed for repairs.
As we see 5G connectivity develop and expectations grow, we find we can push the boundaries of what is possible. Soon, communities will be diving deeper into technology like augmented reality or machine learning, autonomous vehicles and other possibilities.

What are some of the biggest benefitsto bridging the digital divide?

The first is highly skilled or educated workforces, which is good for everybody. Connectivity allows students, faculty, universities and other organizations to attract talent. But more importantly, no student will be left behind.
There’s also a huge focus on rolling out 5G to rural communities, not just urban areas. In addition to supporting school systems and higher education, bridging the digital divide is about providing for previously underserved communities. It’s critical to provide that digital equity. We’re seeing the ability to text into 911 and upload videos into 911 systems, which has so much potential. By bridging the digital divide, opportunities like this will be possible for everyone.

What are some steps communities cantake to enhance their connectivity?

The first step to addressing connectivity challenges is having budgets to enable action, so actually earmarking funds to acquire this technology and provide broadband access is No. 1. To get that funding, we encourage governments to explore federal legislation that earmarks funds for qualifying technology projects. My biggest recommendation to government agencies is to take a step back. What is the problem you’re trying to fix, and are you sourcing that solution accordingly? Too many people focus on the ingredients, not necessarily what the end result of those ingredients will produce.

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Bryan Schromsky

Meeting constituent expectations and bridging the digital divide are top concerns for local and state governments. Bryan Schromsky, managing partner, Connected Solutions at Verizon, discusses the importance of investing now.
Verizon serves as a trusted partner to the public sector, from rural communities to the largest State and Federal agencies. We enable better government through our best-in-class networks, innovative solutions, exceptional customer experience, and decades of success helping get mission-critical projects done right.