Background: Impact of the pandemic on the US
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed nearly every aspect of American life. The US has been hit the hardest by the SARS COV2, with over 5.5 million cases and over 173.000 deceased and counting. Consequently this has had a direct impact on the economy as in the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. recorded its steepest drop in economic output on record. While over 50 million Americans currently find themselves unemployed, many of those who managed to keep their jobs have experienced a number of big changes.
Businesses respond to pandemic
Amongst the most significant changes, we have seen businesses transition to conduct some of their operations online, and schools and universities across the country having to adapt to accommodate distance learning. What’s more, the tele-health services are becoming more widespread, allowing doctors to provide consultations (and in some cases treat patients) safely without putting themselves or their patients at risk and many real estate agencies have quickly adapted to staging virtual open houses and adding video to website listings. Today, as many states continue the process of reopening, the need for high-speed internet has never been greater.
Demand for broadband internet on the rise
Since the pandemic hit, average broadband usage across the country is up more than 40 percent, according to some estimates. In addition to straining existing broadband infrastructure, the sudden increase has highlighted the so-called digital divide between those who have ready access to computers and the internet, and those who do not. According to the latest report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the number of Americans who still don’t have access to reliable broadband internet is over 21 million, most of whom live in rural areas.
The National Association of Realtors has long supported the expansion of broadband capability throughout the United States. High-speed internet is a crucial tool for economic development and an important factor that can help make rural areas more attractive for businesses and families. Broadband not only adds to the value of a property, but it also facilitates virtually every real estate transaction in America. Consumers increasingly use online services for at least a portion of the buying or selling process. In the future, new technologies will only increase our members’ reliance on fast, efficient and cost-effective broadband services.
In recent months, federal and state governments—together with various public-private partnerships—have stepped up efforts to address the widening digital gap. For instance, states and tech organizations have created thousands of new drive-in WiFi hotspots throughout the country. Congress passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act earlier this year, which includes funding for broadband connections, distance learning, tele-health and telework. Lastly, the FCC launched the Keeping Americans Connected Initiative, which ensures businesses and families do not lose their telephone or broadband connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances.
These actions are just a preview of what will be needed in the months ahead, with a number of other legislative measures currently under consideration at both the federal and state level.
COVID-19 is a worldwide emergency of extraordinary scale. Connectivity will play a crucial role in our response. Governments across the world are being urged to provide additional resources to support mobile broadband deployment, as such investments will support job growth and expanded connectivity, helping countries remain competitive and have the required network functionality in place to deal with new challenges in the future.
How can Brodynt help?
Our broadband internet access technologies can meet any requirement you need. Furthermore, we are a one-stop-shop that covers the US on 3G/4G/5G, FTTx, xDSL and DIA services. Please click on USA Network Coverage page to find out more information on the internet services we offer in the USA.
Alternatively, you are always welcome to get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to email@example.com and one of our Account Managers will be happy to assist you!