Between 2018 and 2021, the number of people without access to broadband internet in America had dropped from 18 to 14 million. By 2023, this number had reduced much further, but still more than 10 million people still were unserved or underserved with high speed internet.
The communities that lack high speed internet access cannot access vital services such as education, healthcare, entertainment, and networking.
To increase the high speed internet coverage, the federal government has programs in place. The FCC wants to make high speed internet available and affordable to all people.
Through the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program, the government wants to enable all households to afford broadband internet.
Likewise, state governments have launched programs to deploy fast internet coverage to their unserved and underserved rural and urban communities. For instance, the state of Kentucky has the Better Kentucky Initiative, and high speed internet is one of their objectives.
Kentuckian ISPs such as Broadlinc are making this dream a reality. Through their offices in different locations, they are rolling out broadband connectivity to rural communities, and they are changing lives.
Here is how making access to fast internet possible is impacting the coming generations:
Better access to education and healthcare
Nothing is more important for the future generations than giving them unlimited access to education, and healthcare
Access to the internet makes distance learning opportunities more available. Many universities offer online learning programs. Only people with access to fast internet can access digital learning without disruptions.
Education is a human right, and a true equalizer for Americans. This does not only mean formal education that you can only get in class. It also means skills that you can learn with the internet. Of course, internet accessibility connects you to the biggest library in the world.
Because new skills keep coming up, with the internet, you can learn the emerging trends in different fields and stay updated. Use the internet to equip yourself for the job market by upgrading your skills online.
Bringing back jobs and business to the small towns
The loss of jobs and businesses steals the future of the communities living in the American backroads, but all hope is not lost. In 1848, the California Gold Rush brought life to the western towns. Today, high speed internet access is bringing life to the hitherto unserved rural communities.
Towns that were almost becoming ghost towns have suddenly found new life. Businesses are sprouting up and creating job opportunities. More young professionals are coming back home while they are still at their prime age.
With jobs and businesses starting to rise in the rural towns, a lot of life is coming back home. Internet-based businesses are coming to life, as are brick and mortar stores.
As more businesses grow in rural America, the next generation has something to look forward to. At least, they won’t have to start from scratch.
Besides, access to the internet enables them to access entertainment, networking opportunities and many more. At last, the communities in rural America can enjoy almost the same services as their urban peers.
Internet access brings social transformation in rural areas
By making high speed internet available to rural America, a huge phenomenon, perhaps only second to healthcare and online education, is happening. This is the social transformation that internet access brings.
When the rural towns access high speed internet, the young professionals are less likely to migrate to the big cities and towns.
After all, if there are job opportunities in their local town, they would not be prompted to go to the bigger cities. In any case, when they are older, they always seek to come back to a quieter and slow-paced life.
With less migration, the rural town communities are now becoming more diversified. In the past, these crowds were mostly made of the elderly and the children. Today, the young professionals are staying behind. Even retailers are having to rethink their marketing strategy because the demographics are broader.
Living in such a diversified community gives the young ones a lot of hope, as they have many people to look up to. As the internet accessibility keeps on opening up the market, more opportunities come up, and a bigger part of the youth stay when they have opportunities closer home.
The internet is enabling the youth to forge careers early
By 2023 going forward, the digital space will be one of the biggest employers in the world. Young people are making lucrative careers in this space with monetizable content.
Among the so-called Gen Z, video sharing site TikTok is very popular. Through this platform, the person that builds the biggest following makes the most money. By sharing funny or other videos that resonate well with many people, the youngsters are building huge followings fast.
Other platforms that are enabling young people to start their careers in the digital field include YouTube, WordPress, and Instagram.
Because of the vast opportunities available on the internet, many young people are skipping mainstream employment for more relaxed self-employment. This trend is expected to continue into the future.
The internet also opens up advanced learning opportunities. For instance, young children are learning coding skills. This is considered a skill of the present and the future. You can see why denial to fast internet robs these children of their future.
Today, with companies advancing the reach of broadband internet into the rural areas, every child can have a sporting chance at life.
Remote work makes better families
Believe it or not, when parents work from home, they are able to create stronger bonds with their children. Of course, only one thing makes working from home possible – fast internet.
The time that they would otherwise waste in the traffic going to work and back home can be used to bond with the children, catch up with the homework, or do other useful things.
When parents spend more time with their children, they can mold them to be better citizens. With a good internet connection, the learning continues, even when there is no school.
During the pandemic, billions of children missed school for almost a year. If they had had the internet, they would have continued learning in virtual classrooms.
Learn skills of the future
Technology is so dynamic as it changes so fast. For instance, in 2023, we saw a huge disruption from the entry of artificial intelligence (AI) in different fields. Therefore, this has become the skill to learn because it is only starting.
Without high speed internet, people in the rural areas cannot be able to keep up with such skills. As ISPs continue rolling out broadband internet to the rural communities, young people can now learn all the skills of the future. These include coding, digital marketing, app development, and many more.
There are so many benefits of taking high speed internet to rural communities. It is opening up job markets, learning opportunities, increasing business chances, and securing the future.
A big social transformation is taking place in the rural areas as they are able to retain more of their young professionals. People are connecting online, and creating professional and marketing networks.
Families can bond more as one or both parents resort to working from home. Children can continue learning even when normal schooling is disrupted.
Services that were hard to access in the past can now be accessed in the rural communities. They can take advantage of telehealth, where patients consult with health experts online.
Better internet access also enables children to learn tech in their early years, when they can grasp concepts easily.