Upgrading technology we will be working with from now on is a challenge if we think about the problems that arose from the COVID-19 health crisis, and which need to be resolved as soon as possible. The role of technology in the new reality highlighted one of these long-term It is the lack of access to the Internet, which affects billions of people around the world. And here in the United States, the gap between those who have and those who don’t have Internet access is growing.
It is not only rural and low-income communities around the world that have been affected. Large urban areas have also been affected by the lack of reliable and affordable access. Today, wireless technology is necessary to connect and perform a wide variety of tasks. Therefore, it is important to strive to upgrading technology so that more people can connect wirelessly and have the same opportunities. One way to reduce the digital divide depends on making 5G technology available to everyone.
The size of the technology gap
A World Economic Forum article cites the Federal Communications Commission report that 97% of Americans living in urban areas have access to high-speed fixed service. However, the scenario is different in rural areas, where the figure drops to 65%, and 60% in tribal lands. In total, the data indicate that nearly 30 million Americans are unable to benefit from this digital age that is now a necessary reality.
The global situation is even more distressing. According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, in developed countries the Internet penetration rate is 87%, in developing countries it is 47%, while in less developed countries it is only 19%. The figures are worrying if we remember the need for Internet access. Although our country is apparently in a better situation than the rest, it is important not to remain with our arms crossed and to continue advancing in the search for solutions to upgrading technology.
Education and the lack of technology
One of the areas most in need of Internet access is education. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, distance learning has not been universal for poor primary and secondary students. In the United States alone, low-income students are less likely to have the equipment necessary to attend online classes, according to a study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress of the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics.
In addition, the report details that 7% of poor eighth grade students do not have access to the Internet, compared to 1.6% of affluent students. If the problem is not addressed, these economic inequalities will continue to worsen because this situation causes people without robust Internet access to fall behind academically and economically. There are alternatives such as early investments so that 5G can create value in economies, contributing to fiscal stimulus.
5G and 6G technology as a possible solution.
There are many proposals to reverse the current situation. One of them is 5G technology, which requires special infrastructure, such as a multitude of additional mobile towers or software-defined network architectures. The development of 5G is one of the most massive infrastructure programs out there, and it is also expensive because the telecommunications industry has been left behind. This situation only makes 5G more expensive and difficult to implement.
To find a solution to this situation, the World Economic Forum suggests rethinking how to build 5G systems, which requires investment from IT companies to move forward. To this end, public-private partnerships would play an important role in the evolution of 5G. On the one hand, governments should invite companies, sharing risks and incentivizing by reducing deployment costs, avoiding vendor lock-in and enabling a future transition to 6G.
A better future is possible with 5G technologies
If 5G were implemented, we could achieve endeavors that now seem remote. For example, a globally connected virtual classroom that benefits all students, regardless of language, comprehension style or geography. There would also be benefits for the healthcare sector, such as enabling doctors around the world to use artificial intelligence and real-time computing to care for their patients. This and much more is possible as technology and 5G are being upgraded.
It is undeniable that technology is now a necessity that anyone must have covered to respond to the new demands of the world. For this reason, at eSmart Recycling we work recycling computers to allocate part of the profits to return them in the form of computers for children and families with few resources. In this way, we contribute to closing the technological gap so that more people can be competitive in the academic and work environment for a better future.