By Richelle Shaw
In my work with other entrepreneurs, I frequently talk about the importance of networking. I advise people to cultivate their network, to add many smart people to it, and to work that network in order to succeed and grow in business. Networking can indeed lead to new and exciting opportunities.
And as a former telecom entrepreneur—in fact, I was once the only female African-American public utility owner in the country—I am very familiar with the other kind of network and the important role it plays in our lives. Our nation’s telecommunications networks make it possible for people to stay connected and informed. Our mobile devices, smartphones and tablets in particular, allow people to stay in touch, learn, and conduct business on the go. These capabilities have helped people achieve previously unreachable goals, using technologies unheard of a few decades ago.
The benefits of access to high-speed wireless broadband are boundless and can bring about extraordinary changes for people. For many people, access delivers professional and educational opportunities that were formerly out of reach. Widespread access to broadband levels the playing field and can make equal opportunity a reality. For business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, access to advanced telecommunications networks can deliver new opportunities for growth and business development. For our country, increased access to high-speed broadband will bring economic growth, new innovations and technologies, and a chance at a better future for all people.
If we want to enjoy these benefits and seize new opportunities, it is vital that our government get serious about encouraging investment in our nation’s networks. Many businesses depend on the availability of a ubiquitous, fast network that can provide high-quality services. Consumers also need fast, quality networks to participate fully in our digital age. Therefore, our country must have a modern, 21st century network infrastructure in place, capable of providing the coverage and speeds needed, both for now and in the future.
The Internet transformation, or the transition to an all-IP infrastructure, will result in lightning-fast, modern broadband networks that can fuel economic growth, close the digital divide, and provide access to new opportunities. For a business, a reliable broadband infrastructure that provides next generation high speed access can galvanize growth and opportunity. In order to get these advanced next-generation networks in place, policy makers must make sure that telecommunications companies have the proper regulatory environment in place that encourages the investment of the billions needed to modernize the network infrastructure. Outdated regulations can impede investment, depress innovation, stall progress, and discourage investment.
I know from experience that the telecommunications industry is capital intensive and requires substantial private sector investment. For consumers, small businesses and corporate America, deploying modern IP-based broadband networks is crucial for growth and for satisfying customer demands. We must accelerate the process of modernizing these networks if we are to meet the demands and challenges of the future. The possibilities of IP-based broadband networks are endless, and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish.
Richelle Shaw is the president of National Association for Moms in Business.