In 2024, technology and access to the internet will no longer be a luxury, but a necessity.

As our world and economy become more dependent on the internet, digital tools, and connected technologies, improving access to technology is a social and economic necessity.

Technology helps entrepreneurs bring ideas and innovations to market, allows family-owned businesses here in Ohio to expand their presence in the world of e-commerce, improves the quality of education for students, and Furthermore, we are improving the quality of physician education. Diagnose and treat patients more efficiently.

But for too long, many rural communities like those in my House district have been ignored. As a result, rural communities now face some of the most pressing and unique challenges in the state.

Compared to urban areas, rural communities have “There will be less internet access, fewer educational institutions, more hospitals closing, and slower economic growth.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures. While Washington is beginning to make progress in addressing these challenges, it is important that we do more to build our community for long-term success. This can be achieved by investing in broadband internet access.

In rural areas where access to traditional resources is limited, technology can act as a lifeline by breaking down barriers to entry and expanding opportunities. There is no doubt that the Internet and technological innovation are the foundation of success.

However, more than 1 million Ohioans still lack access to high-speed internet, according to Broadband Ohio. Nationally, 28% of rural Americans do not have a high-speed Internet connection at home. The same data found that 20% do not own a smartphone, 56% do not own a tablet, and 28% do not own a laptop or desktop. This means the region is left with millions of dollars of growth.

Rural America is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to accessing the digital world, and strengthening America's technology and connectivity to reach more individuals is a must for elected officials at all levels of government. Must be a priority. That's why by investing in high-speed internet, digital literacy programs, and supporting the American technology companies that build these tools, we can ensure no community is left behind in the digital age.

For rural communities to continue moving forward, leaders at all levels of government must prioritize these technology investments and enable U.S. technology companies to innovate and bring new technologies to markets and rural communities. . By strengthening America's technology companies and closing the digital divide, we can help spread technology and innovation that empowers rural entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals in Ohio.

Investing in technology and creating a digital culture in Columbiana and Carroll County will attract new business and job opportunities to the region. Ohio is already one of the best places to start a business, but our focus on technology and increasing access to rural communities will make Columbiana and Carroll County one of the best communities to do business in. You can.

Monica Robb Blasdell serves as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 79th District.

Get today's latest news and more delivered to your inbox

Source link