One of the best investments this country should make in the very near future (like in the next couple of weeks) is digital infrastructure.
The boom in connectivity has been unparalleled and never seen before. As I’ve discussed in a previous column, the fact that most of our waking hours are now spent online has made it crucial to our way of life. What was once a nice thing, a novel thing to have, is now a necessity.
The rest of the Asian region is said to have better and cheaper connectivity, faster service and more bandwidth than we do, and if you are lucky enough to travel, you know this is true.
MOST people are on social media and long to connect with others amid the pandemic. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/MAYA MACEKA
In Korea, it is said you can download a
one-hour movie on your phone in five minutes, or even in a shorter time. Hereabouts, downloading a book sometimes takes 30 minutes.
But the other side of the coin says, “Wait. “
We have the most people on social media, the majority on Facebook. Yes, this may be true, but it says nothing about connectivity; rather, more about the ability to make more than one account.
Connectivity is another thing altogether. It remains a real problem in many parts of the country. Majority still use their data to link rather than have a line or Wi-Fi connection, which makes it a little less stable than most. Let’s say most people use it for entertainment purposes — most go online to be distracted. Nowadays, however, it has also become a main source of communication and interaction.
So, what now?
The move to make ourselves and our digital infrastructure on a par with global standards is now, more than ever, something that everyone should be taking seriously.
This is not only about the bandwidth that government or corporations will provide, but more so its cost to the people
— support for it to function properly, the reach to far-flung areas, the security of the system so it can be trusted and the stability of the connection as a whole.
Before I get told off for throwing shade anywhere, I am not. I am just trying to express ways that we can possibly get on this plane of communication that has taken over almost every aspect of our lives and is now more important than other means of communication.
THE constant lockdowns and social distancing measures saw a huge boom in connectivity. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF NCCAUSA.COM
This is also how we can measure the way the country has progressed. That this is now something of a necessity.
Our current situation is just a joke. We are nowhere near how the next country before us has their systems and securities in place.
We already have a lot on our plate, and this one medium of communication should no longer be a hindrance to anyone. Connectivity is the best investment the country can make at this time. This is, of course, after healthcare, food security and education.
We need to build and bulk up our infrastructure to the point when we don’t even give it a second thought. I foresee that this will be the backbone that everything will run on, as more apps and software go above and beyond what we are seeing now.
It is my hope that this does get not only fixed but given real attention with a foresight into what it can be in 20 years, not just for next quarter, and at the same time, that the people in need of it most will not be taken for a ride with ridiculous ‘plans’ and price ‘packages’ along the way.
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