As the novel coronavirus spreads and forces workers across sectors to work remotely, industries across the globe are threatened and the economy is in the crosshairs of inevitable decline. But digital technology that allows for remote interaction will increase in demand, opening the door for innovation and a market boom, according to a telecommunication expert at Cornell University.
Aija Leiponen, professor of applied economics and an expert in the telecommunication industry, says communication service providers have an opportunity for growth in an otherwise disruptive period.
“The pandemic has forced a lot of people to work, study, and socialize remotely. We are fortunate to have high-quality digital technologies and services available. This is also a great opportunity for additional innovations that facilitate remote interaction in education, social networks, computing, telecommuting, and telecommunication networks.
“While much of the economy is rapidly shrinking into recession, markets for communication products and services will be booming. 5G and other network upgrades couldn’t come soon enough. However, in many parts of the US, broadband networks are not quite what they should be. Due to low competition and ineffective state-level regulation, many U.S. communities outside of the major metropolitan areas have low-quality wireless and broadband services.
“Now would be a great time for policy makers to look into mobile and fixed-line broadband availability, reliability, and speed, and create stronger regulatory mandates for telecom companies to upgrade their networks so that U.S. residents everywhere can be productive while working and studying remotely.”