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Enhanced wireless broadband gives Hoosiers more opportunities

My Opinion
Kevin Brinegar, Guest Writer

Advanced communications technology and mobile wireless devices have altered the ways in which we connect with other people and the world, and will continue to alter the ways we learn, work and play.
For business owners, enhanced access to reliable broadband means that they can grow their businesses and source hard-to-find merchandise or supplies globally. Small businesses can compete directly with much larger businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs can start web-based businesses with lower capital costs. Students and workers can achieve personal and professional advancement through distance learning and robust study or training materials.
Enhanced broadband means more jobs, more opportunity and more dynamism in our state’s economy, indeed, a higher quality of life. That is why I was pleased to learn of and support the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger.
The hundreds of thousands of applications available on smartphones and other wireless devices will continue to change the way businesses and customers interact. Commerce is in a fast-moving, rapidly innovating digital age but only in those communities where reliable, high-speed wireless Internet service is available.
Unfortunately, this kind of advanced telecommunications network does not exist everywhere. Many Indiana communities ‘ especially smaller, more rural communities ‘ do not have access to these services or the possibilities they bring. The requisite infrastructure and wireless coverage do not yet extend into many areas.
AT&T and T-Mobile have proposed a merger that can combine their complementary networks and stands to bring the next generation of high-speed wireless technology to more than 97 percent of the country. This merger will make near-universal broadband availability happen ‘ and quickly ‘ for Hoosier businesses and families not already served by local telecommunications operations.
At the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, we work to encourage economic opportunity and prosperity for the entire state. Fast, reliable wireless service and an expanded and enhanced network infrastructure are critical to the success of all businesses, large and small.
As an advocate for Indiana businesses, I am optimistic about the economic growth and job creation that will result from this proposed merger. As a Hoosier, I am excited about the opportunities this will bring to communities across our state.
Editor’s note: Kevin Brinegar is president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.