11:15 AM EST, December 5, 2013
The tele-medicine phenomenon brought about by applications such as Sickweather is changing — in some cases saving — lives across America ("Social media can help contain illness Dec. 2). It's also creating new economic opportunities for start-up tech companies and service providers who are helping to bring these technologies into our homes.
The economic and social benefits of our increasingly connected nation are the result of federal policies made at a time when divided government didn't mean non-existent governing. The 1996 Telecommunications Act — passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton — and the FCC rules associated with it spurred over a trillion dollars in investment in the wired and wireless high-speed data networks that connect us to thousands of mobile health applications.
That doesn't even include the billions invested in smartphones and the "app economy" it gave birth to, which has created more than 750,000 jobs for entrepreneurs in fields like health IT and home monitoring — fields ripe for entry by minority-owned businesses.
By continuing to make more wireless spectrum available, investing in digital skills training programs and targeting infrastructure funds to build high-speed broadband networks in areas not reached by private providers today, the new FCC chairman and the rest of the federal government can keep investment and opportunity flowing in this sector.
Jose Marquez, Norcross, Ga.
The writer is national president and CEO of the Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association.-
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