foundation for societal communications

The societal importance of telecommunications is well accepted and broadly understood, reflected in its near-ubiquitous penetration and use. Noted below are some of the key areas of impact: Telecommunications provides a technological foundation for societal communications. Communication plays a central role in the fundamental operations of a society—from business to government to families. In fact, communication among people is the essence of what distinguishes an organization, community, or society from a collection of individuals. Communication—from Web browsing to cell phone calling to instant messaging—has become increasingly integrated into how we work, play, and live. Telecommunications enables participation and development. Telecommunications plays an increasingly vital role in enabling the participation and development of people in communities and nations disadvantaged by geography, whether in rural areas in the United States or in developing nations in the global society and economy. Telecommunications provides vital infrastructure for national security. From natural disaster recovery, to homeland security, to communication of vital intelligence, to continued military superiority, telecommunications plays a pivotal role. When the issue is countering an adversary, it is essential not only to preserve telecommunications capability, but also to have a superior capability. There are potential risks associated with a reliance on overseas sources for innovation, technologies, applications, and services.

Utility or on-demand service providers selling real-time communications-oriented applications. Examples include AOL and Microsoft (instant messaging) and WebEx (online meetings).Consumer electronics suppliers with communications-oriented customer-premises equipment and handheld appliances. Examples include Motorola and Nokia (cell phones), Research in Motion (handheld e-mail appliances), Polycom (videoconferencing terminals), Microsoft and Sony (networked video games), and Panasonic (televisions).
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