While this election has many people concerned and eagerly anticipating its end, there are certain notable technological advances that have had a positive effect on politics in the U.S. Here are some of the ways in which telecom technology has improved the political process.
Today’s Advances Allow Anyone to Stay Informed
Back in the early 1900s, the only way to make long-distance contact with anyone was via an expensive phone call. If people wanted to learn about what was going on across the nation, they had to be wealthy. Thanks to the availability and affordability of the internet and telecom a century later, people can get immediate access to all of the latest news — political or otherwise.
ARPANET Wasn’t the True Origin of the Internet
Contrary to what many believe, the invention of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) in the 1960s wasn’t the actual precursor to the modern-day internet. It was actually the invention of the transatlantic TV cable that initiated the development of what we would later come to know as the internet.
Fiber Optics Paved the Way for Telecom
Apart from the innovations taking place throughout the early-to-mid 20th century, another major influence on today’s internet and telecommunications was the development of fiber optics. Many people associate fiber optics with colorful displays and gifts, but these cables are also capable of holding a lot of information that makes them invaluable in today’s technological advances.
Prior to fiber optic cables, trunk cables were commonplace, and took up a lot more physical space than today’s fiber. Today, hair-thin fiber optic cables can carry the same amount of information as about 300 trunk cable bundles, each with roughly the diameter of a baseball.
Online Voting May Not Be Far Away
The prospect of voting online sounds like an instant security risk, prompting many to mildly panic at the thought of a more easily rigged election thanks to hackers and other threats. On the other hand, shopping online also made many people skeptical when it rose to popularity in the late ’90s and 2000s (when people were stockpiling supplies to prepare for Y2K), but most people today won’t give a one-click Amazon buy a second thought.
Many states already offer online voter registration, and with this development online voting isn’t that much of a stretch. While today’s security capabilities may not be good enough to effectively handle online voting, that future isn’t too distant. While that might not be here yet, today’s technology has already made it easier than ever for voters to gain knowledge about political nominees, including their stances on issues, policies, and even their life stories.
There’s no question that technological developments over the years have revolutionized politics in the U.S., and these changes will only continue as telecom and internet capabilities increase.