Welcoming 2021 and the New Normal

Posted: January 20, 2021

What a year, but 2020 is finally behind us.

It was a year we all want to forget — a year overshadowed by a deadly pandemic that disrupted and reshaped all of our lives in one way or another.

It forced so many to work from home or “attend” virtual classrooms. Businesses re-evaluated how they connect with their workforce. Consumers changed how they shop, receive health care and connect with friends and family. This pandemic has changed how we interact with one another on a daily basis, and as we move forward into 2021, many of those changes may be here to stay.

Matt Cuson, vice president of marketing and products for Minerva Networks, recently published an article about the effects of the pandemic on the technology sector, and he too predicts life will never be exactly as it was.

“Although much of this will, we hope, soon be in the past, we may never go back to things the way they were, and a new normal will emerge both for businesses and individuals,” he wrote.

The pandemic has created new habits that will likely remain long after the danger of infection subsides. Employers will commit to a remote workforce. Consumers will embrace working from home, online shopping and telehealth opportunities.

One thing the pandemic taught us is that it is impossible to survive without broadband. As we move into 2021, the role that broadband plays in our lives will only grow. Our customers are adapting to this new normal where broadband is a central component. Providers also must adapt.

We can expect demand for bandwidth to increase, and we expect the cost of content to continue rising, which will force providers to find creative value-based solutions that fit their customers’ needs.

As an industry, the future still presents challenges, but we are committed to providing fast, reliable internet for everyone in Tennessee regardless of how remote one lives. We will continue working with state and federal agencies to create funding streams that make deploying fiber in rural Tennessee affordable and efficient. State and federal leaders understand the importance of a connected Tennessee.

Fast, reliable broadband is more important now than ever, and we won’t stop until everyone in Tennessee has access to this life-changing technology.

From all of us at the Tennessee Broadband Association, we wish you the best as we all continue spreading fiber broadband while helping rural Tennessee adapt to this new normal.