The Ohio Legislature made an important, if not high-profile decision last month. Luckily for those who value our innovation economy, our legislators made the right decision by passing H.B. 64, which included provisions that will modernize our state’s telecommunications laws.
We all know that the technologies that normal Ohioans use on a daily basis are changing—we’re using high-speed Internet access in almost every part of our lives. From new educational opportunities and access to new online markets for our products, to simply staying in touch with friends and family, we’re becoming ever-more dependent on access to the latest communications technologies.
But as we changed our habits to include these new technologies, a few things hadn’t changed (that is, until the passage of H.B. 64 last month). Although we were constantly using newer, more data-heavy, and more mobile technology, our infrastructure was struggling to keep up with consumer demand. The private companies that build and maintain this infrastructure were being forced to spend money that might otherwise have been used to bring the latest telecommunications technology to Ohio on maintaining and fixing antiquated, last-generation wires.
With the passage of H.B. 64, those companies are now free to refocus their energies on providing the latest and most advanced services to the consumers that demand them. They can deliver the services that we need—both those that we’ve used for generations and those that we’ve used for days—over an updated network with a modern backbone.
By passing H.B. 64, the Ohio Legislature has left our state poised to take advantage of the promise of an innovation economy. This evolution of our communications laws and regulations to adapt to new technology will never truly be over, but our Legislators have now shown themselves to be willing partners in building a resilient and growth-oriented future for our state. For that, they deserve our thanks.