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Consumer electronics suppliers with 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.

It is difficult to predict the future impact of telecommunications technologies, services, and applications that have not yet been invented. For example, in the early days of research and development into the Internet in the late 1960s, who could have foreseen the full impact of the Internet’s widespread use today?

The structure of the U.S. telecommunications industry has changed dramatically over recent decades, with consequences for research. Major changes over the past several decades have included the breakup of the Bell System, especially the 1984 divestiture, the 1995 creation of Lucent Technologies

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