Technology Has Played Important Role in Shaping Democracy
Level 3 Video Series and Infographic Explore Technology’s Role in U.S. Elections
PR Newswire, BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 4, 2016
By recent estimates, more than 218 million people are eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election. What is on the mind of voters? Ahead of the first presidential debate, Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) brought together leaders from academia, government, media and cybersecurity sectors for a Twitter Chat around online voting. The chat covered the pros and cons of online voting, how to secure the process and how the U.S. could implement online voting with the technology we have today.
It is clear from the Twitter Chat and other discussions on the topic that the U.S. still has a long way to go; however, it is important to note we would not be having these conversations if it were not for the advancements in technology and telecommunications over the years. To increase understanding of the critical role technology and telecommunications play in our election process, Level 3 has released a video series featuring experts from varying backgrounds who explore the history of the technology and how it has shaped democracy.
How has tech shaped US politics? Get the skinny here. #TechandPolitics @level3now Tweet
The video series focuses on advancements in telecommunications since the early 1900s, including the first transatlantic phone line, TV cable line and the introduction of fiber optics – all of which played a significant role in how people engaged in political discourse and made voting decisions.
Along with the series is an infographic highlighting major technology and telecommunications milestones over the last 100 years of elections.
- When the first transatlantic long distance line was built in 1915, it cost $6 per minute to make a long distance phone call. In today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of paying $143.19 per minute. This explains why only the very rich could avail themselves of the technology and were typically the first to get the latest news from across the country – including all the latest on candidates, elections and political events. This long distance line provided the foundation for cross-country communications, which are now essential to our ability to receive information and make educated voting decisions.
- Many people believe the internet began back in the 1960’s with the launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). However, according to the telecom buffs at the Telecommunications History Group, the infrastructure put in place from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s – when the first transatlantic TV cable went live – was a big part of the foundation for the internet we know today.
- Thanks to fiber optics, we can access all the information we could ever want on the elections and still have plenty of bandwidth to enable technologies like content delivery networks, VoIP, broadcast fiber, wavelengths, MPLS and IP VPN. This is a far cry from the trunk cables used prior to fiber, which comprised 4,200 pairs of wires and could carry just 1/300 of the information of one single glass fiber.
About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) is a Fortune 500 company that provides local, national and global communications services to enterprise, government and carrier customers. Level 3’s comprehensive portfolio of secure, managed solutions includes fiber and infrastructure solutions; IP-based voice and data communications; wide-area Ethernet services; video and content distribution; data center and cloud-based solutions. Level 3 serves customers in more than 500 markets in over 60 countries across a global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents and connected by extensive undersea facilities. Level 3 services are provided by subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications, Inc. For more information, visit www.level3.com or get to know us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.