It takes a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy to remind us of how quickly we begin to take technology for granted. Take the Internet, for example. It's only in the utter absence of it that we realize how integral it is to even the most mundane of our daily tasks.
Imagine, then, life without a reliable way to connect to the world outside our small communities. Imagine, for a minute, life in a rural hamlet or an urban slum in a developing country.
In a recent interview with Rainmakers TV, Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President of Cisco, talked about the essential role that broadband Internet can play in the both the economy of a country as well as in the wellbeing of its citizens.
According to Yoo, a 10 percent increase in broadband integration can lead to a 3.2 percent increase in a country's GPD, along with a 2 percent productivity increase.
Yoo outlines three main areas in which broadband can create significant improvements in daily life: education, healthcare and women's rights.
Yoo cites the example of a Masai man who was able to learn Spanish over the Internet and thus improve his business.
In terms of healthcare, Yoo references how quickly a deadly but curable disease like Malaria can be diagnosed if broadband is more easily accessible. Especially in countries in which travel conditions make it difficult for rural residents to make it into the city, patients can access doctors without leaving their local communities.
In Jordan, for example, clinicians in different cities have begun to consult each other on various cases over broadband to increase the probability of a correct diagnosis.
Finally, women can still stay a part of their local communities while simultaneously learning skills valuable for the workforce.
Watch the video above to see how broadband can change the developing world.