Several energy and telecommunications experts came together Thursday, Aug. 23, to discuss issues in their fields during the U.S.-Mexico Border Summit at The University of Texas-Pan American.
Dr. Arthur M. Hartstein, program manager for Oil and Gas Processing for the U.S. Department of Energy moderated the session examining electric power, natural gas, petroleum, fuels and telecommunication.
Wayne Alexander, president and CEO of Southwestern Bell, examined telecommunications in the 21st century. This includes services for all kinds of data transmission such as electronic mail and fax; educational outreach programs like distance learning and corporate training; information sources such as the Internet; infrastructure foundations such as fiber-optic networks; wireless capabilities that serve the growing cellular and digital markets; and the software and hardware - phones, switching equipment, transformers - that allow the instant access required to build businesses and corporations.
The border region has been very dependent on the services telecommunications has provided in the past, Alexander said, and it should keep its eye on the enormous benefits of broadband services starting now and for the future.
"Broadband in the 21st century will be the same as telephone service was to our country in the 20th century," Alexander said. "It will be a lifeline for communication and for commerce. The border region needs access now. It's too great to miss this great opportunity."