Why research is important in infrastructure?

Need for high-speed networks

As corporations increase the number of PCs in their networks and demand more bandwidth for their applications, the need for high-speed networks grows. The current state of business communications requires networks that can transfer enormous amounts of data in real time. Businesses must constantly upgrade their networks to accommodate these new requirements. High-speed networks are crucial for connectivity and can be built in a variety of ways.

DWDM infrastructure: DWDM technology is changing the face of networking. The service provider industry is now focusing on this technology as it offers high transmission capacities. This technology is modular and flexible, enabling service providers to scale the network capacity as their business demands change. However, it will require some careful planning and investment. DWDM infrastructure has a long list of benefits and can help companies stay ahead of the competition. The cost savings alone are worth the investment.

Impact of diversity

Despite the growing importance of infrastructure to our economy, many sectors still fail to reflect the full range of populations and experience. The construction industry, for example, is 85 percent white, 10 percent females, and only eight percent of its top managers are racial minorities from the country of origin. Without an equal distribution of experience and viewpoints, we risk perpetuating inequity and ignoring important aspects of a diverse society. Therefore, consultation with a representative sample of the community and demographics is essential to the modernization of infrastructure.

The impacts of roads and railways are well-documented. Yet, most research on the impacts of transport infrastructure has taken place in temperate or developed regions. While roads and railways have disproportionate impacts on tropical ecosystems, the practical solutions that are implemented in developing countries are different from those in developed nations. The research community must work to identify the factors causing inequality in infrastructure research and development. It must also take into account the cultural, linguistic, and geographic diversity of those involved.

Need for long-term funding

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is leading the way on infrastructure workforce development by convening local and federal stakeholders to develop fresh research and training. These partnerships will help create more diverse and skilled workers while unlocking greater economic opportunity. As part of a comprehensive infrastructure workforce development strategy, federal agencies should focus on training programs for specific needs in the infrastructure sector, promote regional innovations and increase funding for additional grants under the DOT’s Ladders of Opportunity initiative.

To achieve these goals, federal leaders must recognize the benefits of investing in infrastructure. Focusing on aggregate dollar amounts overlooks the diversity of infrastructure needs across the country and fails to consider specific economic criteria and performance measures. This heightened focus on dollar amounts discounts the benefits of improving infrastructure to the labor market. A single billion dollars in federal spending can support up to 13,000 jobs. This means that a $1 billion infrastructure investment is likely to yield the highest returns on investment if it creates jobs that have minimal barriers to entry.