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Broadband Helping Military Families Stay in Touch

05.26.2017

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the tremendous sacrifices made by members of our armed services.

A long-standing priority of the U.S. military is ensuring that service members are able to stay in touch with loved ones no matter where they are deployed. Fortunately, new technologies and high-speed broadband service now makes it much easier for solders to stay connected with loved ones back home.  

During World War II, “V-mail” was introduced as a way to send letters home securely and less expensively, saving on postage costs and mail bag space. Letters from service men and women were photographed and transferred to microfilm. Once they arrived in the U.S., the letters were blown up to 2/3 of their original size and printed before delivery.

Military communications have come a long way since 1941. Today, broadband connectivity has expanded communications opportunities. Cell phone access is more reliable and it takes less time to send and receive emails. Thanks to social media, families can share photographs, videos and chat in real time.  

Web and mobile applications like Skype and WhatsApp, give access to free international video and phone calls. Many military families have shared how Skyping has been a game changer, allowing deployed parents to see their child’s first steps or to say goodnight. Many overseas bases also offer free video conferencing to their service members. In June 2016, the United States Department of the Navy formally released guidelines designed to improve the speed at which broadband and wireless infrastructure was deployed on military-run properties.

Ensuring our armed forces can stay in touch with loved ones during deployments is one of the most important functions of modern high-speed data networks. This Memorial Day, we’re thankful for the opportunity to help, if only in a small way, those who risk so much to keep our country safe.