April 24, 2019
Engaging Americans On the Go: Government and Wireless .
Across America, wireless has become integral to how we stay connected and conduct our lives, including by powering our interactions with federal, state, and local governments.
People increasingly want to access government services on their smartphone. In a 2018 survey, Americans overwhelmingly voiced a desire to digitalize government services and eliminate paperwork, processes that could be particularly efficient on a wireless device.
For some Americans—20 percent, according to a study conducted in 2018—their smartphone is their only method of accessing the internet at home. Without broadband service being able to access critical services on a smartphone is particularly important.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Americans are benefiting from wireless access to these important resources.
Global Health. The Center for Disease Control has a variety of apps that help keep Americans healthy. One app helps people learn how to fit helmets to prevent concussions. Another enables users to explore a simulated disease outbreak and the methods for containing it. For frequent travelers, the Center also offers a yellow book app that contains updated information on health issues specific to individual countries around the globe, including those where globetrotters will need yellow fever or malaria vaccines before traveling.
Departments of Motor Vehicles. At the state level, DMVs are increasingly making their offerings mobile-friendly—some offer helpful options such as text notifications for visitors when their number is up for service. And in some states, such as California and Maine, drivers can even renew their vehicle registration and pay municipal excise taxes on mobile devices.
National Parks. Mobile phones help people better understand the cultural heritage and natural resources of the United States. The National Park Service provides mobile apps that guide visitors through sights from the monuments of the National Mall to the geysers of Yellowstone, helping to bring these treasures to life with history and background information that enhances the visitor experience.
Historic Documents and Museums. The National Archives and the Library of Congress give citizens access to historic documents and literature on their smartphones, breaking down written works such as the Bill of Rights or entertaining with Aesop’s Fables.
NASA and Space Exploration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has an app that lets users get an inside look at NASA’s current missions and see beautiful photos and videos from the outer reaches of our universe. Space fans can watch live NASA TV, including launches, and can track the International Space Station as it orbits the earth.
Wireless devices are helping people around America take advantage of online government services. We are excited to see the innovative ways in which government can better serve citizens as our country and the world become even more connected.