Lost in the pricing battles between broadband service providers like Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and content companies like Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the fact that the internet is an important tool is a large number of emergencies. (FEMA keeps instructions for how to use the internet for access to the IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed.) According to research from Cambium Networks, based on data collected from Harris Poll, among the primary concerns is internet availability during a zombie apocalypse:
… 25% of Americans believe that internet access during a zombie apocalypse could be critical for emergency response teams.
Younger women (41%) were more likely to say internet access could be needed during a zombie apocalypse, as opposed to older women (13%).
If Cambium Networks had taken the other data collected in the survey and left out the zombie apocalypse, the balance of the research might have been very useful. Too bad Cambium did not know any better.
To wit, more traditional emergencies rank higher on the list of concerns:
Americans overwhelmingly say internet access and access to data is critical to first responders during major emergencies, according to Cambium’s IoT Disaster Response Survey. Three out of four Americans (75 percent) believe that internet access during a terrorist attack could be critical to first responders, while nearly two out of three say it could be critical during tornados or earthquakes (68 percent, each). Hurricanes (67 percent), floods (66 percent), virus outbreaks (58 percent), drought (30 percent) and famine (28 percent) are other major emergencies that could require access to data, according to Americans.
How, exactly, do people think people the internet would be bested used in an emergency:
- It can notify people where to go for food/safety – 75 percent
- It can let people know if they need to evacuate – 74 percent
- Families need to communicate – 74 percent
- Medical professionals need to share information – 69 percent
- Police need to access important information – 65 percent
- Reporters/Journalists can share up to date information with the public – 44 percent
- Politicians have access to the most up to date information so they can determine where disaster funds go – 25 percent