America’s digital infrastructure has been put to the test during the pandemic and has proven to be an essential pillar of modern life. As social distancing requirements limited in-person interactions, many types of activities shifted to digital channels.
From online meetings and teleconferences, to e-commerce shopping and streaming movies at home—not to mention old-fashioned phone calls and text messages—Americans relied on the digital realm to get work done, to stay connected, and to be entertained.
Infrastructure REITs helped make this all possible by building, maintaining, and operating the cell towers, rooftop antennas, and other communications hubs used to transmit both voice and data communications. Digital data traffic has grown rapidly since the iPhone was introduced in 2006, and growth accelerated again last year during the pandemic.
Infrastructure REITs are upgrading their systems to handle 5G communications. 5G networks can have a dramatic improvement in performance that is critical for high-bandwidth applications.
The REIT infrastructure sector includes other types of private infrastructure beyond cell towers, including energy infrastructure.
Infrastructure REITs also demonstrate a strong commitment to the environment and to corporate responsibility. This includes installing energy efficient equipment and using green energy solutions, as well as sustainable use of metals, other materials, and water; corporate programs for diversity and inclusion; engagement with employees, suppliers, and local communities; and ethics and corporate governance.