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Software Paves the Way to Increased Economic Growth

The concerns with our aging infrastructure are well-documented. The highways, bridges, and airports that paved the way for our world-leading economy today are crumbling and, even worse, undermining growth. Rather than boosting business, our infrastructure costs the nation roughly $1 trillion a year in lost economic growth. Our highways suffer from constant congestion, our bridges have become structurally unsound, and outdated technology only increases our travel delays.

But technology can change that. the BSA Foundation released “Infrastructure 4.0: Rebuilding America with Software,” a report that details how we can help close America’s infrastructure opportunity gap.

Infrastructure 4.0: Rebuilding America With Software Cover ImageToday, we have an opportunity to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure to a 21st century system. Our current system was built in an analog era, long before the invention of the Internet and cloud computing – so it’s no wonder that it’s in desperate need of some upgrades.

Software can not only help update our physical infrastructure, but also our approach to planning, design, and construction. We can now integrate sensors into bridges to monitor safety, use 3D design software to build more cost-effective roads, and operate GPS-guided precision construction equipment. We can use software to prevent train collisions, improve our water quality, and reduce our energy bills. So, what are we waiting for?

The report gives Congress three recommendations for rebuilding US infrastructure. We need to take advantage of software innovation to improve the resiliency and sustainability of our roads, bridges, transit systems, electric grid, and air traffic control system. We need to invest in broadband networks and cloud computing to better connect hardworking Americans and create jobs. And we need to improve the nation’s software skills, from kids to adults, to better arm the workforce of today and the workforce of the future.

Our infrastructure challenges are enormous, but we can start solving them with software. We shouldn’t be satisfied with yesterday’s travel and transit networks when we can upgrade them for tomorrow.

Chris Hopfensperger


As the founding executive director of the BSA Foundation, Chris Hopfensperger leads the foundation’s efforts to help policymakers and the general public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society. He also helps translate the foundation’s philanthropic and forward-looking agenda into efforts to address key issues facing the software industry.

Previously, Hopfensperger was a Senior Director, Global Policy at BSA | The Software Alliance. In that role he worked with BSA members to develop and advance the organization’s positions on technology law and regulation across markets. Hopfensperger conceived and helped produce a series of groundbreaking policy papers including the BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard, a tool for helping policymakers craft the right legal and regulatory environment for adopting the emerging technology. He advised members in such critical policy areas as cybersecurity, privacy, and encryption.

Hopfensperger has worked with industry representatives and government officials in numerous markets, and he has spoken on the intersection of policy and technology in several key capitals including Bangkok, Brussels, Beijing, Delhi, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Prior to joining BSA, Hopfensperger served as a technology and trade policy associate in the DC office of a large global law firm. While there, he advised companies and industry associations on pursuing legislation and representing their issues before Congress and the federal agencies and in the courts. Previously, Hopfensperger worked for more than a decade as a newspaper writer and editor, including at The Washington Post, The Sacramento Bee, and the St. Petersburg Times. Hopfensperger holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.

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