One of the main differentiator’s of community owned networks compared to the big cable and telephone companies is customer service. Being rooted in the community, vested in its success, and employing local residents just means better, more prompt service.
There are several big changes on the horizon that are going to really impact cellular networks. One change is transformational, one solves some local network issues and the third, and probably the least important one will get all of the press.
The transformational change is that the technology is being developed that will allow the industry to centralize the brains and the computing functions of the network. Today there are nearly 200,000 cell phone towers in the US and each cell phone tower requires a full set of switching electronics. Much of the smarts of the cellular network is done at these cell sites. That makes the cellular network somewhat unique in that most other types of networks have been able to centralize the brains and computing power of the network into hubs rather than to leave everything on the edge.
Ed. Note: Local governments from across America often ask us about what they can do to prepare their communities for fiber networks. We’ve learned a lot from our work with KC, Austin and Provo — but we were also curious about what a longtime industry expert might recommend. That’s why we turned to Joanne Hovis, a communications policy expert and advocate for the interests of local communities, the President of CTC Technology & Energy and the immediate past president of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). We asked Joanne to pull together her recommendations on how local communities can become more “fiber-ready.” She recently published this advice (with financial support from us) for local leaders in a paper called Gigabit Communities, and she’s joining us as a guest blogger to talk about her suggestions.
In 2009, city leaders and residents in Chattanooga made a bold decision — they built a new local fiber-optic network so that they could have widespread access to faster broadband. Years later, the decision has paid off; according to the New York Times, the network has helped to create jobs and spur economic growth. This success story is just part of the recent wave of interest in next generation fiber-optic networks that seems to be sweeping the country as local governments are increasingly looking for ways to bring faster broadband and more competition to their communities. Building a network like Chattanooga’s might not be possible everywhere. But there is an alternate option — as an advisor to many communities, I’ve seen that that there are certain steps that cities and counties can take that could help attract fiber companies to build private local networks.
Google and its fiber initiative have helped to set the bar for ISPs with residential broadband speeds that top out at 1 Gbps, but what the company has in mind next will blast that bar into the stratosphere.
Just as cable operators start to get their mitts on DOCSIS 3.0 modems that can produce downstream speed bursts in the neighborhood of 1-Gig, Google already starting to spout off about plans to do ten times that.
Anybody with a computer knows that there are a host of computer viruses that can cause them problems. Most of us just load some sort of virus checking software on our computers and then hope to not get infected. But few of us have ever read much about the different kinds of viruses. So I offer a short description of the most common kinds of viruses that are attacking us each day. This isn’t an exhaustive list and also doesn’t include other malware like worms or trojan horses.
If you read my blog much you will know that I talk a lot about the Internet of Things, and that I often mention how the IoT is going to transform medicine. The reason for this is personal, not just to me, but to the whole generation of baby boomers. We are now 60ish and, while that is not yet old, we all can look into the future in a decade or two and see ourselves as old.
I think the biggest fear that a lot of us have is losing control of our lives and ending up in an institution. Many institutions are dehumanizing and even the best run ones are a far cry from staying in your own home. And so, to me, the part if the IoT that probably interests me the most is the technologies that are going to let people stay in their homes as long as possible. I don’t know about you, but if I had one wish to make with a genie it would be to live to a ripe old age with good health and then die in my own bed.
The problem, known as the “spectrum crunch,” threatens to increase the number of dropped calls, slow down data speeds and raise customers’ prices. It will also whittle down the nation’s number of wireless carriers and create a deeper financial divide between those companies that have capacity and those that don’t.
Samantha Bookman, FierceTelecom.com
Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) is taking sides on a fiber-to-the-farm initiative in Sibley County, Minn., and it isn’t the side of the consumer. Frontier doesn’t see a fiber buildout to rural communities as feasible, arguing in a letter to county commissioners that they can provide the same level of service as fiber via their DSL service.
Fiber To The Home Council Website
If all you want to do is surf web pages, download a few songs, send and receive some photographs, or watch streaming video at current picture quality levels, then the bandwidth provided by today’s cable modems and DSL services is probably good enough for you. But the world is moving toward vastly higher bandwidth applications.