All posts by BroadbandCA

Big Data and the Healthcare Crisis

The role that data – “big data” to some – could play in solving the healthcare crisis has been on our mind of late. The power of data in the realm of health is largely, as yet, untapped. And it has tremendous, even monumental, implications. It’s something that Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, has some big ideas about. We wanted to share with you his thoughts on this audacious but super logical solution to the country’s healthcare problems.

In a story in, Mundie outlines his ideas and we must say it’s compelling. He takes the notion of Health IT to a new level.…

The Current State of Spectrum

The future of broadband is going to depend on the ability of the infrastructure to meet the needs of users. This, in large part, demands the more efficient use of spectrum… spectrum though is in something of a crunch at the moment. Meaning – there’s just not enough of it.

With this in mind, we read the newest study recently from Ericsson on mobile traffic.

Released late last week, this study provides some good background and support for the state of spectrum these days, especially in urban areas, and the need for continuing innovation to make more efficient use of spectrum. It also includes forecasts for the growth of data traffic through 2016 as well as some really great graphics. It’s a worthwhile and important read for anyone interested in broadband.

Read the report here: Ericsson Predicts Mobile Data Traffic to Grow 10-fold by 2016…

The Fun Never Stops With Infographics

The fun never stops with infographics… this one is particularly interesting for those of us obsessed with politics – whether it’s local, state or national, voters are using the Internet to learn about candidates and issues. We’re beginning to see a solid link between voters clicking “Like” and filling out their ballots. Data release yesterday by local news aggregation site Topix makes a compelling case for new media as a medium for engaging, persuading and then – closing the deal.

This is definitely worth checking out:…

The Genius of Broadband Is in the Innovation

There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing about the future of innovation and the status of tech ingenuity in a post-Jobs world. It got us to thinking about what are the drivers of invention and innovation. Clearly, when it comes to technology, a single person’s brilliance has proven strong enough to shape and reshape, our cultural, social and tech landscape.

But what about for the other 99.9999% of us, the not-geniuses – what will we rely on to shape and reshape our own world and future – to change careers, start a business or connect with like-minded people? And what about those of us living in rural areas?

We found the beginnings of an answer in a recent post by Rick Boucher of the Internet Innovation Alliance, which makes the simple but profound point that: “This generation’s light bulb is broadband.” In short, with broadband access, all of us have the power to invent and innovate. Boucher uses telemedicine to make his case that

“high-speed Internet connectivity overcomes distance and enables transformative changes in the economy and quality of life for rural areas.”

Boucher puts it this way:

“Broadband breaks down barriers to modern day advancement. In terms of commerce, it enables nearly any business to be conducted from any wired location. Physical urban proximity to customers and suppliers, which once was the norm for businesses, is now unnecessary due to the virtual proximity created by a high-speed Internet connection–the same communications needs can be met and business operations completed whether located across a street or across an ocean.”

He goes on to site a new report conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch Center that

“explores the potentially life-changing (and life-saving) benefits of widespread broadband deployment. The report, “Benefits of Telemedicine in Remote Communities and Use of Mobile and Wireless Platforms in Healthcare,” http://www.internetinnovation…. explores the role of telecommunications technologies in raising the bar for the quality of healthcare that Americans can access, particularly those in remote communities.”

This report is well worth checking out – it goes in-depth to examine

“how broadband connectivity has enabled progress in healthcare innovation and impacted real-world patients. Mobile platforms like modern smartphones, for example, can be connected wirelessly to physiologic monitors worn on a patient’s body or embedded into a patient’s garment. These new telehealth-related possibilities have translated into observable outcomes such as improved access to specialists, increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, less crowded emergency rooms and cost savings.”

The report and Boucher’s blog are both good reads, and will make you reflect on the fact that “being away from the big city doesn’t have to mean being behind the big city” because broadband is the innovation that will fuel a new generation of innovation and advances.

Fun with Infographics

OK, we’ll admit it – we love a great infographic. And this one from the Internet Innovation Alliance is one of the best we’ve seen in a while. It makes the connection between broadband and jobs – the fact that more Americans than ever before rely on a fast, reliable connection to do their jobs. That more investment in broadband will yield hundeds of thousands of jobs. That… well, we could go on, but really you should just check it out for yourself.

A really great infographic on broadband and jobs!…

Merger Boils Down to Jobs and Access

There are a lot of opinions being debated about the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger. From where we stand here in California, it really boils down to two things: jobs and access. Bill Burrato in a Guest Op-Ed in the Pacific Coast Business Times got it right. Whether you live in Ventana or Ventura,

“AT&T’s recently announced plan to acquire T-Mobile is great news for the Central Coast.”

Pointing to the increase of telecommuting, Buratto goes on to say:

“Businesses today are becoming more and more dependent on effective and reliable broadband speeds and seamless coverage throughout the community. Now, it is more common for business to be done by using virtual and electronic communications services. The use of state-of-the-art information technology to conduct business is no longer a competitive advantage, it is a necessity.

The good news is that we no longer have to be tied to our offices. However, we need to make sure that small and large businesses are able to be flexible and mobile when it comes to conducting business wirelessly. Two major technology providers like these coming together would mean that the communications that are at the very core of success for all of our businesses will be more reliable, faster and effective.”

It’s about technology. Or as Buratto puts it

“Simply put, this proposed acquisition will provide technological advancements businesses need to compete on a global level.

This acquisition will help us maintain our state’s competitiveness by giving us expanded and reliable access to high-speed wireless services. Not only will these enhancements to the network infrastructure support innovation, it will help our state continue to cultivate start-up companies that need the most competitive edge to succeed.”

And it’s about rural access:

“This acquisition will help people, companies and institutions in rural communities in California. It’s important that customers in smaller markets have access to technology offered in major metro areas. This acquisition will do that in a significant way, by making LTE technology available to more Californians, no matter where they live.”

Expanding network capacity and accelerating faster speeds to more people in more locations will not only benefit our businesses but it will also benefit residents. In the wake of all the major disasters that have happened over the past couple of years, VCEDA has promoted disaster preparedness to businesses and communities. The strength of the two networks will provide customers with more robust disaster recovery capabilities than we would receive in the absence of this acquisition.

“This merger is great news. It means better service and greater access to fast wireless Internet services. And it means a better and a brighter future for all of our businesses.”

It really is as simple as that. The merger is about creating jobs and expanding access for Californians.

Broadening the Social Web

It’s incredible, when you stop to think about it, just how much we rely on the Internet for work. For fun. For pretty much darn near everything we do. And what’s most remarkable is the strength and ever-growing role of social networking sites that make it all possible.

One of the more interesting discussions of this came from Brdoerick Johnson blogging for the Internet Innovation Alliance’s “The Podium.” Keying off a new Pew study released last month, Johnson points out that 65% of adult Internet users are connected via social networking sites. And most interestingly, he points out,

“it’s not those just past the threshold into adulthood who are jumping in the online social world the most, but rather the Boomers, whose usage on a typical day jumped a whopping 60% in the last year.”

Johnson then goes on to make the point that it’s broadband in conjunction with social networking that is changing the face of business and really, every day life, as we know it, writing that firstly

“social networks are now a major means of communication in today’s business and social economies. And secondly, the expansion of broadband technology has made the social web faster, increasingly interconnected, and more valuable to its users. Gone are the days when online interaction seemed like a trek into the wild and unruly frontier. The rise of the social web also points to our increasing reliance on digital communication in the economy and thus to job creation and economic growth and opportunity.”

Services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn not only make it easy for us to stay connected to people important to us, they’re also playing an important role in business. More and more companies are leveraging the power of social interaction to sell products and services; for example, the emergence of local and family owned food trucks can be attributed to their use of Twitter for real time menu, location, and deal updates.

In addition to changing the conversation between businesses and consumers, the social web, networking through networks, has also enhanced the job seeker’s ability to find (and be found by) potential employers, careers, and startup business opportunities.

That’s what makes the rise of the social web so exciting to watch. When social sites first started hitting the mainstream, social networking may have seemed like little more than a fad. But from the Pony Express to email, we have always looked for new – and more immediate – ways to communicate, and social networking has taken its place as the latest leap forward.

Today, we check in to locations to find nearby deals. We check in with friends for reviews of products and services. We check in with companies to find a job. The rise of social networking has been enhanced by the rise of mobile broadband, and together they are changing our ways of communicating and the face of our economy.”

Johnson concludes by connecting the dots in a compelling way – making the case that it all boils down to one thing: Jobs. He writes

“All business, whether it’s conducted between co-workers or in the global marketplace, depends on interaction. You want to put America back to work? Give every American the ability to interact. Put the power of broadband – wired or wireless – in their hands.”

Wrapping up our 10th hour online here today, much of which was spent on Facebook and Twitter (for work, mind you) we couldn’t agree more.