Connect with us

Broadband's Impact

Verizon Chief, on Brink of LTE and FiOS Deployment, Calls for ‘Powerful Answers’ on Broadband

Published

on

LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2013 – Broadband is now so thoroughly integrated within electronic devices, and broadband providers have done so much to advance faster internet connectivity, that now has become the time to apply broadband to solve society’s toughest problems: health care, educational improvement, and environmental sustainability.

That was the message that the CEO of one of the largest broadband providers — Verizon Communication — delivered during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show here on Tuesday.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams’s address covered a range of broadband improvements made, through both the wired and wireless networks, over the past two years.

At the convention two years ago, McAdams had touted the company’s aggressive plans for its market-leading fourth-generation wireless technology LTE. It is a wireless protocol that stands for long-term evolution.

“What a difference two years has made,” said McAdams. “Today, 4G LTE is available to 273 million [Americans], or 89 percent of the population.” He said the company would finish its deployment by the middle of 2013 — six months earlier than projected.

In offering speeds of 10-12 megabits per second (Mbps), “the impact of 4G has rippled through the tech industry,” said McAdams. Not only is there a healthy competition in the market for smart phones and tablet, but these 4G networks have laid the foundation for new sorts of machine-to-machine communications.

McAdams also cited the rollout of the company’s fiber optic internet service, or FiOS. This wired network offers speeds of 100 Mbps to consumers within the company’s geographic footprints in the northeast, the Pacific states, and in Texas. A new upgrade will begin to offer service at 300 Mbps. “And we have the platform to deliver one Gigabit per second to the home,” he said.

With improved wireless and wired networks, McAdams said that the next challenge is to effectively use these broadband networks.

That’s why he spent the bulk of his hour-long address focusing on society’s unmet needs: how super-fast broadband can enable improvements in health care — particularly through telemedicine — as well as enhanced opportunities for distance learning, automotive safety, and enhancing environmental sustainability.

McAdams announced that his company’s Verizon Foundation will launch a $10 million competition to address precisely these issues.

Called the “Powerful Answers Award,” McAdams threw down the gauntlet for the technology industry present at the conference. “What we need now is for the best minds in the technology industry to figure out how to tap their capabilities to change the world for the better,” he said.

Award submissions will include a summary of the idea or product; an articulation of the problem being solved; a high-level business plan; a sense of the potential global impact of the solution and how it utilizes high-speed networks. See http://powerfulanswersaward.com and this news release for more information.

Follow Broadband Breakfast’s coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show at http://twitter.com/broadbandcensus. Our goals for #CES2013 are to promote the upcoming series of Broadband Breakfast Club events; to get the latest information on how broadband is driving digital technologies in 2013; and to test ideas for a book on technology, broadband, and digital media that Broadband Breakfast’s Publisher Drew Clark plan to write in 2013. He is on Google+ and Twitter.

Broadband's Impact

Baltimore Needs Grassroots Help to Bridge Digital Divide, Experts Say

‘Baltimore lags behind many cities when it comes to the number of households with home internet connections.’

Published

on

Photo of Jason Hardebeck, director of Baltimore's Office of Broadband and Digital Equity

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2022 – Local leaders from Baltimore said at a Benton Institute event that there needs to be an alignment with the community and leadership when it comes to closing the digital divide.

“Baltimore lags behind many cities when it comes to the number of households with home internet connections,” said Amalia Deloney from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which invests in projects to improve the quality of life in the city. The foundation estimates that 74,116 households don’t have internet access.

The event’s speakers pointed to digital redlining, in which segments of racial minority and lower income Americans are disconnected from services or can be considered living in low priority areas.

Jason Hardebeck, director of Baltimore’s Office of Broadband and Digital Equity, said the city is a “pioneer in redlining,” and “a century later, we still see the effect on the digital divide.”

To address this, Deloney said the foundation’s approach to the digital divide in Baltimore by starting at the social level through its Digital Equity Leadership Lab. This is a program for Baltimore residents to “increase their understanding of the internet and strengthen their ability to advocate for fast, affordable and reliable broadband.”

The program aims to train and build leadership within the community to advocate for closing the digital divide. It points to a strategy of bringing “advocates together with community leaders,” as “digital equity is social, not a technological problem,” said Colin Rhinesmith, founder and director of the Digital Equity Research Center.

Michelle Morton from the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Association also said local leaders need to work with community members to have a bottom-up approach. “You have to work with the people doing the work on the ground.

“Their voices matter,” said Morton.

Mayor Brandon Scott has allocated $35 million from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to close the digital divide across Baltimore “by the end of this decade.”

Continue Reading

Education

Metaverse Can Serve as a Supplement, Not Replacement, For Educators: Experts

The virtual world where avatars can meet as if they were in real life can be a companion for education.

Published

on

Screenshot of the Brookings event Tuesday

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2022 – Experts said at a Brookings Institution event said Tuesday that while the “metaverse” can go a long way toward improving education for some students, it should serve as a supplement to those educational goals.

The metaverse refers to a platform of 3D virtual worlds where avatars, or virtual characters, meet as if they were in the real world. The concept has been toyed with by Facebook parent Meta and is being used as a test for the educational space.

“The metaverse is a world that is accessible to students and teachers across the globe that allows shared interactions without boundaries in a respectful optimistic way,” Simran Mulchandani, founder of education app Project Rangeet, said at Tuesday’s event.

Panelists stated that as the metaverse and education meet, researchers, educators, policymakers and digital designers should take the lead, so tech platforms do not dictate educational opportunities.

“We have to build classrooms first, not tech first,” said Mulchandani.

Rebecca Kantar, the head of education at Roblox – a video game platform that allows players to program games – added that as the metaverse is still emerging and being constructed, “we can be humble in our attempt to find the highest and best way to bring the metaverse” into the classroom for the best education for the future.

Anant Agarwal, a professor at MIT and chief open education officer for online learning platform edX, stated the technology of the metaverse has the potential to make “quality and deep education accessible to everybody everywhere.”

Not a replacement for real social experiences

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, senior fellow of the global economy and development at the Center for Universal Education, said that while the metaverse brings potential to improve learning, it is not a complete replacement for the social experience a student has in the classroom.

“The metaverse can’t substitute for social interaction. It can supplement.”

Mulchandani noted the technology of the metaverse cannot replace the teacher, but rather can serve to solve challenges in the classroom.

Continue Reading

Digital Inclusion

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel Emphasizes 100 Percent Broadband Adoption

‘It’s about making sure wireless connections are available in 100 percent of rural America,’ said the chairwoman.

Published

on

Photo of Kelley Dunne, CEO of AmeriCrew, leading panel on workforce issues at the Rural Wireless Infrastructure Summit by Drew Clark

PARK CITY, Utah, June 28, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission is making progress towards bringing “affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to 100 percent of the country,” Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said at the Rural Wireless Infrastructure Summit here on Tuesday.

Rosenworcel pointed to the $65 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act now being deployed across the country, with a particular focus on unconnected rural and tribal areas.

Although the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will take the lead with these funds, the FCC’s new broadband coverage maps will be important in implementing state digital equity plans.

In her remarks, Rosenworcel also discussed how the upcoming 2.5 GigaHertz spectrum auction will involve licensing spectrum primarily to rural areas.

At the July FCC open meeting, said Rosenworcel, the agency is scheduled to establish a new program to help enhance wireless competition. It is called the Enhanced Competition Incentive Program.

The program aims to build incentives for existing carriers to build opportunities for smaller carriers and tribal nations through leasing or partitioning spectrum. Existing carriers will be rewarded with longer license terms, extensions on build-out obligations, and more flexibility in construction requirements.

“It’s about making sure wireless connections are available in 100 percent of rural America,” she said.

She also indicated her commitment to work with Congress to fund the FCC’s “rip and replace” program to reimburse many rural operators’ transitions from Chinese-manufactured telecommunications equipment. She also touted the role that open radio access networks can plan in more secure telecommunications infrastructure.

In other news at the conference, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr addressed the role of funding broadband operations in rural America, the challenges of workforce training, and ensuring that rural carriers have access to high-cost universal service support.

In a session moderated by AmeriCrew CEO Kelley Dunne, panelists from the U.S. Labor Department, the Wireless Infrastructure Association and Texas A&M Extension Education Services addressed the need to offer a vocational career path for individuals for whom a four-year degree may not be the right choice. AmeriCrew helps U.S. military veterans obtain careers in building fiber, wireless and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Broadband Breakfast Editor and Publisher Drew Clark contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

Trending