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Drew Clark: ‘Killer Apps’ for the Gigabit Economy: Why They Are Necessary to Sell the Benefits of Advanced Broadband Networks

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February 10, 2015 – With all the talk — and now the action — behind building Gigabit Networks by hundreds of cities across the United States, a key question emerges: What can actually be done with all the speed?

Understanding the technologies that take advantage of Gigabit Networks is a key component of fleshing out the vision behind high-speed networks. Among the organizations and companies that have been articulating a vision for the “killer apps” for the Gigabit economy include The Pew Research Center, the national non-profit organization US Ignite, Ohio-based OneCommunity, and Orange Telecom.

Officials from US Ignite and Orange Silicon Valley will join Kirton McConkie Attorneys David Shaw and Drew Clark in discussing high-bandwidth applications in a webinar to be held on Tuesday, February 10, at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar, the third of four in a series on “How to Build Your Gigabit Network” by Kirton McConkie, will be recorded and made available on the Kirton McConkie web site. The final webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 17, at 2 p.m. ET.

Below is a compendium of a few of the resources available to individuals seeking to understand the important role of broadband applications.

Pew Research Center

In October 2014, Pew published its “Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age” report. In an article on the report, BroadbandBreakfast.com noted:

Three-dimensional holograms. Immersive virtual reality environments. Instant face-to-face meetings that match physical meetings and inch closer to a real-life virtual hug. These are among the technologies made available by gigabit networks, according to “Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age,” a report released last week by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.

“What is striking about the answers in the report is that technologists are way ahead of current reality,” said Lee Rainie, the Director of the Internet Project, in an interview.

The report surveyed more than 1,400 experts from academia, tech firms and the industry about their thoughts on the report’s two titular topics: apps and connectivity in 2025.

The report featured the following themes:

  1. People’s basic interactions and their ability to ‘be together’ and collaborate will change in the age of vivid telepresence—enabling people to instantly ‘meet face-to-face’ in cyberspace with no travel necessary.

  2. Augmented reality will extend people’s sense and understanding of their real-life surroundings and virtual reality will make some spaces, such as gaming worlds and other simulated environments, even more compelling places to hang out.

  3. The connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalized information in an ‘always-on’ environment. This integration will affect many activities—including thinking, the documentation of life events (‘life-logging’), and coordination of daily schedules.

  4. Specific economic and social sectors will be especially impacted; health/medicine and education were mentioned often.

  5. New digital divides may open as people gain opportunities on different timelines and with different tools.

  6. Who knows? ‘I have no idea due to rapid change.’ ‘The best Internet apps are yet to emerge.’ ‘If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you, I would invest in it!’

  7. Advances will be gradual for various reasons: Bandwidth is not the issue. The US will lag because a widespread gigabit network is not easily achieved.

US Ignite

US Ignite, a non-profit organization funded in part by the National Science Foundation, is also tackling this question of what to do with a Gigabit. US Ignite is fostering the development of next-generation applications for education, healthcare, energy and more — with a particular focus on the apps that are going to provide transformative public benefit to our society.

Among these applications is a real-time emergency response systems that combine ultra-fast broadband and radar to improve hazardous weather warning and response. The project also focuses on aircraft surveillance by identifying and tracking small, low-flying aircraft by developing new detection algorithms that operate digitally on uncompressed, high-bandwidth radar data.

There are also real-time audio-visual app for ambulances uses high-quality, robust data communications that let doctors interact with patients while they’re en route to the hospital. This app, called WiMed, is application aware and able to cross-layer and cross-application optimize when wireless connectivity changes due to ambulance location. In addition, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois Chicago specializes in the design and development of advanced visualizing, virtual reality and networked collaboration display system, all utilizing high-performance networking.

OneCommunity

OneCommunity, a Ohio-based non-profit, is among the Gigabit Network providers that has been on the forefront of helping to present “use cases” for Gigabit services. Among the ways that the OneCommunity network articulates the benefits include:

  • Broadband for Health Care:

OneCommunity’s high speed Internet for hospitals promotes enhanced research, shared medical records, telemedicine, mobile/home monitoring, and more.

  • Broadband for Schools:

Our broadband service enables distance learning and electronic student data management, fulfilling lifelong learning needs, and helping to build a strong workforce in Northeast Ohio.

  • Broadband for Economic Development:

OneCommunity helps local governments with advanced infrastructure that enables coordinated, centralized control of network connectivity and citizen-centric services while simultaneously attracting high-growth businesses.

  • Digital Literacy Training:

OneCommunity trained thousands of underserved households across the country in how to use computers and the Internet, and helped them obtain affordable equipment and broadband access.

See http://www.onecommunity.org/community-technology-programs/ for more details

Orange Telecom

Orange Silicon Valley, a unit of the global Orange telecommunications provider, has been offering symmetrical Gigabit connection as a testbed for developers to pioneer the benefits of advanced connectivity.

Orange GigaStudio explores how the future of ultra-fast broadband Internet enables exceptional new solutions and experiences. We seek to learn and evaluate high bandwidth applications and accelerate consumer adoption of ultra-fast Internet connectivity by providing an experimental testbed for Silicon Valley startups to develop and scale consumer applications. We invite our partners and developers to come test out our secure 1 Gbps Internet connection and unleash the possibilities of their apps and platforms – all at no charge.

Through this program, we’ll collaborate with early adopters and evangelists in the ecosystem, hold events to champion gigabit use cases and applications, and partner with startups to bring their products to Orange markets.

See http://orangegigastudio.com for more information.

Conclusion

We know that high-speed internet is about more than basic internet speeds for e-mail, Skype and social networking. Broadband is about high-bandwidth capacity. It’s about immersive telepresence systems, cloud computing for advanced manufacturing and biomedical health monitoring. 

There are some who still question whether a Gigabit of connectivity is really necessary. Although those voices are growing dimmer, it is important to continually remind individuals of the benefits of Gigabit Networks by bringing examples of the benefits of advanced networking to the forefront.

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband usage, the universal service fund and wireless policy @BroadbandCensus. He is also Of Counsel with the firm of Kirton McConkie, based in Salt City City, Utah. You can find him on LinkedIN and Twitter. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com  and affiliated social media are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors. Clark brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband: job creation, telemedicine, online learning, public safety, energy, transportation and eGovernment. 

Broadband Data

Ookla Has Verizon as Fastest Q1 Fixed Provider, T-Mobile Takes Top Spot for Mobile

T-Mobile was also named the most consistent mobile operator and topped 5G download speeds.

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Image of Speedtest from May 2017 by Daniel Aleksandersen used with permission

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2022 – A market report released Friday by performance metrics web service Ookla named Verizon the fastest fixed broadband provider in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2022, and T-Mobile as the fastest mobile operator during the same period.

Verizon had a median download speed of 184.36 Mbps, edging out Comcast Xfinity’s speed of 179.12 Mbps. T-Mobile’s median mobile speed was 117.83 Mbps.

Verizon had the lowest latency of all providers, according to Ookla, well ahead of Xfinity’s fourth place ranking, yet sat at third for consistency behind both Xfinity and Spectrum.

T-Mobile was also the most consistent mobile operator during the first quarter, achieving an Ookla consistency score of 88.3 percent, which along with median download speed represented an increase from the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company also achieved the fastest median 5G download speed, coming in at 191.12 Mbps.

Verizon also notably increased its 5G download speed from its Q4 metric, attributed in part to the turning on of new C-band spectrum in January following deployment delays and protest from airlines. For mobile speeds, it stood in second behind T-Mobile, bumping AT&T to a standing of third. These rankings were the same for mobile measures of latency and consistency.

Yet on 5G availability, AT&T remains ahead of Verizon.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra came in as the fastest popular device in the country, running at 116.33 Mbps.

Ookla is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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FCC’s Rosenworcel: Broadband Nutrition Labels Will Create New Generation of Informed Buyers

The FCC hopes companies will make it easier for consumers to choose a broadband plan that fits their needs.

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Photo of Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel speaking at the Mobile World Conference 2022 in Barcelona

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband nutrition labels will usher in a new era where buyers have simple information about what they’re buying, agency Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Friday.

Consumers should know what they’re signing up for when they spend hundreds “or even thousands” of dollars per year for internet service. She was speaking at Friday’s commission hearing on its so-called broadband nutrition label initiative.

The hearing comes on top of a public comment period on the initiative. Many providers are pushing for more flexible regulations on compliance.

When consumers choose a broadband provider for their household, Rosenworcel said may people make decisions with “sometimes incomplete and inaccurate information.”

“The problem for broadband consumers isn’t a total lack of information, but there’s loads of fine print,” Rosenworcel said. “It can be difficult to know exactly what we are paying for and these disclosures are not consistent from carrier to carrier,” which makes comparing prices and services harder and more time-consuming for consumers.

The comments built on other recent speeches by Rosenworcel promoting the initiative, encouraging state attorneys general’s ability to enforce companies’ commitments through their states’ consumer protection statutes.

The FCC began a plan in 2015 for broadband labels that was voluntary. The new initiative directed by last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law makes this effort mandatory for broadband providers.

Matt Sayre, managing director of cross sector economic development firm Onward Eugene, said residents in rural Oregon would benefit from simple information when considering broadband providers. During a time where dial-up and satellite-based offerings were primarily available, Sayre said his neighbors “never used terms like latency or packet loss.”

“These are important aspects of good internet service, but not easily understood by most people,” Sayre said. “Citizens understood they needed better service but were uncertain about what tier of service they needed. This is where broadband labels can be very helpful.”

The hearing was the agency’s first on the initiative.

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Small ISP Organizations Push FCC for Flexibility on Broadband Label Compliance

Advocates say strict compliance requirements may economically harm small providers.

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Photo of outgoing WISPA CEO of Claude Aiken from April 2018 by New America used with permission

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2022 ­­– In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, organizations representing small internet providers are pushing for flexible regulations on compliance with a measure that requires clear reporting of broadband service aspects to consumers.

The measure was adopted at a late January meeting by the commission, mandating that providers list their pricing and speed information about services in the format of a “broadband nutrition label” that mimics a food nutrition label. Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure bill enacted in the fall required that the FCC adopt such policy.

The organizations that submitted comments Wednesday say that strict compliance requirements for the new measure may economically harm small providers.

Among those leading the charge are trade associations Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association and America’s Communications Association as well as provider Lumen Technologies.

In comments, limited resources of smaller providers were cited as factors which could disadvantage them in terms of complying with the measure to the FCC’s standards and several organizations asked for small providers to be given extra time to comply.

In separate comments, internet provider Lumen said that the FCC must make multiple changes to its approach if it is to “avoid imposing new obligations that arbitrarily impose excessive costs on providers and undermine other policy goals.”

Last month, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said that she looks forward to increased coordination between the FCC and state attorneys general for the enforcement of the measure.

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