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

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 componen

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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