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54

Look! Up in the sky! It's . . . Internet Access

While telecommunications and Internet service providers are actively deploying fiber optic cable to rural areas around the globe, there are some places that fiber will never reach. However, those areas are home to a nearly 4.4 billion people who have no Internet access at all.

That number is plenty big enough to interest several cyberspace pioneers who would like nothing better than to bring the as yet unserved aboard their new "enterprises." In fact, they are already developing strategies that would launch vast networks of radio-equipped satellites, balloons and drones to serve this untapped market, according to a recent article in the MIT Technology Review.

While nothing has been blasted, floated or flown skyward yet, it is heartening to see that the final frontier is already pretty competitive. SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson have tossed their space helmets into the ring. Google and Facebook are headed into the wild blue yonder, too.

Although traditional satellites would be too pricey and bulky to launch, SpaceX, Google and Fidelity Investments are partnering to create a network composed of 4,000 micro-satellites that would provide broadband Internet service worldwide. These next-generation space satellites are potentially more affordable and practical because they will orbit closer to Earth and they will not have to be launched one at time

Meanwhile, Branson's Virgin Galactic and Qualcomm are working together to use the same type of satellites to provide access specifically to un-served regions of the globe via a company called OneWeb.

There also are ways to get Internet nodes up high enough inside the Earth's atmosphere to create an "orbiting" network. For example, Google also is looking at flying high-altitude balloons, while Facebook is developing high-altitude drones that could stay aloft long enough to provide service to remote locations.

With the amount of money and number of minds already hard at work on Cyber-Space Race 2.0, the results promise to be very interesting. Earth is a very, very big planet – but there is Internet Access to deliver and money to be made by those who persevere and are willing to get creative enough to make it work.

 

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53

As the industry debates the impact that broadband TV will have on traditional pay TV, it’s important to consider how one of the most popular forms of TV content – sports programming – will impact and be impacted by broadband TV.

According to a new market research report from TDG (The Diffusion Group) live sports will play a “defining role” in determining the pace and extent of the ongoing shift from legacy to broadband TV – although to date its role has been minimal.

Despite fans’ obsession and its popularity, live sports are “dramatically under-represented” on broadband as compared to legacy TV, TDG notes in a press release.  Two factors explain why, according to Joel Espelien, TDG senior advisor and author of “Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015-2025.” 

First are existing long-term agreements between sports leagues and incumbent TV broadcasting companies. Stemming from these is the second factor: fear of upsetting the current value chain.

“Americans love sports and, most would agree, sports is the backbone of the TV industry in general and legacy pay-TV in particular,” Espelien was quoted as saying. “Whether measured in ratings or revenue, TV coverage of live amateur and professional sporting events is big business.

Sports programming will shift toward broadband TV over the next 10 years, TDG says. The researchers forecast per-capital broadband sports video viewing to grow 10-fold between 2014 and 2025 -- from less than half an hour to four hours weekly.

Growth in broadband distribution of live sports will present significant challenges and opportunities to TV industry stakeholders, TDG continues. That includes sports leagues, networks, and MVPDs (legacy and virtual).

“The big money that defines sports programming,” Espelien comments, “will follow consumers, viewers who engage broadband sports on all screens, not just the living room TV.”

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Tagged in: Broadband
72

Some of the nation’s largest carriers – including AT&T and Verizon – are aggressively pursuing the opportunity to provide connectivity to connected cars. But according to ABI Research, carriers shouldn’t count too heavily on that revenue stream. 

Growth in connected, in-car telematics will be steady over the next five years, the technology will not reach “mainstream” status before the end of the decade, ABI says.

Just over half (52 percent) of the new vehicles sold worldwide in 2020 will come equipped with embedded telematics, up from 13.4 percent in 2014, ABI researchers say.

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Tagged in: telematics
68

Although wireless network operators traditionally have used licensed spectrum available exclusively for their own use, that kind of spectrum is becoming scarce, as evidenced by the current spectrum auction that’s been going on for weeks – much longer than expected.

The new reality is that the wireless industry likely will need to find ways of sharing scarce spectrum in the future. For example, the IEEE has created a group that will explore ways of enabling wireless networks operating in unlicensed frequency bands to coexist independent of radio technology. The IEEE 802.19 Coexistence in Unlicensed frequency Bands (CUB) study group will leverage many years of IEEE research into the issue, according to a press release.

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172

We are pleased to announce we have added exceptional staff to our team at Finley, in order to better meet the growing demands of our loyal clients. Recently hired are Van Barnett, Reg Givens, Jeremy Mather and Steven Rawlings. 

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101

We are pleased to announce we have added exceptional staff to our team at Finley, in order to better meet the growing demands of our loyal clients. Recently hired are Van Barnett, Reg Givens, Jeremy Mather and Steven Rawlings. 

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Tagged in: careers engineer ip
105

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in early January and sheds light on the robust consumer electronics industry, which has a huge impact on our clients business. Many of the devices and gadgets on display in Las Vegas are fueled by broadband and other telecom and data services offered by Finley clients, and are leading indicators of where the business is headed.

Consumer electronics industry revenues will grow three percent in 2015 to reach an all-time record-high $223.2 billion, according to the latest semi-annual installment of “The U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts” from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). 

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Tagged in: Broadband telecom
109

Faster downloads and enhanced streaming over existing coaxial (coax) cable appears imminent as industry association Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) announced network data transfer speeds of over 400 Mbps net throughputs (MAC rate) in 90 percent of coaxial cabling outlets used in a field test of the MoCA 2.0 connected home networking standard. Net throughputs exceeded 350 Mbps for 95 percent of outlets, according to a news release.

Delivering MoCA 2.0 testing kits and MoCA-certified devices from Broadcom and Entropic to 108 volunteer homes across the U.S., a testing application “created an operational MoCA 2.0 network and ran measurements between each pair of MoCA devices in the network at frequencies from 500 MHz to 1.6 GHz,” MoCA explains. The objective, the industry association continues “was to collect results from a diversity of real-world, coax-based installations.”

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190

After digging to a depth of 10 feet last year outside Buffalo, New York, scientists found traces of copper cable dating back 100 years. They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a Los Angeles, California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet somewhere just outside Oceanside. Shortly afterward, a story in the LA Times read, "California archaeologists, reporting a finding of 200 year old copper cable, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."

One week later, a local newspaper in Omaha Nebraska reported, "After digging 30 feet deep in his pasture near the community of Kearney, Nebraska, Ole Olson, a heck of an engineer and a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Nebraska had already gone wireless."

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116

North Dakota leads the nation in high-speed fiber optic access to the Internet, according to a recent report. "We have made it a priority to deploy a high-speed Internet network throughout the state," said Jasper Schneider, acting administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural utilities service. "As a result, North Dakota is once again leading the way and has a plan for statewide coverage."

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238

Smart grid technologies used at the Electric Power Board — the municipal utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee — and at two other East Coast utilities have helped the utilities recover faster from outages caused by storms, according to a report by the Department of Energy.

Storms are the biggest cause of power outages in the United States, and  "improved capabilities for outage detection and response benefit both utilities and customers," DOE noted.

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234

The Hill reports that the Senate passed three cybersecurity bills for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address cybersecurity and anti-terrorism.

 

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325

Social media isn’t just for consumers. Mobile technology and apps are having a major impact on the way we work and connect with co-workers, customers and suppliers, as IDC's sixth annual Social Business Survey illustrates. 

Promoting their company, product, and/or brand was cited as the top social business priority by more than 23 percent of respondents to IDC's survey of 700 senior executive-level decision makers. Other top priorities are generating revenue through direct sales and communicating to internal business colleagues. These options were cited by 19% and 14% of respondents, respectively.

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Tagged in: mobile
360

Researchers at the University of Texas (UT) have designed and built a simple circuit that promises to double wireless data transfer rates, reports Tom Simonite in a November 24 article from the MIT Technology Review. If the circuit were built into smartphones, tablets, PCs and other wireless devices, it would enable those devices to simultaneously send and receive data on the same radio frequency channel – what's known as “full-duplex” communications, 

With spectrum in short supply the technology developed at UT would seem to be of great interest to network operators that offer cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Full-Duplex Radio Circuit

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358

Here in America, there is a raging debate about broadband speeds, highlighted by the race to provide Gigabit services. Is that too fast? I mean who really needs a full gigabit for Internet access, some argue.

But in South Korea, they’re already moving into the next phase of gigabit access. SK Broadband – one of the nation's largest broadband service providers – recently introduced a 10 Gbps broadband service that will enable subscribers to download a 1 GB file in 0.8 seconds, Techspot reports.

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339

There has been a lot of discussion this past year on substation physical security, especially in light of the coordinated attack on PG&E’s Metcalf substation early in 2013. While there are numerous strategies that can be effective in improving substation physical security (see Finley’s earlier white paper on “Substation Security”), one that utilities should not overlook is tying physical security into high-speed, higher bandwidth technologies. Read More...

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336

While demand for power has continued to grow over the last 130+ years, some forecasters believe that demand for power in the future, while it won't decrease, certainly will NOT grow as quickly as population and GDP. Download our whitepaper to read more on this topic. Download

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Tagged in: Energy power
558

Recent numbers revealed from Navigant Research reveal why smart grid may be worth a look by communications carriers. Nearly $30 billion will be spent worldwide on smart grid networking and telecommunications technologies over the next ten years, according to the market research firm. That’s just on the networking and communications portion of the smart grid.

Growing demands are being placed on power grid communications networks as the number and variety of smart grid applications continues to grow. A large number of competitors are offering “a multitude of solutions and equipment” as they vie for a share of the market for smart grid networking and telecommunications equipment and services, according to Navigant's global “Smart Grid Networking and Communications” report. 

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508

The winner of a competition sponsored by Intel highlights where technology may be headed – specifically wearable and drone technologies. On November 3, Intel awarded a cool half-a-million dollars to a group of “do-it-yourselfers who developed a wristband that converts to a camera-equipped drone,” Reuters reports.

Aimed for use among rock climbers and other adventurists, the Nixie quadcopter is worn around the wrist. The wearable drone launches into the air to snap photos of places difficult to reach by humans or other types of technology. “Like a boomerang, it returns to its owner and then syncs with the owner's smartphone,” according to Reuters' report.

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540

The Federal Communications Commission’s experiment exploring how to expand the most cost-effective, robust broadband in rural America, will identify the provisionally winning bidders in the coming weeks. Nearly 600 project bids from 181 applicants, representing nearly $885 million worth of projects were submitted. The proposed winning bidders will then be required to submit information demonstrating their financial and technical ability to participate in the $100 million experiment. Continue Reading: FCC-Announces-Number-of-Broadband-Experiment-Applications-Filed.pdf:

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