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46

The latest evidence of how mainstream streaming video over broadband has become comes from the NCAA. Nearly 10 million viewers tuned in to 70 million live NCAA Men’s Collegiate Basktetball Tournament game video streams in 2014, up 42 percent from 2013, according to audio and Web conferencing services provider InterCall. And more than half (56%) of full-time employees in an InterCall survey said they stream tournament games at the workplace, including 61% of male employees and 42% of female employees.

“While most of the early round tournament games are broadcast during the middle of the workday, little seems to stand between employees and their brackets,” InterCall's Jill Huselton writes in a company blog post.

Also in the InterCall survey, 43% of respondents said they would likely reschedule a recurring conference call to catch a game. Nearly the same number (42%) admitted they have watched NCAA tournament games while at the same time participating in conference calls. Of this group, 11% mute themselves and 31% mute the game sound, InterCall said.

Watching NCAA March Madness tournament games at work isn't only a discreet, private activity. InterCall found that it's as much a social, group-binding one. More than 60% of survey respondents (62%) say colleagues gather in common spaces such as break rooms and conference rooms to watch games,”

Asking survey respondents to report the strangest place they've watched March Madness games, InterCall found that bathrooms are the most popular. Other unusual places where employees streamed the games included:

  • In a courthouse, on an iPad;
  • Bar;
  • Supply closet;
  • Public library;
  • Stairwell;
  • Church;
  • Barber shop;
  • Boiler room;
  • Strip club;
  • Sears;
  • Wendy’s;
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s;
  • Pawn shop.

“For better or worse, live streaming and the ease of accessing games on any device means employees no longer have to choose between conference calls and tournament games—and, as we’ve seen, they don’t,” commented Huselton.

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Consulting firm Accenture has some good news for communications service providers who are trying to devise the best strategy for approaching the intelligent connected device market. According to recent Accenture research, digital consumers view CSPs as trusted providers – and CSPs would be one of their top choices for providing a range of digital offerings. The research report, titled “Engaging the Digital Customer in the New Connected World” is available on the Accenture website.

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Tagged in: Smart Home telecom
27

Family members who watch HGTV and read Dwell Magazine can sometimes be at odds with the technophiles with whom they share living space and who may be more concerned with keeping their cellphone charged than with what dangling cords do to room décor.

From Swedish furniture and household goods company IKEA comes a new line of furniture designed to keep the peace. Launched at the Mobile Word Congress in Barcelona in early March, the collection includes tables, desks and lamps which have wireless charging pads built into them.

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One hit show apparently can have a major impact on Internet traffic when its delivery method is over-the-top. Finley Engineering broadband clients can relate, we’re sure.

Netflix has found itself with a big hit on its hands as it ramps up activity at its in-house TV and movie production unit. A key success story is the popular and critically acclaimed House of Cards, whose third season debuted recently, notes Sandvine's Dan Deeth in a March 2 blog post. 

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Tagged in: Bandwidth internet
96

Lamar, Mo. (March 17, 2015) — Finley Engineering, a leader in professional engineering services for the energy, telecom, and broadband industries , announced the promotion of John Ham, P.E. to Manager of Substation Engineering.

“With John’s field and project experience, combined with his experience at Finley, he will be able to apply his leadership and expertise to building and directing a team to pursue and execute on larger projects in the substation, P&C and system protection world,” said Finley Vice President Phil Carroll. “John has repeatedly proven his ability to be a leader in our company and we are pleased he has accepted this new opportunity focusing on our client needs in substation and relay protection.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_MICTA.jpg

For Immediate Release  

Finley Engineering Company Now An Approved Vendor for MiCTA Members

Saginaw, MI (March 11, 2015) MICTA has named Finley Engineering Company as an approved national vendor for Fiber Build Out Services available to all MiCTA members across the United States. MiCTA, a non-profit national group purchasing organization, selected the company after a thorough Request for Proposal review.

“Finley Engineering is extremely pleased to be selected as an approved national vendor by MiCTA for Fiber Build Out Services, a primary area of expertise within our company,” said Finley CEO Mike Boehne. “The critical role broadband connections play in local, national and the global communities is driving meaningful projects in education, government and healthcare industries and we are pleased to be a part of the ensuing successful ventures.”

The approved vendor status will allow MiCTA members to take advantage of the numerous engineering services offered by Finley Engineering, which has been in business for over 60 years with extensive experience with a broad range of clients. Finley has over 250 employees located in 10 offices throughout the U.S. and offers a wide array of professional services related to the design, engineering and construction of telecommunication networks.

MiCTA’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Von Hoff said, “MiCTA welcomes Finley as an approved national vendor. MiCTA members now have access to quality engineering services as they relate to Fiber Build Out projects under this Master Service Agreement.”

About MiCTA

MiCTA represents thousands of higher education, K-12, healthcare library, governmental and charitable entities. Nationally, MiCTA seeks to resolve common voice, video and data issues, provide helpful information, participate in legislative and regulatory telecom advocacy, and negotiate discounted purchase contracts for telecommunications and technology services for its members. To learn more visit: www.mictatech.org

About Finley Engineering Company

For general information, white papers, presentations, projects and case studies visit their website www.fecinc.com or contact Barbara Ostrander at b.ostrander@fecinc.com.

Contact: Tim von Hoff
Chief Operating Officer, MiCTA
(888) 964-2227
Email: micta@mictatech.org
http://mictatech.org

                                                                                                         ###

 

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Telecom companies have long been using light to transmit data across the Internet and other information networks. More recently, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) initiatives have extended that by using optical fiber and light waves to transport data and information right into homes and businesses. 

Researchers at Oxford University are taking optical networking technology the next step forward, using “LiFi-like” signals to wirelessly beam data inside homes and buildings to computers or TVs. The system takes the light waves from fiber connections, amplifies them and beams them across a room to consumer electronics (CE) devices at super-fast speeds of over 100 gigabits per second (Gbps), according to an IEEE Spectrum news report.  

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Tagged in: lifi telecom Wireless
61

Here’s a technology development worth keeping an eye on.

Researchers at leading high-tech giants and universities are making “dramatic advances” in artificial intelligence (AI) -- so much so that smartphones may soon be equipped with the first AI apps based on an AI process called “deep learning.”

Researchers are using deep learning capable of tracking everything from workouts to emotions to mimic the way the human brain processes information, creating “virtual neurons and synapses” that are able to process and make use of information from images and audio, according to a Feb. 9 MIT Technology Review post.

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85

Finley Engineering is proud to announce Vice President of Human Resources Mike Bojanski was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Human Resource Association of the Midlands (HRAM).

“To many of in the association, Mike is ‘Mr. HRAM,’” said Sarah Schulz, chapter manager. “He values the role of the volunteer and how it impacts the organization. Mike’s positive demeanor is always welcoming and he lends a hand and makes suggestions always in the best interest of the organization.”

Schulz went on to explain Bojanski has been a member of the organization longer than their data base can track. He has been the co-chair of the College Relations Committee and Membership Committee, and chaired the committee that helped host and organize the SHRM HR Games, is a member of the SHRM A-Team and is currently the College Relations Director for the SHRM Nebraska State Council. 

The Volunteer of the Year recognizes a member who has made an outstanding contribution to HRAM during the past year. The criteria is based the acronym HRAM:

H – Hours the volunteer contributes to HRAM.

R – Resourceful – demonstrations of resourcefulness.

A – Affect – The impact of the volunteer’s efforts.

M – Mentoring – Actions the volunteer took that reflect desire and ability to mentor other HR professionals or community members.

“On behalf of Finley Engineering, I congratulate Mike on his award and thank him for his continued commitment to go the extra mile professionally,” said Finley Engineering CEO Mike Boehne. “Mike is one of the best HR professionals I have had the pleasure of working with and I appreciate his natural ability to view issues from all perspectives and communicate them in a professional manner.”  

For more information about Finley or any of its services, please visit fecinc.com or contact Barbara Ostrander at b.ostrander@fecinc.com.

 

 

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The importance of energy security for America – including how to make the U.S. electric system more resilient – is one of the topics that cropped up often at a Feb. 12 Senate hearing on the Department of Energy’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. The hearing was held by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, headed by Sen. Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, and was the first of three hearings that committee will hold on the DOE budget. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the sole witness at the hearing, was grilled about details about the budget, and also was complimented several times by members of the committee, who said they appreciated his depth of knowledge about the broad array of programs overseen by DOE.

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New research from smart grid systems provider Tantalus reminds us how important it is to demonstrate the value of smart grid investments.

The company surveyed more than 50 utility customer representatives during the latest annual Tantalus User Conference this past October, and 37 percent said their number one issue was showing return on investment (ROI) and value from smart grid investments in 2015. 

Ranking second, 17 percent cited addressing the “impacts of aging infrastructure.”

Other key takeaways from Tantalus's 2015 User Conference Survey report include: 

  • For the second year, Add-on Applications was the top utility investment priority for 2015, which is further evidence to support the trend of demonstrating ROI. Implementing security enhancements doubled as an area of investment for 2015.
  • Load control again leads as the most popular application that utilities will implement this year.
  • For the first time, Data Analytics ties as the number one utility application to implement in 2015. This finding supports indications that utilities are becoming increasingly more IT and information-driven as the quality, quantity, and accessibility of real-time energy data becomes more prevalent through AMI technologies.

Other high priority areas of investment included demand management and distributed automation.

Survey results also showed the growing importance of, and demand for, IT and technical staff among utilities. Sixty percent of new hires planned by utilities will be technical or IT-related.

Commenting on this year's survey results, Tantalus President and CEO Peter Londa said the company believes that the value of real-time data lies in actionable results from data delivery. By distributing computing capability at the edge of the network, Londa said utility companies can “integrate value driven applications that strengthen the connected grid and improve operating efficiency and reliability.”

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Enhancing the quality of wireless signal transmission and indoor network performance is high up on the broadband industry's agenda. Showcasing its latest advances in small-cell wireless network technology, Ericsson announced the introduction of License Assisted Access (LAA), or LTE-U, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month.

Making use of the 5 GHz frequency band and aggregating spectrum across licensed and unlicensed bands, Ericsson and partner Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated indoor peak-rate LAA performance of up to 450 Mbps. Besides the higher rates of wireless network throughput, LAA enables “fair sharing of spectrum between mobile and Wi-Fi devices,” Ericsson explains in a press release.

“LAA, or LTE-U, extends the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum, providing reliable and predictable performance. The licensed band provides an anchor to ensure a seamless user experience with full mobility while the unlicensed band provides incremental capacity and enables faster data speeds.”

Not Commercially Available…Yet

Live in Ericsson labs, LAA isn't available generally in the marketplace at this point. Ericsson will add LAA to its indoor small cell portfolio starting in 4Q 2015. That includes the Ericsson RBS 6402 Indoor Picocell, for buildings under 50,000 square feet, and later the Ericsson Radio Dot System for medium-sized and larger buildings.

Mobile network operators including Verizon, T-Mobile US, Inc. and SK Telecom “are already investigating the performance benefits that LAA can offer to mobile customers on their networks,” Ericsson said.

Commented T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray: "It is very encouraging to see License Assisted Access live in the Ericsson labs already delivering on the promises of both a better mobile broadband customer experience and the fair sharing and co-existence within the 5 GHz band among wireless and Wi-Fi devices.

“With over 500 MHz of underutilized spectrum in the 5 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) band, LAA can provide our customers with superior network performance while effectively co-existing with other Wi-Fi devices to ensure a better experience for all wireless users."

Aggregation of licensed and unlicensed frequency bands and higher frequencies by small-cell architectures are two focal points of 5G research and development, standards for which do not yet exist. “These will be key to operators as they evolve their LTE networks to support increasing mobile broadband demand from consumers, businesses and the Internet of Things (IoT),” Ericsson noted.

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221

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.

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197

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.

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Tagged in: Broadband
196

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
191

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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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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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
241

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
250

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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