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21

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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24

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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43

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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38

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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165

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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137

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
142

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
134

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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462

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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275

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
180

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
190

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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256

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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175

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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281

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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276

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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377

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
435

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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433

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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378

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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