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The concept of the cloud and managed services, which is of growing importance for Finley client’s extends to the smart grid as well. Though relatively small today, the market for “smart grid as a service” (SGaaS) is poised for rapid growth, fueled by demand for managed services from utilities with limited budgets and IT expertise, according to new market research from Navigant Research. SGaaS market revenues will rise from $1.7 billion in 2014 to $11.2 billion in 2023, Navigant predicts.

“Traditionally, utilities have shied away from outsourcing operations beyond back-office functions like billing or payroll,” Navigant senior research analyst Richelle Elberg was quoted in a press release. “But the tremendous growth in cloud-based services for business of all types has increased utilities’ awareness of and comfort levels with cloud-based solutions.”

Besides the potential to reduce the cost of smart grid implementation, SGaaS offers utilities several potential advantages over in-house smart grid deployment, according to Navigant. These include shorter time to market and improved security, a key aspect of any smart grid implementation. “Cloud computing has advanced to such a degree that the security employed by third-party vendors may be stronger than what a utility can implement internally,” the researchers state.

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Tagged in: Smart Grid

With bandwidth requirements growing exponentially, networks will need to support terabit-per-second (Tbps) speeds by 2015 and 10 Tbps by 2020, according to the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc committee. Ethernet network providers need to stay ahead of the curve and move beyond the 40 and 100 Gbps capacity currently available to network and data center providers, according to Ixia's  Jim Smith.

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Tagged in: Ethernet Transport

In today’s mobile world, more and more people are taking conference calls from mobile phones. We found this interesting research that sheds insight on what people are actually doing during those calls, and it’s quite revealing. Mobile conferencing is on the rise as organizations and workers take advantage of mobile broadband connectivity and teleconferencing apps and services to take care of business regardless of where they are, often making use of them in lieu of traveling to attend meetings and conferences.

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Tagged in: voice

Significant changes to OSHA regulations 1910.269 and Part 1926 Subpart V went into effect last month, and more are on the way.

29 CFR 1910.269, of course, is the Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard. 29 CFR Part 1926 is the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, and Subpart V covers construction related to Electric Power Transmission and Distribution.

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The number of IPv4 networks that make up the Internet today is approaching its limits. Some routing equipment used by ISPs and enterprises may be adversely affected in the coming weeks from this approaching limitation.

Though most of the Internet is yet to experience “the conditions that could cause problems for unprovisioned equipment,” the maximum number of routes the Internet can support, as defined by the default TCAM (Ternary Content Addressable Memory) configuration on “certain aging hardware platforms” is 512K routes, Renesys' Jim Cowie highlights on a company blog post.

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Tagged in: internet ip

What plans does your organization have in place to purposefully and strategically grow your network to meet your customers’ demands? In a survey Finley commissioned earlier in the year, we learned that many organizations have concerns regarding ever-changing technology and are looking for technical leadership.

Through some purposeful and visionary planning discussions, your organization can efficiently prepare that roadmap to operational excellence.  Consider the importance of:

  • Scalable Network Design
  • Security Infrastructure
  • Backup and Cloud
  • Device Lifecycle Management
  • Network Monitoring and Management
  • Multi-System Integration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Standards Compliance

With high client satisfaction scores, Finley Engineering has become a trusted and preferred partner in the services we offer, which include IP Design and Services. Clients choose to work with us, and stay with us based on the quality of our work, planning and communication. We thank our Finley Associates for the work they have done to earn us a 95% client satisfaction rating.

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A research team led by University of Maryland professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering Howard Milchberg, reports that it has developed a means of using air to guide and channel light beams over long distances without the loss of intensity or focus. In a research paper published in the July 2014 issue of Optica, Prof. Milchberg and his lab report on their creation of an “'air waveguide' to enhance light signals collected from distant sources,” the University of Maryland explains in a press release.

In short, Milchberg and his research group have found a way to make air act like a fiber optic cable, “guiding light beams over long distances without loss of power.” Such a capability would have many and varied applications, “including long-range laser communications, detecting pollution in the atmosphere, making high-resolution topographic maps and laser weapons,” according to the press release. We’re basically talking about the ability to transmit the light pulses associated with today’s fiber optics, but without the need for the actual cable.

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Tagged in: Broadband Fiber

You might expect energy consumption in U.S. homes would be on the rise given the proliferation of consumer electronic (CE) devices, mobile devices in particular. Energy efficiency improvements in CE devices have more than offset the sharp rise in the number of electronic gadgets in U.S. homes, however.

According to research conducted by Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), electronic devices in U.S. homes used 12 percent less energy in 2013 than they did in 2010, “even though there were nearly a billion more devices,” Mike Orcutt highlights in a recent MIT Technology Review blog post.

Surveying electricity usage among 46 kinds of CE devices commonly found in U.S. homes, researchers found that significant decreases in the electricity used by televisions and computers in large part drove the decline.

Televisions continue to account for the largest percentage (30 percent) of power consumption by CE devices in U.S. homes, though they consumed 23 percent less electricity in 2013 than they did in 2010. Researchers attributed the drop in TV energy consumption to a 50 million unit decline in TVs in use and a “massive” shift from cathode-ray tube to more energy efficient liquid crystal displays.

Personal computer electricity consumption represented the second largest decline among CE devices in U.S. homes. “Power use by desktop PCs declined substantially, largely because there were fewer in use in 2013 (88 million) than in 2010 (101 million),” Orcutt notes, “…and because of an increase in the amount of time the computers spent off or in low-power mode.”

Use of external PC monitors also declined. Coincidentally, there was a 10-fold increase in the number of households with at least one tablet since 2010. According to Orcutt, tablets consumed some 0.6 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2013.



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On Friday, July 11, the FCC held its Open Meeting which included the Rural Broadband Trials initiative on the agenda. Following that meeting, the FCC shared key points in a press release:

Up to $100 million will be available for the experiments, which will be divided into three groups as follows:

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Americans have been “cutting the cord” on their wireline telephone service and going wholly wireless, but growth in wireless-only U.S. households slowed last year. Some 41 percent of U.S. households were wireless-only in 2013. Just over 39 percent of U.S. adults and 47.1 percent of children lived in wireless-only households as of end of last year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the research arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The percentage of wireless-only U.S. households was 2.8 points higher in 2013 than it was in 2012, a slowdown in growth from prior years , the Pew Research Center notes in a blog report. The share of wireless-only U.S. households grew 4.3 percentage points in 2011 and 4.2 in 2012, according to the CDC.

Among age groups in 2013, young adults are most likely to be living in wireless-only households: 65.7 percent of 25-29 year olds; 59.7 percent of 30-34 year olds; and 53 percent of 18-24 year olds live in wireless-only households. Those figures are “little changed – and in some cases even below – those recorded in the first half of 2013,” Pew points out.

The demographics of wireless-only households are shifting as well, as older Americans choose to go wireless-only. Over half (52.5 percent) of Americans living in wireless-only households in 2010 were between the ages of 18 and 34. Just 45.5 percent were in CDC's most recent survey, Pew highlights.

Turning to income, CDC found that most poor households do not have landline telephone service – the only demographic for which this is true. Among ethnicities, Hispanics were the most likely to live in wireless-only households.

Regionally, those living in the Northeast were least likely to be living in wireless-only households (24.9 percent). Corresponding figures were over 40 percent in the Midwest, West and South. According to one analysis of first-half 2013 data from last year found that Idaho had the highest percentage of wireless-only households – 52.3 percent – while New Jersey had the lowest – 19.4 percent.


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Tagged in: Wireless

Many Finley clients have looked towards cloud and enterprise services for revenue growth opportunities. Recent research from Infonetics confirms why. Enterprises and smaller businesses are investing heavily in cloud infrastructure, so the service providers they engage, need to be equipped to meet this growing demand.

North American enterprise-scale businesses expect their network spending will increase at double-digit rates in 2014, though there's a shift in where the money will be spent, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

Spending on wireless LAN, network monitoring and switches is growing, as is that for branch office infrastructure – a sign of confidence that the economy will continue to grow, according to Infonetics' “Network Equipment Spending and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey .”

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Tagged in: cloud enterprise SMB

In January we shared news of the FCC Rural Broadband Trials initiative to gather Expressions of Interest. We know that somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 EOI’s were submitted.

What’s next? The FCC’s Open Meeting is scheduled for July 11 and it appears that the Rural Trial application information will be made available at this time. 

Finley Engineering has experience working with FCC programs and we are offering our assistance with the Connect America Fund Rural Trial application process, mapping, modeling and more. We are committed to being an expert resource in this process for our industry partners. 

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Congratulations to Finley’s Jeff Swan who was recently promoted to the position of Vice President of the Kentucky office, replacing Ann Keller who retired the first of July. Swan joined Finley in December of 2010 bringing significant experience, expertise and leadership to the company while managing the company’s Springfield, Illinois office.

“Jeff has proven himself a genuine and innovative leader and we congratulate him on accepting this key position within Finley,” said Boehne. “We are confident the exceptional work we do for our clients out of our Kentucky location will continue and that Jeff and his team will build upon our success in this part of the country

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YouTube has seen a meteoric rise in its short life from a repository of “cat tricks videos” to the third most trafficked site on the web, behind only Google and Facebook, according to YouTube Downloader. They published the below infographic which highlights what happens on the video-centric website every 60 seconds.

Here are some interesting findings:

  • Close to 2.8 million videos are viewed in a minute’s time on YouTube
  • 100 Hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • YouTube generates $10,654 in revenue every minute, mostly from advertising

Learn more about YouTube, including its top earners from the below infographic.




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Tagged in: OTT Video YouTube

The 2014 World Cup now underway in Brazil is the most accessible in the tournament's 75-year history, and alternative second and third screens are a big part of that, according to market research from Ovum. World Cup 2014 broadcast and streaming services are available on as many as 5.9 billion screens worldwide. By Ovum's count, PCs, tablets and smartphones account for 57 percent of them.

Noting the importance of crisp, clear images and preferably larger screen formats when viewing live sports events, Ovum “stresses the importance of traditional broadcasting – via terrestrial, cable, satellite, or IPTV – for attracting the largest audiences and the most value for World Cup rights holders.”

That said, the market research and consulting company continues, “Connected devices are playing a crucial role in evolving viewing habits for big-event TV.

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Tagged in: Devices OTT Tablets

Going direct to consumers, Netflix launched its over-the-top (OTT), browser-based streaming video service in 2007. Today, Netflix delivers more than 1 billion hours of streaming video per month to 48 million subscribers in over 40 countries.

In the U.S., Netflix streaming alone accounts for more than one-third of peak Internet traffic. That's a huge amount of data, and Netflix, like a growing number of businesses in similar situations, has been developing its “Big Data” analytic skills and expertise. As the Netflix's Nirmal Govind explains in a post on “The Netflix Tech Blog,” it's using them to perform deep data analysis and craft predictive algorithms that enhance user experience.  

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Tagged in: Netflix OTT Video

Revenue in the worldwide market for broadband aggregation equipment showed strong annual growth in 1Q 2014, rising 23 percent year-over-year to $1.9 billion, according to a new report from Infonetics Research 

Sales of Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) equipment fueled overall growth in the telecom equipment market segment, rising 44 percent year-over-year in 1Q. Continued spending on fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in China; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as seasonally strong spending in North America in turn helped drive GPON revenues higher.

“While the first quarter is typically the slowest of the year in North America, and this one was no different, it's a good sign that the 10 percent revenue boost we saw in 2013 is carrying over into this year,” commented Infonetics' principal analyst for broadband and pay-TV Jeff Heynen.

“AT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream, and tier-3 operators all have dedicated plans in place to expand VDSL and GPON deployments in an effort to keep pace with cable DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts and fiber offerings from upstarts like Google.”

Among the key takeaways in Infonetics' latest quarterly broadband aggregation equipment report:

  • The global broadband aggregation equipment market (DSL, PON, and Ethernet FTTH) is down 5% in 1Q14 from 4Q13, but up a healthy 23% year-over-year, totaling $1.89 billion
  • The only equipment category that grew sequentially in 1Q14 is PON (+0.1%)
  • #2 Alcatel-Lucent finished 1Q14 only around $1 million behind top dog Huawei
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Congratulations to Finley Engineering’s Vice President of our Wisconsin operations, Dean Mischke, who recently accepted the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) President’s Award during the WSTA Annual Convention. 

In her award presentation, out-going WSTA President Cheryl Rue said, “Dean has been a steadfast member of the Associate Member Group Committee, and for years has offered invaluable program suggestions to the Convention, Fall Conference and Broadband Forum Committees.”

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Finley clients have been working hard to get broadband access to some of the most remote and rural parts of the country. But if you think your job has been hard bringing broadband to rural America, how about taking it to the Moon?

According to a Discover online magazine report, “researchers from NASA and MIT for the first time recently demonstrated that it's possible to beam a wireless Internet signal across the 239,800 miles separating Earth from the moon,” Discover reports.

Not only that, but future lunar explorers “could theoretically check in at Mare Imbrium and post lunar 'selfies' with greater speed than you do from your home network,” Discover's Carl Engelking writes.

As Engelking explains, the researchers employed four different telescopes in New Mexico to beam uplink signals through four different columns of air to a satellite in lunar orbit. 

Each column of infrared light is bent at different angles, so sending four increased the chances of one of them actually interacting with the lunar satellite receiver and establishing a connection with the lunar surface. About six inches in diameter, each of the four telescopes is powered by a laser transmitter that transmits information in the form of pulses of infrared light.

The scientists were able to send data to the moon at 19.44 Mbps, about that of a good Earth based broadband connection. Downloading information was much, much faster, taking place at 622 Mbps, “over 4,000 times faster than current radio transmission speeds,” Engelking noted.


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Tagged in: Broadband wifi Wireless

The rapidly emerging Internet of Things (IoT) trend is prompting information and communications technology (ICT) industry participants to band together and develop common, open standards that facilitate development of applications and platforms for the fully automated digital home.

For example, the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) Home Networks Committee on May 21 announced the formation of “a new working group to develop an industry technical standard to improve interoperability among home automation devices.”

Announced at the CEA Technology & Standards Forum in Seattle, the new working group, dubbed the Device Interoperability Working Group, or R7 WG17, aims to reduce the money, time and effort required to develop software applications for consumers to access and control home automation devices and systems.

Looking to cover the spectrum of digital home automation devices and systems from end to end, the CEA is looking to recruit so-called “users” – companies who acquire home automation products from their creators – as new committee members.

Building the application programmer interfaces (APIs) that enable cross-device and platform interoperability “requires the developer to work closely with each manufacturer to develop an API or gain access to the manufacturer’s API, followed by extensive testing to ensure compatibility,” Bill Rose, president of WJR Consulting and chair of CEA’s new working group, elaborated.

“Some developers simply forego this and attempt to develop APIs on their own or use open source APIs, resulting in interoperability problems and service calls to the manufacturer for problems over which the manufacturer has no control.”

The new CEA working group hopes to avoid such problems and confusion. It intends to define XML schema templates that will lay out everything necessary for home automation application developers to build applications that monitor and control home automation devices, “including non-standard features that may not be included in standard device profiles defined elsewhere.”

Aiming to ensure backward-compatibility with legacy devices, the XML schemas will not require additional firmware.

Home automation XML schemas that comply with the CEA working group's standards “will ultimately be posted on a secure server hosted by the manufacturer or a third-party for use by application developers and others for interoperability testing,” CEA explains. “Each manufacturer will have control over who can access its schema to ensure that only developers that meet a manufacturer's approval criteria may download the schema.”


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Tagged in: Devices Smart Home