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There's an old computer sciences adage that refers to the dangers, and costs, of bad data. It goes: “Garbage in, garbage out.” With e-government technology in use and being rolled out from local to national levels U.S. society has never been so exposed and vulnerable to the potential costs of bad data.

Conducting a comprehensive survey on data quality in the public sector, researchers working for online magazine Governing found that bad data costs taxpayers an unspecified but large amount of money in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Data entry errors uncovered during an audit in California, for example, reportedly cost the state $6 million.

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Tagged in: bad data data

Reducing energy consumption is a focal point of much research these days given the drive to gather data, link and embed intelligence into the myriad devices, equipment and machinery that go into facilitating modern digital lifestyles. This emerging "Internet of Things" has led researchers at MIT to develop a new radio transmitter design that is said to reduce energy leakage from wireless electronics devices and equipment 100-fold, thus dramatically increasing battery life for devices.

Developed by a research team led by Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, the new radio transmitter design also delivers enough power for Bluetooth wireless transmissions and even longer-range 802.15.4 wireless communications, according to an MIT News report

“A key challenge is designing these circuits with extremely low standby power, because most of these devices are just sitting idling, waiting for some event to trigger a communication,” Chandrakasan explained. “When it’s on, you want to be as efficient as possible, and when it’s off, you want to really cut off the off-state power, the leakage power.”

Chandrakasan and team showcased their new radio transmitter design at the 2015 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), which took place in San Francisco this past February.

Prof. Chandrakasan, MIT electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Arun Paidmarri and research scientist Nathan Ickes reduce the energy leakage across semiconductor gates by applying a negative charge to it when the transmitter is idle. The negative charge drives electrons away from the leads, which makes the semiconductor a better insulator.

In tests performed on a prototype radio transmitter chip fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company the team determined that the energy needed to apply negative charge to the gate was much less than that that would be lost through energy leakage. More specifically, they found that their circuit used only 20 picowatts of power to save 10,000 picowatts in leakage.

The new radio transmitter circuit design could reduce power consumption and increase battery life in information and telecommunications technology (ICT) devices and equipment as much as 100-fold – if it broadcasts only every hour or so, according to Hardesty's report.

“Ultra-low leakage energy is critical for future sensor nodes that need the transmitter to be on only a very small percentage of time,” Baher Haroun, director of the Embedded Processing Systems Labs at Texas Instruments (TI) elaborated

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Members of the broadband carrier ecosystem are joining together to improve the energy efficiency of equipment used to deliver broadband services. Led by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), a range of ISPs, equipment suppliers and consumer equipment manufacturers on June 25 signed a voluntary agreement that establishes strict requirements that will improve energy efficiency of small network equipment (SNE) 10-20 percent.

Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency are key aspects of consumer and electronics industry innovation and sustainable development plans given the steep upward trajectory of electronic device and equipment energy use. The voluntary agreement will cover more than 90 percent of U.S. broadband households, a total of some 80 million homes, CEA and NCTA announced in a press release.

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Tagged in: braodband SNE

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot technology, not just in the U.S. but globally, as an announcement from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reminds us.

The ITU’s telecom division, ITU-T, has launched an initiative aimed at developing IoT standards and focusing initially on smart city applications, including machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and ubiquitous sensor networks. ITU-T Study Group 20 aims to standardize end-to-end architectures for IoT and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various industry sectors.

Deployment of IoT technologies by 2020 is expected to result in the connection of some 50 billion devices to the Internet that will impact practically every aspect of people's daily lives, ITU points out. Municipal infrastructure and essential services providers, such as power and water utilities, as well as transportation and healthcare providers, have stakes in IoT technologies.

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Tagged in: IoT ITU

Profound change is happening in the electricity industry, “whether utilities or governments want it” or not, Kate Burson, an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said June 23. Burson spoke in Washington, D.C., at a forum on energy that was organized by the Washington Post as part of its “America Answers” series. The June 23 event, the third in the series, was entitled “Powering Cities” and was sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute, the National League of Cities and energy company WGL.

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Tagged in: Energy

Do your customers expect a digital content experience anywhere and anytime? Broadband service providers are busy building access networks that can enable and sustain digital content distribution. But laying fiber is just one part of the equation. Join the conversation during the FTTH Connect and BroadbandTV conference session:

“Embracing Digital Content and Applications”
Wednesday, July 1st
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

FTTH, Anaheim, CA 
June 29 - July 1

Finley Engineering’s Andy Heins will be one of four panelists outlining the exploding amount of digital content and applications that customers are embracing and discussing network and technology implications for broadband service providers. Stop by Finley's booth #817 during the FTTH Connect Expo.


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GTM Research expects an increase to 848 MW in the annual energy storage market in 2019 — 13 times the size of the 2014 market and four times the size of the 2015 market, the firm said in its recent report.

Energy storage is set to experience drastic growth, according to a quarterly report released by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

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Tagged in: Energy energy storage

One of the strongest growth opportunities for communications service providers is in the Internet of Things, as a new forecast from IDC illustrates.

The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow at a 16.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014-2020 as revenues rise from $655.8 billion to $1.7 trillion, IDC says. The prediction comes as part of three IoT reports IDC released June 2. 

IDC’s Internet of Things Forecast

Devices, connectivity and IT services will account for more than two-thirds of IoT market revenues come 2020, according to IDC. Devices, such as modules and sensors, will account for 31.8 percent of the market. Purpose-built IoT platforms, application software and “as a service” offerings will gain and account for larger shares of overall IoT market revenues over the course of the period, IDC expects.

"While wearable devices are the consumer face of the Internet of Things, and where recognition of IoT appears to begin, the real opportunity remains in the enterprise and public sector markets," Vernon Turner, IDC senior vice president and research fellow (IoT), Enterprise Systems was quoted in IDC's press release.

Turner noted that IoT is having a “ripple effect” and is disrupting the IT status quo because companies are rethinking traditional IT business models, processes, services and products.

IDC released three IoT market research reports: the IDC Worldwide Internet of Things Taxonomy, 2015; Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast, 2015–2020; and the Worldwide IoT Spending Guide by Vertical.

Autonomous network connectivity is the key distinguishing criterion in IDC's taxonomy of IoT technology. Hence, devices that require human interaction to connect to networks – smartphones, tablets, etc. – aren't considered IoT devices, even though apps and functions increasingly establish connections and perform tasks without user interaction, or even awareness. 

"IDC's Internet of Things taxonomy is intended to provide a framework to categorize and relate technology and industry-specific aspects of this burgeoning market," Carrie MacGillivray, IDC program vice president, IoT and Mobile research, explained.


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Finley’s Andy Heins will be available at the FTTH Connect Expo the end of the month and also presenting at Broadband TV. We hope you can attend his session where he delivers Finley’s perspective on building broadband networks that support more and more video traffic; engineering the network for peak video traffic loads.


Session description: FTTP delivered ultra-high speed broadband services enable an evolving and compelling digital content experience. One that subscribers are increasingly coming to expect. A range of applications from multiple multiscreen HD video feeds; to socially connected entertainment experiences; to anytime access to cloud based video and music content libraries; to connected home video monitoring; and many more, are now within reach. The result is an explosion in the use of and interaction with digital content. Service providers must evaluate these applications and ensure they are maximizing the business and subscriber value-add opportunities they present. This session will outline and discuss the implications of the explosion in digital content usage and consumption and highlight how service providers can best leverage this new and emerging marketplace reality.


For more information, visit the Broadband TV website.


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Stakeholders are targeting data rates above 10 Gbps for the next generation of Ethernet passive optical networking (EPON), according to a new report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The report, titled “IEEE 802.3™ Industry Connections Feasibility Assessment for the Next Generation of EPON,” synthesizes input from a range of global industry players involved in the EPON value chain about what they would like to see in next-generation EPON, including minimizing footprint and power consumption, as well as higher data rates. 

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Tagged in: epon Ethernet

The traditional home security business, with its slow-growing, contract-based, monthly revenue business model, faces significant challenges during the next five years. Equipped with a wealth of new and innovative technology options for both home security and home automation, homeowners are eschewing new contracts and fees. Instead, many are opting to design, install and monitor home security systems that they can customize to meet their needs and budgets, according to a recent report from ABI Research's Smart Home Market Research. 

The challenges that ABI highlights are also faced by telecom service providers that have ventured into the home security market.

The report, Home Security Services Evolution: Staying Relevant in the IoT World forecasts that up to 15 million households will account for new growth in the connected home security market between now and 2020. Home security vendors that hope to thrive, instead of merely survive, during this time period will have to find ways to enhance their core service offerings and make other necessary adjustments to their business models.

For example, they can partner with smart home services such as call-center monitoring as a plug-in service, or they can bring home video monitoring to their call centers, according to Jonathan Collins, Principal Analyst. Partnering with smart home players of all types will enable home security providers to offer turnkey solutions to homeowners that do not wish to DIY their home security, and cause some who do to think twice about it. New partners also get home security providers up to speed quickly about new security options and trends, as well as the evolving needs of their customers.

The ABI report makes it clear that self-install and self-monitor solutions pose a threat to standard business models and it won't be easy for traditional providers to imagine living without their monthly recurring revenues. However, the shift does present them with the opportunity to re-invent their businesses and make the most of good relationships that they have built with their existing customers over many years. A true willingness to change and partner with others, combined with their deep knowledge of the home security business to date, will give home security providers – including telcos that offer home security -- more than a fighting chance to come out on top.




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As Finley clients can attest to, the growth in OTT video traffic has been meteoric. According to new research from Juniper, it’s only going to get worse, and quickly.

Subscribers to OTT TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will more than triple in coming years, rising from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million worldwide by 2019, according to the market research firm. With growth continuing North America will continue as the world's leading market in terms of OTT video subscribers.

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Tagged in: OTT Video

Verizon’s plan to purchase AOL, announced May 12, came as a surprise. But TechnoBuffalo reports something even more surprising about AOL: More than two million Americans still pay $20 a month to subscribe to AOL's 56k dial-up Internet service.

That's a lot less than the 4.6 million dial-up Internet subscribers the Virginia-based ISP counted in 2010, but still “astonishing,” given that U.S. broadband penetration now exceeds 70 percent at an average speed of 11.4 Mbps, writes TechnoBuffalo. By failing to upgrade to faster Internet service, dial-up subscribers are probably unable to view much of the information on websites and provided by Web services today. 

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Tagged in: Broadband internet

Despite skepticism on the part of Steve Jobs, Apple's iPhone 6 Plus – and larger screen-size 'phablets' more generally – are having a significant impact on the global smartphone and mobile device markets, according to new market research from Yahoo’s mobile analytics unit Flurry. Phablets, which Flurry categorizes as having screen sizes of between 5 and 6.9 inches (e.g. the Galaxy Note and iPhone 6 Plus), are now the second most popular mobile device form factor after medium screen-size smartphones, Flurry finds. 

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Video isn’t the only OTT application impacting bandwidth. A similar over-the-top phenomenon also is happening in the audio world, as new research from Triton Digital highlights. Customers are increasingly enjoying music and Internet radio, and expecting broadband service providers to deliver a good listening experience

According to the latest edition of Triton Digital's monthly Top 20 Ranker market data service, the average number of active streaming audio sessions (AAS) in the U.S. for March 2015 came in 41 percent above that of a year ago. Mobile listening saw a particularly sharp increase, rising to represent 73.7 percent of all the audio streaming Triton tracked in March.

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The balance of power in information and entertainment markets is shifting towards consumers from technology and service providers thanks to growing ability of consumers to access content when and wherever they care to, as new research from Nielsen illustrates.

The television is still the “screen of choice” for viewing video content, notes Nielsen Research Director Tony Boyte in an April 19 post on the company blog. But device proliferation and social-media interaction is “shifting power from the provider to the people,” Boyte says. 

Indicative of the greater power viewers now wield regarding how, where and when they watch, Nielsen researchers found that 63 percent of online respondents said that watching time-shifted programming better accommodates their schedules. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) said they often binge watch -- catching up with their favorite programming by watching several episodes on the same day. 

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Many Finley clients are actively investigating or have already launched some form of unified communications for business customers. A report from HIS-Infonetics offers some insight into the thinking of business customers and may hold some promise for these applications.

Unified communications is set to shift to the cloud, according to new research from IHS-Infonetics. The researchers found that half of respondents at medium and large North American organizations expect to be use public or private cloud services to run at least some of their unified communications applications. As our clients continue to offer cloud services, this shift could mean more opportunities for hosted UC customers.

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An exciting Internet development has come out of the University of Michigan. According to researchers, it’s now possible to rapidly scan every device connected to the public Internet.

This capability already has demonstrated its usefulness in combating a major flaw in the encryption that secures websites recently.

According to a MIT Technology Review post published on March 30, a research fellow at the University of Michigan realized the full potential of the flaw, known as FREAK, after performing a scan of every device on the Internet. Only later did the researchers who identified the flaw come to the same realization.

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Join Finley Engineering and Telecompetitor in the webinar, Healthcare Connect Fund: A $400M Opportunity, scheduled April 23rd at 3:00p ET/2:00p CT. During the webinar you will gain an understanding of the Healthcare Connect Fund and learn of business opportunities for rural broadband service providers.

Register today for this informative event.

We look forward to visiting with you on this important topic.

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Finley Engineering is extremely pleased to be selected as an approved national vendor by MiCTA for fiber build out services. Listen to the recent MiCTA radio program where MiCTA Radio host John Tanner interviews Finley experts to learn more about the company and its capabilities. Specifically, Finley’s Mark Mrla shares more on our broadband services and Laren Metcalf outlines Finley’s IP Services. 

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