Viodi View – 04/28/10

Attending three shows in two weeks – IP Possibilities, TANE and the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit – may have caused me to go into conference overload. All are great shows and I have some great take-aways from these events that are still stuck as digital scribbles across my virtual notepad. My epiphany is how much better my note taking is when I am traveling with my partner in crime, Roger Bindl. Read The Korner to see the trouble I got into a couple of weeks ago, when I didn’t have Roger to make sure I had a roof over my head. 


click here to go to the videoThe Mayor of Broadband

Population growth of 33% over a decade with only one city employee added to the payroll is one of the accomplishments cited by former Fort Wayne mayor, Graham Richard, in his keynote talk at the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit. Richard pointed out that cities face an $83 billion shortfall in the next couple of years and improving efficiency (doing more with the same number of employees) in government is going to be a critical way to make the proverbial ends meet.  Click here to go to the video interview.


Click here to go to the video interview with RUS Administrator, Jonathan AdelsteinFunding Unserved Broadband – A Brief Conversation with Mr. Adelstein

Federal government interagency cooperation and interaction is one benefit to having a Chief Technology Officer of the United States, according to Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service. When we first spoke to Adelstein at the 2008 OPASTCO Summer Convention, when he was still an FCC Commissioner, he suggested that the CTO role would bring disparate parts of government together. Today, Adelstein is the face of the RUS and is responsible for a $56 Billion loan portfolio. In this brief interview, he discusses the stimulus program, as well as the challenges of reducing interagency friction in order to speed the rollout of broadband to unserved and under-served areas.  Click here to go to the video interview.


Could Policy Create a Digital Divide?

The FCC and RUS have a huge, unenviable and maybe impossible job of creating policy and selecting projects that facilitate the deployment of affordable broadband to as much of the country as possible. As John Rose implies in an open letter on the OPASTCO web site, the FCC goal of 100 Mb/s to 100 million homes does not address the other 10 to 18 million homes and the FCC may be setting the ground work for an ongoing digital divide. In this open letter, Rose is essentially suggesting that the future of rural telcos is in danger because of their very success in bringing broadband to parts of America that others ignored. 


Click here to go the video interview with Joe Savage of the FTTH CouncilThe Chasm Has Been Crossed

With 16% of U.S. households having access to fiber to the premise, the chasm that separates early adopters from the mainstream has been crossed. In this video interview, Joe Savage, President of the FTTH Council, comments on the deployment figures released this week by RVA Market Research and Consulting. He also comments on Verizon’s fiber plans, as well as those of other U.S. cable and independent operators will affect the near-term rollout of FTTH.  Click here to go to the video interview.


Click here to go to the video interviewExciting Time in the Telemedicine/Telehealth Industry

“This is a very exciting next 5 years for the telemedicine/telehealth industry,” says Harry Wang of Parks Associates, in this video interview from the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit. Wang says that a number of factors are in play to help overcome consumer inertia to widespread adoption of telemedicine. Ubiquitous wireline and wireless broadband and devices are giving consumers lower cost, more efficient and sometimes more effective alternatives to having to make the trek to their doctors’ offices.

See Harry Wang in this video and meet him at the Parks Associates Connections Conference in June 2010.


"The Future of Video" VLAB Panel Discussion by Alan Weissberger

The way we consume video is inexorably changing. YouTube alone sees a full day’s worth of video content (24 hours) uploaded to its servers every minute. The iPhone changed everything in regard to consumption of video on the go and now the iPad is shepherding in a new generation of smart mobile platforms that will enable video consumption to be richer and more flexible than ever seen. Content, conduit, and consumption are all expanding. What will the next phase of the video ecosystem look like and how will it be monetized? What metaphor will dominate how end consumers navigate the unfathomably large volumes of video available? Who will win in the new value chain?  Click here to read the rest of the article.


Some Tweets and Other Short Thoughts:


The Korner – There Is a Map for That – Just Make Sure It's Accurate

Just in Time; a manufacturing buzzword phrase from the 1980s reminds me of travel these days. The advent of smart phones and communications eliminate much of the friction of getting from one place to another. With GPS and integrated mapping on a smart phone, one does not even need paper to navigate his way around a strange locale. 

So, the night before heading out to the IP Possibilities conference in St. Louis, I decided it was time to make my hotel accommodations. Being naturally parsimonious and given that I would see my room for all of six or seven hours, I carefully calculated the price versus distance equation and, using Google Maps and its search feature, found a hotel approximately three blocks from the conference center. I couldn’t and, in retrospect, shouldn’t have believed my good fortune that I would find a room for $56 in an upscale neighborhood; Internet was included, so I was a happy camper.

Departing the airport, I shunned the taxi and opting instead for public transportation in the form of light rail. My smartphone gave step by step directions from the light rail train station to my destination and the walk in the early evening air was quite pleasant.

A map with a corrected crowd-sourced descriptionThe neighborhood was lovely and I figured the motel must be a converted apartment because of the residential nature of the locale. Then, my smartphone told me I had passed my destination. Totally confused, I reverted to something people used to do last century and asked a couple for directions.  They were more confused than I was, as they said there was no La Quinta Inn & Suites nearby.

I took another look at the map on my phone and, although it showed a hotel at 318 Taylor Avenue (along with its website and phone number), I found another La Quinta Inn & Suites at another address identified as 318 Taylor Road in Hazelwood, MO; a suburb of St. Louis; the real La Quinta Inn & Suites was in a neighborhood one would expect for $56. A $45 cab ride later and I was enjoying the bundled internet of this rather remote La Quinta inn & Suites.

It was a bit painful when I figured out that I spent more on cabs, than I did my accommodations and that I could have spent the same total amount and stayed with the rest of my tradeshow colleagues had I just not attempted to be so frugal. Oh well, at least I got a priceless story and I learned a valuable lesson about being a bit more weary of what I read on crowd-sourced web sites. Oh, and as shown in this picture, I did change the description on the Google map to "apartment," so someone else won't make my penny-wise, pond-foolish decision.

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