Viodi View – 09/11/2009

It is hard to believe that it was eight years ago that the brave souls on flight 93 sacrificed their own lives to save the lives of countless others. There are many web sites dedicated to the tragedy of 9/11, but this particular site,, touched me. Maybe it is because my friends involved with OPASTCO and FRED raised $59k to donate to the Shanksville, PA volunteer fire department less than 6 months after 9/11. Maybe it is because every time I jet around on an airplane across this great land, at least once during the flight, I will think about the horrifying experience for the people on flight 93. Whatever the reason, we will all remember.

Video Innovation in Iowa

Shot of the audience at the Iowa Telecom Association's Video SeminarIowa Independent Telcos have always been at the forefront of adding video and other services to their broadband offerings. It is appropriate then, that the Iowa Telecom Association would produce one of the best one-day programs on the topic of video. Topics ranged from over the top video, to local content to Emergency Alert Services at their event last week in Des Moines.  Click here to read more.

Rural FTTH Clarity through RFOG

The year was 1995 and, after poring over real world maps and comparing architectures, I discovered that fiber to the home (FTTH) was less expensive hybrid fiber coax for delivering video to extremely rural areas. The problem was that, although it was cheaper, it was still too expensive to justify; and, it did not support interactive services. Fast-forward 14 years and everything has changed for the positive.  Click here to read more.

Online Strengthens the Real World

Thanks to a post from the Western Telecom Alliance, I noticed a little heralded report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the value of broadband Internet for rural America.  At this point, I have only scanned through the report, but the one section I did read pointed to how broadband can strengthen community ties, whether the community is in an urban, suburban or rural locale.  Click here to read more.  

Android Clicks

Motorola's first Android-powered phone.Friends at Motorola had hinted to me that an Android-powered Motorola phone was planned for this fall and they were right. Exclusive to T-Mobile, and just one day after no new iPhone announcement from Apple, the newest Motorola phone, the CLIQ, made its debut yesterday at the GigaOM’s Mobilize 09 conference.  Click here to read more.

Not Just Playing Games

Click here to see the video interview with Michael Lantz of Accedo BroadbandAccedo Broadband’s newly announced deal with the AETN International, a division of A&E Television Networks, shows that Accedo Broadband offers more than just casual games. Utilizing the same platform as what they developed for game applications on the television, Accedo Broadband is helping AETN International monetize and create new value from existing video content through interactive quizzes via IPTV networks.

In this video from last summer’s Parks Associates conference, Michael Lantz, CEO of Accedo Broadband, gives a bit of preview of this capability. He also recommends that telcos embrace open standards in order to remain competitive and differentiate their services. He also talks about how often people are playing casual games on the television and how operators are monetizing these unique applications.  Click here to watch the video.

The Korner –  Back to School

Video is a great way to communicate to a community. With low-cost tools and simple editing programs, virtually any group can instantly use video to communicate their message in ways that, less than a decade ago, would have required skilled specialists and scare airwaves. This point was impressed upon me several years ago, when I helped produce a video for some African friends who were trying to get their message out about the school they were attempting to build.

I was amazed at how quickly they picked up editing techniques and learned the tool, while they gave me an appreciation for how lucky I am to have a stable electricity supply. We produced the first video to provide a synopsis of their efforts to build a Christian school in their native Tanzania. Schools are a luxury in Tanzania and, when children do have the opportunity to attend, there are often 80 students for every teacher and their workplace is a spot on the floor.

The New Life Band had a vision and I definitely got more out of helping them put their vision into video than they got from me. Producing their current video, that promotes their 2009 tour of the upper Midwest and California, was a privilege. Like most things, it was rushed and I would like to tweak a few things, but the visuals tell the story of how they have realized part of their dream with the opening of their school.

The cool thing is that they have created a community that goes well beyond Africa and extends into the heartland of America. With their original music, they have entertained and educated people from both rural and urban America and, in turn, people from those communities have been to Africa, donating their time and treasure to create a school where there was once dirt. I highly recommend catching the New LIfe Band at one of their stops in California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska or Wisconsin.

Note:  the video on the left shows where they were several years ago when they had just begun construction, while the video on the right shows appreciative students enjoying their newly built school.

click here to watch this video Click here to watch the current New Life Band video

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