Viodi View – 10/06/14

On occasion I write things I really have no interest in publishing. The following article and video interview fall into that category. Over the past month, it has been reviewed by numerous parties for accuracy and I am still surprised no one else in the press or activist group has picked up on this story, as there are many interesting angles.

Google’s Actions Hurt Broadband Rollout, Particularly in Rural America

An ISP brochure featuring the benefits of Google Apps.
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A recent decision by Google that unilaterally changes the way it deals with ISP partnerships jeopardizes that trust, while putting up new barriers to broadband and have some suggesting that Google’s actions are at the heart of the issues that have been brought forward in the Senate Judiciary Committee Net Neutrality hearings. Assuming the ISPs can continue with some variation of the existing program, the approximate ten times cost increase cost makes cable programming price hikes trivial by comparison.

Click here to read more.

Google – “Talk to Us”

Kurt Gruendling teaching how to use Google Apps to rural customers
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What is Google’s motivation for discontinuing its Google Apps for Partners (TM) program? In this video interview, filmed at the 2014 NTCA Annual Meeting, WCVT’s Kurt Gruendling asks that question of Google. This is a question that many operators want to know, as none that I have spoken to want to disrupt their customers’ broadband experience; particularly when there isn’t necessarily a good replacement.

Click here to read more.

Stepping Into the GigaZone – A Committment to Local Economic Development

Ken Pyle interviews Paul Bunyan Communications' Gary Johnson at the 2014 NTCA Annual Meeting.
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Helping with economic development for the communities they serve is part of Paul Bunyan Communications’ mission statement. Economic development is one of the motivations for PBC’s restructuring of its offering to one that is centered around an all-fiber, broadband vision. Paul Bunyan’s GigaZone, announced last Thursday, made a big splash in the news (featured on the front page of the Minnesota Star Tribune, for instance), as it is one of the first all-fiber networks to encompass such a wide area (5,000 square miles).

Click here to read more and to view.

Peter Thiel – the Ultimate Enigma- at Commonwealth Club Event by Alan Weissberger

An image of a cloud as a metaphor for SDN.
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Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, VC/hedge fund manager and author of Zero to One, was interviewed by NY Times’ Quentin Hardy on Sept 30, 2014 at the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley event in Santa Clara, CA.   While I agreed with several things Mr. Thiel said, he seems to be a man of many contradictions.  Hardy said that Thiel “very richly embraces intellectual curiosity and combat.”   But who is he fighting- himself?

Click here to read more.

Highlights of Light Reading’s NFV and the Data Center Conference-Part 1. by Alan Weissberger

Inside a typical data center.
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The telco data center¹(DC) is likely to be the first place network operators deploy Network Virtualization/Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).  That was the opening statement at the Light Reading conference on NFV and the Data Center, held Sept 16, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA.  A network virtualized data center was defined by the conference host as a “cloudified” DC which integrates virtualized telecom network functions utilizing Virtual Network Functions (VNF) or Distributed VNFs.

Click here to read Part 1.

Light Reading’s NFV and the Data Center- Operator Keynotes, Security & Summary-Part 2. by Alan Weissberger

An example of what the NFV Framework looks like from the Orange perspective.
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This second article on Light Reading’s NFV-Data Center conference summarizes telco keynote speeches from Orange and NTT-America. We then look at security challenges and wrap up with our summary and conclusions….Christos Kolias, Sr. Research Scientist, Orange – Silicon Valley stated, “NFV can propel the move to the telco cloud. When this happens we will have succeeded as an NFV community! NFV removes the boundaries and constraints in your infrastructure. It breaks the barriers and opens up unlimited opportunities.”

Click here to read Part 2.

Change in NECA Tariff Results in Gigabit Services

The welcome sign to Indiantown, FL is depicted in this photograph.
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ITS Fiber announced their Gigabit, symmetric Fiber to the Home offering, which they call ITS Fiber Zymmetric. Several things make this significant, including, this might be the first Gig deployment in the Sunshine State and it uses the new provisions embodied in the just modified NECA Tariff that makes it financially possible for an independent operator, like ITS Fiber, to provide the full capabilities of their FTTH infrastructure.

Please see this interview for more information about ITS Fiber and an explanation to the recent changes in the NECA Tariff.

Autonomous Vehicle View – 10/05/14

A bumper sticker showing the lighter side of Silicon Valley.
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LA mayor wants his city to be the leader in the rollout of autonomous vehicles and has some interesting ideas to make it happen. Meanwhile, economic development officials in Iowa’s tech corridor has some ideas as to how to use its assets to become a test bed for companies wishing to get real-world testing results for autonomous vehicles. A former Environmental Defense Fund Fellow suggests autonomous vehicles will yield greater environmental benefits than electrification of the automobile. Finally, what do you get when you cross Google and Uber.

Read on to find out.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

The Korner – Internet of Things, Virtualization & Efficiency

Shirley Bloomfield of NTCA interviews Jeff Gardner of Windstream at the 2014 BroadbandVision Conference.
Shirley Bloomfield of NTCA interviews Jeff Gardner of Windstream at the 2014 BroadbandVision Conference.

Attending three major shows and two video shoots in less than two weeks, the mind becomes clogged in a jumble of thoughts from the many presentations, sessions and hallway conversations. The NTCA Fall Conference, the SCTE Expo and the BroadbandVision conference each brought a unique perspective as to how telecom providers can stay relevant in a world where their traditional products are in turmoil.

Some common threads running through these conferences include:

  • The importance of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the impact of billions of sensors and control points will impact networks and bring new opportunities and challenges.
  • Somewhat related, is the idea of virtualization, which will allow for more efficient use of compute resources, changing the role of the headend and, of course, changing how data centers and networks are configured.
  • IoT and virtualization will allow businesses of all types and sizes to to do more with less. And telecom operators have the opportunity to help their customers realize the benefits of these technologies and will also be able to apply these same technologies to their businesses to improve their operations.

As Bernie Arnason, of Telecompetitor and co-producer of BroadbandVision, succinctly said, “It is going to take smart people to make smart communities.” Fortunately for the operators, there are a lot of smart people coming up with solutions that even the smallest of carriers can implement.

And fortunately for me, my trusty video camera captured many of those thoughts of these smart people. So stay tuned for videos from these events over the next few months in this publication, as well as other telecom publications.

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