Viodi View – 11/16/12

Shedding light on the unique stories of the rural carriers and their impact on the heartland has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the Viodi View and ViodiTV. This month marks 10 years since the Viodi View’s inaugural issue. The articles that seem to resonate the most are those about the people of the industry. Hopefully, in some small way, we are preserving the memories those people make and the lives they touch.

New Opportunities in a Changed World

Kevin Larson, of CTC in rural northern Minnesota, suggests that communities may need to form their own broadband networks, much like cooperatives were formed decades ago to bring telephone service to rural areas. In the final segment of this 4-part interview, Larson suggests that this could be an opportunity for existing telecom operators to lend management and operational experience that would help these communities in their quest for broadband. Click here to view.

Days of the Fiber Future Are Past

Congratulations to Diane Kruse of NEO fiber for her appointment as the chairperson for the 2013 Broadband Communities Summit. In this interview, filmed at the 2010 Broadband Communities Summit, Kruse discusses the federal government stimulus and the fears some had surrounding the stimulus. She also discusses the Google fiber project which, at that point, was still a contest to see which community would be the winner. It truly is amazing that only two years later the first Google fiber customers are being activated, as this type of outside plant project often gets way-laid by non-technological considerations. Click here to read more and to view.

Google Advocates Unlicensed Spectrum Sharing via TV White Spaces for Wireless Broadband Access by Alan Weissberger

Image courtesy of Google.

Alan Norman, Principal of Google’s Access Strategy group, presented the company’s plans for wireless broadband using white spaces at a Nov 2nd Wireless Symposium sponsored by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Google wants to demonstrate that over-the- air TV and wireless broadband using white spaces can co-exist with licensed spectrum. In this article, a summary of Google’s efforts in this are given, including its trial in Capetown, South Africa, its proposal to share infrastructure among carriers and its muni-WiFi effort in Kansas City (where they are also deploying fiber to the home). Click here to read more.

AT&T to Expand U-Verse & IP-DSLAM; Bring Fiber to Commercial Buildings & Cover 99% of US with LTE! by Alan Weissberger

AT&T's wireline coverage
Image Courtesy of AT&T

In the most significant announcement since SBC acquired the old AT&T and became “the new” AT&T, the telco giant announced it will spend $14B over the next three years to expand its wireline and wireless networks under its newly coined “Project Velocity” initiative.  The company wants to move to an all IP network platform, which means they’ll be phasing out TDM transmission and the PSTN. Click here to read Weissberger’s unique take and the ensuing comments on this well publicized announcement.

Is 2013 the Year for a Revolution in Retransmission Consent Rules?

From multi-screen and over-the-top video to media consolidation, the technological and business landscapes have changed significantly since retransmission and must-carry rules were created by Congress almost 20 years ago.  Retransmission consent and must-carry rules have remained among the most contentious and challenging for operators offering video services.

It is an honor to be moderating a webinar panel on this topic in two weeks with Chris Cinnamon of Cinnamon-Mueller, John Hane of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Matt Polka of the American Cable Association. Email me with any questions you would like asked of these esteemed panelists. Click here for registration information.

Some Tweets and Short Thoughts:

  • I know this story is anecdotal at this point, but this could be significant for smart phone users and wireless carriers if a link is established between cancer and where a cell phone is carried on a person’s body.
  • As was alluded to in this earlier article, Olympusat announced a strategic partnership with Kit digital and Akamai,to offer Content Delivery Network (CDN), Enhanced Storage Capabilities, video transcoding and digital media players to its customers for multi-screen applications.
  • The SmartPhone as a digital thermometer. Will IR sensors & associated apps be the next point of differentiation for smart phone makers.
  • Am honored to have been a part of this and being able to help bring attention to the cool and important things these entities are doing in the production of local content.

The Korner: He Made a Difference

Warren Lee Presenting at 2009 NTCA Annual Meeting

We all make a difference. This thought comes to mind with the unexpected and untimely passing of Warren Lee from stroke at age 50. The former CEO of NeoNova, Lee and his team spun off the DSL service from Nortel. This team had developed the multi-megabit modem service; allowing independent telcos to offer DSL services for the first time. NeoNova continued to be a pioneer in that space, becoming a managed services provider for telcos throughout the country.

Click here to read this brief memorial and associated comments about Warren and the many people he touched in the rural telecom industry.

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