Private Fiber: The Cadillac of Network Solutions

Cadillac_Network_SolutionsWith a culture set in the ideals of over-achievement, we as a population are always pushing the boundaries towards the biggest and the best. Whether it is priority boarding on a business flight, the latest sports car model or eating at the hottest new bistro downtown, we desire only the best. So, why should our businesses and, in turn our network infrastructure, be any different? Cue, private fiber network solutions.

Private fiber network solutions, as compared with traditional public network services like those offered by the LEC or Cable Provider, utilize dedicated fiber infrastructure to provide a unique service devoted to each individual customer. Consider the following two examples: Read more of this post

The ABC’s of the E-Rate Modernization Order

ABCsofErateThe world of E-Rate regulations is ever-changing. Although the latest modernization order dates back to December 2014, the implications and processes being put in place are just coming to fruition in the months ahead.

First, the Program Funding Cap has been increased from $2.4 Billion to $3.9 Billion. This was one of the major changes sought positively by all parties. There was an increase to the USF contribution amount, however that was estimated to be about 3 cents per “rate user”; a loosely defined term since both residential and businesses pay into the USF.

Next in the adjustments, is a more streamlined view of eligible services. Eligible services have been redefined to limit funding use for services that provide for the “access” to advanced telecommunications and the Internet. This effort also allowed for the complete removal of school’s Technology Plans. Schools still have the flexibility of provisioning their networks as per their guidance and needs, but the funding for telecommunication services is now limited to those that directly “bring” those services to the students and staff. Read more of this post

How the WAN was Won

LAN, WAN & MANFrom smoke signals to fire towers, from Pheidippides to the carrier pigeon, we have always sought effective ways to send critical signals long distances. This practice was innovated purely out of the need to bring together large communities with collective information.

In all cases, we made use of the technology at hand.

As the Industrial Revolution created new challenges and required more sophisticated means of transport, technology had an increasingly hard time keeping pace.

Think about this: Antonio Meucci essentially invented the electronic transmission of a voice signal in 1849. A rudimentary and impractical design, it was perfected by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Yet, almost 40 years later on the front lines of World War One, we were still using carrier pigeons, semaphores and human “runners” to deliver critical messaging. Read more of this post

Fibertown USA, the Place to Be

Fibertown USAIf you have ever had one of those healthy moments and searched for “Dr. Oz benefits of fiber,” you would find hundreds of articles and video content that credit fiber in your diet with having the potential to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lose weight, and even reduce the risk of heart disease1.

Of course, we all know Dr. Oz is talking about high-fiber foods, but if you allow me to play “Telecom Fiber Doctor,” for just a minute, you will also see that a high fiber count, as in fiber-optic, may also have many key benefits. The example I will use is simple. Think of a community or city that lacks healthy fiber-optic infrastructure compared to one that has purposely planned, developed and maintained a high-speed fiber network throughout. Crazy to think you can make an analogy between a bran muffin and fiber-optic glass, but you be the judge when reviewing the potential benefits.

To start, let’s define the town. l will randomly call it Fibertown USA. It need not be an NFL city, more likely it is that tier two or three city which has struggled with poor or non-existent broadband to the home, little or slow internet, both in residence and in the workplace, and a lack of cable TV offerings. The town may be random but the facts are not. According to the FCC 2015 Broadband report, 17% of all Americans, not including tribal or US territories, lack access to advanced broadband, and in rural America over half of the American population lacks access to connectivity speeds in excess of 25Mbps download. The report goes on to state, “35 percent of schools across the nation still lack access to fiber networks capable of delivering the advanced broadband required to support today’s digital-learning tools 2.” These are startling statistics. Read more of this post

3D Printing: The Next Dimension

3-D Printing_ImageThese days technology is changing so dynamically, that it helps to find patterns across different industries and disciplines. I think most business owners would agree that finding areas of overlap and adjusting the business model accordingly, makes great sense especially when we are looking at niche products and capital-intensive projects. The world of 3-D printing is no stranger to this setup.

A newer phenomenon on the technology scale, three-dimensional printing appears to be a topic still very early in the stages of discovery when it comes to its full potential and economies of scale. In recent meetings I’ve been privy to some fascinating use cases for the technology that many would find surprising. Beyond these in-development applications, it’s interesting to wonder what 3-D printing could do to the telecommunications sector in particular. For argument’s sake, let’s take three key areas that could benefit from the technology: fiber optic cabling infrastructure, building construction, and small cell technologies.

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