Shifting Gears Towards a Modern E-rate

Gear ShiftWith school back in session, K-12 district IT staff are busy supporting day-to-day instructional needs, providing the equipment and services needed to teach. At the same time, it is never too early to think about needs and budgets for next school year, especially when the technological landscape is evolving daily. Having built scores of fiber networks for school districts under the FCC E-Rate initiative, we follow changes and modifications to the program very closely.

With the release of its E-Rate Modernization Order on August 12th, the FCC introduced new goals for the program, many of which are timely in light of the ConnectED and SETDA initiatives. Specific policy changes support the following objectives. Read more of this post

How Bright is your City?

Smart CityIn some industries, it’s easy to see the footprint you leave. In the glamorous world of advertising and telecomm it’s often not so clear-cut. Cue, “Smart Cities.” Smart cities are defined as “cities of the future – they invest in information and communications technology (ICT), such as broadband networks and analytics software, to become more attractive places for Americans to live and work.”1 In our business, this is the day-to-day impact we are making on the world.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, people working in U.S. cities contribute up to 90% of the nation’s GDP and compose 83% of the population.1 In a smart city model, multiple entities coordinate to leverage technology investments across an entire department, organization, city and city ecosystem (with utilities, schools and universities, and even other cities). That’s where companies like ours come in; with such a large percentage of the population situated in these metro markets, we are their broadband backbone. Read more of this post

A Non-Engineer’s Take on Wide Area Networks

Wide Area Network PortWide Area Networks (WANs) have been designed to address the specific needs of varying types of organizations, businesses and consumers. Business type, number of employees, data security level, geographical distance between sites, file transfer size and requirements, and user profile are just some of the factors that dictate what type of WAN technology will be the most cost-effective and efficient. Often, organizations may implement a hybrid combination of network solutions.

Five main types of Wide Area Networks exist:

  1. Domestic MPLS  (Multi-Protocol Label Switching)
  2. International MPLS
  3. Carrier (Switched) Ethernet
  4. Carrier (Private) Ethernet
  5. Optical Carrier Private Line

Read more of this post

16QAM, A Lesson in Physics

Physics ProfessorAs a high school student, I vividly remember my physics professor trying to explain the law of refraction. In its simplest form, “the bending of a ray of light.” More complex than that, the whole class suddenly glazed. Mr. Physics had to be speaking Swahili.  Ten years later, and it seems my physics lessons are paying off big time: 16QAM.

With the standardization of 100G by the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE)1, the ever-expanding world of bandwidth capacity is pushing towards the deployment of bigger and better, 400G super channels. A technology which would not be possible without the use of QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation). Read more of this post

Differentiation. How to be in a Class All Your Own.

Sunesys Wine BottleI’m often asked what drives our business. Being philosophical about this question, the number one driver always begins with the human insatiable need to communicate. Humans by nature are a pack species, and do not fare well on their own. Thus, from the beginning of time, we’ve learned languages in order to communicate our wants and needs. And as nomadic groups expanded their horizons into new lands, we needed to find ways to communicate across countries as well as continents.

That’s all very well, but once we learned to communicate, we needed a way to differentiate. At the end of the day, what really differentiates one company from another? For us, it’s the brand and what that brand represents. Take for example when you open any bottle of wine made by legendary wine farmer, Giuseppe Quintarelli, you know what that name on the bottle will mean. You absolutely know for what it will stand. Every bottle is a masterpiece, a testament to the skill and passion of a master artisan. You simply cannot compare his wines to any other in the region, or for that matter, anywhere else in the world. They are in a class and a category all to their own. Read more of this post

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