Video traffic is expected to increase by 720% and cloud/data center traffic is expected to increase by 440% by 2017, according to a Bell Labs study that was released last week. The study provides a number of other broadband traffic projections as well. This kind of data is helpful, although the message it conveys is nothing new. Broadband usage demands are rising rapidly and projections can help service providers to anticipate how much more capacity networks will be required to handle in just a few short years.
However, last week also saw the expansion of usage-based broadband pricing as Comcast extended its 300 gigabyte (GB) per month cap to its XFINITY customers in Maine. Customers can purchase additional blocks of 50 GB for $10 a month. This is the same pricing structure that Comcast uses in Huntsville and Mobile, Ala.; Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah, Ga.; Central Kentucky; Jackson, Miss; Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn.; and Charleston, S.C. Read more
The average American consumed 14 hours per week of radio in 2012, placing it second behind only traditional television (35 hours per week) in all media consumed, Nielsen reported in a report released last week.
“The average American consumed almost 60 hours of content each week across TV, radio, online and mobile in 2012,” Nielsen wrote in the report, “A Look Across Media: The Cross-Platform Report Q3 2013.” “Of the many mediums, radio remains a constant in our daily lives. The average American radio listener tunes in to radio over two hours per day (or 14 hours per week), making it the second-most consumed form of media after TV.”
Using the Internet on a computer was the third most consumed media, averaging 5.1 hours per week. Video on the Internet and game consoles were tied for fourth at 1.5 hours weekly, followed by video on mobile and DVD/Blu-Ray (1.3 hours per week each.)
The Nielsen report went on to stress the potential benefits radio has to offer marketers. “[T]he hyper local nature of audio offers advertisers community-level engagement between content and in-store activity. Often timely, radio spots can catch listeners right before they make their purchase decisions, and an impactful radio spot can inform and influence these decisions.”
In 2010, Arrowhead Electric Cooperative Inc. (AEC), an electric utility providing service to a rural area in Minnesota, was awarded $16 million in stimulus funds to build a Fiber-to-the-Home broadband network to underserved citizens throughout Cook County.
Realizing that the company lacked critical knowledge and experience in deploying a broadband network, AEC contacted Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC), a small telco about four hours away, and negotiated a partnership whereby CTC would assist AEC with the project, including providing input and expertise with engineering, installation, sales and marketing. CTC has more than 60 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and deployed its own fiber network in 2006.
The joint project will eventually bring fiber broadband service to more than 4,000 homes and businesses in AEC’s service area. In October, AEC established the first 100 Mbps connection to its home office in Lutsen, Minn. (population 190).
Once the fiber has been deployed, AEC will handle billing operations and CTC will handle back-end support. Despite the distance between the two, AEC’s voice and Internet services will be provided with assistance from CTC. AEC also has the option to leverage CTC’s expertise for future projects should it so desire.
AEC held a Broadband Launch Open House in October, where it invited customers to bring their own wireless devices to test the speed of the new service, planned to be widely available beginning in early 2014.
Last week I wrote about what I want for Christmas and most of the items on my list are devices that I can use to improve my health and lose weight. (I like donuts too much.) However, this week I realized while making the trek to my in-laws for Thanksgiving that driverless cars also may be good for my mental health. A woman in the lane next to us (my wife was diving) was putting on makeup and looking into her visor mirror while passing us (on the right) at 70 miles per hour. With my two infants in the car, I was not amused.
Why driverless cars? This New Yorker article on driverless or automated automobiles says it best:
Human beings make terrible drivers. They talk on the phone and run red lights, signal to the left and turn to the right. They drink too much beer and plow into trees or veer into traffic as they swat at their kids. They have blind spots, leg cramps, seizures, and heart attacks. They rubberneck, hotdog, and take pity on turtles, cause fender benders, pileups, and head-on collisions. They nod off at the wheel, wrestle with maps, fiddle with knobs, have marital spats, take the curve too late, take the curve too hard, spill coffee in their laps, and flip over their cars. Of the ten million accidents that Americans are in every year, nine and a half million are their own [darn] fault. (Emphasis added by me).
Heck yeah! People in cars are largely dopes! So, can technology save us from ourselves? Read more
I missed an opportunity last week to mark my 100th post to the New Edge with something spectacular. Instead, I wrote about cloud computing.
But since this post commences my “second hundred” I’ll reach back to my high school days to illustrate a conundrum that faces consumers as society becomes more deeply entrenched in the “Internet of things.”
Rumor has it that a wealthy donor once approached my high school and offered to underwrite the construction of a swimming pool. Concerned about liability issues, the school declined. When the donor persisted and asked why locking the building after hours would not suffice, the administration, aware of its students’ proclivity for surmounting security measures, replied, “In our school, there is no such thing as a ‘lock’” (I won’t share the details here, but I once participated in an effort that rivaled Spy vs. Spy in a quest to obtain a ring of keys). Read more
I still write to Santa Claus (a.k.a, my lovely, generous and patient wife who makes more than I do) every year. In years’ past my list has been mostly confined to “manly” gear like power tools. This year I thought I’d branch out a bit in my interests and tie my Christmas list to things that piqued my interest while writing for the New Edge.
So, my list is below, what it is, why I want it. I’m not going to send it directly to my wife; I’m going to see if she actually reads the New Edge. She say she does, so this is like a test.
When I first started looking into game consoles, I wrote about how they are becoming much more than mere game consoles; they’re multimedia entertainment hubs (“MEH”, a term I made up, by the way). MEH refers to an all-in-one device that funnels games, live TV, video-on-demand and even Web chat and other apps to users. Microsoft’s Xbox One fits the MEH category, according to reviews. Sony’s Playstation 4 is being marketed more to the hard-core gamers, and early reviews say it’s the best choice for those folks.
As one reviewer wrote when discussing the Xbox One, “[y]ou can even multitask, watching TV while playing a game. If the thought of this makes you misty-eyed about the future (or if you just like the idea of your TV and game console sharing a single HDMI slot), and you don’t have any particular attachment to either game library, buy an Xbox One.” Read more
Time Warner Cable Business Class recently announced the start of a trial of its “Virtual Visit” telemedicine program. Virtual Visit will allow Cleveland Clinic’s healthcare providers to deliver care remotely to patients via video conferencing technology. Patients will be able to interact with healthcare providers via an encrypted two-way video without leaving their home. The Time Warner Virtual Visit product will be offered as a bundled service consisting of connectivity installation, customer premises equipment (modems and video conferencing equipment), and technical support in patients’ homes.
The Virtual Visit trial is being conducted with Cleveland Clinics’ Center for Connected Care, which consists of about 500 healthcare professionals serving approximately 3,500 patients. As part of the trial, TWC will measure the cost savings realized by the Cleveland Clinic. You’d have to be on another planet not to realize that healthcare costs are rising rapidly in this nation, and any cost efficiencies realized by the increased use of telemedicine are likely to spur its adoption by healthcare providers. Of course, getting started is the hard part, and the cable provider is supplying a lot of the upfront costs, at least in the trial. Read more