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Policy Issues

Featured Next Generation Internet Applications

March 05, 2009

How do you think next generation broadband will reshape our world? Submit to us your ideas and we may feature it on our web site. Please include a link if appropriate.


Featured Submissions

Fernando Carvalho, CIO of Ceara State, Brazil writes:

Next generation high-speed broadband will allow transparent economy exchanges with less speculation and corruption. In order to get there government agencies should provide optical fiber backbone infrastructure and leave the last mile to the digital services providers, giving people the opportunity to benefit from video conferencing, interactive digital TV, telemedicine, low cost telephony, and, last but not least, the internet. Government should encourage Internet access through multiple technologies, including: 3G, 4G, PLC, Wimax, ADSL, and Wifi.

Brian Williamson, Director, Plum Consulting, London, United Kingdom writes:

Next-generation broadband could improve economic resilience to events—for example, an influenza pandemic—by allowing people to increase social distance during an outbreak. Next-generation broadband could also provide some of the economic benefits of agglomerations (cities) without agglomeration—a kind of virtual agglomeration. For more on these and other points, Brian offers a report from Plum Consulting and the Broadband Stakeholder Group, “A framework for evaluating the value of next generation broadband.”

Read the June 2008 report

Vel Dragon writes that:

Access has to be separated from network ownership. Incumbent telcos own the access layers and any competitor wishing to have economical access to customers must lease access from the carriers. He argues that competitors could build their own access but it becomes uneconomical in a competitive environment with service providers that already have facilities in place. Vel argues that there probably would not be any competition if Sears or Wal-mart owned the roads (the access) and competitors had to get permission and pay fees for access.

Don Means, Director of the “Fiber to the Library” Project Community TeleStructure Initiative, Sausalito, California writes:

There’s one very good way to find out what next-generation broadband can do while also learning who would care. Allow everyone to try it out by delivering it to all of the nation’s 16,500 public libraries first!

Such a project would extend the physical infrastructure to within a “mile” of everyone. And since libraries are open and free, anyone would be able to “road test” next-generation broadband applications such as high-definition video streaming for tele-work/medicine/education, and all the other applications we’ve been inching toward for over 15 years.

A national network of next-generation broadband -connected libraries would provide a tech-enabled civic space for public participation in policy deliberations on issues from local to global.

Don argues that its better to quickly prototype and test next-generation broadband than to just build out something by only imagining and hoping what people will do with it. If the country is trying to determine “how fast and how soon” for a new national broadband infrastructure plan, certainly we can profitably test those metrics on these 16,500 universally distributed facilities.

What could possibly be a more cost effective way to accelerate deployment and stimulate demand than to create an open national testbed network for next-generation applications to be experienced by the greatest number of people in the shortest time? If people can’t “feel” such performance personally, how can they be expected to value it?

This spearhead project for the country would also serve to exercise a whole range of necessary technology, business model and jurisdictional issues, but at a far more manageable scale than building out to every premise.

Learn more about the Community TeleStructure Initiative

Read how libraries use broadband Internet service to serve high need communities