Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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MAY/JUNE 2017 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 55 participate in that economy. Colleges and universities have steadily increased the amount of coursework students can remotely participate in. Beyond traditional higher education, massive open online courses offer many of the same benefits in a no-cost learning environment. Much of that coursework is best performed in a live, video- enabled setting that provides real-time interaction – and that is best served on a reliable, fast, digital backbone that can accommodate the streaming content needs of tens of thousands of students simultaneously. THE INTERNET OF THINGS Broadband offers the possibility to connect citizens to town services by leveraging the emerging IoT. For example, towns can notify citizens immediately when water quality changes, monitor park usage by offering free Wi-Fi and tracking logins, and enable train signals to communicate with traffic signals so cars can cross the tracks before a train blocks the intersection. ese are just a handful of the thousands of new projects towns across the United States are undertaking based on the presence of reliable, fast broadband infrastructure. e IoT promises better communities by enabling city infrastructure to do more – more self-reporting and status checking, more intelligent conversation with related services and more transparency. Citizens don't have to wonder any longer where the snowplows are; they can pull up live maps that show where the plows are working and when they'll be in a specific area. Traffic lights can dynamically accommodate changes in weather to minimize drive times and pollution. Rain sensors can push text messages recommending changes to lawn watering times. To date, the IoT has been closely associated with smart-city initiatives in major metropolitan areas, but many of the same benefits that cities such as Stockholm, Songdo and Helsinki have realized can be put to work in municipalities a fraction of their size. In many cases, the cost-benefit ratio is actually higher for smaller cities. ough the IoT can be retrofitted to existing infrastructure, it's most efficiently deployed as part of a larger municipal infrastructure renovation project – which is why implementing IoT projects along with broadband construction has become increasingly popular. THE ENGINE OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE e ability of light manufacturers and specialty retailers in smaller cities and towns to connect to the global engine of electronic commerce is vital to municipal health and growth. As small firms achieve growth-stage viability through microfunding and crowdsourced funding services, municipalities that were historically agricultural, bedroom or tourist communities can develop manufacturing and retail economies. Fast, reliable broadband is a significant enabler for small businesses in light manufacturing and retail that need to move significant volumes of data – engineering designs, change data capture patterns, high-resolution color product images, volume ordering data – on a regular basis. Broadband is a key economic development driver for attracting new entrepreneurs to electronic commerce zones within a municipality. Across the United States, many towns have defined enterprise zones with a focus on electronic commerce development, using tax incentives to attract new businesses that rely on distant trade over a robust fiber backbone. Zones of this type generally provide qualifying businesses with credits against their state income tax, corporate excise tax or both, typically equaling 25 percent of the capital cost for electronic commerce investments. THE WORLD OF BIG DATA Big data – data sets too large to analyze with conventional analytical tools – is a trending technology. e IoT promises more than connecting infrastructural components in real time; it also promises the ability to populate and examine an ever-expanding body of collected data and look for emerging Charles Fiber Distribution Points Superior environmental protection, more supported ber types, and best overall value in above-grade ber pedestals, interconnects, cross-connects and ex points

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