Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

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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54 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 SUMMIT COVERAGE Why does bandwidth matter for application development, and what new kinds of applications will gigabit networks make possible? William Wallace, executive director of the public-private US Ignite project, which is promoting the development of new applications, said that currently, developers assume that users will have available bandwidth of 5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, and they design around that constraint. With higher speeds, they could build more powerful applications. Applications built for high-speed networks deliver what appear to be instantaneous responses. Tey have very low latency and no hiccups. Tey will be useful for cyberphysical interactions (embedded systems controlling physical objects), big data analysis, visual data exploration (fy-throughs) and real-time collaboration. A "sandbox" for testing applications can help customers understand what they can do with very-high- speed municipal broadband, said Ermis Sfakiyanudis, chairman of the Center for Broadband Innovation in Maryland. Ira Levy, CEO of Torrential Systems, gave an example of an application that works better on high-speed networks. His company develops e-commerce systems that feed customer inventories to Ebay, Amazon and other online platforms. "Bandwidth constrains the feed," he explained. "With more bandwidth, you can have more accurate information. Transactions don't get canceled, and prices end up being lower." However, he said, ramping up an existing application to take advantage of higher speeds adds layers of complexity. Developing an application for gigabit speeds in the frst place is far simpler. EXAMPLES OF APPLICATIONS Of the 40-plus developers that US Ignite has supported, one already sold its application to a larger company and another launched a business. Many of the applications, Wallace said, have life-and-death implications: reviewing medical images, mitigating natural disasters and "fguring out where the chlorine plume will go" to develop evacuation plans. Sensor applications, health care, education, public safety, cybersecurity and storm water management were among the other verticals that panelists cited as possible uses for gigabit applications. Government applications include video analytics for policing and online learning resources. Some applications that US Ignite supports include • Cizzle, a browser-based simulation environment • A software lending library at the Kansas City Public Library • Engage 3D, a browser-based 3D Gigabit Applications As networks become faster, new types of network applications become feasible. An expert panel discussed the applications of tomorrow. BBC_May14.indd 54 5/29/14 9:17 AM

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