TechnicalJones.com

Author

Leroy Jones, Jr. is the creator of Talking Technology with Leroy Jones, Jr.

Recently in Consumers Category

Moving Forward with Rural Broadband

| No Comments


Recently, the website The Conversation, which bills itself as a forum for academic analysis, posted a fascinating article on the implications of America's changing demographics. 


Authored by two Penn State professors whose research was funded by the NIH, the article begins by noting that, "Racial and ethnic diversity is no longer confined to big cities and the east and west coasts of the United States."

 

Specifically, the authors show how this trend toward greater diversity "is not limited to urban America. Dramatic increases are evident in rural places as well." Ninety percent of rural areas in the U.S. became more diverse between 1990 and 2010, they write.

 

The points raised in their article are particularly timely given the FCC's recent vote to promote rural broadband. As demographic profiles of small towns and communities continue changing, these communities' needs change too.  This makes their need for broadband access and connection speeds comparable to urban areas especially important.

 

Thankfully, it looks like Washington understands this. Last week, the FCC unanimously approved launching the second phase of its Mobility Fund, which funds expanding wireless voice and broadband services in underserved areas. The FCC also approved the next step in its Connect America Fund auction, which supports voice and broadband service deployment in under-served high-cost areas. 

 

The Mobility Fund order provides up to $4.53 billion during the next decade ($453 million per year for ten years) to expand 4G LTE coverage to areas that lack this service. The service will have at least a median speed of ten megabits per second (Mbps), which is enough to stream HD movies.

 

Interestingly, rather than using grants, the FCC chose to distribute these funds through a "reverse auction" system.  The plan is to have wireless companies compete against each other by submitting bids on rural coverage based on the number of square miles its service will cover. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn called the new system "a framework that will bring reasonably comparable mobile service to those who have been without."

 

While the goal is laudable and the implementation seems workable, the FCC's action does raise a legitimate concern over its likelihood of success.  As FCC Commissioner Michael O'Reilly noted in his endorsement, "While I certainly want to maximize the [benefits], if the requirements are unrealistic, we run the risk that potential bidders will decide not to participate or that providers will have to return funding several years from now."

 

This sort of auction problem would not be new to the FCC.  In the 1990s, when the FCC conducted its spectrum auction for PCS services, it implanted unrealistic guidelines and as a result, more than half the licenses from that auction were later returned for non-payment. This set back U.S. development of mobile broadband for years.

 

The FCC's Connect America Fund vote also involves an incentive auction.  The Commission voted to spend nearly $2 billion in incentives for fixed and wireless rural broadband deployment.

 

But overall, the FCC has taken an important step forward to support rural broadband. Chairman Ajit Pai has made expanded broadband access for all a signature goal of his Chairmanship and this is a tangible step forward.


Mobile Tech: What happens in 2017?

| No Comments
MobileTech_Feb 2017.jpg
What do you think will be going on within the world of mobile tech in 2017?

Looks like things will be real interesting!


"Mobile technology in 2017 will have a heavy concentration on simplicity, speed, and ease of use."



mHealth: Will you wear it?

| No Comments
Wearables_Feb 2017.png
Will you wear it?

Seems that the mHealth wearables market keeps growing!

Check out this interesting news:


"Boosted by the remote patient monitoring industry and provider acceptance of digital health devices in the home, shipments of remote monitoring wearables are expected to increase by more than 400 percent by 2021."


(via @mHealthIntel)


mHealth: Digital Assist

| No Comments

Remote_Monitoring.jpg

Would you trust or feel comfortable with this?

Take a look at the article below:
 

"Powered by AI and enhanced by the IoT, digital assistants have the potential to connect consumers to mHealth services in the home - if a few bugs can be worked out first."





mHealth: Tools & Care

| No Comments

The Business of Global Healthcare IT

| No Comments

mHealth: Speed Up EHR Providers

| No Comments

mHealth: Does it or will it work?

| No Comments
The question I always ask mHealth folks. 
Does it or will it work?

Check out this interesting article on that issue:


"But, as an article published at the Journal of the American Medical Association points out, the number of viable, safe and beneficial mHealth apps is a big unknown; many apps could potentially be problematic for users and caregivers."



Image result for mHealth


Protecting Tomorrow's Internet

| No Comments


The revolution in mobile healthcare continues to accelerate: More than 40 million smartphone owners now actively use at least one wellness or fitness app and by an overwhelming margin, they report that their health is improving because of it.


So why is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) undercutting advances vital to this industry's progress?  And how quickly will Congress fix the problem?

 

Those two questions came to mind as I was reading a interesting new analysis of the FCC's recent vote to place the Internet under Title II utility regulations. With almost surgical precision, Internet analyst Larry Downes dissects the Commission's action, showing how the rules could violate multiple areas of federal law.

 

To give one example, the FCC redefined the entire Internet to make it part of the old, antiquated 1930s era telephone system and therefore subject the modern, dynamic Internet to these 1934 regulations.


As a result, Downes notes, every component on the Internet has been transformed into a telephone service and is therefore subject to utility regulation. The FCC, he warns, "can't rewrite the law by giving a key term an absurd new 'definition' [that contradicts] a consistent string of the agency's own precedents, and even basic rules of grammar."

 

The FCC's vote for Title II regulations will harm the Internet and, by extension, our access to new healthcare apps and services.

 

My hope is that Congress will work together to resolve these issues quickly so that needed improvements for both the Internet and telehealth technologies aren't delayed by the resultant legal uncertainties or by what is certain to be federal intrusion as, for the first time, layers of federal bureaucracy are added that impair innovators and their new ideas.


A Congressional action - narrowly focused to ensure Internet openness but without the overreach of Title II - would keep innovation moving.

 

Over the years, mobile and Internet-based healthcare services have emerged as an effective and affordable healthcare solution. As Commissioner Mignon Clyburn stated last fall, "Broadband-enabled solutions, can help communities better manage chronic disease, address language barriers, improve health literacy... and help improve overall population health and wellness."

 

While Commissioner Clyburn is right about the benefits of Internet healthcare, the FCC's decision to regulate the Internet under Title II authority will simply negate the progress made with these innovative services. That is why Congress must find a legislative solution that will combat the FCC's harmful policy and help mHealth programs become more effective.

 

The FCC's decision to regulate the Internet is a recipe for stale and uninspired innvovation. With the wireless Internet in particular, America is among the world's leaders and this has enabled our success in creating services to help seniors, people with chronic & debilitating diseases, and millions more who lack easy access to a doctor.

 

Congress has to both confirm and maintain America's leadership with online healthcare by working together to create and pass a law before the end of this year that extricates the Internet from Title II's overregulation but that permanently ensures an open Internet.


Congress must accept their responsibility to discourage and avoid the unnecessary years of legal wrangling with lawsuits after lawsuits that can be avoided. In the long run it is the consumers that will be the real winnner as innovators can return to what they do best - creating state of the art opportunities for consumers.

 

LJJ

(@TechnicalJones)



The Future of the Internet of Things (IoT)

| No Comments

A dazzling future was on display in Washington, DC last week at a Congressional hearing on the "Internet of Things" (IoT). The IoT is a network in which objects - vehicles, healthcare services, consumer goods, to name a few - are connected to the Internet in order to provide more valuable and efficient services. These emerging technologies combine with traditional manufacturing to produce a surge in economic opportunity, benefits in healthcare, infrastructure and the environment.


There's just one thing that possibly stands in the way of expanding this innovative technology to virtually all Americans: the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Internet regulation that could quite possibly inhibit innovation and investment in state-of-the-art Internet-based technologies both now and in the future.


The Committee heard testimony about developments taking place that would have seemed like science fiction 20 years ago: an automaker that wirelessly updates its cars' software to enable "self-driving," or a technology company that recently saw a $9 million return on a pilot program using connected machines to troubleshoot maintenance before problems arose.


As technology analyst Dan Castro testified that day, the IoT is a key to helping the U.S. upgrade its infrastructure. Investing in communications networks solves productivity and safety issues - in other words, helping to create jobs and improve our quality of life. Technology is clearly moving in a direction that plays to America's traditional economic strength: break-the-mold invention and innovation.


But there's a potential major problem confronting this progress: last month's FCC decision to place the innovative, fast-paced high-speed Internet - including the mobile web - under 80-year-old Title II utility style regulation. By its own admission, the FCC could not document a single violation since 2010 to justify regulating the Internet like a public utility. After decades of a bipartisan light touch that enabled the Internet to flourish to the Internet we enjoy today, this new federal micromanagement is unprecedented in Internet history.


That's why many are calling on Congress to intervene to both protect the Internet as we know it as well as to correct the FCC's overreach. Only an act of Congress would carry both the legal heft and certainty to protect the Internet and enable it's continue growth.  One of the driving catalysts of this call for legislative action is that the future build-out of America's high-speed Internet service will require tens of billions of private sector investment. Without this investment, consumers will not be able to experience the full benefits of the Internet of Things.


Facing the cold hard reality of many years of litigation as a result of the FCC's recent action, businesses will not have the certainty they need in order to invest this type of capital.


This new IoT revolution has the potential to touch and improve every part of the U.S. economy. At this critical time in our nation's technological advancement, our federal regulations should not be looking back just as the technology sector is working to move us forward.  If we are to see the full benefits these technological advances potentially promise, it's up to Congress to find a way to come together to move quickly and create a 21st century law for our 21st century Internet.



LJJ (@TechnicalJones)


Main Index

Recent Posts