Viodi View

Viodi View – 10/21/20

Stumbling upon this February 2014 Viodi View article reminded me of the differences between rural communities served by local broadband operators and urban communities where it is too easy to skip by our neighbors. As argued in that article, the biggest divide may be the lack of “social connectedness“. By being a physical part of their rural communities, locally-owned and/or managed broadband providers are often an important catalyst in bringing their communities together.

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Future-Proofing the Network to Remain Competitive #WEC20

NCTC's Lisa Hood gives her perspective on infrastructure and RDOF at WEC20.
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“Our members are future-proofing their networks by either upgrading DOCSIS or fiber to the home (FTTH),” says former operator and now NCTC CFO, Lisa Hood. Hood was reflecting on Frank Louthan’s recommendations at the Winter Education Conference that NCTC members continue their investments in their respective networks. According to Louthan, Managing Director, Telecommunications Services at Raymond James at WEC2020, this continued investment will keep operators ahead of the competition.

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TIS20 – Infrastructure and Customer Relationships Are the Keys

Introduction to the General manager session.
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One of NCTC CFO Lisa Hood’s takeaway’s from Spencer Kern’s 2020 Independent Show presentation is that infrastructure and customer relationships are the keys for NCTC and ACA members to maintain their competitive advantage. Kern, an analyst for New Street Research, is bullish regarding future growth for fiber broadband operators. Investment in fiber will pay off as a way to defend against 5G networks and will also expand wireless offerings.

It is not clear if Kern’s comments factor in all the macro-economic effects of the shutdown, as brilliantly spelled out by economist, Marci Rossell. According to Rossell, people and companies are adapting to work from anywhere. This shift away from the office has got to be a boon for NCTC and ACA members.

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Rising Above Political Divisions – TIS20 Wrap-up with Matt Polka

Stacey Leech, Rich Fickle, Matt Polka and Lisa Miller speaking at TIS20.
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“Hopefully, we can rise above political divisions and focus on better mapping, better identification of who needs broadband, and how we can work together to make sure they get it,” states Matt Polka. Polka, president and CEO of ACA Connects, is referring to a comment made at the 2020 Independent Show (TIS20) by political journalist Ron Brownstein comparing to today’s political environment to the 1850s.

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Protect and Rescue, If Necessary #CES2020

ResQ's device started shipping in October 2020, which also happens to be National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
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A hardware device that will capture an image of your computer’s configuration, back-up all your files and provide virus and ransomware protection is what ResQ debuted at CES2020 and that started shipping on October 15th. Simply plug the ResQ Protect into your computer’s USB port and it will be restored to an earlier version before it was hijacked. If your computer is lost or stolen, you can pick up where you left off by simply plugging this into a different PC.  This product seems like the perfect gift for National Cybersecurity Month.

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Some Tweets and Short Thoughts

  • Is Twitter a Publisher? This graphic shows how Twitter filters content based on a 10/15/20 post.
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    This blog post from FCC General Counsel Thomas M. Johnson provides a good history of the 1934 Communications Act and the subsequent 1996 Telecom Act that modernized the original law, particularly as it relates to Section 230 and its liability limitations for those operating websites, He argues that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. As FCC Chairman Pai stated, ” But they [ social media companies] do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

  • Is Twitter a publisher? This image features screenshots from an October 15th, 2020 Twitter-generated headline (What’s Happening), which linked to a Twitter-generated summary. This summary did not directly link to the source, but further down in the feed there were links to the September 27th, 2019 article that seemed to be the basis of Twitter’s summary.
  • Example of an age-restricted video by YouTube.
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    While we are on the topic of content filtering, YouTube believes that this 2007 video interview with Allen Hoopes, Culture And IPTV, should be age-restricted “because it may not be suitable for all viewers”. What makes this particularly funny is that anyone who knows Allen Hoppes knows that he is the last person on earth that would spew content that should be age-restricted. [Update: YouTube removed the restriction after appeal].

  • “For example, Rust said they will likely continue to individualize Education Program (IEP) meetings with parents via Zoom since it means parents do not have to take off work or procure childcare to attend.” This is a huge win for students and parents. Lots of other great quotes in this comprehensive article on the impact of excellent broadband. Russ Ramsey and the ToledoTl team have made a huge difference with their vision, investment, and execution of a 100% fiber to the home network.

The Korner – The Remote Audiologist

Eargo demonstrates their compact hearing aid and associated telehealth application.
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A hearing aid that is practically invisible fits, snugly in the ear canal, and lasts 16-hours on a charge is an attractive option for those facing hearing loss. Couple that with an overall cost that is 50% less than traditional hearing aids and Eargo’s Neo HiFi solution could help the tens of millions of people address mild to severe high-frequency hearing loss.

Complementing the device and helping to drive down the total cost is that their solution is effectively a telehealth application. From the initial screening, which is done online, to the welcome call, Eargo uses the Internet to bring the audiologist to the patient.

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Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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