If a human generation is 20 years, then, with this issue, the Viodi View now spans a generation. Of course, a technology generation is more like two or three years as evidenced by the technological advancements since the November 2002 Viodi View debut. It is difficult to remember the world of limited hard-drive storage, 400 kbps DSL, and even slower dial-up described in the Movielink review in that issue.
Beyond reporting on broadband, technology, and mobility and their collective impact on rural communities, it is the human connections that are the inspiration for the Viodi View. A recent comment from Delaney Lee about the passing of her father a decade ago is a reminder of the connections made through the years. Her father Warren was a practical visionary (e.g. his thoughts on being a telco in a 3.0 world) who left us too soon, but will always be remembered by those he touched.
An unfolding story, first memorialized by Viodi about a decade ago, is that of United Fiber. United Fiber’s GM, Darren Farnan, has been there since before its inception. In our most recent interview, he talks about how they have grown to serve three times as many broadband households as their electric cooperative business has meters, while helping keep the lid on rising electricity prices for its cooperative members.
Twenty years ago, the idea of broadband as a must-have amenity would have been laughable. Times have clearly changed as evidenced by Dominium’s success at using broadband to drive occupancy rates from around 50 to over 90% in the Stoneridge Apartments in Austin. Britany Hustad gives their secrets to success, including an unlikely partner to manage and maintain their community wide broadband fiber and Wi-Fi network.
The parallels between broadband in 2002 and autonomous vehicles in 2022 are many. Recently termed out Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes describes the approach he championed to allow autonomous vehicles on the road while maximizing options. He provides an example of how the legislature have already course corrected to ensure as many people can be served by these mobile robots as possible.
In 2022, it is easy to be fooled by bots. In January 2022, this human, was fooled by a robot; a first, but probably not last. Ameca was simply doing its job. Broadband will certainly be an element in the rise of these human-like droids, at least until they have complete autonomy.
Some Tweets and Short Thoughts #
- Will Tweets still be around by the next issue of the Viodi View? Will it be substack, Mastadon, or something else? This inaugural and maybe only Viodi substack post looks back at Viodi’s first Tweet, Unfortunately, this Tweet, which no longer seems to be in the Twittersphere, may not have been an accurate predictor of the present.
- What a coincidence, 22k days on 11/2/22. To celebrate, here’s the classic deep cut from Moody Blues of a fan-created video honoring that song (YouTube)
- Will the replacement costs of batteries doom e-VTOLs to provding only limited, expensive service?
- Viodi made its first challenge to the new FCC broadband maps. It will be interesting to see how many challenges there are and how they will impact funding.
- “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suspects new 5G cellular networks may have caused roughly 80 instances of aircraft system interference this year…,” writes Jon Hemmerdinger, in Flight Global. This continues a thread originally reported by the Viodi View in November 2020.
- Opportunity for Cruise, Waymo, etc.? A recent article provided recommendations from an individual who took 26 rides in a Cruise driverless vehicle in San Francisco. The technology seemed to work. The reviewer’s recommendations were all about small things to improve the passenger experience. One additional recommendation that could have been made is that this GM subsidiary should consider partnering with public transit. Cruise’s service would be of great value, particularly in their initial operating window from 10 PM to 5 AM, when there is little to no public transit. Similarly, partnering with TrentonMOVES, ITNAmerica and TrustedRiders could be a way to jumpstart Cruise’s business while providing societal value and a path to profit.
“The answer for mobility is parked in driveways from coast-to-coast,” according to Katherine Freund, Founder and President of ITNAmerica. Speaking at ITNAmerica’s annual retreat, Freund and her colleagues first painted a grim picture for those people living in rural areas without access to or the ability to drive a car.
The uplifting message is that the combination of the backend technology that ITNAmerica has developed, together with community non-profits, and volunteers can solve the mobility challenges for seniors and others.