NECC 2008 - A look ahead at the communications industry

Here are my notes from ISTE's annual digital equity summit at NECC. There is too much information to fit in one post so I'm breaking it up...


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Communications Industry: A Look Ahead
Link Hoewing, Vice President, Internet and Technology Policy, Verizon Communications

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Everything is moving from fixed to mobile technologies (both voice and broadband)

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  • Consumers are in control
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  • Three paradigms: wireless, IP, broadband
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    • Anytime/anywhere high bandwidth connectivity
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    • Lifestyle/business pesonalization
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    • Universal connectivity and standards
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    • Greater control by users at 'the edge'
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    • Extension of high-capacity capabilities from hubs to endpoints
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    • Interactive applications and services to address social as well as business issues
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  • Statistics
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    • 54% of all homes now have broadband
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    • 82% of all Americans have a cell phone
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    • 5.6 million African-American homes had broadband access in 2005. By 2008 that was 16.1 million homes (over 40 million individuals)
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    • People are increasingly using cell phones as mobile data devices, not just telephones
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  • Some homes have 30 to 35 digital devices (computers, televisions, cameras, etc. (Pew/Internet home media ecology)
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  • Everyone is losing lines. Verizon had 4% line loss in 2007. Cable VOIP, wireless, cell phones, etc. 33 million homes in Verizon footprint; Verizon lost 2 million last year.
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  • Verizon's new strategy is built on broadband. It's busy upgrading its lines. Verizon had the largest expenditure of capital in the country last year (more than GE, NTT, Walmart, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhllips, etc.).
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  • 80% of Verizon lines are DSL capable (90% in urban areas).
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  • $63 billion in network upgrades since 2004 (more than any other company). EV-DO reaches 228 million people today. LTE (4G) by 2010 with 75 Mb down.
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  • 15–50 Mb broadband service is available. 100 Mb service is in trial. There is a need to support high-demand multimedia applications.
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  • The shift in emphasis is from locations (landlines to homes) to people (mobile) and connectivity.
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  • Everything is being driven by the technology, by competition, and by consumers who want their devices to do more.
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  • Solving key challenges by changing the paradigm
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    • About 90% of health records are still on paper
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    • Real-time information on energy usage can lead to 13% reduction in energy use
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    • Prudent use of technology (e.g., e-commerce) could reduce human-induced global emissions by 15% by 2020
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    • Truly individualized approaches and 'learning communities'
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  • Students entering school and gaming turn out to be primary reasons for people to sign up for broadband
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