Our fair city is nationally recognized for developing our technology- and innovation-based ecosystem, due in large part to our state-of-the-art fiber optic Internet connection–our fiber loop. Last week on October 9, we were visited by U.S. Congressman and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Congresswoman Barbara Lee to tour the fascinating parts of West Gate (now called The Gate) and give kudos to Pat Kennedy, Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Copper Harbor Company, Type A Machines, and others who are increasingly part of the foundation of our new ecosystem.
There’s little doubt that schools need to be looking at and incorporating teaching methods and content relative to the present and future, instead of engaging in methodology exclusive to the past. That includes changes to the networks and infrastructure connecting schools. When a lesson needs to be shared for class, and hundreds of students in one school need access for each of their lessons at the same time, our aging and often copper-based networks are just not up to the task.
Below is a brief recap from a series by Reinventors Network on Reinventing Education.
There is a through-line to a 21st-century digital version of elementary and high school education, and some of those closest to that future, technologists and entrepreneurs, have a pretty good idea what it will look like.
San Leandro Schools are on the map for big changes. Our children and young adults will be much better prepared for their futures when their learning is enabled by a gigabit network.
FLEETedu had a photo-taking drone flying high above our heads and took the shots here. On the right is the evening just getting started. The white L-shaped object was the tent for the demos and companies with computers, monitors, gear, and sample work. (It was much bigger than it looks in this picture.) The white area to the left of the Bee vehicle was where the music and speeches took place.
As the skies darkened, we were treated to the Bee’s flaming tentacles (shown on the left) and a cold bottle of water or Drake’s beer. Wi-Fi was available for everyone to use, and they did: checking their Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, emails, and who knows what else.
It was 9pm before we headed home, heads full of new things learned. Crazy amazing in all directions.
AT&T and Verizon have asked the Federal Communications Commission not to change its definition of broadband from 4Mbps to 10Mbps, saying many Internet users get by just fine at the lower speeds.
“Given the pace at which the industry is investing in advanced capabilities, there is no present need to redefine ‘advanced’ capabilities,” AT&T wrote in a filing made public Friday after the FCC’s comment deadline (see FCC proceeding 14-126). “Consumer behavior strongly reinforces the conclusion that a 10Mbps service exceeds what many Americans need today to enable basic, high-quality transmissions,” AT&T wrote later in its filing. Verizon made similar arguments.
In contrast, Comcast says that about 47 percent of their subscribers get at least 50Mbps. The cities (including San Leandro) that have gigabit access show no signs of slowing their subscriber base.
An intriguing table in the article, FCC 2014 Household Bandwidth Scenarios, shows a single user in a “low use household” using at least 4 Mbps to watch/record one standard streaming movie, one voice call, a little browsing and syncing. A single user in a “high use households” needs at least a 10Mbps download speed to watch/record one super HD movie, make one HD video call, move files to/from the cloud, and check for email. The truth is that households are rarely one user and one device, and since we’re talking home use, demand times tend to be concentrated into parts of the day when people are home. Also note that the focus of this table is on “consuming” (downloading) and not “sharing” (downloading and uploading) as an Internet of Things will require.
As our health, energy, and communications technologies advance, so will the data requirements for coordination and management at home and away. AT&T and Verizon don’t wish to meet the needs of the present or be a part of the future. That would be fine if they weren’t the only provider in many areas. It’s the job of the nation’s policymakers to rightfully aim higher and redefine broadband with an eye toward the future. We encourage you to let the FCC know your thoughts on minimum broadband speeds, AT&T’s and Verizon’s claims, or other matters affecting your Internet access by phone, email, letter, or otherwise.