We’re all familiar with zombies, the undead corpses from post-apocalyptic fiction, video games and Halloween parties. You know they can turn their victims into zombies as well, but did you know that we may have had a digital “zombie apocalypse” in Maine in the past week?
I’m often asked “Which are better, wireless or wired Internet connections?” From a technical perspective, the question doesn’t make much sense. They are complementary, not competitive. As transmission media, fiber and wireless both have unique advantages and disadvantages. In building an Internet network, a design that takes advantage of the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses of both results in the best system.
Economic development is foremost among the reasons communities decide to build broadband networks. This immediately puts communities on different footing from the phone and cable companies when considering broadband projects. Job creation, not profits, are the primary reason communities all across the country are interested in building next generation broadband networks in rural areas where the economics aren’t appealing for commercial projects.
GWI was proud to work with the Town of Rockport, Maine Media Workshops + College and Maine Research and Education Network (part of the UMaine System) to bring ultra-fast fiber optic Internet infrastructure to the Rockport village area. The “High Tech Harbor” project launched in August 2014 and delivers internet up to 100 times faster than a regular broadband connection to homes and businesses nearby.
Yesterday, the FCC announced a ruling in favor of community broadband networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina that will have sweeping implications for community broadband networks nationwide. Each of these communities had been restricted from expanding their community owned broadband networks by restrictive state laws inhibiting community investment.
How much email do we send and receive daily? About 183 billion worldwide, if not more, according to an Email Statistics Report. Business email traffic dominates with 100 billion emails sent and received daily, while consumer email accounts are slowly being replaced by social networking communication.
In the past few weeks, both Maine and the Federal Government have redefined their definitions of Broadband. Maine’s new definition of 10 megabits per second download by 10 megabits per second upload differs from the federal definition, which is now 25 megabits down by 3 megabits up. Whereas in the past we’d taken the position that a different definition of broadband hurts Maine, in this case we believe Maine’s proposed definition offers compelling advantages as compared to the new Federal standard.
Over the last year, Maine’s been buzzing about the need for better broadband. The conversation started with Craig Anderson’s article last January that noted how Ookla had ranked Maine near the bottom of the pack among states in broadband speed. Just over a year later, there is a robust dialogue in Augusta, a new state definition of broadband, and as many as 35 proposed bills to expand broadband service under discussion at the legislature.
At GWI, it’s our privilege to support businesses and nonprofit organizations in reaching their goals through access to high speed broadband. For many businesses, broadband helps improve productivity, supports virtual collaboration and geographic expansion and powers e- commerce to boost sales.
Last week, the Portland Press Herald reported that the “State says 80 percent of Mainers unserved by broadband.” Just the week before, Maine boasted that 95% of its citizens had access to broadband Internet service.
What happened? Don’t be alarmed. No one shut down a major broadband network. Maine changed its definition of broadband from a paltry 1.5 megabits per second download to 10 megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload.