Category Archives: Blog
Larry Downes and Paul Nunes, authors of the seminal book Big Bang Disruption, which details how to strategically navigate our digital world, wrote that every industry is ripe for disruption, even an industry that is currently disrupting another industry. For example: ridesharing.
Ridesharing has caught fire in the U.S. Want to catch a ride in an open seat in someone’s private vehicle? It’s as simple as tapping your smartphone app.
Competition is alive and well in the rideshare industry. In alphabetical order, the three dominant players in the game are Lyft, Sidecar and UberX. Each differentiates itself in its own unique way. I frequently use all three services.
Read the full article on Daily Kos
“The road to failure is often paved with good intentions,” famed writer Samuel Johnson might have said.
Just ask Riverside, California. Back in 2006, the city set out to build a municipal Wi-Fi network for its citizens. But a severe lack of interest from customers prompted the city’s original communications partner to pull away from the project. The city scrambled to find resources to build and maintain the network, ultimately costing residents more than $700,000 per year for a network to live up to the hype. the Wi-Fi network never even reached two-thirds of the population and has been described as obsolete.
In other words, the good intentions from Riverside officials have resulted in a costly, and failed, experiment on the taxpayer’s dime.
Read the full article on Tech Zulu
AT&T announced its intentions to conduct beta tests to transition consumers to Internet Protocol networks (aka the IP Transition) in Alabama and Florida. We are thrilled for Carbon Hill, Alabama and West Delray Beach, Florida as the potential first two all-IP test cities in America. Perhaps in a few years we may refer to Carbon Hill as Silicon Hill, the next new hotbed of digital innovation.
As you know, CALinnovates has long been a strong proponent of a modernization of our nation’s communications infrastructure, and today marks another important step down this critical path. Earlier this year, I called the transition “the beginning of the next great digital transformation in our nation’s history.” Well, these beta tests are the next phase of the transition, as it’s important to make the transition in a smart way that protects key core values such as universal connectivity, consumer protection, network reliability and public safety.
I had a chance to talk to a few of our members about today’s news, and I think you’ll find their insights illuminating.
Jack Crawford, general partner at Velocity Venture Capital, told me that this announcement gives him great hope for the future of his industry and the nation as a whole. He believes IP connectivity will give his portfolio companies even greater reach, while helping consumers thrive.
“The dream of universal connectivity through next-gen networks will prove to be a huge boon for the economy. I’ve long said private investment in infrastructure will drive the next great wave of economic prosperity in our nation. Startups will have access to more customers with high-speed connections. Consumers will have increased and faster access to the world around them. This movement will create increased opportunities in education, job creation and personal enjoyment for the masses.”
Lloyd Marino, an IT and cloud expert and the founder of Avetta Global, says the transition to IP networks will effectively shrink the world, creating opportunities for people no matter where they live or work that don’t currently exist today to the extent they could:
“The networks of the future will make the world a smaller place, allowing people to be anywhere in the world instantaneously, in high-definition, transacting business, telecommuting, and taking advantage of high-speed connectivity no matter where they live, whether rural or urban. These test trials will deliver findings that will benefit everyone in every industry. I’m thrilled.”
Daniel Brusilovsky, an executive at Ribbon, shares his entrepreneurial perspective:
“It’s incredibly important to do beta tests to really learn what these networks can do and what they can handle. As more and more consumers are getting smartphones and using applications like Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and more, we need our networks to be able to support the technology community’s growing demand for data.”
As FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel commented just a few months ago, “To get outside the box, government needs to do more work in the sandbox.” These beta tests in Alabama and Florida represent the sandbox in which the IP transition will carefully and progressively occur using real world conditions, but under the FCC’s watchful eye to ensure a smooth and efficient consumer transition. It’s the same sort of thinking that the tech industry has long embraced, and it’s about time we brought this tech-driven approach to upgrading our nation’s network infrastructure.
I’m looking forward to working hand-in-hand with the FCC, the business community and consumers to make sure we get the opportunity to experience and enjoy a connected future.
CALinnovates will continue to track this item and keep you informed along the way.
Here’s a bit of trivia from the dusty archives of communication: The first high-definition television broadcast in America wasn’t from New York or Los Angeles, it was from a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The date was July 23, 1996, and the station was WRAL-TV. On hand to witness the event were some 200 invited guests, according to the station’s history page, who watched a broadcast operating at 100 kilowatts from a tower 1,736 feet above the ground. The high-definition age had arrived.
What does this history lesson have to do with the topic of this essay, which is the transition from copper wire telephone lines to next-generation, Internet-enabled communications networks? The answer will be music to your ears.
Read the full article on Huffington Post – Tech
Las Vegas promises to offer visitors anything they desire. Shopping, parties, clubs, restaurants and theme parks all await. But the reality is the single goal of Vegas is to attract gamblers and extract money from them.
More than 40 million passengers come through McCarran International Airport every year. They arrive just 2.4 miles away from the Strip casinos — roughly a six-minute cab ride – but as soon as you step off the plane you’re immediately greeted by slot machines. Everything in Vegas is obviously designed to get visitors gambling as quickly as possible. That is, everything except transportation.
When I made the trip down for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I immediately queued up in a 45-minute taxi line. The only upside was the rare breath of fresh desert air and a reprieve from the nonstop noise emanating from the slot machines.
Read the full article on Huffington Post
CALinnovates Lauds FCC Decision to Approve Pilot Programs for Transition to All-Internet Communications Networks
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – CALinnovates today issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to approve test trials of the transition to all-Internet networks.
Executive Director Mike Montgomery said:
Today’s FCC vote will go down in history as the beginning of the next great digital transformation in our nation’s history. Technology companies of all sizes as well as consumers will benefit greatly from Internet Protocol networks.
While the FCC’s unanimous 5-0 vote is just the beginning of a longer process to upgrade our nation’s networks, the bipartisan decision proves just how vital this transformation is for the country. The California technology community – which paved the way with its forward-looking IP legislation in 2012 – will be observing the trials closely, looking forward to the opportunity to build upon the networks of the future.
As the country’s economy increasingly relies upon the technology industry, this transition will benefit not just Californians, but the entire nation. The transition to IP networks is a great bet on the future of American innovation and connectedness.
To learn more about CALinnovates, visit www.calinnovates.org.
New Platform Connects Online and Offline Worlds
by Mike Montgomery
The way we socialize, network and connect today has been revolutionized by mobile. Many of us choose to interact with colleagues, friends and family via our smartphones. We use various types of social media, relying on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, FaceTime, Snapchat and SMS, though these are mere approximations of real interactions; communication through a digital buffer.
Our vision of the Internet and software development today is a laughable relic of the AOL days of yore. While technology can distance us from our fellow human beings, it can also bring us far, far closer to each other.
When Alex Capecelatro dove headfirst into his new venture, he was well aware of the opportunity to disrupt how our relationships are developed, formed and utilized. And he wanted to disrupt the way people maximized the social experience through mobile devices.
Capecelatro’s company, At The Pool, aims to help bridge the digital self with the physical one. “We see social media as a starting point, not a closed loop,” Capecelatro says. “Our goal is to allow you to leverage your network and get you out with your friends to socialize, network and advance yourself personally and professionally.”
Key to getting people to maximize their digital to real world experience is At The Pool’s “shout” feature. Users who want to do something — go to a museum, hit up cross-fit, watch a bad Sandra Bullock flick, whatever — shout it out via At The Pool’s new mobile app. The shout is then sent to their friends both near and far, as well as nearby At The Pool users they don’t know who might be interested in joining the fun.
“We’re all about connecting locally,” Capecelatro says. “You have complete control over how far you want your shouts to go, from the same block to the same city and beyond. People demand products that offer hyper-local results. We solve problems people haven’t yet had an answer to.”
Another way to look at At The Pool is as a contact list connected to sonar. You send out your shout, and it pings those closest to you, the message widening out as far as you want it to go. Add in the capability to easily share photos, along with an easy interface, and you can see why At The Pool already has members in over 100 countries — pretty great, considering they only launched their iOS app a few weeks ago.
“One of my guiding principles as we move the company forward is that our digital future is in mobile and our ability to connect people with the world around them is just getting started,” says Capecelatro. “We built At The Pool to make it easier to stay connected to a meaningful life in the mobile world.”
You can learn more about Capecelatro and At The Pool by visiting http://atthepool.com/.
By: Mike Montgomery
As seen in Huffington Post
Monday is Veterans Day. It’s a day of rest for some, a day of work for others, and a day of reflection for many. I recently had the pleasure to discuss this meaningful day with Dustan Batton, a veteran and a member of the CALinnovates team. I hope you enjoy learning more about Dustan and saluting him for all he has done for America.
Mike Montgomery: I know Veterans Day is extremely important to you. Do you have any rituals you observe on a day when our country honors you and your fellow Armed Services members?
Dustan Batton: It was an extreme honor to serve our country for six years in the Air Force. Veterans Day is a day of remembrance. It’s a day of pride as well as a day of sorrow. As a veteran, this day should be about honoring not only those who came before us, but those who came after us as well. I stay connected with several veterans’ groups, and it is a great opportunity to continue to serve.
Read the full story here