Tomorrow, the Honorable Michael K. Powell will host an online chat on the Broadband for America (BfA) website at 10AM ET. Individuals will have the opportunity to learn more about BfA and the important role broadband Internet plays in our economy and how high-speed Internet is critical for business growth and development.
To submit your questions early, please send them to @broadband4US on Twitter.
To see the media advisory, click here.
Today, Broadband for America released a white paper by Dr William Lehr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology entitled “Mobile Broadband and Implications for Broadband Competition and Adoption.”
The study predicts that the growth of mobile broadband will result in robust competition but warns that those benefits could be endangered if lawmakers “consider new regulatory obligations on broadband providers.”
By “enabling the convergence of mobile communication services and the broadband Internet, mobile broadband can enable the creation of markets for wholly new services (e.g., mobile health, location-aware multimedia, and machine-to-machine communications), as well as enhancing the value of existing broadband services by allowing them to go mobile,” stated Dr. Lehr in his findings.
To read the report, click here.
To read the press release, click here.
To read the factsheet, click here.
To hear Dr. Lehr discuss the report, click here.
The concept of telecommuting—or more specifically the use of technology to replace the daily commute—hasn't really caught on the way its advocates have hoped. Yes, more and more companies are allowing occasional home-based work, but the reality is that only a few million U.S. employees consider home their primary place of work.
We recently spoke to Kate Lister, co-author of Undress For Success—The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home (Wiley, 2009), about the future of telecommuting. She predicts that a combination of factors including the ubiquitous availability of high speed broadband, economic recovery, environmental concerns, and workforce shortages will conspire to create a perfect storm for telecommuting over the next ten years.
Kate has reviewed over 250 studies on telework and related topics. She's interviewed dozens of virtual employers, employees, advocates, and even venture capitalists that have invested in the remote work model. And she developed a free web-based Telework Savings Calculator (http://undress4success.com/research/telework-savings-calculator/) to hammer home the potential benefits of telecommuting. Here's what the Calculator shows for the whole U.S.:
Currently only three percent of the U.S. workforce currently telecommutes the majority of the time (not including the self-employed), but 40 percent hold jobs that could be done from home. If those employees who could telework did so just half of the time (roughly the national average for those who already do):Read more
As the FCC continues to gather information from the public as it develops recommendations to Congress for a national broadband strategy, a large focus has been on the many benefits in the area of health care that can be created or enhanced through the use of high-speed internet access.
Some of those benefits include: Allowing patients and doctors to communicate directly through email, allowing doctors to post and answer questions from potential patients, online pharmacy requests and enabling patients to discuss similar health issues through online community forums.
These options have a society wide benefit, but can be especially critical to those living in rural or lower income regions where access to healthcare is less accessible due to geographic or financial limitations.
The CBS “Early Show’s” Dr. Jennifer Ashton regularly answers questions submitted by viewers over the web, and today’s segment focused largely on a question asked about the potential benefits of telemedicine.
"It really is allowing doctors to be connected with other doctors in various parts of the world, but also with patients," she said. "This is a great way for people to share resources and information, especially for those who are in underserved areas or remote locations."
You can read more of Dr. Ashton’s answers here.
Industry and government experts came together this morning at the monthly Broadband Breakfast Club to discuss how high-speed Internet access can be used to improve telecommuting and reduce carbon emissions. Drew Clark, editor of broadbandcensus.com, organizes the monthly breakfast discussion groups.
This month’s panel featured Telework!VA Program Manager Jennifer Thomas Alcott, Utilities Telecom Council Director of Research Cynthia Brumfeld, BT Americas Head of Corporate Responsibility Kevin Moss, Steven Ruth, Professor, George Mason University School of Public Policy and Donald L. Thoma, Executive Vice President Marketing, Iridium.
Some highlights from the panel:
Steven Ruth noted that if just 14 percent of eligible government employees telecommute, 136 billion vehicle miles would be saved annually.
Jennifer Thomas Alcott on telecommuting: “The bottom line is you’re using technology to replace at least part of the transportation infrastructure. What initially began as a family friendly program has really become a survival tool.” Alcott explained that when people work from home, they use about 50 percent less energy compared to working in a traditional office environment. In Virginia, which leads the nation in telecommuting, about 12 percent of commuters telework at least once or twice a week she said.
Kevin Moss said that as the FCC works on its recommendations for a national broadband plan that they should seek to promote, “a competitive environment to institute the full cost savings and environmental benefits.”
Ruth also discussed using distance learning in education by pointing out that over 20 percent of college students are taking at least one distance-learning class but that both attitudes and professional standards need to change before distance learning reaches its potential. “It is like the Wild West,” he said.Read more