The Federal Communications Commission’s $100 million “Connected Care Pilot Program” to support virtual healthcare, or “telemedicine,” is a vital program to bring high-quality care to our veteran, low-income, and minority communities, writes Kish Rajan, chief evangelist for CALinnovates. But telemedicine isn’t a viable option without the high-speed wireless connections needed for quality videoconferencing.
The answer to this problem, Rajan says, is upgrading the nation’s wireless infrastructure:
To deal with the demand today and to lay the foundation for the 5G networks of tomorrow that will allow telemedicine to reach its full potential, we must upgrade and densify our communications infrastructure by expeditiously deploying more fiber optic cable and densification devices known as “small cells.”
Read what this entails here.
“Small cell and fiber deployment, much like autonomous vehicle progress, is not happening fast enough,” says CALinnovates’ Mike Montgomery. “The reality is, we will need thousands of small cells connected by thousands of route miles of fiber for our mobile networks to reach their full potential.”
“Prioritizing communications infrastructure buildout now is not only fundamental to speeding the adoption of self-driving cars, but enabling countless innovations that stand to make our communities smarter and safer through the power of 5G.”
Read Montgomery’s full column on Modernize California.
“As anyone who has been to a sporting event, concert, rally or even a large graduation ceremony recently can attest, the absence of even a single bar or two of connectivity can be a frustrating experience,” writes Mike Montgomery of CALinnovates. “Networks quickly get bogged down when thousands of people with thousands of devices compete for the attention of the local communications infrastructure.”
An extreme case in point: the Super Bowl. In 2015, Verizon handled 7 terabytes of data at Super Bowl XLIX. That number reached 11 terabytes two year later.In 2017, that number was up to 11 terabytes.
Simply put, our current infrastructure can’t handle this load. See Montgomery’s piece about the problem and its solution here.
“The Federal Communications Commission last week voted to kick-start 5G wireless networks in the United States by exempting them from some reviews that hinder installation,” writes CALinnovates’ Kish Rajan. “It’s about time.”
So far, the U.S. lags far behind the world leader — China — at getting 5G networks up and running. “There is a worldwide race to lead in 5G, and other nations are poised to win,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel acknowledged in January. It’s an embarrassing place for the country that invented the internet. But more than that, our hesitancy to streamline the process for installing vital infrastructure is costing us money, jobs and security.
Read the rest of Rajan’s stance on this issue here.