TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY UPDATE

October 2018

MARKET NEWS AND OUTLOOKS

Potential Changes coming to Offer Fiber Internet to Rural Mississippi

According to the Vicksburg Post, in an attempt to bring high-speed internet service to rural Mississippi areas, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley and 46 Mississippi lawmakers and Mississippi representatives spent time traveling to Hamilton, Alabama to Tombigbee Electric Cooperative. A provider of broadband service, Tombigbee Electric Cooperative is able to provide fast internet speeds to rural areas of Alabama. According to Steve Foshee, Tombigbee CEO, $38 million is being spent over time by the Cooperative in order to offer broadband services to over 70,000 customers. This is a significant upgrade from where Tombigbee first started, offering dial-up service in 2000. Offerings of internet services from electrical cooperatives are currently banned by law in Mississippi. Presley expects this ban to be dropped in 2019, the Vicksburg Post reports.

How to Manage the Flood of Ubiquitous Data

According to an article by Forbes, "Meeting the Challenges of Ubiquitous Data: How Telecommunications and Businesses Will Manage the Flood," as sensors are continually added into more devices, more data will continue to be generated. This will create an ongoing issue for telecom companies and the providing of the appropriate amount of bandwidth in order to handle the flow of data. 5G will help to contain this issue, as with the release of 5G, the need of cell towers to connect devices will be lessened. To prevent "drowning" in the flood of data generated by ongoing devices, additional steps are being taken by telecom providers. The steps outlined in the article are as follows:

  1. Processing being done on the edge device that creates the data;
  2. Data is being aggregated and only transmitted when conditions are met;
  3. Edge Data Centers Process the Data

REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT UPDATE

Three Data Problems for Tech Industry

According to the article by Forbes, "Google and the Rest of the Tech Industry are Grappling With These 3 Data Problems," three major issues are facing Google and the rest of the technology industry. These problems include the following:

  1. Privacy dilemma - Consumers can be conflicting when it comes to the issues surrounding privacy. It is not appreciated when companies track the location of consumers for marketing purposes. However, it is very normal to use map features on a smartphone as a GPS. There will very likely be new privacy laws imposed on the industry, but as Hal Varian, Google chief economist hopes these laws don't "constrict the flow of innovations."
  2. Antitrust laws combined with data privacy - a concern of lawmakers is the unfair advantage that could exist for companies with an advantage gained from data collected. In order to help with this issue, an increase in data sharing by companies has been discussed with some policymakers. This would create a more fair advantage for all companies. However, this idea could create issues when coupled with data privacy. It may become worrisome to consumers to know that their information could be spread to more companies than just the large, well-known players of the industry.
  3. AI "Black Box" - at the Federal level, agencies are looking to improve operations and create more reliable statistics. This has lead researchers to call the "technology mystery" a "black box," as it is unknown how some AI systems are able to produce answers. According to Nancy Potok, chief statistician of the United States, "one of the founding principles of high-quality data is that you have to have transparency."

CUSTOMERS, SUPPLIERS AND COMPETITORS

Robocalls and Relief?

According to an article posted by Consumer Reports, "Relief from Spoofed Robocalls is on the Way," consumers may be able to get more relief from spoofed robocalls during the coming year. A new technology is planned to be released that would alert consumers when such a call was being received. "SHAKEN/STIR," as the technology is called, would not stop these calls from being received by consumers. However, it would alert the consumer that a spoofed call was being received, and allow the customer to decide whether or not to answer. Not limited to cell phones, this technology will also be available on landlines. The telecom industry has been under pressure for stronger measures against robocalls. A gap in protection could occur, as some carriers could roll out the technology before others. There are still issues to be decided upon, such as how the technology should label the detected calls.

Resources

Utility Regulator Seeks to Let Rural Electrical Cooperatives Offer High Speed Internet

Google and the Rest of the Tech Industry Are Grappling With These 3 Data Problems

Relief From Spoofed Robocalls Is on the Way

Meeting The Challenges Of Ubiquitous Data: How Telecommunications And Businesses Will Manage The Flood

In order to prevent "drowning" in the flood of data generated by ongoing devices, there are additional steps being taken by telecom providers.