We are a week away from Christmas Eve. Parents and children alike have already sent their letter to Santa and expect a present under the tree very soon. I can hear the bells jingling already. Of course as a business executive working in the telecommunications industry, it makes me wonder how many people have requested Santa to speed up their Internet plan. We live in the digital age, so why would you ask for a remote controlled car or a doll when you can ask for a faster Internet package for your home?
Governments have recognized that investing in a National Broadband Network (NBN) is the key building block to delivering the country’s sustainable development strategy and an important factor in helping to drive the digital economy. France even declared access to the Internet to be a basic human right in the country in 2009. Every country, the BRIC block included (Brazil, Russia, India China), pushes the High Speed Internet agenda because it helps advance:
Private sector investment
And many other national purposes…
Asian countries were the first to invest massively in building ultra-fast Internet networks to speed up their nation’s development and boost their economies. To date, Japan, Korea and Singapore have already connected more than 95 percent of households at 100 Mbps while the UK and Australia will reach 90 percent penetration by 2017. In the USA, the plan is to have 73 percent of households connected at the same speed by 2020 and have universal Internet access of at least 4 Mbps by then. A blend of both mobile and fixed broadband provides the recipe for success in enabling equal access to public services nationwide, in addition to reducing the digital divide. Mobile broadband is used to cover vast rural areas where the business case for fixed broadband does not suit. In fact, it is a perfect substitute for large countries needing to service remote cities, rural communities and islands.
Bandwidth is not enough
While bandwidth speed and availability are a must to connect citizens, businesses and agencies, it is not enough of a draw card for people to use the various services offered by governments and businesses. Similar to the mobile handset market, user applications and content will drive the adoption and utilization of various e-services. New technologies such as enterprise-grade video conferencing and video streaming solutions are creating the workplace of the future by changing the way people live, learn, work and play while keeping the human element. ”Seeing is believing,” so why not connect over high quality video and have a conversation face-to-face?
Many would argue that people do not want to use video. Yet, video streaming and conferencing are widely available and culturally accepted technologies around the world today. YouTube reports that over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month, 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute and that 80 percent of their traffic comes from outside the US. The same boom is happening for video calling. According to Werner Goertz, research director at Gartner: “Video calling is a mass market and mainstream activity on smartphones in the US, with 34.6% adult smartphone user adoption. Other markets will follow that path, depending on local constraints.”
High-definition video, audio, and content conferencing and streaming solutions enable Public Sector agencies and companies to have face-to-face interactions with individuals or groups regardless of distance. Many organizations have already embraced such video applications for connected business to improve operations and services delivery. This is the case of healthcare with telemedicine. In this video, you can see how live video conferencing improves discharge planning, medication management and population health.
Real Life Applications
Here are eight ways enterprise-grade video made available to consumers will help boost the adoption of national broadband networks, the consumption of content and adoption of services:
Teleservices: Connecting face-to-face over video to offer customer service is now easy thanks to cloud and browser-based video solutions available on any tablet, smartphone or computer.
Telework: Enabling remote employees or mobile employees to use video collaboration when working from home or on the go, including contact center agents, allows them to stay engaged and connected.
Telemedicine: Remotely monitoring and delivering medical care to patients at home using video streaming and conferencing supports prevention and wellness as well as discharge planning programs.
Telejustice: Making your way to court or jail may not be required when video communications allow you to make testimonies, attend hearings, join visitation sessions, or report remotely.
Tele-education: Attending a flipped class, going on a virtual field trip, playing back lectures on demand or connecting with other students to collaborate on a school project is a click away.
Teleconferencing: Meeting with multiple suppliers and partners to solve quality or supply chain issues is no longer limited to your own office environment or network with standards-based video.
Teleperformances: Attending and taking part of musical, cultural and artistic performances live from your living room has become as real as being there. Great audio quality will be essential if you do so.
Telementoring: Coaching and mentoring people for professional development or continuing education can be done thanks to video conferencing from any location, industry or time zone.
High Speed Internet Access can improve the way governments and companies serve, protect and operate only if life-like and life-changing applications - visual communications - are made available to and developed for citizens, businesses and agencies. The success of wired and wireless broadband initiatives can only be possible thanks to a strong collaboration between government departments, service providers and leading solution providers with various industry expertise and knowledge. Only then will it truly transform the way we live, learn, work and play in the digital age.
Now, have you decided what you want to ask Santa for Christmas?
You still have few days left. As for me, the Ultrafast Broadband Internet Package (Up to 1,000 Mbps Download and up to 500 Mbps Upload) is on the wish list to stay ahead in this digital age!
As always, please feel free to comment and provide feedback. If you need assistance from our industry experts at Polycom related to your digital collaboration strategy, please contact us here.