The Immediate Answer To Connectivity Problems Is Under Our Noses (And Seats)

While Americans wait for 5G to roll out, we have a real, immediate need for increased capacity, says Mike Montgomery, and a practical means for achieving it: small cell antennas.

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The benefits of 5G are obvious: lightning-fast video downloads, zero-lag streaming playback, fewer dropped calls, and the capacity needed to create truly smart cities.

But while the switch from 4G to 5G is exciting, writes Mike Montgomery of CALinnovates, this technology is still years from rolling out. In the meantime, he says, we have a real, immediate need for increased capacity, and a practical means for achieving it: small cell antennas.

As their name implies, these 4G-boosting devices are small enough to sit on utility poles, traffic lights and even under the seats at stadiums. And, as Montgomery points out, they’re essential for laying the groundwork for 5G. So what are cities waiting for?

Read the rest of Montgomery’s post here.

How Silicon Valley Became Silicon Valley

It turns out, Silicon Valley was always ahead of the curve.

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Silicon Valley is a $3 trillion neighborhood where Teslas, mansions and startups are thick on the ground. And it turns out, the area south of San Francisco was always a tech-forward region. Check out this entertaining and informative video from Tech Insider to learn more about how Silicon Valley became Silicon Valley.

Government Agencies Move Slowly, Startups Are Here To Help

A San Francisco-based program is pairing startups with government agencies to help solve real-world problems.

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Dealing with any government agency can be extremely frustrating. Departments are usually using technology straight out of 1990s which means everything takes twice as long as it needs to.

Since 2014, San Francisco has been trying to build better government through the Startup in Residence Program (STiR) which pairs startups with civic agencies to solve real-world problems. Now the program has expanded to 11 other cities and is looking to grow to 100 cities in the near future.

At the most recent demo day, startups showed off new technology to help better direct 311 calls, organize engaged citizens and use artificial intelligence to better communicate through chatbots.

You can read more about the STiR demo day here.

America Can’t Afford To Drag Its Feet On 5G

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“Cities such as Sacramento and Long Beach in California are aggressively moving forward with 5G,” writes CALinnovates’ Kish Rajan. “These emerging cities may find themselves attracting the Googles and Amazons of tomorrow as larger cities drag their feet on 5G.”

That foot-dragging isn’t just potentially bad for local economies, contends Rajan; it’s also a threat to America’s global competitiveness.

To date, the U.S. has been the global leader in innovation – in large part due to our leadership in the wireless space – but there’s a real risk America will lose our position to China and South Korea if we lose the race to 5G.

The economic benefit of leading the move to the next level of network speed and capacity is not fiction. History shows that 5G will provide tremendous economic benefit. America led the way on 4G technology, resulting in $100 billion in economic impact. We took that lead position from the European Union, which had been ahead of the game on 2G. Losing that front-runner status led to job losses and contractions in the telecom hardware and software industries in Europe.

We can’t afford to have the same thing happen in the U.S.

Read Rajan’s full story here.

L.A. Pols Want Waze Off Of Their Lawns

The app is sending drivers onto small residential streets.

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Like the proverbial old man shouting at the local kids to get off of his lawn, some Los Angeles politicians are now trying to get Waze off of local streets.

In a city where going two miles at rush hour can take up to an hour, the Google-owned app is directing drivers onto smaller residential streets during busy times.

That might be great for commuters but it’s rough for folks living on those small streets that are suddenly getting congested. It’s been a serious problem for people who use Baxter Street in the city’s Echo Park area.  On one of the steepest streets in L.A. (and the country), inexperienced Waze-directed drivers are causing accidents at an alarming rate.

Keep an eye on how the government and the tech company work together to solve this problem.

 

The FCC’s Unintended Consequences Problem

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Author: Mike Montgomery

Too often the agency’s rules end up stifling innovation.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is developing a nasty habit of passing rules that end up doing more harm than good. These rules may initially be well intentioned but the end result is that some certainly stifle innovation. We’re seeing a very clear example of that right now in the Wi-Fi router industry.

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