Broadband is not a luxury

Misiunea Apollo 13, lansată în aprilie 1970, s-a transformat imediat într-o luptă pentru supraviețuire.  Rezervoarele de oxigen au explodat, urmând faimoasa misiune de salvare. Lumea întreagă își ținea respirația, în timp ce de la o distanță de 200.000 de mile se căutau soluții pentru problemele tehnice. Inginerii și astronauții au lucrat împreună pentru a-și da seama cum să manevreze și să navigheze o navă spațială grav avariată, să găsească modalități inovatoare de conservare a energiei, oxigenului și apei și, în cele din urmă, să descopere cum să repornească un modul de comandă care nu fusese proiectat pentru a fi oprit în spațiu.

Former Motorola engineer Martin Cooper, 94, wears an Apple Watch and uses a state-of-the-art iPhone, intuitively switching between email, photos, YouTube and his hearing aid controls. His iPhone is certainly a far cry from the 1kg-plus block of cables and circuitry he used to make the first mobile phone call 50 years ago. On April 3, 1973, walking down New York’s Sixth Avenue in a suit and carrying his Diplomat briefcase, Cooper was a common sight. But the moment he picked up DynaTAC to call Joel Engel, a competitor working for Bell Labs, was the tipping point in the evolution of communications, ushering in decades of innovation—technology, services, new standards and regulations, aggressive marketing , the art.

Like any great invention, it has given rise to heated debates in the media and society about the extraordinary benefits of being able to communicate anywhere and anytime, but also concerns about the impact of technology on people and humanity. Wireless technologies such as GSM, LTE, WiMAX, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth have revolutionized the way we communicate and exchange data through services available anytime, but reality has proven that not just from anywhere.

Anytime, but not anywhere

As the world begins to enjoy the benefits of wireless cellular technology, the industry is developing strategies for the next generation of mobile communications. A new G has been deployed roughly every decade, but with each generation of wireless technology, upgrading becomes more complex and innovation more challenging. Looking ahead, 6G represents an even greater opportunity to expand wireless solutions in nearly every aspect of human-machine interaction, and from information released by companies at the forefront of industry innovation, we expect the new standard to begin to roll out around 2030.
At the same time, the use of broadband connections has increased, with the number of people using the Internet estimated to reach 4.9 billion in 2021, up from about 4.1 billion in 2019, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communications technologies. Although the numbers seem impressive, a simple calculation shows that at the end of 2021, 2.9 billion people, or 37% of individuals worldwide, had never used the Internet due to lack of access.
Although the industry continues to invest in innovative solutions and partnerships to extend connectivity to remote communities, the adoption of mobile Internet services has not kept pace with the expansion of network coverage. At first glance, the digital divide is the difference between those with internet access and those without. However, studies show that the digital divide is not binary. Its causes are multiple and vary by region, but generally relate to a lack of accessibility, relevance, knowledge and skills. These gaps in availability, accessibility, interest and digital literacy exist from the international to the neighborhood level.
There are countries, including
Romania, which, although they have generally high rates of connectivity, have strong inequalities in rural, remote and even urban areas. These gaps often overlap with other disparities such as income and social inequality.

Bridging the digital divide is not a luxury

Connectivity is deeply unequal globally, the ITU says in the 2021 edition of its annual State of Digital Connectivity Worldwide presentation. An estimated 96% of the 2.9 billion people still offline are in developing countries. At the same time, of the 4.9 billion quantified as “Internet users,” many hundreds of millions may only get a chance to get online infrequently, via shared devices or using connectivity speeds that severely limit the usefulness of their connection. In developing countries internet penetration increased by more than 13%, and in the 46 least developed countries (LDCs) designated by the UN the average increase exceeded 20%.
The same study shows that the number of internet users globally increased by more than 10% in 2019, the first year of the pandemic, by far the largest annual increase in a decade. The increase in the number of people online is clearly correlated with the measures taken during the pandemic, in response to the need to give people access to news, government services, health updates, e-commerce and online services, which have contributed to the so-called “increase in connectivity COVID,” which brought an estimated 782 million additional people online since 2019. Governments and businesses have drawn conclusions and are preparing action.
A 10 percent increase in broadband penetration in 2016 in the U.S. would have led to more than 806,000 additional jobs in 2019, or an average annual increase of 269,000 jobs, the study, “Broadband for All: Charting a pathways to economic growth’ by Deloitte in April 2021, finding a strong correlation between broadband availability and jobs and GDP growth. So it’s no coincidence that the Biden Administration wants everyone in the US to have access to high-speed Internet by 2029, announcing a year ago a $45 billion budget for the “Internet for All” (IFA) initiative, developed in working with 20 broadband providers to improve subsidized high-speed Internet plans available to low-income Americans through the Affordable Connectivity Program. Several programs are designed to build high-speed broadband infrastructure, teach digital skills and provide the technology needed to ensure that everyone in the US is able to fully participate in society.

The European Union has set targets for access to broadband connections since 2010 as part of the Europe 2020 strategy. In addition to a series of policy and regulatory measures implemented by the EU, member states have had around 15 billion of EUR 2014-2020 through a variety of sources and types of funding, including EUR 5.6 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Different factors related to the financing environment, the competitive one and the legal one have limited the progress made by the member states in the direction of meeting the objectives in terms of broadband, according to the Special Report no. 12 of 2018 of the European Court of Auditors.
At the end of last year, the European Commission adopted a revised communication on state aid for broadband networks (the “Broadband Guidelines”), setting out new rules that contribute to the EU’s strategic objectives of ensuring 5G connectivity and coverage by the end of decade, which is essential for achieving the Union’s digital transition.
Our country has undertaken to ensure the possibility of access to at least one fixed ultra-fast broadband network (download speed greater than 100 Mbps) for all end users as an objective in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, having allocated funds of 94 million of euros for the implementation of a support scheme for residents especially in white areas (without internet networks). A month ago, ANCOM announced the holding of a public consultation on localities covered by fixed public broadband communications networks, in order to update the map of white areas.

Simple, cheap and effective innovative solutions

Broadband connections enable greater access to formal education and can expand the types of jobs available in a
region. These positive effects on human capital can help support stronger economic growth in the future. For this reason, Green eDIH is constantly looking for partners to provide innovative solutions that can be adopted to effectively address the digital divide. One example is the technology provided by RadioLED, a company redefining broadband communications through a simple, wireless solution that uses existing lighting infrastructure or public buildings to install devices.
The infrastructure is a mesh network made up of software and hardware components, called multipoints, managed through a dashboard for measurement and monitoring. Operating system software is installed in the network infrastructure and can handle different communication protocols.
Each multipoint consists of a processor and storage options and, together with other nodes, builds a data center.
The core network provides 5G functionality and enables the integration of existing and new telecommunications infrastructure and devices, being a Smart City operating system in itself, empowering the administration to run its infrastructure and also being useful in covering rural white areas.
In addition to state-of-the-art technology, efficient, fast and low-maintenance installation and seamless integration of current and future technology and communication protocols, sustainability and environmental impact are important criteria for us when selecting the solutions we promote, and solutions like the one proposed by RadioLed are high quality, reliable and above all with low emissions. Using the already existing infrastructure, such a solution preserves the habitat in which it is applied, its impact on the environment being minimal.
In rural areas, state-of-the-art broadband networks enable economic development and enable residents and businesses to conduct business. At the same time, by implementing this solution, there is almost no limit to innovative urban planning concepts. Public hotspots, digital information points, digital parking monitoring, people flow control, smart metering, traffic guidance systems, light shows and sound technology are just a small selection of the possibilities on offer.

Spread the word!

Related News

Green eDIH Launches Selection Call for ChargeConnect Project Team

Green eDIH and BetterQA, a partnership to strengthen quality and sustainability in digital technologies

Green eDIH and BetterQA, a partnership to strengthen quality and sustainability in digital technologies

The green transition, made possible by the balance between academic and engineering research

  • English (United States)
  • Romanian
Web Design