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  • 1. National Broadband Plan: United States vs. Singapore<br />The national broad band plan is an important step in the growth of the United States of America. Singapore has already implemented a national broadband plan and the United States has just finished the final draft of the plan that was proposed. The infrastructure required for a national broad band plan would be the most important aspect of the plan itself. Singapore is smaller than the United States of America. The United States of America can get results similar to Singapore; however, it will take a lot more planning and manpower due to the vast difference in size. The size comparison is as follows: Singapore’s Area - Total 710.2 km2 274.2 sq mi , United States Area - Total 9,826,675 km2 3,794,101 sq mi<br />The broad band plan that America proposed will accomplish several things. It will allow us to reduce the gaps between the ability to obtain faster speeds and make it more affordable for Americans. It should also provide much faster connection speeds. Increased speeds can pave the way for new technologies that require a much higher bandwidth. The first goal is to have at least one hundred million United States Homes on one hundred Megabits per second Upload and fifty megabits per second download speed.<br /> The second goal is to be the leader in mobile innovation with the most extensive wireless network in the world. This large task is a much needed make over. The United States infrastructure is very old. The first breakthrough into modern electrical telecommunications, the telegraph during the 1830s and 1840s, started the United States on the journey for nationwide communication. There have been many innovations and revisions to get to the point it is at currently. Many years of hodgepodge additions aided in putting the infrastructure together. It is held together much like a bunch of paperclips. The clips get tangled together and can be picked up in a ball, but if shaken just right, the whole ball of paperclips will crumble and fall apart. This analogy is to say that the actual infrastructure in the United States does need a makeover, even in major metropolitan areas. This is where the Broadband plan can come into major effect.<br />The third goal is to have affordable access to the internet. High speed internet connections are available but at a much exaggerated cost. This is due to the ability to only have two points of access into the homes, one for cable and one for phone. This provides some competition but not enough competition for the costs to remain reasonable. For this reason alone, the broad band plan is a great idea. The ability to increase competition will spark new and improved features and may lower costs. Because companies have a monopoly, they control of the fees for telecom and cable. The major players are Comcast and AT&T. Their services differ very slightly. The costs would be reduced with more competition. This all can be accomplished by opening up the spectrum and allowing for a national broad band plan. The FCC controls the spectrum and it has allocated it amongst certain parties. Net neutrality plays a large part as well. Net neutrality is defined as a principal proposed for user access to networks that have no restrictions by the ISP or government pertaining to content, sites, modes of communication and equipment.<br />The fourth goal is to have major institutions, such as schools/education and hospitals/ healthcare, have major connections at 1.00 Gbps that is 7.5 GB/s. The fifth goal is to have the ability for Emergency personal to use spectrum to communicate more efficiently. This will allow a quicker response to a disaster and will allow for a much higher success rate at providing first class care. Currently, these connection speeds are almost unheard of. For example; I live in a major metropolitan area and my current internet connection is only 78.6 MB/s or 0.0767578125 GB/s ( http://www.speedtest.net/result/799309585.png ). <br />The sixth goal of the national broadband plan is to make the United States of America the first nation with the ability to clean up the energy consumption. The USA could use broad band to track and manage, in real time, their individual energy consumption. This is a great concept and can pave the way for a wide variety of applications. It also opens up the ability for one to use a broadband device to monitor other aspects of daily living, such as remotely turning on or off devices in the home that are not needed.<br />The Singapore authority for modernization of the broadband spectrum is the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). They want to make a competitive place to promote new and upcoming technology. They wish to innovate and create an environment in which technology can flourish and still be regulated within reason. This gives Singapore a distinct advantage with the economic world. It is giving them the ability to use this technology to advance their nation to the forefront of new and exciting technologies, along with bringing in a constant stream of money to enhance the local economy.<br />The Unites States Broadband plan covers a variety of topics. I will focus on the topics that are the most pressing and important to the development of the national broadband plan. The three topics I will discuss are Healthcare, Government, and Security.<br />The first of these topics covered in the broadband plan would be healthcare. This one topic alone has been the target of controversy for many years. The issues range from cost of healthcare to universal coverage. For this report, the focus is the problem of how to use the national broadband plan to aid the development of cutting edge technologies in the industry of healthcare field. Remote monitoring, such as installing broadband enabled devices in critical healthcare components, can give us real-time data feedback from anywhere. This would allow doctors to more closely monitor an individual’s health status. The growing IT world has seemed to leave the United States Healthcare IT sector unaided. Some medical technologies are on the leading edge, like virtual surgery. Other aspects are being run on technology that is old, not very reliable, or slow. The broadband plan will allow the medical industry to have affordable access to increased broadband speeds.<br />The infrastructure is priced well outside the normal operation cost range for smaller healthcare facilities. These are either located in rural areas or are facilities that are not major established “chains” of business. The next goal is to upgrade the existing networks in the national system to meet the minimum broadband requirements as to allow for faster connectivity to all the satellite locations, not just the major hubs. By creating economic incentives, the national broadband plan hopes to make the adoption rate of this program very high. Various E-Care health care technologies will allow for a efficient data gathering and research. The broadband plan also opens a new door for unprecedented data analytics and gathering. The plan proposes no more health surveys, doctors would link to the electronic component/chip installed in a human with broadband technology built in. Doctors will be able to download all the medical data need to further the new research and make modern medicine a much more tailored field. Growth trends will be modeled around individuals now instead of mass studies. The data gathered also would allow doctors to get a better look at how a patient is doing in recovery and long term general health by looking at the data collected over a period of time. The ideas are virtually limitless. The privacy laws are also something to look at in regards to the broadband plan. In terms of patient privacy, the data itself can be secured. It does raise the question of how does one store this new mass amount of data, coupled with retention policies and national and international law. It will be necessary to look at laws created in and before the 20th century. It will need to be determined if they are causing problems with the implementation and usefulness of the broadband plan.<br />Regardless of what opinion an individual citizen of the USA has about government involvement in the broadband plan, is intended to help. It has the potential for ‘the people’ to utilize the services to increase their connectivity and productivity. Currently people do daily tasks online such as, check mail, chat, check account information, communicate with business partners, general research online, or shopping, to name just a few. The next step for the government is to incorporate the many different services into the broadband plan. Americans in general have the mentality ‘we want it fast and we want it now’. With the current infrastructure things are slower. The goal of the broadband plan is a more effective and reliable delivery system. With speeds increasing, we need to be able to utilize the increased bandwidth properly. The services that are currently available many may not be able to fully utilize the newer improved speed associated with the broadband plan. The ‘people’ are largely disappointed with the current standard associated with the infrastructure.<br />The government has plans to revamp its standards and streamline its complex governmental processes so it can deliver services online to the citizens of the United States. This is the way the Unites States as a whole can go green with a national initiative for a paperless system. The government participation in broadband can allow for a greater cooperation between departments both internally and externally, in order to create a national database of its many services and solutions. This should allow citizens to make more informed decisions and provide a greater level of service to the customer, thus increasing productivity. This is where the government can totally change its face, by utilizing social media to the maximum extent. The use of broadband plan and the related technologies can allow the federal government to make itself a model for other nations; this will allow more collaboration, communication, and greater efficiency. <br />If the government were to partner with the local and national Internet Service Provider (ISP’s) this means that the government can then make decisions of who controls what parts of the broadband. If the government had full control over, and the FCC was in charge of net neutrality, they would be able to leverage the cost of the connection to the national infrastructure via the broadband connections available. Basically it opens the internet up for what you pay for. If you pay for a higher internet connection then you will receive a higher internet connection, unlike the controversial “Comcast throttling” for torrenting, or peer to peer networking. Torrenting or peer to peer networking is sharing files with people on the network freely and most ISP’s throttle or hold back this connection making it nearly impossible to continue to freely share information with others.<br />If this were to go into effect, the result would be that the ISP’s would open up to providing the telecommunications industry with state of the art cutting edge technology in VOIP wireless and satellite communications. This should further the advances made in both government and healthcare. With all this added benefit comes the dark side called security.<br />Cyber security, which is the third point I will discuss, would then become the number one area of concern for risk associated with a more robust online presence. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States Government. It is created and empowered by a congressional statute (47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154). The majority of the staff is appointed by the current president of the United States. The FCC itself is closely tied to the national broadband plan. The committee concentrates toward six goals which are; broadband, competition, spectrum, media, public safety, homeland security, and modernizing the FCC.<br />Security, as it pertains to the broadband plan, is going to play a pivotal role as the development progresses. If it is taken into consideration from the initial start, it will be woven as part of the fabric that binds the United States broadband infrastructure together. This should allow for a more secure venture onto the Internet. The people within the United States should be able to feel more comfortable on the internet, knowing that the broadband plan has been designed with security in mind. This will allow for safer transfer into the world of cloud computing by using cyber security and secure authentication to make online service delivery safer. With better security comes piece of mind. This should generate a desire to develop new applications and programs to be used in conjunction with the national broadband plan.<br />Now that you understand the three areas of concern Healthcare, Government and Security, let’s look at how the plan compares to Singapore’s plan. Their plans name is iN2015. It is supposed to fuel creativity and innovation among business and individuals by providing infocomm platform that supports enterprise and talent. It will target individuals and communities like the USA –National broadband plan. Its goal is to increase speed and efficiency. Singapore’s plan is to provide easy and immediate access to the world’s resources while embracing Singapore’s ideas, products, services and companies and incorporating them into the global market.<br />When examining the goals Singapore sets forth, they look very similar to the ones in the Unites States National Broadband plan. The iN2015 states the following goals: to be #1 in the world in harnessing infocomm to add value to the economy and society. To realize a 2 – fold increase in the value-add of the infocomm industry to $26 billion. Finally to realize a 3 – fold increase in infocomm export revenue to $60 billion. In addition the plan should create 80,000 additional jobs, achieve 90% home broadband usage, and achieve 100% computer ownership in homes with school-going children. Singapore’s plan is concentrating more on revenue, employment, and education versus the focus on government and healthcare in the USA broadband plan. Although the iN2015 does have government tied into the plan, it targets more global spectrum. The United States broadband plan concentrates more on local and national government in the United States.<br />The FCC have explored ways to pilot competitive pricing for the national broadband plan. They are considering a process that would encourage companies to be more innovative with products and solutions for the customer. The infrastructure that is available such as poles, conduits, rooftops, and ‘right of ways’ will allow for a greater access of broadband providers. It should provide the test environment needed for hi speed next generation computing potential by providing the “dig- once policy”. This is an approach that would allow the joint deployment of broadband infrastructure.<br />With the push for higher and higher download and upload speeds, the broadband plan can help deliver those speeds to the consumer. The connections should be very reliable based on the more complex infrastructure needed to implement the faster bandwidth. It should make it easier to recover from a major black out or outage. The public safety network and solutions will allow for a much needed ability to immediately reach key personnel when an issue arises. <br />What is in store for the future of the national broadband plan? Only time will tell. Every day, new and exciting information is released on various web sites, blogs, and media related sites discussing the ever changing and evolving face of the national broadband plan. The national broadband can spark the interest of many great minds. It will be responsible for driving a new and exciting outlook on services and solutions for the next generation of United States citizens. With the developing of cutting edge applications, the full realization of the utilization of the national broadband infrastructure is in the near future. The national broadband coverage will help the cloud computing infrastructure due to the development of wide spread access and general use. It should promote many new and exciting concepts. There will be a renewal of regulation and reform for how the internet is policed, secured, and maintained. The broadband plan can help web 2.0 become the more prominent service which will provide better reliability, speed, user ability to interact with services, and provide faster more efficient business communication, and resource management. <br />References<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Singapore<br />http://www.unit-conversion.info/computer.html<br />http://reboot.fcc.gov/<br />http://www.broadband.gov/download-plan/<br />http://www.twitter.com/<br />http://www.diigo.com/search?adSScope=my&what=broadband<br />http://www.diigo.com/search?adSScope=community&what=broadband<br />http://www.diigo.com/user/Drthomasho/broadband<br />http://www.diigo.com/user/jacobneitling<br />http://jacobneitling.blogspot.com/<br />http://www.google.com/<br />Dr Thomas Ho’s CIT 49900 class lectures<br />