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Bbp Dec08 Economic Bounty


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Bbp Dec08 Economic Bounty

  1. 1. Ultra-Broadband’s Economic Bounty Verizon’s investment in fiber networks will revolutionize the way we live – and revitalize our cities By Ivan Seidenberg ■ Verizon T he past quarter-century has been • Ultra-broadband technologies are infrastructure capable of connecting one of the great periods of inven- also transforming the way global every business, every institution and tion in the history of commerce. businesses operate. Virtual-reality every resident across all five boroughs Every one of the seminal inventions in- videoconferencing, machine-to-ma- … a tremendous advantage for a lo- troduced in the past 25 years – from the chine communications and world- cal economy competing in the global personal computer to the mobile phone wide mobility are compressing supply market for capital, jobs and intellec- to the World Wide Web – was initially chains, automating manufacturing tual expertise. underestimated in terms of the impact processes and generally making an it would eventually have on commerce already “flat” world even flatter. Ve- Thanks to the private-sector invest- and society. rizon’s extensive Internet backbone ment of Verizon and other telecom, I believe we are at a similar point network and global IP capabilities wireless and cable companies, we have with ultra-broadband technology. make our network one of the most made great progress extending access to At Verizon, we’ve staked our future advanced communications and com- broadband and mobile networks to most on the power of broadband networks to puting platforms in the world. Americans. The benefits have rippled expand markets, stimulate through the whole industry – innovation and help us com- pete and grow. We’re invest- Ultra-broadband technologies from the manufacturers who make the cables and routers, ing about $17 billion a year are transforming the way to the companies who develop to make Verizon the leader in wireless, broadband and global businesses operate the content and software, to the inventors who create the global connectivity. These networks will be a power- with videoconferencing, M2M new devices that make all this work for customers. ful engine of growth and communications and mobility. The great news is that innovation, not just for our – for all the progress we’ve company, but for the whole • We’re four years into a once-in-a- economy as broadband becomes embed- made already – we’re just at the begin- generation upgrade of our landline ded ever more deeply in the lives of our ning of this innovation curve. To under- network, which takes fiber-optic customers and the business processes of stand why, it’s important to understand technology all the way to our cus- global enterprises. what’s so different about these new ul- tomers’ homes and businesses. This The pace of change across our com- tra-broadband network technologies. year, our FiOS network will pass pany is quite remarkable: some 12 million homes, and we’re Today, Verizon’s fiber network can expanding at a rate of about 3 million deliver 50-megabit download speeds. • Over the last ten years, our wireless customer base has grown from about homes a year – making Verizon the Soon we’ll be at 100 Mbps or more. The 7 million to over 70 million. We were leading provider of fiber to the home big shift, though, is its two-way capacity the first wireless company to build a in the US. Those of you who live and – fast enough to upload high-definition national data network. We’re now work in New York know that we’ve content in a few minutes, as opposed to testing our fourth generation of in- just started to introduce FiOS there. the several hours it takes on most sys- frastructure technology, which will When we’re through, New York City tems today. create new growth opportunities that will be one of the most wired cities in Fast enough to turn Web 2.0 into we’re only just beginning to grasp. the world – with a communications Web 10.0. 60 | BROADBAND PROPERTIES | www.broadbandproper | December 2008
  2. 2. Why is this a big deal? Well, we’ve already seen the power of the Inter- Imagine the interactive power of the Internet net to change the way we interact and enhanced with two-way video, three-dimensional bring more of our daily lives into the digital realm. graphics and high-definition quality. The great Now imagine that interactive power enhanced with two-way video, three-di- minds at Columbia University could extend their mensional graphics and high-definition reach across the world. The brilliant doctors there quality. The great minds at Columbia University could extend their reach could consult with medical centers anywhere. across the world through virtual class- rooms. The brilliant doctors in New connections – person-to-person, per- • Empowering people with disabilities York could consult with medical cen- son-to-machine and even machine-to- and bringing more people into the ters anywhere in the world over a secure machine – that will open up whole new workforce. broadband connection. The amazing possibilities for innovation in wireless. • Connecting more of the world’s pop- resources of the Metropolitan Museum This is the vision behind our choice ulations to the global economy. or the New York Public Library could of LTE as our next-generation wireless • Reinventing American industry for be brought to life through virtual-reality technology. It’s also the logic behind our the digital age. experiences for anyone, anywhere, with Open Development Initiative, which in- vites outside developers to create devices Verizon is in the very center of the a broadband connection. and applications to run on our wire- trends that are driving growth in our Or think about the changes happen- less network. industry. We are focused on tapping the ing in wireless, which is undergoing its The convergence of these great dis- rich potential of our networks and bring- own “ultra-broadband” transformation. Mobile customers already do more ruptive technologies – mobility, Inter- ing the benefits of broadband to our cus- than make phone calls – they text, net and optical fiber – will usher in a tomers and to society at large. And we download music, watch TV, surf the new phase of growth for our industry. will continue to reinvent ourselves around Web and more. The cell phone is evolv- The uses for these new networks will these emerging opportunities, just as ing into a kind of “universal remote” for go far beyond what we can imagine we’ve done for the last two decades. managing all your digital content and today. They will transform entertain- But we can’t do this alone. accessing it on whatever screen you have ment, education, medicine, the arts and We need software and applications on hand. commerce. They will have virtually un- developers to create new products. We We used to say that the only three limited capacity. They will create whole need equipment manufacturers to in- things you need when you leave the new industries and involve the entire vent new devices. We need public poli- house are your wallet, your keys and technology sector in a virtuous cycle of cies that encourage investment and in- your cell phone. Pretty soon, all you’ll investment, innovation and growth. novation. And we need creative thinkers need is your phone. And – if we think big enough – these to think expansively about how to use In fact, pretty soon we won’t just ultra-broadband networks can help us these fantastic technologies to build a think in terms of a mobile “phone” at all address some of the most important so- better society. – even a smart one – but rather a mobile cial challenges of our time: What the communications industry universe where wireless capabilities are • Reforming health care with virtual has accomplished in the past 25 years is built into cameras, media players, energy medicine and electronic records. amazing. What lies ahead is even bigger. systems, appliances, medical devices, ve- • Saving energy and protecting the en- We’re excited to be part of this business, hicles, buildings, the heel of your shoe vironment. and we can’t wait to see what the next 25 … pretty much anything you can think • Improving education with distance years will bring. BBP of. This will create a vast array of mobile learning and online tutors. About the Author Ultra-broadband networks can help us These remarks were prepared by Verizon reform health care with virtual medicine and CEO Ivan Seidenberg for delivery at the 25th anniversary reception of the Columbia electronic records; save energy and protect the Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) at Columbia University on October 30. The environment; improve education with distance event was covered for BBP by correspon- learning and online tutors; empower people with dent Linda A. Schoener. Seidenberg de- parted from his talk; this is the first time his disabilities; and reinvent American industry. prepared remarks have been made public. December 2008 | www.broadbandproper | BROADBAND PROPERTIES | 61