Thursday, September 16, 2004

Blogging the Bytes Before Business Event

This is a first for us. Blogging a live event!

John and I are at The IndExpo "Bytes Before Business" event. They're handing out the Dr. Ray Authement Business Awards. The award winners are: Nicholas Pugh of Datacomm/Stratos; Chuck Vincent of Global Data Systems; and C&C Technologies for, among other things, their work with CajunBot — the UL-Lafayette remote-controlled ATV that took part in the DARPA artificial intelligence competition earlier this year. They've also got an autonomous underwater vehicle program that found a WW II German uboat off the coast of Louisiana. That discovery was the feature of a documentary that has run on a number of cable channels in recent months.

We're sitting at a table with a couple of guys from Wave 7, an Atlanta-based company that provides the technology to make fiber-to-the-premises services possible. Uh, the breakfast is sponsored by LUS's Fiber is the Future project. Wonder if there's a connection? :-)

The main speaker for this shindig is the mayor of Provo Utah. He's being introduced by Leonard Ray of the Fiber to the Home Council. He's VP of that council, which is the industry association that encompasses companies and municipalities that are in various stages of deployment of FTTH projects. He's doing show and tell with old technology toys. He's got a Fischer-Price portable record player that he had as a child. His kids don't know what LPs or vinyl records are. Communications and entertainment devices are changing rapidly.

Pushing and pulling information across networks "that my grandfather and father used." Legacy networks are the past. "The future is fiber and this is what we need to compete in the future," he says. He notes the decline of the US in relative levels of broadband usage as compared to other countries. Last month in Japan, they connected 100,000 homes in one month. We put a man on the moon; we should not be last in broadband.

Paraphrases quote: The candle industry did not bring us the light bulb. It was brought to us by visionaries, innovators, by risk takers.

We'll put a separate story out on the speech later in the day.

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