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FCW : March 30, 2016
such as transmission latency, inter- ference and the like. Yet commercial success of satellite broadband in the U.S. and globally has proven otherwise, and today it is very much a mainstream and rapidly growing part of the world’s telecom infrastructure, with significant advantages of ubiquitous access, high security, reliability and availability, especially when disaster strikes. Indeed, the FCC has acknowledged as much in recent reports, and in fact ranked a satellite Internet service, HughesNet Gen4, as highest in meeting advertised performance of all ISPs in the U.S., including those of fiber, cable and DSL providers. With continent – wide coverage and a range of high- speed, budget-friendly plans, it should be no surprise why it’s the choice for broadband connectivity in homes and offices regardless of physical location. Terrestrial broadband technologies aren’t standing still, either. For many years DSL, which is delivered over twisted-pair copper wire telephone lines, was seen as inferior to cable. Current VDSL (Very high speed DSL) technologies have made DSL more com- petitive with cable, and the new gigabit DSL standards recently approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) promise a continuing role for DSL over copper wire as a fast “last mile” solution for providers’ optical fiber backbone networks. Cable Internet providers have begun to roll out services based on the most re- cent version of the ITU’s Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard. DOCSIS 3.1 can deliver gigabit speeds to regular Internet subscribers. CableLabs, the US-based industry certi- fication authority, gave its blessing for mainstream adoption of DOCSIS 3.1 at the beginning of 2016. Wireless is also steadily progress- ing up the performance curve, fueled by seemingly insatiable demand for mobile Internet access in an ever- expanding eco-system of new devices, applications, and social media—with the latest 4G/LTE systems capable of download speeds between 15 and 30 Mbps, with peak speeds of up to 300 Mbps. Next up is 5G LTE, which is still under development and won’t be widely available until after 2020. In testing, several providers have already demonstrated speeds of up to multiple gigabits/second. Not surprisingly, the federal government has already made a major bet on these wireless technol- ogies. It’s First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which released its final Request for Proposals at the beginning of 2016, will build a wireless broadband network for public safety organizations throughout the U.S. TOO MANY CHOICES The multitude of rapidly changing technology choices and capabilities makes it a daunting proposition for most agencies to just keep pace, let alone afford the resources to imple- ment and manage them. Most government agency IT departments are running flat out just to keep up with the legacy mainte- nance, says the Transportation Department’s McKinney. He and others like him “need to get out of the IT business” so they can focus on more strategic and mission-oriented issues. The answer lies in partnering with trusted providers of fully managed broadband services, such as Hughes, whose business is all about imple- menting the most cost-effective blend of terrestrial fixed, wireless and satellite technologies. They work with agencies to determine their specific needs, then tailor a solution that accounts for the existing network and introduces the right mix of DSL, cable, wireless and satellite broad- band channels to meet bandwidth, application, reliability and security requirements—all within budget and time constraints. What’s clear is the current legacy network model doesn’t meet the rapidly growing demand for more bandwidth and flexibility. In government, agencies strapped for funding have tried to plug the holes in their network capacity with a series of catch-as -catch-can patches that are highly inefficient and restrict their ability to scale. Most importantly it’s a waste of budget dollars. It’s high time that government agencies scrap the old and move to a new model of taking advantage of commercially available innovations in partnership with those who have the technology know-how, proven credibility and financial muscle to stay on top—helping agencies fulfill their missions to deliver the services their constituents expect and deserve in the digital world. Sponsored Content For more information, please visit www.government.hughes.com THE MODERN NETWORK ADVANCED NETWORKS BRING SPEED, AGILITY AND COST SAVINGS What’s clear is the current legacy network model doesn’t meet the rapidly growing demand for more bandwidth and flexibility. 0316_EOD_Hughes_FCW_Mar30_final.indd 4 3/8/16 1:40 PM
March 15, 2016
April 15, 2016