RBC I Broadband system design requires “fail-safe” redundant engineering loop design.
Broadband delivered by buried or pole mounted fiber optic cable (as with any other delivery system for electrical or electronic media) is susceptible to physical and environmental damage and destruction. A buried fiber optic cable can be accidentally dug up by construction machinery even with laws that require pre-locates before excavation.
Natural hazards such as severe weather, wildfire, floods, earthquake or deliberate sabotage or vandalism may cause interruption and damage to buried or pole-mounted cables. Consequently a “failsafe” or redundant loop engineering design should always be in place such that interruption of any one point in the cable loop permits rerouting data to the site that is interrupted via the opposite side of the fiber optic cable loop, seamlessly and without system failures. Redundancy is always more expensive but is always better than experiencing failure of critical data pathways especially in emergent conditions such as disasters, natural hazards or even routine public safety operations.
A massive solar storm resulting from sunspots may pose the greatest threat to electronics and digital systems. The earth experiences rare but potentially catastrophic solar particle storms resulting from severe sunspot eruptions that generate charged particles traveling in the solar wind. Most of these storms are deflected by the ionosphere of the earth’s atmosphere, causing colorful visual displays known as “northern lights” but acute storms can overcome this defense and damage or destroy satellites, disrupt radio communications, affect power grids and electronic devices which could massively constrain or disrupt the entire world infrastructure and economy. The last storm of such magnitude is thought to have occurred in the 19th century before modern technology existed, so the effect cannot be fully predicted but has very serious potential.
Wireless delivery of broadband via 4G networks
Wireless delivery of broadband in rural mountainous areas may be equally problematic due to insufficient propagation of radio signals. Unless a comprehensive wireless network design is identified and engineered to support a given geographic area, 4G (and succeeding generations) cannot be reliably delivered to potential subscribers living outside more urban or populated areas. Where fiber optic cable is not available, and where wireless cell systems are also unavailable, only satellite delivered broadband may serve those needs and must offer faster and larger data delivery capacity to match fiber optic capacity.
Applications requiring high speed, high capacity broadband network support:
Motor Vehicle Crash Injury Management Systems (CIMS)
For a number of years, Crash Injury Management Systems have been built into modern motor vehicles that are capable of sending automatic notifications via satellite or ground-based wireless broadband systems to a central point of emergency contact such as satellite based proprietary vehicular communications system providers such as On-STAR which then transmits the signal to the local 9-1-1 PSAP/ Emergency Communications Center that dispatches first responders to the scene. The system is so sophisticated that it can report air-bag collision deployments, whether seat belts are in use, speed at time of the crash, direction of impact, whether the vehicle rolled, if occupants were ejected, whether vehicle is on fire, submerged in water, number of occupants, what the probable injuries may be, based on the force analysis of the incident, and much more. Intrado Corporation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, as well as the Federal Communications Commission worked with major auto manufacturers to develop and deploy these systems.
Healthcare providers biomedical telemetry and video systems for emergency medical services:
Emergency medical services providers and emergency trauma centers have begun deploying a variety of medical telemetry communications and video mobil systems that permit paramedics and physicians to receive vital signs and observe the patient in high definition video to assist in diagnosis and treatment of patients en route to trauma centers. They also receive advanced injury analysis probability data from the crash injury management systems noted above and so are better prepared to deal with the situation even before they arrive on scene. Health care systems will be able to share advanced, high definition patient information, live biomedical visual monitoring, diagnostic analysis and referral to specialists, radiology imaging and other features.
Live video teleconferencing, data sharing, marketing and sales, working from home:
Broadband will support worldwide high definition video imaging and data sharing between a variety of corporations and other organizations with video teleconferencing. This can save vast amounts spent on travel and lodging by representatives to make sales presentations, marketing, engineering design consultation and development, research and much more. Fewer miles traveled translates into less costs for fuel, reduced air pollution and environmental improvements overall.
Work from home offices:
Moreover, professionals, employees and consultants can work from home offices rather than having to travel to an office facility thereby saving travel costs, paying for office and support facilities. Accordingly parents can provide their own child care and support simultaneously while fulfilling their employment responsibilities saving costs of day care, travel commuting, risks of adverse weather and consequent possible injury or death in vehicular accidents, etc.
Marketing and product sales:
Sales of products is already done via the internet through such comprehensive sales organizations as Amazon, and other major retailers, as well as custom specialty small businesses, which opens their market region to the entire world, thus lessening the need for “brick and mortar” facilities.
Educational institutions can benefit through “virtual classrooms” where educators can share lectures and demonstrations via teleconferencing with students who can participate from their homes or residences, saving travel costs, and can interact individually with instructors, teaching assistants, mentors and fellow students for more detailed discussions of topics. Not congregating in classrooms can lessen spread of contagious diseases especially for younger children, and permit them to participate even if they are ill and at home so lessons are not missed and work can be submitted electronically to teachers. Home-schooled children can benefit greatly from such technology as well due to vastly improved resources and data access. Programmed and hands-on experiential education and progressive individual learning methodology has been shown to be far more effective in classroom situations where students progress at different levels and those with varying abilities ranging from advanced, talented and gifted, as well as for those with special needs can be effectively supported and make adequate progress suitable for their abilities.
Volunteers can meet via teleconferences without having to travel over great distances at considerable expense, risk of travel and injury during adverse weather, and loss of productive time for travel.Families can stay in instant contact throughout the world through video teleconferencing and data sharing.
Editor’s note: This article is the second in a series to be published in ensuing weeks on the topic of broadband telecommunications.