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Broadband Update: Progress and Prognostication

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The beginning of a new year is always time for taking stock and looking forward. In an area as vibrant as broadband telecommunications, there’s plenty to recap from 2012 and look forward to in 2013 – both good and bad.

Similarly, as Broadband Breakfast’s Drew Clark noted in its top-ten-events roundup, the wireless standard LTE became available to some 400 million people between AT&T and Verizon, and Comcast completed the rollout of the next version of its cable modem technology, DOCSIS 3.0, bringing speeds of 100 megabits per second potentially to 52 million subscribers.

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Medic Mobile: Powerful Tools for Local Health Workers

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been writing about mobile services in developing countries, and mHealth in particular, for a while now. But recently I had my first opportunity to speak to someone on the ground making it happen: Maeghan Orton of Medic Mobile.

Medic Mobile has a unique model. The company doesn’t focus on one specific mHealth application. Rather, it provides a mobile software and technology platform for putting mHealth tools in the hands of community health workers (CHWs), and lets organizations find innovative ways to use them.

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Reducing Infant Mortality through Mobile Messaging Services

Michele Baker CuthbertBy Michele Baker-Cuthbert, Guest Columnist

Communication technology has really gone a long way to improve our lives in America.  We have the power to connect with someone in less than a second.  For people in other countries, they are not so fortunate.

In poorer countries, it is next to impossible to get the information they need because a simple staple like the Internet or mobile connectivity is not available.  Just think, a soon to be mother would need information on what to do if she delivered her child early.

This is where MAMA, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action has made a difference to over 20 million new and expectant mothers.  The MAMA free mobile phone messaging service is found in over 35 countries. Read More »

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Broadband Ranking: Why it is Subjective

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The place with the best broadband ecosystem is not Silicon Valley or Route 128, the mainstays of technology companies in the United States. But that’s not surprising, given the popularity of e-commerce and cloud computing – it’s Washington State, home of Microsoft and Amazon.

That’s the determination of the TechNet 2012 State Broadband Index, which ranked all 50 states on various facets of their ICT-related infrastructure.

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Empowering Rural Health Workers with Mobile Video

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

State-of-the-art broadband services still don’t reach many parts of the African continent, especially rural villages. But one consumer technology is pervasive: cell phones.

According to the Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast, there will be 1.3 billion consumer mobile devices across the Middle East and Africa by 2016 – a billion of them being basic feature phones, not smartphones. At the same time, mobile video is expected to be the fastest-growing service in the region, with 184 million users projected by 2016.

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