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Why Smart Microgrids are Gaining Momentum

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

For something with “micro” in its name, microgrids are becoming a pretty big deal. Microgrids are distributed, small-scale versions of the centralized conventional electricity grid systems.

According to an August 2013 report from research firm MarketsandMarkets, the total microgrid market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 17% between 2012 and 2022, reaching a total installed capacity of 15.4 gigawatts by 2022 and a value of $27 billion.

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How Culture Affects Connectivity

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

As I wander through the world of broadband, I frequently worry that for every step forward, we take one step back. As I’ve written about previously, we seem to be at an inflection point where we see the potential value of broadband, but putting it into reality seems to be more ephemeral.

Especially here in the U.S., we seem to be “talking the talk” more than we’re “walking the walk.” The confluence of certain events recently has underscored my ongoing concern even more recently.

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The Doctor is On (the Internet)

JasonHeadShot,cropped

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Reading through the statistics on mental health is enough to make you, well, kind of depressed.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an estimated 26.2 percent of American adults – more than one in four – suffer from some form of mental illness each year. Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population – nearly 21 million adults – suffer from a mood disorder such as depression or anxiety, and about 6 percent live with a serious mental illness that significantly impedes their ability to live and work.

And according to the World Health Organization, the numbers are just as dire globally, with more than 450 million people worldwide suffering from mental illness.

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Metageek Chanalyzer Pro + Cisco CleanAir = Powerful RF Visualization

As I partake in Cisco Live! activities, I wonder how the network team handles the thousands of geeks with their 3-4 geek toys each connecting to Wi-Fi from anywhere around the convention center.  I know a thing or two about how they went about planning, but hey, there is always Murphy’s Law that creeps up and nothing (always) works as planned…surprise surprise… think about the size of this conference and the World of Solutions (trade show floor) where so many of the partners want to show off their latest and greatest capability by setting up their own network. BAM: you have interference of all kinds all over the place. It’s a good thing the AP’s that are deployed have Cisco CleanAir® Technology to automatically classify and mitigates the interference. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to visualize the interference and the RF?

Enter visualization and Metageek.

It doesn’t take long for someone in the wireless industry to know that Metageek’s geeks know a thing or two about giving sizzle to RF and packets. We’ve certainly been around long enough, so that’s why we’ve been working with Metageek to cook up the Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir® , the industry’s most advanced spectrum intelligence technology with the industry’s most visually captivating and comprehensive RF analysis tool. Perhaps you caught yesterday’s press release?

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Wireless Ubiquity: Connecting the Unconnected

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Every so often in covering the broadband and wireless industry, you run across a statistic that stops you cold. Here’s one: the Leichtman Research Group recently revealed that 1 percent of U.S. households canceled their home Internet service last year in favor of relying on wireless access provided via mobile networks or public Wi-Fi networks.

One percent. That is not a big number. Of course, it’s only a snapshot. The more intriguing question: What will next year’s number be? While the result in and of itself could be a statistical error, what’s more interesting is what it reveals: that it’s becoming easier than ever before to become untethered.

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