Category Archives: fiber optics

Look at the Difference Eight Years Makes

The Today Show on NBC took to Instagram yesterday in order to document one of the biggest differences between this Papal election and the last.  It was a photo which featured people watching Pope Benedict XVI’s election as Pope in 2005 compared with people watching the Papal Conclave yesterday. The differences between the two photos are glaring and it goes to show that even in the past eight years, our world has changed completely. Here is the link: Today Show Instagram.

In the 2005 picture, only two or three cell phones can be spotted amid the mass of people waiting for the Vatican to announce the new leader of the church. The 2013 picture has a few more phones, all of which are being held above the users head to get a clear shot with the camera. The person holding the tablet up is pretty funny too.

Obviously this picture says a lot about where we’ve been and where we’re going. With high speed internet and 4G mobile networks getting increasingly stronger and more reliable, look for our addiction to mobile devices to get even worse. VoIP calling is expected to grow as well so calling plans will be a thing of the past. Cell phones should really get a name change in the next few years because they do less phone-things than they do computer things. The telecom industry is only going to get more lucrative over the next decade as technology is going to allow for some pretty incredible advancements. I’m pretty excited and you should be too. Call the experts at JBI Telecom to schedule a consultation today!

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Last Night’s Big Winners? The Ravens and Twitter

There’s a reason it only happens once per year. Ignoring the game itself, the Super Bowl is a shining example of logistical prowess and a strong coordinated effort. That one game in New Orleans last night was the result of a whole year of meticulous planning and preparation. It’s hard to argue that there’s anything more important to hosting a massive event than communication. It would be fascinating to see the number of phone calls, emails, texts, and Skype chats which happened leading up to the game. Millions of each would be my guess. Kudos to whichever company handled the telecom services because I’m sure they had their hands full. I can only imagine the amount of frantic calls going back and forth when the stadium power went out.

The big winner last night other than the Ravens? Twitter. Half the commercials which aired during the game mentioned the social media juggernaut in one way or another. Compare that to Facebook or Google +, who barely saw their name at all. Some major companies even jumped on the Twitter snark bandwagon when the power went out during the game. The nice folks over at Lexus offered to send some of their new LED lights to the stadium, which was a quick jab at Mercedes-Benz for whom the stadium is named. Walgreens and Nabisco Oreos also got in on the action and their power outage tweets were redistributed across the Twittersphere thousands of times.

Per usual when something big is happening, the Twitaholics shot out one liners with alarming regularity. Anytime I went to the bathroom, I could monitor the game solely by the tweets tagged with #SB47. Hundreds of new tweets poured in every minute from the large number of people who apparently moonlight as pro football analysts. It’s not that we really care about Chester from Wichita’s opinion of the spread offense, but since it’s only 140 characters its quick enough to at least tolerate his thoughts before moving on. I saw funny tweets, mean tweets, incoherent tweets, and every once in a while a tweet actually worth reading. Most worth reading came at halftime when the triple threat known as Destiney’s Child reunited on stage. All we needed was Justin Timberlake and it would have been 2002 all over again. If Jay-Z had popped out of the stage to spit a few lines then I think the internet would have self-imploded.

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You Can’t Hide From Google Maps

A few weeks ago I wrote about Eric Schmidt, one of the co-founders of Google, visiting North Korea with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. The trip was an opportunity for Schmidt to speak with the leaders of North Korea about expanding internet services in the country. North Korea has long been isolated, lagging behind its Asian counterparts in most social and economic categories. However, this past Tuesday marked a big step in opening the country up to the rest of the world. Google Maps released a new map of the country complete with street names and, of course, a slew of visible death camps called gulags.

The people of the internet are known for their outstanding moral fiber and impeccable behavioral standards. As soon as Google released the new map, the good people of the interwebs took it upon themselves to fill in the blanks. A Google Maps search for “Gulag North Korea” yields results of 10 concentration camps across the country. The Bukchang Gulag lies just north of Pyongyang, and according to the fantastic folks writing Google+ reviews, it has all the amenities of a large death camp while still maintaining an off-the-beaten-path feel. Some mentioned that the “guides” were very helpful during the political re-education courses and the daily 3am physical fitness routines. Most raved about the convenience of the 24-hour torture chambers and the fat melting all rice diet. The more environmentally conscious visitors were excited about the Gulag’s small carbon footprint and ability to recycle everything from glass and plastic to dismembered human remains.

Now a more honest and ethical human being would probably turn their nose at such black humor, but that’s only a small percentage of the internet. Most had a laugh and moved on with their day. It will be interesting to see how North Korea responds, however. The internet is a platform on which opinions can be voiced. North Korea has spent the past few decades suppressing opinion in every way, shape and form. Hopefully Kim Jong Un has thick skin, because some of the fake twitter accounts in his name are downright vicious.  Unlike with those who voice their negative opinions within North Korea, the country will have a hard time executing a 24 year old pizza delivery boy in Akron, OH who lives in his mom’s basement and is currently struggling through his 5th semester of community college.

Opening up the country to the internet means more transparency. Kim Jong Un may never appear on an exclusive episode of MTV Cribs International Palace Edition, but at least we may get a little more information about the day to day lives of an average North Korean citizen. Completely unrestricted internet access in the country is probably a pipe dream though. It’s more than likely that North Korea takes the route of China and gives its people a watered down version of the most important invention of our lifetime.

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Head of Google Visits North Korea

Despite many in Washington pleading for him to stay home, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt began a four day tour of North Korea today. Accompanied by former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, Schmidt is by far the highest profile executive to visit the notoriously secluded country since the passing of Kim Jong Il a year ago. Like the country itself, the details of the trip are being kept under wraps so not a lot is known about the itinerary. Some things are known however. Most notable is that Google claims the trip is a personal visit not affiliated with the company at all. It’s hard to imagine that when you’re the chairman of such a high profile company that you do anything without that company being involved in some way. It’s not like people vacation there after all.  North Korea is infamous for limiting its citizen’s access to phone and internet services so perhaps Schmidt is looking to open some lines of communication in a country that has long been inaccessible.  

Governor Richardson is no stranger to North Korea, as he has made several trips in the past. Many speculate that the delegation’s true motives revolve around a Korean-American U.S. citizen who was detained in North Korea for unspecified crimes. Governor Richardson has been involved with returning prisoners from North Korea in the past, but the details of the negotiations will probably not surface.

Schmidt and Google have long been outspoken in their beliefs that the internet should be a tool for all to have. Connectivity has always been one of Google’s primary goals, as evident by their massive fiber optic network undertaking currently in progress. Asia has often caused Google some trouble in the past, as China in particular is known for censoring Google results in the country.

It’s not really clear what North Korea would want with Google, but in a lengthy speech given on New Year’s Day, current leader Kim Jong Un cited improving science and technology as a primary goal for 2013. Working with the arguable King of the Internet would certainly help North Korea achieve that goal, but it has people asking about Google’s incentives in all of this.

There’s no denying that a larger base of phone and internet users would add some transparency to a country that’s been hiding from view for so long. Perhaps Google would provide some of the funding in getting North Korea online. Telecommunications is a huge industry so there would likely be a ton of companies looking to get involved. What we do know is this trip is high profile and a press conference is scheduled for after the party returns, so stay tuned.

Fiber Optics; The Future of Telecom Services


In early 2011, Google rocked the telecom world with the announcement of their new fiber optic network for cable and broadband internet. Kansas City, Missouri was chosen as the first lucky recipient of the new network. The most impressive aspect of the announcement was the speed at which Google could now provide the internet. They boasted that 1 gigabit per second speeds would make loading times and waiting for downloads a thing of the past.

This sparked an obvious outcry among the general public because not many people understood what a fiber optic network actually was. The first thing to know when it comes to fiber optics is that it is the future of telecom services. Traditionally, telecom services were provided by carriers via copper wire. It proved effective, but the rising cost of copper meant that services such as internet, cable, and phone became more expensive. Fiber optics does away with copper wire and instead utilize something far cheaper and efficient; glass.

Fiber optic cable is essentially bunches of tiny strands of glass, no thicker than human hair, that are used to send information. The strands are far more flexible than copper and they are much thinner as well. Fiber optic cables send information at a much faster rate, thus quality is vastly improved over traditional copper wire. A standard internet connection in someone’s home generally receives information between 512KB/s to 1 MB/s. This is much faster than the dial-up of the past, but you still spend a good amount of time waiting for videos to buffer and things like that. Google’s announcement that their fiber optic network would transmit information at 1 gigabit per second came as a shock to most people because that’s nearly 100 times faster than what we currently have. Movies, music, games, and apps would all download instantly with absolutely no waiting time. Imagine never having to wait for a YouTube video to buffer…you can count me in on that!

Obviously this technology will have a huge impact on telecom services in the future. Speed and quality will both be vastly improved and in theory it should bring down rates in the future. Don’t expect this technology to reach your doorstep any time soon however. It will take some time before companies truly commit to doing away with all the copper wiring they’ve invested so much in to make the switch to fiber optics. The initial cost of laying down all that new line will make the service expansive initially, but costs will eventually drop. Google claims that their new service will cost around $120 per month for super-fast internet, cable with improved HD and other services such as DVR and integration with Google powered devices.

If want more information about the shift to fiber optics, please contact the representatives at Joey Bell Telecom to see if fiber optic services are available in your area.

Joey Bell