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Apple’s Innovation Paradigm and Broadband Connectivity

September 12th, 2012

With the launch today of the iPhone 5, as well as redesigned iPods, Apple has once again proven that technology is never static. Innovation is the name of the game, and companies who get behind the curve (yes, we mean you, Nokia, RIM) do so at their peril.

While in the grand scheme of things the new hardware may only represent an incremental advance (compared to the disruptive revolution started by the original iPhone), Apple shows that that innovation and user experience are at the forefront of product development. Even the new phone’s larger (“taller”) size is, supposedly, done with the user in mind: It can still largely be operated with one hand.

You know UTOPIA is passionate about advanced fiber optic infrastructure. We believe that the global economy of the 21st century will not be driven by obsolete cable and DSL. Our modern world demands modern telecommunications infrastructure that will stand the test of time. Just as we don’t all walk around with those old brick cell phones any more (and it’s getting increasingly rare to encounter non-smart phones these days), we will eventually outgrow the infrastructure that just doesn’t cut the mustard.

True, the “applications” that will take full advantage of very high bandwidth may not be widely available yet, but the idea, again, is to get in front of the curve, to not waste time on “chicken or egg” debates. In Chattanooga, where every resident can get a gigabit connection through the EPB network, The Gig City has a “Gig Tank” start-up accelerator to see what can be done on a gigabit network and start pushing out next-gen apps. Google isn’t wiring Kansas City with a fiber network just for fun; they’ll certainly use this living laboratory to best advantage. So, those apps are coming. The question is: Will we in Utah be ready for it if fiber infrastructure is stymied?

If Chattanooga is the “Apple” of the connectivity world (and they are plenty innovative to qualify), then the rest of us need to keep up. Silicon Valley remains relevant and dominant in the tech world because it has proven receptive to innovation; the flywheel keeps going. Chattanooga has been attracting companies because of its fiber network, and the trend is sure to continue. After all, because technology isn’t static, companies will need access to more connectivity in the future, not less.

Let’s stay in front of the curve. We don’t want to be relegated to the dustbin of history because we lacked vision.