Hidden Effects of the Digital Revolution
October 22, 2019 •Steve Hiersche
The development and advancement of digital technologies has seen explosive growth. The digital revolution, which refers to the advancement of technology from analog electronic and mechanical devices to the digital technology we see today, allows us to tap into the power of information in unprecedented ways. Thanks to technological innovation, we can do previously unimaginable things.
From the desktop and personal computer to connectivity and commerce, the internet was born. That set the stage for 24/7 connectivity, search engines, mobile accessibility, smart phones, and finally, social platforms. Along the way we introduced smart TV’s, smart apps and data streaming that allow us to manage every aspect of our lives from the palm of our hand. There is no question that the digital revolution has reshaped the way we live, work and interact with each other, and everything around us. And this revolution shows no signs of stopping.
The positive effects of the digital revolution are widespread and (for the most part) transparent. We have seen benefits to consumers, industry and society in general by reducing costs and generating revenue from new sources. The digital revolution has changed the way we consume information and the way we learn, opening advancements in human capability. Yet at the same time, the digital age has also brought about unexpected roadblocks to one sector in particular: telecommunications.
Thanks to the digital revolution, the telecommunications industry has undergone a major transformation that data consumers might not even realize exists. Telecommunications literally means “the art of conveying information from a distance.” The modern definition is broadly defined as the transmission of information by means of electromagnetic signals, like copper wires, coaxial cable, fiber-optic strands and airwaves. Telecommunications is responsible for getting data from point A to point B, or in working terms, it’s what allows you to conduct video conferences with your vendor on the opposite coast, stream your favorite TV show to your phone while you should be working (that’s right, we see you) or access cloud-based apps so you can transfer money from one account to the next while on the go. With all this innovation, telecommunications providers have had to innovate and adapt at light speed to keep up with the ever-changing marketplace.
Here are just a few of the ways the digital revolution has impacted telecommunications:
Increased data transmission. Consumer demand for data is at an all-time high. Data has become an essential resource of the digital economy, bringing tremendous benefit. However, innovation has increased data transmission in ways we never could have expected. Data is all that information that makes digital technologies and communication effective. From texts, streaming video, your passwords and banking information, to the messages sent via social channels, it’s all considered data. And there is a lot of it. Think of telecommunication transmission lines, regardless of whether they’re wired, fiber optic or airwave, as a congested freeway. All this data means it’s 5 o’clock traffic all the time, and today’s consumers get some serious road rage if that freeway isn’t reliable and safe, making room for literally millions of users.
Reliability and security are more important than ever. Telecommunications is responsible for our everyday communication, be it voice, digital or cloud-based. Disruptions in networks and security failures have the potential to place our lives, jobs, and even our economy at risk. The information that flows through broadband communications networks must remain safe, secure and reliable for our society to function. Communication security, or cyber security, ensures our communications remain protected, and it is more important now than ever before. Considering we are transmitting the keys to our financial security, the country’s security, and even our own health and wellness across transmission lines, we want to be sure the networks we work within, our service, and our providers are secure and reliable.
Infrastructure upgrades are paramount. All that data and the need for safety and reliability brings us to the telecommunications infrastructure. Infrastructure upgrades are the key to network reliability. Over the last 5-10 years, telecommunications companies have been forced to revamp technology infrastructure to keep up with the changing market. Outdated security protocols and aging operating systems make it easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. Years ago, when communication lines were established, copper cabling was the gold standard. Copper wires are still ideal for voice transmission, but consumer connectivity expectations are vastly different now than they were before the digital revolution. Telecommunication companies were forced to upgrade, and now the new gold standard is fiber optics. Fiber optics’ bandwidth and distance capabilities make it less expensive than other communication mediums, so it has taken over at the top. With the shift from copper to fiber optics, all telecommunication providers are going through a major transition. These much-needed upgrades ensure improved efficiency, productivity, sustainability, and security. But here’s the thing: Infrastructure upgrades are expensive, and they can be disruptive.
What does all this have to do with energy?
At the end of the day, Franklin Energy is in the business of energy efficiency, so ultimately, all our topics come back to that one fundamental. While new technologies in infrastructure are more resistant to damage and take much less electricity to use, buildings are unfortunately still built to supply power to older systems. That’s where we come in. Our telecommunication services work to optimize the extra load capacity brought on by all this innovation. We help source state and national infrastructure grants and look for ways we can enhance those projects through energy efficiency.
As telecommunications and internet service providers (who are also utility customers) are going through this reinvention, they are using significantly more energy than needed. We evaluate and identify solutions for these consumers through equipment upgrades, power distribution, HVAC efficiencies and enhancing IT equipment. The end result? Serious savings. Our clients have seen upwards of $1 million. Imagine how far that will go in upgrading to the newest technologies. In an environment where survival is dependent on staying ahead of technology, savings go a long way.
Are you ready to reach this largely untapped market? Schedule a meeting with a Franklin Energy expert today to learn how we can work as your trusted partner in telecommunication services.