The public availability of wireless broadband is the foundation for significant change and considerable innovation. When we say it has the potential to truly change the world, that is no exaggeration. It does, particularly in these five industries.
The world is changing. Drastically. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), the possibilities are nearly endless; within our lifetime, we could see connected, automated cities that feel like they’ve been taken straight out of a science-fiction novel.
None of the innovations enabled by IoT will be possible or feasible, however, without publicly-available rich fiber. Wireless broadband networks operated by cities and towns rather than ISPs. Once that foundation exists, though? The sky’s the limit; and already, we’re seeing some significant changes across industries and verticals.
Picture this: A paramedic picks up the victim of a car accident, and performs an evaluation of their health on the scene. With a few taps on their vehicle’s dashboard, they inform hospital staff of an incoming patient. Using a combination of an internal app and sensor data from rooms within the hospital, staff are able to immediately prep a space for the incoming patient.
Once the patient arrives in the hospital, they’re guaranteed the best care possible. Sensors in the hospital’s various machines ensure everything is in working condition, and that technicians are notified the moment a component starts to fail. More importantly, doctors can immediately correspond with colleagues anywhere across the globe if they feel the need for a consultation.
The connectivity enabled by wireless broadband allows the entire patient onboarding process, from intake to treatment to discharge, to be more seamless than ever. And that’s just the beginning. The applications of connected healthcare are nearly endless, ranging from better remote treatment options to sensor-equipped pills that better guarantee adherence to treatment plans.
The Public Sector
Better, more accurate traffic reports. Sensors that ensure maintenance of major roadways and public works projects occur exactly where and when they need to. Consistent connectivity to headquarters for emergency responders such as police and firefighters.
These are just a few of the things that wireless broadband will enable for the public sector. Ultimately, in this case, connectivity is about one thing above all else: More efficient government, with better visibility into a city’s infrastructure and operations.
Not only does this efficiency lead to a better-managed city, it also promotes better health, wellness, and happiness for its residents (and can even reduce taxes through reduced operating costs).
Perhaps one of the most significant changes that will be brought about by public broadband can be found in the transportation and logistics industry. Already, we’re seeing connected fleets that are able to provide more accurate inventory and delivery data than ever before. As more and more municipalities enrich their fiber networks, and more businesses gain access to tracking sensors and software, expect to see this trend become even more prominent.
As we already noted in our previous entry, e-commerce is booming, with more people shopping online than ever before. But that’s not the only way the Internet has changed the retail space. Wireless broadband has the potential to impact it even further. Currently, augmented reality tech is mostly limited to smart glasses nobody really buys and Snapchat filters.
Moving forward, expect some enterprising brick-and-mortar stores to incorporate AR tech into their stores in various ways. Swedish retailer IKEA is already leading the pack in that regard, with an app that allows users to see how various furniture items will look in their home. Other possible applications of AR in general (and broadband specifically) include location-based deals, mobile checkout and pre-purchase options, voice search, and more.
Centuries ago, farmers had to take an incredibly hands-on approach with their crops, keeping a close eye on their well-being and operating with a combination of instinct, intuition, and experience. Modern farming technology has taken a lot of the guesswork out of this process. Wireless broadband promises to make it more refined still.
Soil quality, humidity, chemical levels, air quality, temperature…these are all things that can be tracked. And through automation, a farmer can implement a system that automatically adjusts itself to keep all of these factors within an ideal range.
A Bright Future Ahead
The world is changing, and it’s changing fast. As wireless broadband becomes more widely-available, more industries than just the ones we’ve mentioned here will tap into its potential. More industries than what we’ve listed above will change and evolve.
And we look forward to seeing how.
Dean Madison is the president of TD Madison & Associates. The company is founded on the principle of providing a more predictable approach for evaluating the culture, strategic fit and qualifications of potential candidates for key senior level positions within the cable and telecom industries.