All these changes, with larger volumes and changing user needs, require network providers and managers to prepare for new and unexpected demands on their infrastructure and operations.
Pepper said wireless networks are going to need more spectrum, "and fiber to every antenna, fiber to every village -- a T-1 connection to the antenna is not going to cut it."
Ethical issues emerge
Keynote speaker David Suzuki, a Canadian ecologist, noted that humans are now the most numerous species of any mammal in the world. "There are more humans than rats, or rabbits," he said. He warned that exponential growth of human demands on the planet has led to climate change, and could lead to potential ecological disaster.
Suzuki challenged communications industry professionals to apply their insights and innovations to more informed policies and practices. The conference itself featured a number of presentations focused on "green IT." Another focus was economic development for underserved areas of the Pacific, especially island nations and rural populations, through broadband projects.
Communications ethicist Thomas Cooper presented research showing that ethical considerations are far more prevalent in industry discussions now than they were in the 1990s. Cooper reported the top five communication ethics areas observed, in order: privacy; information security; freedom of information and censorship; digital divide; intellectual property and patent protection.
Cooper emphasized that communications ethics involves not only "red light" issues such as regulating negative impacts of invasion of privacy and cybercrime, but also "green light" issues such as education, telemedicine and e-democracy. Cooper forecast that the communications industry will continue to face these intertwined challenges, and urged PTC delegates to be ready to participate in both.
Intelligent-community contenders selected
New York-based think tank Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) announced at the conference its annual "Top Seven" semifinalists for the Intelligent Community of the Year award. The winner will be revealed at the ICF's June 2011 conference at NYU-Poly University in Brooklyn.
The ICF selects the Intelligent Community list based on how advanced communities are in deploying broadband; building a knowledge-based workforce; combining government and private-sector "digital inclusion"; fostering innovation and marketing economic development. This year's selection also includes emphasis on community health, especially in using information and communication technologies for its support, and in building health-related business clusters.
As announced by ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla, the 2011 intelligent city finalists are:
Pacific Telecommunications Council's 2012 meeting dates have also been announced. The 34th annual meeting will be in Honolulu at the Hilton Hawai'ian Village, Jan. 15-18, 2012.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.