Monetizing Broadband through Cooperacy


Monetize means to convert something to money and this can be achieved quite simply by selling something.  Another way might be to take a tool or service that you have and use it in different ways to create money perhaps by utilizing it in such a fashion as to save your money being spent on other purposes. 

What then are the best ways to monetize that broadband connection that you have or should have? How do you monetize that communications service that you pay for.  How does your community monetize its broadband network?  The obvious ways are to use the Internet not just for data but for voice, television, and security systems. What are some others?

I’m thinking that there has to be others that are offered either free or at very little cost.  There is of course VOIP services like Skype which you can use to stay in touch with friends and family.  You can get a VOIP service provider to give you virtually all the capabilities and features you have on your analogue phone.

I got to thinking about this as my son doesn’t watch television anymore, nor I, especially now, since we cancelled it.  He doesn’t use the phone which we still have, perhaps mostly for nostalgia, as he talks with his friends, actually conferences with several at a time, over the Internet, or uses his cell phone.

What is this future generation watching? I know Youtube is one, but I’m wondering what other free channels, that is, URLs, as well?  I’m surprised that there is not a new version of  TV Guide called Free TV Guide.  Television was initially free.  Remember all those TV antennae on the roofs of houses with rotators.  All you had to do was to buy a television and an antenna, a one time charge.  Now you have to pay monthly to watch advertisements.  Have we been duped?  Shouldn’t the advertisers be paying for our service?

Well, we can still listen to radio free of charge and even monetize our broadband further by being able to listen to radio stations in other cities and countries, thanks to Internet radio.

You have a smart phone but no cell coverage.  With a soft phone app on your smart phone you can communicate using WiFi on your smart phone to take even more advantage of your residential broadband Internet gateway while lowering your cellular usage costs.

For HAM operators we can even use the Internet to make connections throughout the world.

For rural and remote communities, distance learning has to be another way of monetizing that broadband connection. You no longer have to pay for  travel to get to class.  Anyone else with some thoughts on reducing your costs by monetizing your broadband connection and virtual vacations don’t count?

Just thought of another one, not so direct, but still appropriate, and that is selling all those items we possess that are no longer used through classified ads or bartering.

Basically these are personal and family ways to monetize that broadband connection.  Now, how many ways are there for a community to monetize their broadband?  Well, in order to even think about this the community really needs to own their network infrastructure, otherwise the monetization process benefits others.

Assuming then that your community owns their network, hopefully through a cooperative endeavor, cooperacy, and not local municipal government, some of the ways that this broadband network may be monetized are: local phone service; promote local buying through a community portal; local web hosting; community WiFi for tourists and visitors; local radio broadcasting; local video streaming for council meetings and event coverage; Big Box stores without big boxes through affiliate marketing; promote local trade; local coupons; local classified ads; surveillance; water monitoring; meter reading; precision farming; and local fund-raising online.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Locality of Application Tsunami


Application Internet Exchanges (AIX) are inevitable and will be facilitated by what is called cloud computing data centers which will transition and evolve accordingly.  Consequently community broadband application cooperatives are bound to happen.

We have tiered access to the Internet where we have providers that provide us with personal, home, and business access to the Internet.  Correspondingly, we have a second tier of providers providing services to the aforementioned tier one providers.  A similar tiered network will occur involving software applications and to some extent this has already occurred.  Some companies have unwittingly blundered into the opportunity; but the total market potential of locality of application has not been recognized as yet.

My personal experience with community broadband surveys is that most of the communications stays within the community.  You just have to look at the demand for local news.  If the only alternative for access to applications goes outside of the community anyone can readily and blatantly postulate and theorize that the growing trend will be outside of the community.

Data communications and telecommunications are going through a technological merger.  Data communication companies have been considerably more adept through this evolution and at making the transition because for the most part they have controlled the content and haven’t been burdened by legacy systems and introverted thinking.  Content, like software applications, vertical or horizontal, will prevail and drive connectivity.

Low-cost bandwidth will come about through competition at all levels: community, county, region, state and country.  The cost of technology is such that local community empowerment, local sustainability, and local self reliance is quite achievable and makes better use of local resources in more ways than one.

Demand by its very definition is neither static nor stationary as it invokes responsive change.  The benefits of locality of reference will always disappear when there is no local alternative; but inevitably market forces will prevail.  We have been and are being technologically bullied and like sheeple most of us just blindly follow the herd.

The premise for this blog is based on my personal education, experience, expertise, and observations.  This of course leads to my theorizing that locality of application, insourcing, distributed processing, tiered cloud-in-a-box technology, and whatever technological tools and methodology to empower communities locally will always outweigh the alternatives.

What is really needed is application peering in a distributed fashion down to the community level.   This is more of an evolution based on demand.  With respect to telecommunications, originally private branch exchanges were switch boards manned by operators who were then replaced by electromechanical switches and those subsequently replaced by digital PBX technology which has evolved to IP PBXs and virtual IP PBXs.  Distributed technology and processing when economically viable, and in most cases it is, will always take precedence unless outside factors, like legislation, dictates otherwise.

Another example of locality is the mainframe which has evolved to a new role.  The mainframe’s “general” commercial usage was usurped by the personal computer and servers.  When you aggregate the number of PCs and servers, and support costs in large companies and government to displace the mainframe, this was not a lower cost displacement but a local empowerment one for users, organizations, and corporations selling the technology.  We’re going through another version of locality of empowerment with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where people insist on using their own personal devices in their workplace.

For every outsourced solution there should be an insourced solution where it can economically fit.  In other words, there should be community non-hosted solutions for relevant hosted solutions.  We personally don’t use hosted solutions ourselves if we can’t have a non-hosted version of it.

Taking the concept of insourcing and outsourcing a little further, backup and recovery  is another great example of locality of application.  Technology exists today to backup your personal computer and your business server both from a non-hosted perspective and a hosted perspective.  Novastor, http://www.novastor.com and several other companies have software which can be installed on your local computers and backup your critical data to external devices locally.  You can then go store the device in your bank’s safety deposit box if you want.  This is your first level of backup and recovery.  Most ISPs and WISPs offer local backup and recovery to some extent in your communities.  They in turn may back-up and even grandfather-father-son your data to colocation and cloud computing centers outside of the community.

There is a myriad of applications like accounting, social media networking, online games, CRM, CMS, etc. that can be similarly recognized and treated as both local and remote, hosted and non-hosted, outsourced and insourced versions.  There is a huge market opportunity awaiting the right buzzwords to entice the sheeple.

Smart phone technology is another good indicator of this next enormous wave coming in technology.  As I mentioned earlier the myriad of applications will inevitably include smart phone apps becoming more localized.  After reading such books as “Android Apps for Absolute Beginners” there is no reason that applications and their corresponding smart phone apps like OpenTable, Uber, Zillow, Yelp, DemandForce, GrubHub, 1stdibs, and Peixe Urbano could not be readily replicated locally to the benefit of the community.  Again, there is a huge market opportunity not only awaiting the right marketing buzzwords, but local entrepreneurs with a little geeky savvy.

The new reality, that is, centalization, is merely a transitional stepping stone brought on by a mere local absence through lack of foresight and hindsight which like a void will be filled.  Its inevitable, as it is human nature to seek local empowerment.  Those companies not addressing both centralized and corresponding distributed versions of their software and sell accordingly will inevitably fail to those who do.

Let me try to be more succinct about the consequences of not having locality of application.  Let us say we live in a rural community whose backhaul, that is, access to the Internet goes down, perhaps because of disaster, or more likely because someone has inadvertently dug up the fiber.  The community no longer has access to all those centralized applications like social media networking, or heaven forbid, applications which utilize public safety, like amber alerts.

The “scale of information flow and velocity” will inevitably be distribution first, centralization second, and that has already been realized but ignored for the time being.

Let’s take even another example, video conferencing.  Video conferencing applications exist today, which are free by the way, to run on community servers.  The expertise to create such an app has in all likelihood been done virtually perhaps by some geek who farms part time and not necessarily by some geek in a 30th floor apartment.  So, you want a video image of yourself, perhaps even that Darth Vader holographic image of yourself, presenting in a virtual board room.  Let’s call this application, VY, for Virtually Yours, and it is a centralized application developed locally by that same geek, and now your image needs to be constantly transported across a terabyte data stream to a board room in a distant community.  Would it not make more sense to have VY in each community so that only your virtual image criteria is transmtted and not consuming vast amounts of bandwidth while doing your virtual presentation, along with holographic images of those board members who actually reside and work in that community?

Let’s take even a more practical and more immediate application, a final example, like classifed ads. Would it not make more sense to have a classifed ad application resident on a local community server where most of these kinds of transactions are made?  Now assume this application, a micro application, is resident on communities all around the world.  Your micro application can then become a macro application to do searches, not just on a community level but a regional level, a state level, and a country level, so that you can find your Darth Vader mask that you lost while on a world wide vacation with Chubaka.  In other words, look for a distributed version of Craigslist, and eventually VY, that can become a macro version through an AIX.

Cloud computing has merely made this perspective foggy, not cloudy and only Application Internet Exchanges will be able to facilitate the cloud dispersion and locality of application.

Like the universe, constant expansion of empowerment is inevitable, unless it is taken away.  Now, where and when will the earthquake happen that will precipitate this tsunami and will some type of fracturing cause it?

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Outsource and Outhouse, or Cooperacy


We have hotels, motels, restaurants, theatres, sports fields, mass transit, car rentals, taxis, and public washrooms.  So, why do we have houses when we can outsource our sleeping accommodations, outsource our kitchen, outsource our entertainment, outsource our transportation, and outsource our bathroom facilities?  For the most part, we can probably sleep better, eat better and not have to worry about cleaning up after ourselves.  You know, we could become homeless. 

 A little while ago I made a comparison to the implications of outsourcing your bathroom to centralized computing applications in a previous posting “Shearing and Slaughtering of Sheeple“.

If you are a farmer and self-sufficient and self sustainable, or belong to a utility or food cooperative you have basically insourced your water supply, insourced your food supply, insourced your communications, and/or insourced your power supply. 

 So, why is it that we outsource our social media networking, our classified ads, and other cloud computing applications?  Why haven’t we formed community broadband application cooperatives to foster local development and ensure adequate access to broadband infrastructure?

Inhouse or outhouse; isn’t it really about convenience and efficiency?  The technological term is locality of reference.

You really have to be loco not to be local.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Data Center’s Back to the Future


When I graduated from University, I worked for Control Data and one of my jobs while there was AIC (Analyst In Charge) of a data center operation.  It was my job to ensure the multi million dollar mainframes ran smoothly.  If problems occurred it was my job to ascertain whether it was a hardware or software issue and coordinate its resolution.  Those were the days when the cost of computers and running computer applications was so exorbitant only a few could justify the cost.  Sharing, that is, timesharing, became an economical way for many companies to use central processing technology through data center operations.  Initially the processing power was shared through batch processing, that is, submitting computer programs through card decks to run.  Then came dumb terminals and batch terminals making RJE (Remote Job Entry) easier using telephone lines, either leased lines or dial-up lines.

Today timesharing has been relabeled cloud computing by the sheeple herders and we’re moving back to the past in a lot of perspectives.  The information pioneer paths of yesterday have been replaced by information superhighways of fibre, copper, cable and wireless mediums.  This is being driven by the Internet whose creation was based on an open distributed architecture with no single point of failure.  For instance, social media networking, like Facebook, are examples of centralized processing, and we use the Internet to access those applications. 

Co-location facilities are another type of data center where companies store and run their servers to take advantage of economies of scale associated with power, air conditioning, and bandwidth.  They are basically a secure and fail safe environment which was once the domain of companies offering disaster backup facilities.

Yesterday’s data centers today are called cloud data centers and will inevitably become community cloud data centers.  These community data centers or community media centers, or whatever their designation, will fulfill local economic empowerment through insourcing, not outsourcing.  These data centers will share processing, and storage facilities, and even disaster backup facilities, all locally in the community, because the economies of scale are there to empower the community with their own resources.

Back to the Future can all be brought about by another type of DeLorean, a Community Development Cooperative.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Shearing and Slaughtering of Sheeple


The shearing and slaughtering of the intellectual and resource capacity of sheeple through cloud computing is becoming more and more apparent.  Picture these sheep below (wished I could give credit to the originator) as users of cloud computing applications where you are giving up private and confidential information and paying monthly revenue to do so.  Personal computers were initially very empowering technological tools; that’s what made Bill Gates filthy rich.  Then came the Internet and communication and collaboration on a scale never before achieved much to the chagrin of pathological globalists.  To counter, the process of shearing using these same tools is now practiced by globalists; little by little robbing you of your empowerment while making you pay for it.  Are you starting to feel indentured?  If not, are you ever going to wake up sheeple, before you are slaughtered.  To do nothing makes you as culpable as the perpetrators.

Think about it!  It makes more sense to host applications (cloud applications) within the community, perhaps through a community media center, for several reasons: it mitigates dependence on the backhaul telecommunications infrastructure; reduces the cost of the backhaul; facilitates peering of disparate networks within the community; keeps revenue in the community; can foster an open access community network; utilizes resources within the community; and maximizes local economic development.  In keeping aspects of the cloud within the community, the community itself becomes an ASP (Application Service Provider) and the content drives what is required out of their telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate local access to their applications.

Let me see if I can put it a different way. Let’s say you decide to give up your home’s bathroom in favor of using a public one, that is, outsource it,  for a number of reasons: you no longer have to maintain it; associated sundry items through massive bulk buying becomes cheaper; you now know what your monthly costs are for defacating;  you don’t need tools like a toilet plunger any longer; you don’t have to worry about its air conditioning or heat or humidity; you no longer have to be concerned about how much water and electricity it consumes;  you get some added space back for storage because the garage is full; and you hopefully no longer have to contend with other family members in getting access. Of course the downside is that now: you have to travel a little further, especially if the public facilities are in a different community; you are now paying a monthly usage cost, perhaps in a different community, for defacating; it may be inconveniently closed due to a backup; the local plumber goes bankrupt and loses his home; the local bathroom shop goes out of business; the local hardware store downsizes and lays staff off; maintenance staff may be on strike; the road you travel may be congested or under construction; and all your neighbors have also been caught up by the mindless hype and have done the same thing putting an enormous demand on the transportation highways. Infrastructure requirements are lessened the closer the bathrooms are to your homes, and, as with telecommunication requirements, the closer your information needs are met to your homes the less you are going to need infrastructure.

I still wish I had my old cell phone which was also a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and it would synch directly with my personal little cloud on my very personal computer without putting any burden whatsoever on the Internet. Crap, my smart phone now can’t synch directly with my less than personal computer unless it goes into the cloud storing the information somewhere in the world along with thousands of others.

Bottom line is that distributed processing is far superior to centralized processing because it puts less burden on the telecommunications infrastructure and more importantly it is more empowering and autonomous. Hence a cloud in a box, insourcing, can mitigate telecommunication infrastructure through meeting tiered information requirements: personal cloud, family cloud, corporate cloud, community cloud, etc.

To contemplate udderwise is sheer udder noncents.

What Happen$ in the Sheep Pen $tay$ in the Sheep Pen!

Think In-a-Box; Think about-a-Box: Think!


When is thinking in-a-box a good thing when we should be thinking out of the box to resolve community broadband issues.  I’ve thought outside of the box so long I don’t know where it is anymore and sometimes need direction  to find it.  For all you other non-conformists start thinking about solutions in a box. 

Anyone recall a company in the 1900s called Whistle Communications, whose product the InterJet was meant for a turnkey corporate Internet solution and was picked up by many ISPs for an ISP-in-a-box solution.  The company was acquired by IBM in 1999, http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/2155.wss and the solution was basically shelved, www.whistle.com .   Then along came Net Integration Technologies Inc. with its Mark product.  Again, this company was acquired by IBM in 2008,  http://www-3.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23325.wss and once again shelved, www.nitix.com.  So, all you local ISPs out there who have piecemealed together comparable in-a-box systems you should see a pattern and an opportunity.  There is a South African firm, inX, putting together a virtual in-a-box solution using cloud computing, a revirtualized ISP-in-a-box solution.  Also Wireless Mundi out of Spain has put together a number of box lunch solutions including an ISP-in-a-box solution and, get this, a cloud-in-a-box solution, finally someone gets it.  Look for acquistion by globalists shortly.

Every local community ISP or WISP has basically thought outside of the box and piecemealed comparable in-a-box solutions ready to be packaged and commercialized.

Look at your community as an enterprise which essentially needs the same fundamental aspects such as an Intranet and Extranet capability. Why not view the community as a corporation, a cooperative?

An Intranet of course basically uses an internal communications network and server to facilitate the coordinated sharing of information within the corporation and an Extranet shares some of that information with those outside of the corporate network. The corporate network is double fire walled to prevent unwarranted intrusion from within and from without. Basically the infrastructure and the corporation’s applications are a corporate cloud and appliances have been built to facilitate this cloud.

The corporate cloud is a type of community cloud. There is the community’s Intranet where local retailers, associations, and institutions are like divisions within a company supporting the community internally and then there is the community’s Extranet where the community’s businesses are the trading window of the community’s products and services.

Resolving urban, suburban, rural and remote broadband can be easily achieved through a cooperative community cloud appliance complete with an Intranet and Extranet.

Well, I’m sure that you’ve heard about community-in-a-box but have you heard of radio-in-a-box?  Regardless, think about a box, a co-op-in-a-box!

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Cooperacy through Community Stakeholders and Shareholders


Cooperacy is defined as the four C’s: Community, Content, Connectivity, and Cooperation.  Community Development Cooperatives, CDCs, represent demographic areas which may be rural and remote communities, incorporated or unincorporated municipalities, urban or suburban communities.  CDCs may collectively organize as a federation of cooperatives to the benefit of a larger geographic and demographic area which may then encompass counties, districts, states, and countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_federation

Perhaps to make things more simplistic a graphical representation of what your community needs to do to empower itself with its own resources is needed.  So, below you have on the left community stakeholders made up of the community’s residents, businesses, associations and institutions in the form of a cooperative, either for profit or not for profit.  On the right you have an enterprise, a company, a corporation with shares controlled 51% by the community development cooperative.  The remaining 49% may be made up of investments by individuals or corporations or institutions.  Those investors may have an exit strategy in which case the enterprise could become wholly owned by the CDC and eventually become a cooperative endeavor itself.  The enterprise may return profits in the form of dividends back to the shareholders and hence the stakeholders, the CDC.  The enterprise could be a cannery, lumber company, casino, utility company, or whatever; but for our broadband purposes and its importance to local economic development, let’s call the enterprise a community media centre.

Separating stakeholders from shareholders has the initial advantage of efficiency and bringing resources through incentives to a community that might not have the necessary resources.  It also has the advantage of protecting the interests of incumbents and fostering their business, such as the local ISP or local newspaper.

The biggest difficulty is finding a community champion and getting started.  I advocate initially creating C-3PO which could in turn evolve into a CDC.  Basically, a few companies and/or individuals with required skills may get together to create a community cloud cooperative, a community portal cloud, the community’s economic development content seed.

A great example of this cooperacy is in Sangudo, Alberta, Canada, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgZzi80Jwns where the local development cooperative, Sangudo Opportunity Development Co-operative, facilitated a custom meat packer.  Cooperacy follows a tribal model, just as Native Americans and Canada’s First Nations have been creating businesses such as lumber companies, canneries, casinos, etc. using this methodology. 

A CDC would then form a community foundation.  Local government could transfer public land into the foundation for bond issues to facilitate schools or other community needs.  

The possibilities are immense.

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