Having squandered past opportunities and shirked previous commitments, we now must start making up for lost time.
By Mary Robinson – Covid-19 turned the world upside down in 2020. But it has also shown us that when there is a political consensus for action, human ingenuity and innovation can be deployed at the scale and speed needed to meet global challenges.
With unprecedented speed, we have developed, tested and begun to deploy multiple effective vaccines for Covid-19. Now we must bring the same resolve to bear on fighting the other great existential threat to humanity: climate change. As the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, put it last month, ‘our future security and prosperity depend on bold climate action’.
And yet, even at the most recent Climate Ambition Summit on December 12th, many leaders’ commitments still fell far short of what is needed to meet this collective challenge. To be sure, the European Union, the United Kingdom and even some of the smaller countries that are most vulnerable to climate change have significantly strengthened their 2030 emissions-reduction targets. But the United States, Japan, China and other major greenhouse-gas emitters still need to follow suit, preferably well ahead of the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this coming November. Given the crisis we face, there are no more excuses for delay or prevarication. more>
How the city of Philadelphia plans to measure its digital divide
By Sarah Wray – The City of Philadelphia has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to rapidly quantify the number of households that are without Internet connectivity or relying on unstable, low-bandwidth options.
The RFP, issued with non-profit the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, seeks to enable the city to benchmark its progress on closing the digital divide and inform the next phase of policy, program and budget decisions.
Mark Wheeler, Chief Information Officer, City of Philadelphia, told Cities Today: “To address digital equity problems, the City of Philadelphia needs to be able to benchmark its impact with programmes like PHLConnectED.”
“The city seeks feedback from firms or research agencies who have the means to measure Internet use (by type of technology) by Philadelphia households. We are looking for any and all ways to achieve quantifiable measures,” said Wheeler. “Because we are smart city and innovation-oriented, proposals that make sophisticated use of commercial data modelling and artificial intelligence are of particular interest.”
Closing the digital divide has shot to the top of cities’ priority lists amid the pandemic as everything from work to shopping for essentials and even access to critical information and services has shifted online. Access to education has been a particularly urgent concern. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Accelerate mission response with a simpler, Adaptive Network
Jim Westdorp, Ciena Government Chief Technologist, outlines how a holistic, end-to-end networking approach can help agencies meet growing digital and cybersecurity demands.
By Jim Wesdorp – The rapid transition to remote work and constituent demands for improved user experiences are challenging government agencies to digitize services—from tax payments to employee benefits. At the same time, government databases are increasingly becoming major targets for individual and nation-backed attackers. Budgetary constraints and diminishing tech expertise only complicate matters as agencies struggle to balance cost- and performance-optimization alongside cyber resiliency.
So how can government agencies accelerate digital transformation, defend against hackers, and support legacy applications and complex infrastructures?
The answer: a network infrastructure that is simpler to manage. Modern IT and communications can enable automation, improve performance, and help assure cyber resiliency at a time when government agencies are under unprecedented pressure to deliver services quickly and securely.
It takes more than technology, though, to simplify a network. A foundational step in any modernization effort is to conduct an inventory of a network’s physical assets, from routers to servers, and determine both the network elements and attached management software used to construct it. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Skills, Technology