A Passion for Quality

I confess, I really like stuff that works. I don’t appreciate bugs and workarounds. Computers and software are particularly bad offenders. That’s why if I can’t control component quality myself (I build my own desktop computers), I’d rather trust vertically integrated products (e.g. Microsoft Surface, Google Nexus, Apple products). Vertical integration in its purest form is where the supply chain of a company is owned by that company. From a consumer perspective that means a greater focus on quality for all components of a service. In the computer world the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model describes all the components required to function optimally for services to work well. My passion for quality also happens to be why I have found my career focus on telecom (layer 1) and telecom engineering (layer 0), especially in a rural environment. If telecom does not work, not much else does.


Very Important Home Repairs – Attic Ventilation

A well running attic is critical for your home’s comfort… and to prevent water damage!  If your home was built circa mid-1980s it is likely that all your attics are broken (unless someone fixed them already). My father, a building inspector, tells me this was because it was fashionable to blow in insulation in the 70’s/80’s but no baffles were pre-installed to keep the soffits from being blocked. This is an inexpensive repair and well worth the effort. Check that soffits are not blocked and that there are gable vents. An active vent may indicate a work-around as all you need is inactive vents if the soffits are not blocked. What happens if your attic is broken? Interior is extremely hot in hot weather, extremely cold in cold weather. Air conditioners work overtime. Ice dams occur. You will get water damage (with mold & rotting wood) at extremely cold temperatures (-30C / -22F) due to the temperature differentials (ask me how I know).


Is LTE *the* killer wireless technology?

Great article about LTE: with respect to being THE technology for mobile broadband (smartphones and tablets). Alex Wanda posits that LTE may replace all other radio technologies. I agree it might for the near term do so from a Major Telco player perspective. However, from hard to reach rural locations where the population density does not support a major player serving the market, I disagree. In these instances, enterprise networks demand service level agreements that either an existing LTE service cannot meet or the LTE service simply does not exist. And a business that is not a telecommunications company does not consider telecommunications an asset but a utility enabling their business. So they will not want to make the considerably larger investment for LTE hardware and spectrum. For businesses with rural assets something that makes more sense is a mix of backhaul technologies (TDD wireless, FDD wireless, unlicensed & licensed, wired – copper, fiber) and a mix of last mile technologies (wired – copper, fiber & WiFi) that provide SLAs and mobile broadband to their workforce. And push-to-talk still rules the day in terms of reach and propagation characteristics that enable it to access hard to reach areas – it’s still the communications method of choice for first responders. There just isn’t a silver bullet.