The Fourth Utility

Telecommunications, and the infrastructure that supports the idea of being connected, has almost become as important as utilities such as electricity. If electricity fails, there are plans for backup power. But, if you lose your IT network, then operating a business becomes impossible. If your connectivity is based on only two or three traditional carriers, then it is time to ensure your understanding of whether or not those carrier assets are actually physically diverse.

Today, many scenarios allow common points or what we call “overlaps” in interconnection that create the potential disaster of a single point of failure. The facilities that house these interconnection points are not always purposefully built. Too often they are located in urban environments with unprotected manholes, which make them susceptible to manmade and natural disasters.

As we move into the IoT world, we need the connectivity to be reliably available everywhere. We need devices enabled to coordinate financial transactions, based on real-time information. We need security and life-saving healthcare monitoring applications. And, we need enterprises to be able to offer customers access to goods and services. The luxury of access, what was once simply nice to have, is now a must-have. Just a little more than a decade ago, smartphones were nonexistent. Today’s phones are more powerful than any computer you may have had in your home or at work before. They are becoming the network hub for our daily routines of work productivity, transportation, banking, family connection and daily recreation.

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