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Services on FiberPaloAlto™

Crystal Clear Telephone

VoIP. Telephone, or "voice", service on FiberPaloAlto™ will likely be packet-based and will use, as the service is more commonly known, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Though packet-based voice transmissions have been available for some time using computers, microphones, and speakers, the early quality of "phone calls over the Internet" left something to be desired. Because voice data in these previous environments was treated the same as all other data transmitted over the Internet, "phone calls over the Internet" competed with other data transmissions for priority and delivery of packets, and thus these phone calls experienced interruptions, loss, and delay. 

Better Phone Service. FiberPaloAlto™ will prioritize voice data so that it takes precedence over standard data transmissions. This ensures an uninterrupted conversation without lag or loss. Numerous companies have perfected VoIP technology and, using the FiberPaloAlto™ network, will be able to provide telephone service that not only equals, but exceeds, the quality and reliability of phone service currently available using the copper lines connected to your phone.

More Feature Choices. Additionally, because voice is transmitted as data, there will be many more services potentially available for telephone service over FiberPaloAlto™. True full-motion video phone calls could finally be an option. Caller ID can be displayed on your computer or on your TV screen if you wish. Local service calling areas could be expanded. The potential options are numerous.

True Competition. Perhaps most important, FiberPaloAlto™ will facilitate competition, which keeps service rates at market levesl. Since FiberPaloAlto™ will be an open-access network, consumers will eventually have numerous choices for telephone service providers. Even without the added benefits that VoIP delivers, that in itself makes FiberPaloAlto™ an exciting option for telephone service.

Video (Television, HDTV, and Video On Demand)

IPTV. Service providers offering video programming on FiberPaloAlto™ will likely deliver digital content via Internet Protocol (IP). Although IP Video had its challenges in the past, those issues have been resolved and IPTV technology is now solid.  Experience quality high definition television (HD) when your HD channels are hosted on fiber. Hewlett-Packard has a cool new product, the HP MediaSmart Connect, that brings HD video, music, and photo content together from all over; your hard drives, thumb drives, pocket media drives, the Internet, your TV channels, your DVD, your DVR. The cable guys compress the HD signals they send you so they can cram more HD signals on their cable. Notice pixelization occasionally occurs, or you can’t change channels quickly during standard station break times, on the hours and half-hours? That’s your service provider offering you HD choice on the cheap. Their network was never designed to handle the digital demand growing so rapidly today. Demand FiberPaloAlto™.

Digital Video Recording – Time Shifting. Watch TV at your convenience, not when the broadcasters send their programming out. You will gain control of your days and nights like never before, and commercial interruptions become a distant memory; you just skip the commercials. Because IP video packets are essentially data packets, video content can be manipulated in ways analog broadcasts could never be. VCR-type functionality with Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) for IP programming, such as pause, rewind, fast-forward, and so on, can enhance the viewing experience for subscribers. Users may be able to customize their viewing experience by choosing from various available camera angles, by time-shifting their favorite programs, recording several programs at the same time, and even by selecting specific aspects of content, such as which news stories to listen to during the evening news. 

Video on Demand. Along with interactive TV programming, users can benefit from video-on-demand and extensive on-line movie libraries. The ease of distributing video over FiberPaloAlto™ should spawn a significant increase in consumer-based content, including real-time distribution of live local public events local school sporting events or dramatic performances, educational seminars, and so on. City Council meetings, now provided by the Media Center, could be greatly improved by a more robust archive capability and many other features such as those offered by Granicus. Users will also be able to customize access to video programming: by creating distinct user accounts that require logging in, parents can limit the type, timing, and amount of video programs each of their children can access.

Full Screen Internet Video. Little bitty video on a great big screen will be a thing of the past with FiberPaloAlto. It’s all about the bandwidth capability of the network serving you. Copper and hybrid fiber networks the other guys have (they call it “fiber”, but their fiber ends blocks away, their’s is really Copper to the Home (CTTH)). Their remodeled copper networks with their closed network architecture just can’t do the heavy lifting full screen Internet video requires, and FiberPaloAlto will deliver. So the other guys take out full page ads and fill the airwaves telling you how satisfied you are with their crummy capabilities, hoping you don’t catch on, and join FiberPaloAlto™.

Multiple Video Service Providers. Traditional programming content (local broadcast channels, specialty channels, etc.) is determined by the service providers, but the open-access nature of FiberPaloAlto™ should ensure that multiple video service providers will constantly compete to deliver the type of programming content consumers demand, all on the same fiber. That brings one-click choice and true competition into play.

Ultra-High-Speed Internet

Much Faster, No Waiting. Perhaps the most noticeable performance increase in telecom services over FiberPaloAlto™ will be in intranet and Internet service. Currently, Internet users have two cost-effective options for accessing the internet: dial-up service (using modems that operate between 28.8 and 56 Kbps baud) or little broadband (also referred to as narrowband), including satellite, DSL, and cable modems (typically between 256Kbps and 8 Mbps down only, about 1/10 of that speed up). Faster connections with symmetrical service (T-3 and higher) are too expensive for average homeowners and small business owners.

Symmetric Speed. FiberPaloAlto™ will support symmetric Internet connections (the same speed uploading and downloading) that are hundreds (100 Mbps connections) and even thousands (1 Gbps connections) of times faster than the best current little broadband connections.

As a minimum, FiberPaloAlto™ will deliver 100 Mbps of bandwidth to every connected home and up to1 Gbps of bandwidth to every business. Not all of that needs to be allocated to Internet connectivity, but it can be, if desired, on a dynamic basis (that means computers and algorithms behind the scenes will take care of your needs real time). Though this may be overkill for simple web surfing and email access, it is important to note that services are converging.  Video, voice, and data are becoming intertwined. Video and voice transmissions are being digitized and can be transmitted as "data" over the Internet. The need for higher capacity connections is increasing rapidly. While other technologies like cable and DSL may realize modest increases in capacity over time, they will never match the nearly unlimited capacity of fiber.

Future Services on FiberPaloAlto™

Check it out below. When it launches, FiberPaloAlto™ will offer at least the three most popular telecommunications services: telephone service, Internet and intranet access, and video programming. Though these may be the most commonly considered applications of broadband, they by no means represent the full potential of the network. As the network matures, additional service providers will begin developing and marketing complementary and supplementary services, like these:

Energy Saving

Energy management. “Energy management may be far more viable for fighting global warming than any alternative energy source,” the director of the McKinsey Global Institute is telling The New York Times. City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is well positioned to lead our community to big energy savings with “smart meters” connected to CPAU using a special FiberPaloAlto™ program. If Edison SmartConnect™ from Southern California Edison and the SmartMeter™ program announced by Pacific Gas and Electric in 2006 can do it, so can CPAU.


House Calls. Remember when doctors made house calls? Doctors will, in effect, be coming to see you again in the comfort of your own home, thanks to the Intel Health Guide just approved by the FDA. Shut-ins, the handicapped, when you are real sick and just can’t move, doctors are about to make house calls again. Remote, real-time monitoring of vital signs; interactive virtual "office visits" within the home; surgeries performed in local hospitals by physicians half a world away; robotic surgeries, instantaneous data transmission to labs and off-site experts; interactive consulting with physicians in other locations — the possibilities are legion. The tremendous speeds and capacities that fiber affords will radically improve the way we provide healthcare both in local clinics as well as within the comfort of our own homes.

Real Time Video Conferencing and TelePresence

Meetings are Fun Again. Cisco and Hewlett-Packard both have systems that make meetings fun again, and easy to attend, no matter where you are in the world. True full-frame, smooth video will make frequent on-site visits less necessary for businesses, with significant travel costs saved. No longer constrained to postage-stamp sized images on a computer screen with choppy motion, businesses can invite participants to virtually attend meetings from any location, and FiberPaloAlto™ bandwidth will support wall-sized images with surround sound audio. Conference participants of large seminars can pay an enrollment fee and save travel and lodging expenses and can still participate, real-time, in a simulated conference/seminar experience. Instantaneous client interactions from your desktop computer with full-screen video and audio connections will improve everyday business.

Distance Learning

Learn from the Best. The elimination of boundaries of time and space will revolutionize education and provide educators with the tools they have dreamed of for so long. Our community of educators, parents and students are now working together to develop interesting, creative and effective educational materials that the global educational community can use for free...courtesy of the non-profit The initial focus of Curriki is on K-12 curricula in the areas of mathematics, science, technology, reading and language arts, and languages. Other sites welcome parents and students anywhere in the world to sit in a "virtual classroom" and interact with the a class in another city; guest lecturers in distant institutions can present multimedia presentations locally; parents can use full-motion video and audio to conduct virtual parent/teacher conferences over the Internet; full-time employees with challenging schedules can enroll in education programs that deliver customized educational content fitting their schedules. These sites are growing exponentially today.

Telecommute -- Work At Home Options

Get off our streets, on to fiber.Challenges traditionally associated with the daily work commute — heavy traffic, potential accidents, greenhouse gases, pollution; wear-and-tear on vehicles, wasted commute time, etc.— as well as overhead expenses for furnishing offices with employee work space and absorbing depreciation on automobiles, can be reduced or eliminated through work-at-home options like those offered by Federal Express. But the employees must be just as productive, if not more, at home as they would be in the office, so work-at-home options must provide glitch-free and speedy access to file servers, corporate email, and other centrally located facilities and services. Secure fiber connections between employees and businesses will increase the viability of work-at-home options and can increase efficiency and corporate profitability as well as employee satisfaction.

Be a Better Host

Hosting Made Easy.FiberPaloAlto will make it possible, even easy, for everyone in town to host their own FREE website. Software today makes it easy. Our youth will make it happen.

Your cable or DSL service limits your upload speed to a trickle…1/8 to 1/16 of your download speed. Not nearly enough bandwidth to host a snappy website. With fiber, your speed changes dramatically two ways:

First, your upload speed on fiber will no longer be just a trickle, since fiber speeds are the same both directions, up and down…at the speed of light.

Second, your download speed will be several times greater than what you are experiencing today. Cable and DSL providers fail to mention that theirs is a shared service over a very limited network built decades ago. Ever notice when their networks get busy, your service gets real slow? You still pay full price, of course, because you signed up for “up to” speed. But that’s another story. Fiber service comes to you on a dedicated fiber optic strand, no sharing, no slow-downs, just blazing speed BOTH directions.

Now you can be a better host.

Home and Community Security

Security. Using broadband connections, home owners and property managers will be able to see (through video cameras) their properties over the Internet, no matter where they are in the world. Parents can check on the babysitter or on the kids' party when they are out.  Equipment and appliances in the home can be turned on and off remotely.  Repair professionals could run diagnostics on appliances before making a service call. In the event of a security breach, your house could send warnings to you wherever you may be. Peace of mind about the security of your home is just one of the many services FiberPaloAlto™ will be capable of supporting.

Interactive Game Playing

Gaming is Growing, Young and Old Alike Now Play Games.Game players will be able to connect with others around the world to play sophisticated, graphics-intensive, highly interactive games over their broadband connections. Though a limited version of this service is now available over current DSL and cable modems, it pales in comparison to the types of games a fiber network can facilitate.

Killer Ap. Games are the “killer app” in Japan, Korea and most of Asia. More realistic environments and graphics, real-time responses, collaborative strategizing and execution are all part of what the future of game playing can offer over a fiber network. Furthermore, this same technology will be used to encourage corporate training involving role playing; electronic simulator training for industrial or military equipment; and more. Driver training for automobiles, motorcycles, and aircraft can’t be far behind. Pilot training simulators are great big devices today; look for them on your flat panel display in the future.

Remote Data Storage and Retrieval

Back-up Your Computer Remotely. Businesses and households that require off-site storage for critical data will be able to send gigabytes of data to such a facility. Banks can send backups of all daily transactions to off-site facilities. Corporations and home offices alike can transmit complete back ups of all data to main offices or to designated data storage facilities. Restoring data after data loss could be as simple as letting a technician remotely log-in, evaluate/repair a problem, and send backup data to machines. Instant real-time inventory tracking and updates; simultaneously synchronized and centrally controlled price adjustments, and other enterprise resource management functions will be enormously benefited by fiber connections.

But wait, there’s more. A five-minute YouTube video that may inspire you to help our community prepare for the future. Think FiberPaloAlto™.

Most Products and Services You Will Use Tomorrow Not Yet Invented. The list above represents technology that could be available today but for access to a supporting high speed infrastructure. Even more exciting are the possibilities that the future holds…products and services not even envisioned today. The YouTube piece spotlighted above provides a few clues, and hopefully spurs you into action on behalf of FiberPaloAlto™. With the ability to scale, FiberPaloAlto™ anticipates hosting all these and many more innovative technologies and services; in fact, you can host ideas of your own directly to the Internet FREE.

Free Palo Alto

The tie that binds. The private closed networks the other guys own and want you to tie you to, to pay and pay and pay, just are not serving you in your best interests. You have witnessed all they have done and will continue to do to block an open-access municipal fiber network. Is it 1) because they love you, and want to serve you better? or is it 2) because they are greedy, and want to shake every last nickel out of your pocket. You decide, then join iPaloAlto.

Some text copyrighted by UTOPIA is used on the iPaloAlto site with UTOPIA permission.

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