Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Broadband Internet Applications

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pardon this shameless promotion…

Working for a broadband provider my co-workers and I often ask ourselves.

How long can we play the internet speed game?  DSL, FiOS, and cable modems are fighting a speed game?  One day one is faster than the other and the next day the other is faster than the others.  Can anyone really tell the difference between 5mbps and 15mps?  Unless you are a large enterprise business really pushing the limit on your internet connection how much does speed really matter?  How fast is fast enough?

or this very funny PacificTel DSL commercial

I think the real question is this.  No that we all switched from minature horses to stallions what are we going to do with our fast broadband connections at home and in our small businesses?  I think everyone is still looking for the next killer application.

First we had email.  It remains the single most popular application on the internet.  Other popular applications are on-line gaming, music, photo, and video downloads.  VOIP is really pressing the metal but one can only get so much bandwidth for voice and still have adequate bandwidth for other applications.  If you are a small business you really can expect to get more than 2 voice lines on your broadband connection and still use it to simultaniously send data upstream?

So, Verizon just announced what I think is a great application for DSL subscribers – specifically small businesses who process credit card transaction – a service that is growing by leaps and bounds.  According to Verizon:

Small and medium-sized businesses with a broadband connection from Verizon Online have a new option that offers faster discounted credit, debit and payment processing services: Verizon Merchant Services, Payments Powered by Chase Paymentech.

By using credit card processing services, offered through Chase Paymentech, businesses can expand or begin processing credit or debit transaction services for their customers. The ability to accept credit or debit payments using Verizon’s broadband-based service speeds checkouts and pleases customers.

Even more important:

Depending on the volume of transactions processed, the payment processing discounts offered to Verizon’s broadband business customers can completely or partially offset the monthly cost of the merchant’s broadband connection.

Shouldn’t our broadband connections not only make life a little easier but also help pay for the things we do everyday anyway?

More information here.

So.  What is the so what?  Credit card transactions (and the like) will now take seconds rather than minutes on a dial up connection.  To a business this means a lot especially during peak shopping hours.  This is an application that small businesses will appreciate and help them justify a DSL connection at their place of business.  And it might even pay for itself.

What other applications would you (as a business or consumer) want to see for your broadband connection (regardless of the technology)?

One that I would like to see is an integration of the cell phone “chaperon” feature with your FiOS TV service.  Chaperon service allows a parent to know where their child’s cell phone is located.  Say you give you child a cell phone and tell them they can go to the Columbia Mall with friends with clear instructions to not leave the mall.

From Verizon Wireless:

ChaperoneSM lets you easily locate your loved ones from your Verizon Wireless phone or PC – in real time.

ChaperoneSM with Child ZoneSM lets you define a zone – an area designating a school or summer camp. When the Chaperone handset enters
or leaves the zone, an alert will be sent automatically to designated Chaperone Parent handsets with text messaging capability.

Why not alert the parent on their FiOS enabled television?  Give them an alert with an interactive map.  I don’t always have my phone with me – especially when I am relaxing and watching television.

Your turn.

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