Ask an Expert from the MCOB Executive Advisory Council - (1) How is the fiber optic network changing our lives? (2) What are smart machines and how will they change our lives?

Andy Newton

(1) How is the fiber optic network changing our lives?  The copper infrastructure that has been in place for decades has served us well, but today we have extreme demands for bandwidth, and copper has reached its limits.  At Southern Light, we say that fiber is “futureproof.”  The devices we attach to fiber networks to distribute bandwidth have enormous capabilities and our ability to expand bandwidth on those devices is increasing more rapidly than demand.  With unlimited bandwidth, new technologies are exploding.  Soon, all of the programming content we now receive from satellite or cable providers will be available a la carte over the internet.  You won’t have to buy $150 per month channel packages.  Instead you’ll pay a little more for internet over fiber and then watch TV over the internet with no latency.  The Internet of Things and Smart Machines are developing rapidly, too. 

 (2) What are smart machines and how will they change our lives?  I think of Smart Machines as devices that perform human-like tasks; they seem to think for themselves.  Objects will soon be interconnected in a way that will automate parts of our lives that we never imagined.  Our refrigerators and pantries will have an electronic inventory complete with expiration dates that will order our groceries for us.  Cars will communicate with each other to avoid accidents and drive autonomously.  When your car or an appliance senses a need for repair, it will contact the service department, make sure the parts are in their inventory, and then schedule your appointment at a time when you’re not busy.  We will be amazed by what is possible once bandwidth is unlimited and ubiquitous.   

Andy Newton
President and CEO
107 St. Francis Street, Suite 1800
Mobile, Alabama 36602


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