Make those minutes count

How Modern Technology Has Affected U.S. Politics

TelecomWhile this election has many people concerned and eagerly anticipating its end, there are certain notable technological advances that have had a positive effect on politics in the U.S. Here are some of the ways in which telecom technology has improved the political process.

Today’s Advances Allow Anyone to Stay Informed
Back in the early 1900s, the only way to make long-distance contact with anyone was via an expensive phone call. If people wanted to learn about what was going on across the nation, they had to be wealthy. Thanks to the availability and affordability of the internet and telecom a century later, people can get immediate access to all of the latest news — political or otherwise.

ARPANET Wasn’t the True Origin of the Internet
Contrary to what many believe, the invention of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) in the 1960s wasn’t the actual precursor to the modern-day internet. It was actually the invention of the transatlantic TV cable that initiated the development of what we would later come to know as the internet.

Fiber Optics Paved the Way for Telecom
Apart from the innovations taking place throughout the early-to-mid 20th century, another major influence on today’s internet and telecommunications was the development of fiber optics. Many people associate fiber optics with colorful displays and gifts, but these cables are also capable of holding a lot of information that makes them invaluable in today’s technological advances.

Prior to fiber optic cables, trunk cables were commonplace, and took up a lot more physical space than today’s fiber. Today, hair-thin fiber optic cables can carry the same amount of information as about 300 trunk cable bundles, each with roughly the diameter of a baseball.

Online Voting May Not Be Far Away
The prospect of voting online sounds like an instant security risk, prompting many to mildly panic at the thought of a more easily rigged election thanks to hackers and other threats. On the other hand, shopping online also made many people skeptical when it rose to popularity in the late ’90s and 2000s (when people were stockpiling supplies to prepare for Y2K), but most people today won’t give a one-click Amazon buy a second thought.

Many states already offer online voter registration, and with this development online voting isn’t that much of a stretch. While today’s security capabilities may not be good enough to effectively handle online voting, that future isn’t too distant. While that might not be here yet, today’s technology has already made it easier than ever for voters to gain knowledge about political nominees, including their stances on issues, policies, and even their life stories.

There’s no question that technological developments over the years have revolutionized politics in the U.S., and these changes will only continue as telecom and internet capabilities increase.

How to Determine if Cloud or On-site Video Conferencing Is Ideal

Video ConferencingPrior to purchasing video conferencing services, businesses should consider the differences between cloud and on-premises services to determine which type of service is ideal for them. As video conferencing continues to evolve and become increasingly streamlined over time, costs have decreased and these services have become more accessible to the average user.

There are two main ways for businesses to utilize video conferencing. The first is to keep video conferencing operations on-site with everything located within the workspace, while the second is to outsource it to a third party provider that deploys it as Software as a Service (SaaS) via cloud storage.

What Is Included in Video Conferencing Solutions?

Both cloud-based and on-site video conferencing services include many of the same components, but there are some differences between their capabilities.

  • Recording and Streaming – Both on-premises and cloud-based video conference calls can record and stream conferences, but while on-site services keep data within their own network, cloud services store data on third-party servers. Service level agreements (SLAs) can help businesses determine how data is stored and in what locations. Business owners also need to consider the total cost of ownership as it pertains to data storage and network traffic.
  • Multipoint Conferencing/Bridging – The great advantage of multipoint conferencing, or bridging, is the ability to include a large number of sites on a single call. The number of available users will vary from vendor to vendor, but typical on-site multipoint conferencing will allow anywhere from 12 to 120 users on one call, while cloud services often allow 25 to 50 users, with little to no call limits for the latter.
  • Firewall Configuration – One of the limitations of on-premises video conferencing is the need to setup firewalls prior to making calls beyond the business’s network. Configuring a firewall can be complex, requiring users to take multiple factors into account. Cloud-based services can help companies avoid this issue entirely, allowing them to connect nearly anywhere with internet connectivity.
  • Centralized Network Management – Another advantage of cloud-based services is streamlined network management, with the ability to update software and address books and manage problems with the network through an automated process.

When On-Site Video Conferencing Is Appropriate

On-premises video conferencing was a much more popular choice for organizations when it was the only method available. Today, companies utilizing this type of conferencing the most are large organizations that place security as a top priority, such as government agencies or businesses that handle large amounts of confidential client information.

However, on-site video conferencing also requires a lot of resources that many businesses simply don’t have, particularly smaller companies with minimally staffed IT departments. Unless the business has the ability to handle all of the details surrounding on-premises conferencing, this method isn’t ideal.
When to Choose Cloud-Based Video Conferencing

Cloud technology is constantly evolving, and cloud-based services are becoming less expensive over time. They are highly scalable to meet the needs of small to large businesses, with fixed costs available to maximize predictability of expenses. These services also include plenty of automation to reduce the need for a large and consistently attentive IT team.

When choosing between on-site and cloud-based video conferencing services, businesses should consider their unique requirements.