by Terry Likens
It has been a week since the news has dropped and I am sure the moving vans are readying up as people flock to Austin as they are even more eager to experience the joys of our small city, big town. Personally, I am beyond excited for Google Fiber coming to town. I experienced hi-speed fiber connection in Seattle with Verizon’s FiOS which pails in comparison, but still it was such a major experience to have that access. That is something Google is committed to as they will provide free fiber speeds for basic services as apart of the “digital inclusion” or technically, providing the 30% of homes with no broadband connection a connection. Free is always awesome!
Why is it AT&T cannot offer the same as they are laying fiber in Austin too? Obviously, it is because Google will have even better access to our daily habits when it comes to network connections and television experience for those that go full throttle at $120 a month for Google TV service. What an awesome offering! I frankly do not care what Google knows about my behavior as long as I get something out of it.
They talked about how they need users, real users and businesses that relied on the net for information and operations. How there will be 100 places selected by the City of Austin that are considered places of importance such as libraries, schools, etc.. I wonder what this looks like for the healthcare system here? Will it inspire the developing medical school to fully build upon an idea of that connectivity? Will it allow information to be sent to and from providers freely yet securely to save lives in seconds?
That is the point I need to express here. When it comes to healthcare and having access to our records in general or any data I want to transmit to my healthcare provider, what will that look like? Will it continue to be a major patient hassle to have our medical records available to us or to share from one provider to another? Will the death grip of HIPAA tighten as medical providers who are already scared to share information create more red tape and barriers? What will this new decade of network connectivity change in the current scenarios of two major healthcare providers not sharing information in the first place? Will the only good from this hi-speed data connection be to watch Grey’s Anatomy when and how we want but when it comes to a life and death situation that our health care providers will be so paranoid with the legacy processes it will only fuddle up already a dark situation?
This is the chance to do it right Austin healthcare! We should be engaging Kansas City (home to Cerner) professionals right now to see what they are experiencing and move forward on our ideas. This could be done in orchestrated Google Hangouts. There is no excuse for us to stand by and wait for something to happen we have to take part now so we can control our futures here. We are only as limited as we make ourselves.
So with that said I hope you will connect with the City of Austin to be apart of those conversations. This is our time, our city, our Fiber, our healthcare, our future! This next decade will leave a legacy for years to come. Google Fiber begins in 2014.