True Measures of Progress

By    June 4, 2014

Water and sanitation. Shelter. Personal freedoms. It’s easy to take these “soft” measures of social progress for granted, even though their value is unimaginably high when you consider what life would be like without them. As such and to my knowledge, they haven’t been systematically quantified on a large scale – until now.

The Social Progress Index has made it its mission to measure how these factors and many more help propel a society forward. What hasn't been measured cannot be improved and thus, the index will be a tremendous global resource, a snapshot into each country’s ability to fulfill citizens’ Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Well-being and Opportunity.

As these indexes become ubiquitous, Cambium Networks’ role is to measure and communicate, ensuring that all this vital Big Data is captured and sent via broadband connectivity to central repositories. From there, it is the purpose and goal of other organizations and enterprises to analyze why communities are not progressing, where impediments exist, and how to remove their root causes. Through our work, we've seen that broadband connectivity enables progress once impediments are removed – what one society suffers from is often a problem that another has solved. There is much to learn from the unique use cases of Internet connectivity that we've encountered.

For example, one of our customers has a large farm in the Pacific Northwest covering hundreds of acres. Through his wireless irrigation system, he can water his land to the cadence set by how dry the soil is, row by row and acre by acre, versus blanket watering everything at the same time. He is achieving tremendous efficiencies with his resources, which translates to healthier crops and efficient use of water. Another of our customers has installed infrared sensors on mountainsides that are hooked into its network. These sensors detect heat, and alert the appropriate agencies for when action needs to be taken. Our role is to make sure that data can be reliably transferred both ways: to headquarters and back to the sensors to maintain security and resiliency.

These are just two examples of how wireless broadband can be used for the greater good. In my next blog post, I’ll introduce one of our long-term customers whose personal contributions to his country’s social progress are an inspiration to us all, and proof positive that Connecting the Unconnected is possible.