Digital communication – a game changer for all

THE rate of acceleration in innovation over the last century, compared to the previous 3,000 years, is meteoric. Middleham resident Neil Mabbott believes communication is one of most important beneficiaries of this innovation.

“My own introduction to telecoms, other than using a telephone, was in 1976 when I joined the Royal Signals Technical College as a radio technician,” he says. “There we moved from 1950’s valve radio sets to the introduction of mobile communications, as we know it, in less than seven years. “Transforming to digital communications has been a game changer for us all, allowing positive advancement in the availability of real-time information. Perhaps the aspect, which has benefitted most from this technology, is medical advances: 5G connecting all.

“The Dales are undoubtedly beautiful, but being unconnected means people living there take a serious step backwards. “A simple connection by phone is a good starting point, but voice transmission is simple – remember the trick of two cans and a taut piece of string?

“Things have moved on, though.

“Connecting a monitoring machine to check a patient’s vital signs uses huge amounts of data and requires many cables and connected sensors, usually whilst the patient is in a hospital. With the latest technology important monitoring can be done whilst the patient is at home using 5G’s directional signals – known as point-to-point – which is a bit like how a torch light works.

“Using this a lot more information can be transmitted faster and once completed it automatically switches off. “5G also allows alarms to be set which could, for instance, be used to remind a patient to take their medication, making life less stressful – so important, particularly during long-term illness. “On top of this, remoteness and bad weather can turn travelling into a nightmare that’s worse still if you rely on others. 5G connection alleviates this and gives you back your independence.

“With autumn now at its peak we are reminded that winter is coming, and misty grey days and long nights are not to everyone’s liking. This is a time to fill in and expand the mind. Education at every level should be a joy and ultimately useful, but those without a good connection are being denied access to it. It is fair to say that’s “not right”! In fact, is education not a human right?”

Author: Neil Mabbot, resident of Middleham and expert in telecommunications with over 45 years’ experience.

Read Neil’s previous blogs. Digital connectivity – available for everyone and 5G – connecting the most challenging locations