Seeing Clearly

 

It’s official; I am now a wearer of eyeglasses.  En route from UTC’s Region 6 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma) to the UTC America Latina event in Rio de Janeiro, I popped into Duty Free and bought some “readers” so I could actually read on the plane.

Let me give you some context. Throughout my life I have been completely obnoxious about my awesome eyesight. I have never had to go to the ophthalmologist and have always been able to read road signs before anyone else. For me, it was not essential to my livelihood, but for my dad and brother, having eagle eyes was one key factor enabling them to become fighter pilots.  When I met my husband, Alan, we smirkingly compared notes about our perfect vision. I even condescendingly half-listened to my slightly older friends who warned me that my eyesight would start to go as I approached 50 while thinking to myself that I would thwart the aging process and never need glasses. Payback’s a you-know-what, isn’t it?

About six months ago, something changed. I started noticing that the words on my iPhone were blurring when I had just gotten up or was tired. Of course, I ignored it. Then, books became a bit more difficult to read at night before bedtime, which I again ignored. Finally, when I was on the plane at night and needed to read armed only with the weak overhead light to see by, I started to really struggle. Lest you feel slightly bad for my obnoxious self vis a vis my husband, don’t! It started happening to him at about the same time.

As I faced the overnight flight to Rio knowing I needed to get some work reading done as well as relying on my book to put me to sleep, I caved. I bought the glasses. And hallelujah, I can see those pesky words sharply and clearly without pain or strain. Stubbornness can only get you so far.

Now, what does this have to do with utility telecommunications needs? Let me illustrate. Our communications regulators in the US and across the globe seem to have a vision problem too. All we ask is that these regulators  “put their readers on” and recognize that the communications needs of utilities are essential to electric reliability and resilience, and that, in turn, electricity enables telecommunications.

The bottom line is, regulators’ blurred vision in this regard is detrimental to our economy and future competitiveness. Opening their eyes to the comments and data brought forward by utilities and critical infrastructure providers in dockets like the 6 GHz band proposal is the first step in rectifying this situation. Until we meet again…