Connected Nation

Research: How the Digital Divide and the connected home are changing in America

August 25, 2023 Jessica Denson Season 4 Episode 22
Research: How the Digital Divide and the connected home are changing in America
Connected Nation
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Connected Nation
Research: How the Digital Divide and the connected home are changing in America
Aug 25, 2023 Season 4 Episode 22
Jessica Denson

On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with leadership from Amdocs about new research that shows a new kind of Digital Divide is surfacing in the U.S.  Plus, we explore the future of connectivity including how to more easily manage all those high-tech, wifi-enabled devices we're adding to our offices, businesses, and homes.
Related links: 
Amdocs website -
Digital Divide Research - 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with leadership from Amdocs about new research that shows a new kind of Digital Divide is surfacing in the U.S.  Plus, we explore the future of connectivity including how to more easily manage all those high-tech, wifi-enabled devices we're adding to our offices, businesses, and homes.
Related links: 
Amdocs website -
Digital Divide Research - 

Jessica Denson (00:07):

This is Connected Nation, an award-winning podcast focused on all things broadband from closing the digital divide to improving your internet speeds. We talk technology topics that impact all of us, our families, and our neighborhoods.

Thanks to the pandemic, most people now view internet access as a necessity of modern living. And as a result, there's a massive effort now underway, backed to buy billions of dollars in federal funds to expand access across the us. But as that work moves forward, research from Amdocs points to a new kind of digital divide that's emerging across the country.

On today's podcast, leadership from the company shares what they've learned about connectivity in the home, why it's raising concerns, and how we can leverage the data to keep the digital divide from deepening. I'm Jessica Denson, and this is Connected Nation.

I'm Jessica Desen, and today my guest is Anthony Gki, group President of Technology and head of Strategy at Amdocs. Welcome, Anthony. Anthony Goonetilleke (01:11):

Welcome. Good day. How's it going? Jessica Denson (01:12):

Good. I'm really glad to have you today. Before we get started, I'm sure people have already detected your accent. I'd asked you earlier if you were from Australia or New Zealand, you gave me a little tip on telling the difference. Would you share that with our audience? Anthony Goonetilleke (01:28):

Sure, sure. Well, the little joke is the only real way to tell if you're Australian or New Zealand, you get the person to say fish and chips. So if you're from Australia, you say fish and chips. If you're from New Zealand, you say something like fish and chips. So that's really the only way. I'm not sure if that's really true or not, but I'm going to stick by that story for now. Jessica Denson (01:49):

I think you should, and I'm going to be sharing that with others as though I know best. I would like to begin now or head into the next step and give our audience some background on you and Amdocs. So if you could, I know you've been with Amdocs for about 24 years because your team did their job and gave me a little bio, but I would like to hear from you about the company and your background. What led you to working with Amdocs? Anthony Goonetilleke (02:16):

Sure, sure. I joined Amdocs in Australia and worked both between going backwards and forwards between the US and Australia, I guess for the last couple of decades. Amdocs is at the end of the day, MOCs focuses on the communication sector. So we service, I would say pretty much all of the global tier zeros, the tier ones, the tier twos, the at ts, the T-Mobile's, the Verizons Bell, Canada, Rogers, and of course globally, Telefonica, Vodafone, all of the big customers. And really our job is to deliver seamless connectivity, improve your customer experience, take really the friction out at the end of the day and just make sure all of those complex things in the back just work seamlessly.

We know that you just want to be connected, you just want to use the service and you want to go on your way. But there, as you can imagine, there are a lot of things that happen in the background. And so from ordering a service to provisioning a service, to making sure it gets delivered to making sure that the customer care aspects gets dealt with. So we do all of that for the service provider world or the communication service provider world, I should say. Jessica Denson (03:39):

And what brought you to Amdocs? Did you have, I saw that in your LinkedIn profile you'll call yourself a technologist and a strategist. Those are some powerful words. So what brought you to that and why does it speak to that side of you that is the technologist and the strategist? Anthony Goonetilleke (04:00):

Yeah, I'd love to give you a really profound answer. I was searching for my purpose in the world and I stumbled across Amdocs, but really I was looking for a job and it was a great, looked like a great company.

So I applied, right? That's how I ended up at Amdocs. But I think what's more interesting is the journey that I've had with the company. It's an amazing company that we're in almost 90 countries around the world. We have 30,000 employees. We've been around for 40 years, and I've done many roles in the company. I joke around that the only roles I haven't done in the company is head finance and head hr. I think I've done every other role there is to do in the company. I started off fairly junior and even at that time I was just one of these tech geeks. (04:47)

I just love technology. I love what it did. And the early days of, if we remember the nineties when I was in college, it was like the early days of the internet and boom and everything else, and that was just me.

And just over time, it's just evolved that today if I rewind the clock back and I look back 10 years ago or 20 years ago, there was an IT department or there was a technology group. Today, the big compelling factor of every business bar, none is that they can use technology to either deliver a better product, deliver a better experience, deliver a more efficient experience, or change the world.

I mean, technology's at the heart of everything we do, and it's hard to think of any company really. I mean, if you throw out a company, I can probably tell you how technology's used within that company from mining to clearly, we walk around with a phone in our hands. (05:51)

So our daily lives, we go to sleep and there are things measuring our looking at if we have REM sleep or deep sleep, I wear a thing called an Aura ring, O U R A on my finger. These are technology is just pervasive through our lives in one way or the other. So this really kind of, I would say, keeps me interested, keeps me engaged, passionate. At the end of the day, we all wake up in the morning and we want to make a difference in our lives. Our family and friends' lives. Our communities' lives at the end of the day make an impact on the world. And so I feel like technology for me is that vehicle. Jessica Denson (06:35):

Looking through your website, I noticed that it said the general view on the company's mission website was to enrich lives and progress society with creativity and technology. And you sound very passionate about that. Why do you feel it's so important to approach things that way? Anthony Goonetilleke (06:52):

Look, I think there's many reasons. I think historically, if you looked at the different generations and why they did what they did, whether it's the silent generation or the baby boomers, and going on to Xs kind of where I fit in all the way to Gen Z, gen Alpha, I think we look for purpose.

It's not just about, Hey, I want to go to work, clock in, do my eight hours, come home, not worry about it. I mean, we spend such a portion of what we do at work and we want to make sure that we want to feel like we're contributing to move society forward. And this is why we embrace that in Amdocs and say, okay, so why do we do what we do? Yes, at the end of the day, we're a public company and we're there to make money and we're there to make money for our shareholders.

But in all of that, I think it's important to find your mission and purpose and why you exist as an entity. Jessica Denson (07:53):

That kind of statement was all over AM Doc's website. On the press releases, I saw everything. So I'd say it's pervasive and it shows in the way you talk about it. So along those lines, let's get a little bit into the nuts and bolts of what Amdocs does. It's a customer engagement platform at the base. Is that correct? Anthony Goonetilleke (08:15):

That's one element of it. So we have a customer engagement platform. So all the way, if you think of it from acquiring a service to delivering the service to monetization platforms, to automating all of the elements in the backend on the network today, we just expect connectivity. I mean, not very long ago you had to have a modem. You needed to know which number to dial.

Today, my kids just turn up, and I always use this analogy, which is quite funny, when my daughter was about six or seven years old, we were traveling somewhere. We were at an airport waiting for a flight. My daughter opens a laptop, which is about a few months old. She opens it up and she just slams it shut. And she goes, it's broken. And I was like, what do you mean it's broken? We just bought it. What happened?
So I take it, I open it and I log in, it looks perfect, it's fine, nothing's wrong with it. I'm like, what do you mean it works? It's perfect. She goes, I can't access A, B, C. So what she meant by broken was it didn't have internet connectivity. So when you think of this generation, it's a connected generation.

I mean, forget the next generation. We are a connected generation, right? Again, just an anecdote, we all laugh at Maslow's Pyramid and what goes on top. I'm sure you've seen the memes that are floating around. Wifi is right up the top. People will, even in this kind of economic cycle and people losing their jobs and the macro depression and inflation and things like that, if you ask people what are the things you're going to cut down?

Probably their phone service or their mobile phone service is probably the last thing they're going to get rid of because it's not just your connection, your personal connection, it's your job connection, it's your work connection, it's your social connection. (10:17)

It's how you do your banking, it's how you order your food. It's how you order your delivery. I mean, you pretty much, you're handicapped if you don't have connectivity. And this kind of leads to all sorts of interesting, I would say, complications for society, for the people that don't have connectivity.

I mean, I saw an interesting stat the other day that said something like six and a half billion people in the world have smartphones, right? I mean, that's a staggering, staggering number. We are pretty much a saturated world in terms of connectivity. And so I feel like everything we do as a company is focusing on making sure that connectivity is ubiquitous. So connectivity is available everywhere to everyone, and the process of connecting to it is seamless and frictionless. And then of course, there's a social element of it. So what happens if you don't have connectivity?

What happens if you don't have access to this before? If you don't, didn't have a home phone, okay, fine, you were able to do things today. I mean, there are even government services you can't access if you can't get online. So there are all sorts of interesting implications there. Jessica Denson (11:35):

Yeah, I think all of us at Connect Nation would echo what you're saying for sure. And I would say that in a past position that I held, I worked in Haiti for part of the year, and this was 10, 12 years ago. And even in a place where there was so much and so little people had so little, everybody had a cell phone.

So I mean, this is the case everywhere you go. So I would just echo that and emphasize that for sure. Before we get into the research, interesting what you guys found with the new kind of digital divide. Before we get there, just a little more about Amdocs. Two things. I know that Microsoft is a word that is a company that many Americans know really well, maybe not as much as Amdocs.

What is Amdocs connection to Microsoft? And on a side note, does Amdocs stand for anything? What does that mean? Is that the word itself? Is it an acronym for something, or where did that come from? Anthony Goonetilleke (12:34):

Yeah, maybe I'll start with the last part and then go to the Microsoft part. But yeah, look, if you ask probably five people in ocs, they'll give you a different meaning. But we started as a company helping automate and create Yellow Pages. Remember those big yellow books? Oh, Jessica Denson (12:52):

Yes. Anthony Goonetilleke (12:52):

Yes. Believe it or not, believe it or not, this is kind of the nucleus of where Amdocs started from, and it's a derivative of directory systems, kind of automating directory systems is where kind Amdocs, the name Amdocs really? Jessica Denson (13:10):

Oh, yeah, I see that now. Yeah, Amdocs get it. Anthony Goonetilleke (13:13):

Yeah. Yeah. So this is basically where it started from. But from then we evolved. We were working with telephone companies that created Yellow Pages, and then we realized, oh, hang on a second. There is a bigger problem to be solved here in terms of how these systems were accessed and the complexity. And so this is how we evolved in the customer experience side on the phone companies, on the cable companies, on the wireless companies.

And of course, as the industry evolved, we evolved and broadened our portfolio. And today, I would say you would be hard pressed to go and talk to any type of communication service provider and not have an amdoc system kind of behind it. I mean, on a daily basis, we're doing over 1 billion customer journeys around the world. So that means there are, I would say, I think at last count, there are about two and a half billion people in some shape or form.

When they access connectivity, they're touching in an amoc system or an element of an amdoc system in some shape or form. So when much is given, much is expected. So we also realize we have a responsibility in terms of how we deliver the service. (14:36)

And I guess part of this discussion is how we push that kind of social agenda and help with areas we see in terms of the digital divide. The first part of your question in regards to Microsoft, they are a very strategic partner of ours. We work very closely with them, more specifically around Microsoft Cloud services and kind of what they're doing. And of course now lately more around generative AI and some of the capabilities that brings to the table. So they are just in relation to us. They're just a strategic partner we work with very closely. Jessica Denson (15:11):

Gotcha. Okay. Let's get into the research Amdocs put out earlier this year, which I found very interesting. I referenced this at the top of the podcast, that research shows that there's a new kind of digital divide that's emerging in the us. Most people, as we've been talking, and we've referenced it several times, that people now understand that having access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity of modern living and something people put other things aside for.

Can you talk about what your team looked at was really the next and future part of this? For instance, one of the stats that was in it was 84% of US consumers say they have internet as a basic need. But from that, there were some new issues. I don't want to steal your thunder. So would you like to explain the study and what was found in it? Anthony Goonetilleke (16:08):

Yeah, so at the crux of it, internet connectivity or access has just become a fundamental component like electricity or running water. And I'm not exaggerating when I make that statement. It's just because, especially in a post covid world, you just cannot function without connectivity. There are many things that you just cannot do.

I mean, I can give you a million examples, but just the most recent one, yesterday I was ordering a set of tires for my daughter's car, and Costco had a deal going on, and it was, oh, great. As I usually do, I'd call him up and say, Hey, here's the car. Can you get these four tires? And I'll drop it off to fi on. And the guy goes, oh, sure, no problem. But you'll have to go online and order it. That's how we do it, or you'll have to come in. (17:10)

So I was like, huh, here we go. So what happened if you couldn't make it in? Because I have a problem with my tires, then I have to go online. What happens if I didn't have access online? So all of a sudden, you start to see the implications here. And so with our study, I think what we found was clearly nobody argues that connectivity is important.

I think where the debate arises and where we kind of saw the research going is there is a huge spectrum when it comes to what the definition of connectivity is. So at the very basic level, there is a level of broadband that is needed in a home. So whether it is to do a Zoom call or whether it is to do homework or whether it is to order stuff, there is some level of basic connectivity that's needed.

But what's happened in the last few years is the level of access that's needed or the level of throughput that's needed on this has started to increase. So now my kids pretty much do not even know what cable TV is. They don't watch cable tv. They stream everything that they consume as a viewer. My kids, I cannot remember the last time my kids went to a mall. They order everything online. (18:45)

They are very, I would say easily, they move between the physical world and the virtual world very, very fast. Meaning my eldest daughter's in college, she'll go, oh, yeah, I have in-person classes. Oh no, today I'm going to do it online. I mean, they don't even think about it because that capability is there.

And so I think not having these, what the research showed us is depending on where you are on the spectrum, it's just not good enough to say, I have access to broadband. You need dependability. You need continuity. You need throughput because this has become a service that you must have. So the analogy is close to electricity, right? It's not just good enough to say, I have electricity in my house. Well, what does that mean? Well, what happens if you have electricity, but you have power blackouts every day from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Well, that's not going to be a good thing. (19:46)

And especially these days, if you live in Texas with the heat we're having, it's definitely not a good thing. And broadband is exactly like that, right? I mean, when we go on a vacation or when we go to a hotel, the first thing the kids always check is, well, what's the wifi password?

Do they have broadband? Do they have connectivity? This has become more important than the condition of the hotel now. And so I think all of those elements, and what the study showed is this has just become a necessity for the core functions of our life. It's no longer in the periphery. And so now going through Covid and coming out of Covid, yes, we came out of Covid, but life never went back to being exactly the same.

We in Amdocs have a hybrid work policy. So we're three days in the office, two days from, well, what happens if you don't have good broadband at home? Jessica Denson (20:53):

All of us, most of us at Connected Nation are remote workers. I mean, the fact that we're talking across the internet is important for me to have good access and for you to have good access. But also, I think that it's interesting in what you're saying with where younger generations, they've never even experienced not having access, or there could be an argument made for not only just having access, but enough access and that people are being left out of that as we move forward, which I think is what you're saying is that there's not necessarily, you might have internet, but you might not have enough connectivity to stream, to work from home, to have the kids doing their homework to playing games.

But there's also a lot of new technologies that we don't know necessarily what that's going to require. Everybody talks about the Metaverse, which the first time I heard it, I thought it was a Marvel thing. No lie. On one of the podcast, I was like, oh, yeah, marveled. He's like, what? No, Anthony Goonetilleke (21:55):

Yeah. Jessica Denson (21:57):

And then have ar, AI is the huge new thing right now. So how do you think that we can deal with, and granted at Connected Nation, we believe it takes a lot of partnerships and a lot of people working together. But from Amdocs point of view, how can we adjust or work toward creating that larger bandwidth or that more connectivity for everyone, for these future technologies, is what I'm referencing? Yeah, Anthony Goonetilleke (22:29):

Yeah. I think first of all, I think connectivity has an amazing impact on the world. What I mean by that is because of connectivity, it democratizes society. And you go, okay, what do you mean by that? (22:50)

I was having a chat to a guy who was running a startup out of SSRI Lanka, for those of you Dunno, where Sri Lanka is. It's like a small island in the Indian Ocean next to seashells and kind of south of India. And he was talking to me and he was like, oh yeah, I built this platform.
It helps farmers cultivate their crops and it has these sensors and it uploads the data to the cloud. And I'm using some AI on a w s to kind of create this prediction model depending on the rain and the pH level and soil. And I was listening to the guy was really, really interesting on what he had done. And I just thought to myself, here is a developing country in the middle of the Indian Ocean, an island you would say clearly not part of the Americas or Europes or whatever. (23:50)

But he has the same access to technology and services and innovation because of connectivity that anyone in the developed world has. And the fact that this now democratizes society and gives people the same opportunities is amazing. The fact that you can have someone doing your copywriting from the other side of the world, or it doesn't matter where you are.

It doesn't matter what part of the sociodemographic world you come from, you have the same access to opportunities as long as you have connectivity. So that becomes the basic foundational element, I would say. And so this is why I'm kind of excited because I think it just opens up so many doors to so many people. On the flip side of that, if we thought that connectivity issues in the developed nation, like in America for example, is an issue in rural America or in some segments, I would kind of challenge that notion.

And the best example I can share of that was during Covid, I was down in Dallas and just walked into a Starbucks and there were these, I don't know, maybe they were like 10, 12, that's the age range, at least what they look like. But they were sitting outside Starbucks almost on the sidewalk.

I was going to say footpath, but it's an Australian word. Probably the listeners might not understand that. I have to remember to use the right words here on the sidewalk and looked like they were doing their homework. Now, I quickly realized what they were doing was accessing the wifi network in Starbucks and doing their homeworks on the sidewalk, probably because they didn't have good access at home. It was kind of a lower kind of socioeconomic kind of area.

And I'm like that in a way that kind of broke my heart right? Here are these two little kids sitting there. I mean, they were clearly doing their homework. They were very focused sitting out outside on the sidewalk doing their homework. (26:10)

And you realize that even in metropolitan cities, there are these pockets and there are these areas that just don't have access to broadband due to cost due to whatever. So this can create a bigger gap. This can create a bigger digital divide. What if your job requires you to have broadband access from home because they require you connect from home? And what if you don't have it?

Well, then you're restricted to certain types of jobs where you have to come into the office. What if certain services you cannot access? Well then you have to go find a library or a public place. And so you can go from example to example to example, but all of them, I could kind of summarize it to say that unequivocally broadband is not an option anymore. And I'm talking about complete connectivity at all times is something that's required just like electricity, just like running water. (27:19)

And I think not having that would start to contribute to this kind of growing digital divide. And I think we need to pay attention to that. And I think governments and private enterprises are doing a lot of work in terms of rural areas. You see kind of style and Elon Musk stuff that he's doing around providing even satellite broadband access, which are covering spots where that don't have the proper connectivity, which is fantastic so that everyone can have broadband, but yet there are price points.

There are access to buildings, there is the hardware that are needed to run it. There are the computers. So these are all the things I think that at the end of the day, it's not about connectivity anymore. If you don't do this, you're going to cause bigger problems in society. Jessica Denson (28:18):

I think you're right. And all of us would definitely are applauding at home. Yes, we need better connectivity. We need it. I want to bring up, look ahead to the future a little bit and a statement that your chief marketing officer, Gil Rosen said on the site that if you'll just bear with me for a second, I'm going to quote him To better serve growing demands, broadband and fixed wireless access providers must offer intelligent and proactive customer support, leveraging in-home data that can generate valuable AI driven insights for consumers.

For instance, gaming overload or a family member bringing too many friends into the home. This intelligent engagement layer is the next step in the evolution of in-home connectivity. So that really interested me, this intelligent engagement layer, what is meant by that and how does Amdocs see the future within that scope? Anthony Goonetilleke (29:16):

So we have a platform called Doxy, which basically sits in the house and works. It just looks at your internet traffic and it gives you these intelligent insights. So for example, I know many of us have gone, why is the internet so slow? And we don't know. So what do we do?

We just go and turn off the router, reboot it or call our service provider or whatever. But what if you have this dashboard that says, oh, by the way, your PC in room A, B, C is downloading an update and that's why it's so slow. And you're like, oh, okay, so maybe I should just shut the PC down until I finish watching Game of Thrones.

Or maybe it's the fact that your kid is playing very intensive kind of game on his computer and it's sucking a lot of data. Maybe you have an important call that you need to make or a zoom call and you want to have the best connectivity. (30:20)

So maybe you want to pause some of the other services. The number of connected devices in houses are exploding. I mean, I'm probably not a good example because the geek that I am, but at the last count in my house, I have over 150 IP addresses. That means I have over 150 devices that are connecting to the network in my home. Now you may think, wait a second. That's crazy.

What the heck do you have in your house? But let's just go through the simple math for two seconds. You have four people in your house. Okay, great. Each of us have a phone. So if you can do the math for me. There's four devices there. Each of us have an Apple watch, there's another four devices. Each of us have an iPad. There's another four devices. Each of us have a laptop. There's another four devices. So there you go straight away. So you have 64 devices there for four people, times four. (31:28)

Then so then you get to me, and then we have Apple TVs and a couple Apple TVs in the house. I have a rain sensor that tells me if it's going to rain or not going to rain. That's connected. I have, my daughter has a PlayStation, there's a Nintendo switches. So all of a sudden you go, oh yeah, but those are normal devices.

I mean, that's not like anything crazy before you even start adding on. Now again, I'm a little bit more of a geek, so I have everything connected in my house, but it's by default you start adding devices and all of these devices take data. And so being able to intelligently see what's going on in your house, being able to intelligently prioritize what's important to you, being able to maybe pause some services because maybe you guys are watching the Super Bowl and you don't want a computer being updated at the same time you're watching the Super Bowl because it's going to take a lot of data.

Maybe your phones are downloading the new version of iOS and it's a huge update and it's right. The size of it is maybe gigabytes. So maybe you don't want that happening right now. So having that insight and those analytics and being able to prioritize, we think is also a way to help people have the services they want delivered to them how they want.

Because the problem is not always that the internet service is not working because there's something wrong with the service provider. Sometimes it's just the stuff that's going on in your house, and this is going to get more and more complex as more and more services are added on. Jessica Denson (33:12):

That's a great point. And I think most of us would probably go, oh, I got to call my service provider. I don't know what's going on. Anthony Goonetilleke (33:18):

That's the default, right? I mean, my car has a SIM device, right? It's connected. Right? When I park my car in my house, it'll say, do you want to download the software update? It connects to the wifi in my house and downloads a software update. We're getting to the stage where we need to know what's going on in our house. That's one element. And the other element is a security aspect of it.

You want to know if someone's getting into your house and accessing your devices, your photos, your private, whatever. You have your files. So all of these things need more of an intelligent management of the home rather than just saying, well, I just have a internet connection for my service provider and well, that's good enough for me. It may have been good enough five years ago or 10 years ago, but I think where we are moving to as a society in terms of connected devices, this all changes. Jessica Denson (34:17):

So are you guys, quick question, are you already putting some of those services into place in some markets? Yes. Or is that a new technology for y'all? Yeah, Anthony Goonetilleke (34:27):

It, it's a new technology, but it's rolled out into some markets and some of our customers have kind of bought this technology from us, and everyone's kind of trying it out and seeing, because this I would say is an emerging need that people are having in their house.

Clearly it became a really sore point during covid because you had a house with, in our house, we had four people. Kids are doing schoolwork, we're doing work stuff. I mean, everything's happening at the same time. So it became really, really important. Maybe the importance of it is gone down a little bit post covid because now it's a hybrid environment.

However, the number of devices is just going up. And if you add, we had a very interesting technology change that's happened I would say in the last couple of years, and it's really accelerating, and it's the disappearance of the SIM card. (35:24)

We used to have this physical sim card, if you remember that we used to bring phones and we need to have this little pin that you poke it and pull it out. I remember those days. Yes, you don't need that, right? Because a SIM card has now become software. But here's the thing with that, with the SIM card becoming software, you've taken another barrier out of connectivity, and now we can make almost anything be connected.

Like I saw an example a year ago at Mobile World Congress. Someone had connected a coffee cup with connectivity, and I'm like, why do you need a coffee cup connected to connectivity? Well, they did it just because they could to prove a point. But it was like, well, you have an app on your phone. It tells you what temperature your coffee is and if you have to heat it up or not, heat it up. And I was like, okay, cool. But you get the point. You can add connectivity to anything. And I think there are very few things that don't have connectivity. If you have a Roomba that vacuums your house, it has connectivity.

It can go on and on. But I think almost everything you get now that has any intelligence, your thermostat in your house has connectivity. Your alarm in your house has connectivity. So these are not crazy devices. These are devices that everyone uses. Jessica Denson (36:47):

Yeah, I would be lost without my Alexa just for the record. I would never know what to get at the grocery store without it. Anthony Goonetilleke (36:54):

We haven't even spoken about Alexa and Google Home and these types of devices now that completely integrate. And guess what? They also have connectivity. They also access the internet. They also do updates. So going back to where we started the discussion, this is why you need a better view of what's going on in your house. Jessica Denson (37:16):

Yeah, I think that you guys are really onto something, which, no, I'm not saying anything that surprises anyone, but that's pretty incredible. That's why I asked if it was already out or if it's coming, because you could just see the future as more and more things get connected.

For those of us who aren't tech geeks who want a simple, just connect and then I move on because I am the comms person at Connected Nation. I'm not the technical person, and to be able to know where I need to power something back or move something around easily is such important piece of that. Okay. I could really talk to you all day, Anthony, but I won't keep you all day.

I know you're busy. So just two more questions. One, are there any big projects in the work that you're seeing a year, five years down the road or technologies that you're excited about? And then I'd love to have any final thoughts that you'd want to leave us with about Amdocs. Anthony Goonetilleke (38:17):

Sure. Look, I'll tell you what I get excited about this notion of what I call ubiquitous connectivity. And basically that means just connect me. It doesn't matter where I am, it doesn't matter what I'm doing. I don't care if it's wifi, don't care if it's five G. I don't care if it's fiber. I don't care if it's satellite. Just connect me, right?

And all of our devices, if it has this thinking, this notion, just give me the best connectivity possible. I think that's where the future is going. I think of the experience I have with my laptop and I have with my phone and think about it today, you switch your phone on, you don't really worry if you are connected to a wifi network or you have cellular coverage. As long as you have coverage, you have coverage. And now with the new Apple phones, even if you are not in a coverage area, it connects to a satellite and you can send basic text messages. (39:17)

The future of that is, I'm just connected no matter where I am now, think of the experience you have with your standard laptop. You open it. What's the first thing you need to do connected to a wifi network.

Now, why shouldn't every device have ubiquitous connectivity and just make everyone's lives simpler? And that's where I think the future is going. I don't think our kids and their kids will know this notion of, oh, do you have a wifi network? What's the password? How do I connect? I mean, those are all points of friction to me. (39:53)

Everything will just be connected. Doesn't matter where you are, house, workplace, mall, traveling, the beach, it'll just be connected. Now, connected with that. I think the other thing that really will go leaps and bound is I also think the area of privacy. I think as more and more things go online and devices go online, privacy becomes very, very important.

And the digital privacy and being able to have your own digital locker of your elements and being able to know who you're sharing the data with and who you're not sharing with. I think these two go hand in hand. So I think, I'm sure there will be. I know the European Union is looking at it, and I know different states in the US are looking at it. So I think both ubiquitous connectivity, privacy, and just this notion of pervasive broadband. So before, if you wanted really good wifi, you had to go home, right? (40:58)

If you today, yeah, you know what? I can watch a movie on my phone or my iPad. I don't necessarily have to be in the house the next day or the day. Plus one would be, I will get a very, very strong level of broadband no matter where I am, and it doesn't matter which medium that connects me, it'll just connect me. So I think really at a macro level, this is really what the future looks like. And then of course, every device will be connected. I cannot imagine a, that device won't be connected. Everything will be connected in some shape or form. Jessica Denson (41:41):

I love that, and I think I agree with you, and I think that's what we're seeing in the future. Any final thoughts or what would you like our audience to take away about Amdocs? Anthony Goonetilleke (41:54):

I would say at the end of the day, we are a company that our primary goal is to focus on customer experience and making sure that all of this complexity that you have in the backend that needs to be done, data needs to be moved, services needs to be connected, products need to be delivered, ordered, provisioned, all of these things happen seamlessly in the backend.

I feel like this is our job. In some ways. If you don't hear about us, it means it's a good day because things are happening. The people that need to hear about us, hear about us, and this is our job, and we just continue to focus on customer experience.

So whether it's with Doxy and the home oss and giving you an operating system in the home so that you can choose which services and devices that is a priority for your life is being chosen, or whether it's giving you the best broadband connectivity, whether it be fiber or fixed wireless, or any other type, this is kind of what we wake up in the morning and strive to do to just make your life easier. Jessica Denson (43:05):

Well, I appreciate that. My life does need to be easier from the Yellow Pages to so much incredible technology. I really appreciate talking to you today, Anthony. I appreciate that you've joined us, and as you guys have new things going on, I would love for you to revisit what's going on with Amdocs in the future. Anthony Goonetilleke (43:25):

My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me Jessica Denson (43:33):

Again. My guest today has been Anthony Una Teki Group President of Technology and head of Strategy at Amdocs. I'll include links to the website and the amdoc research that we referenced in the description of this podcast.
I'm Jessica Denson. Thanks for listening to Connected Nation. If you like our show and want to know more about us, head to connected or look for the latest episodes on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Google Podcast, Pandora, or Spotify.

Anthony's involvement with Amdocs
How tech enriches peoples lives
What Amdocs stands for
Why internet connectivity is a basic need
How broadband connectivity democratizes society
Amdocs Doxy platform