Better Broadband Better Lives

House Republicans Grill Google CEO Sundar Pichai Over Alleged Political Bias

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2018 – The CEO of search engine Google came to Washington on Tuesday and politely rebutted all charges that the world’s largest search engine is biased against conservative viewpoints. In the calm and controlled voice of an engineer, CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Our products are built without any bias,” responding to a… Keep Reading

As Google’s CEO Testifies Before Congress, Conservatives Stew About Social Media ‘Censorship’

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2018 — Republicans and conservative activists used Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to revive claims that large technology companies are biased against them. But these same activists appear unwilling to accept any result that doesn’t validate their claim. One prominent Republican who has raised claims of censorship… Keep Reading

Will the House Judiciary Committee Fairly Question Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Tuesday Hearing?

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2018 — When Google CEO Sundar Pichai raises his right hand before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning, it’s possible the ensuing hearing will be a sober and judicious look into his company’s data collection practices. But Pichai is far more likely to become the latest punching bag for House members –… Keep Reading

Broadband News/Media

D.C. Circuit Court Questioning Suggests an Uphill Battle for the Justice Department to Defeat AT&T Acquisition

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The first news report that we've seen on Thursday's argument before the D.C. Circuit. While the Trump Justice Department attempted to stop the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, the deal has already closed after it was blessed by district court judge Richard Leon. This report emphasizes the tone and mood in the closely-watched case.… Keep Reading

Fiber/Open Access

Neighborly Launches its Broadband Accelerator with 35 Cities, Stoking Momentum for Open Access Fiber

November 16, 2018 - With the launch of a group of communities in a "broadband accelerator" launched by the municipal finance portal Neighborly, the momentum behind open access broadband networks is continuing to build. On Thursday, Neighborly announced that it had selected 35 cities, including sizable communities of Cleveland, New Orleans and Richmond, as its… Keep Reading

In a First, Social Media Giant Facebook Agrees to French Regulators Seeking to Combat Hate Speech

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Facebook is only the first of the feared tech giants (#GAFA - Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) who appear to be buckling into this pressure. Can you imagine the reaction if the Trump administration were seeking to "embed" journalists into the company? Tech companies are increasingly being hit by both sides: Conservative… Keep Reading

The Supreme Court Finally Says It Won’t Reconsider Old Net Neutrality Case

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Talk about finally letting the other shoe drop! On Monday, the Supreme Court, on a 4-3 vote (with two of the conservatives justices recusing themselves) refused to consider the old net neutrality case - the one lodged by the Obama administration, and which put extensive net neutrality regulations into effect. Those rules,… Keep Reading

Phoenix Center Releases Results of Study Documenting Lower Broadband Investment from 2015

US Telecom recently released an update to its U.S. broadband industry capital spending series. Ford’s analysis shows that while the decline in capital spending in 2015 and 2016 stopped in 2017, investment in the telecommunications sector is materially compressed, being about $10-to-$13 billion (or 12-to-15%) below expectations in 2017 with nearly $24-to-$30 billion in investment lost to the Title II drama since 2015. Keep Reading

Infrastructure/Press Releases

Regional Broadband Conference in Connecticut on Thursday, November 8

NEW BRITAIN, Conn., November 2, 2018 - Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz is pleased to announce a broadband conference entitled, Connected New England: A Regional Broadband Convening at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut, (300 Capitol Ave.), Room 2C, on November 8, 2018, from 9:00 am – 4:30 p.m. Registration is required, but the event is free for government, academic, and non-profit employees to attend, while the registration fee for others will be $150. Press are invited to attend. The event is being co-hosted by Next Century Cities, a non-profit coalition of innovative municipalities that recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit level internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, ensure civic participation, and connect residents to new opportunities. Keep Reading

Commissioner O’Rielly Raises Another Concern about Municipal Broadband: The ‘First Amendment’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Critics of municipal involvement with broadband infrastructure will find all manner of reasons to oppose them, and this article from Motherboard elaborates on Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly's views about the subject. This appears to be an extension of the thinking that, just as cable networks enjoyed a First Amendment right to… Keep Reading

Columbia Journalism Review Weighs in, from Iowa, About the Increasing Digital Divide

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The journalism publication CJR weighs into the below-the-radar-battle over rural broadband, highlighting the now-here prospect of a gaping digital divide between the urban and the rural areas of our country. Iowa: Rural broadband, and the unknown costs of the digital divide, from CJR.org Ahead of the November 6 elections, CJR invited writers… Keep Reading

On Broadband, California Again Leads the Way in Helping Promote Rural Broadband

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: There's no question that California courts controversy, in technology and telecommunications as well as many other spaces. However, putting aside the drama over net neutrality, this bill removing restrictions on the public option will aid rural broadband. In particular, the measure allows community service districts to fund broadband much as they would… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Spectrum

Phoenix Center Proposes a ‘Transaction Window’ to Facilitate Spectrum Transfers

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2018 - The Phoenix Center on Friday released a new report on how the existence of a “transaction window” could help facilitating market-based repurposing of electromagnetic spectrum. The eight-page report, “Expediting Spectrum Repurposing Through Market Transactions,” presents an economic model for a two-stage process: First, incumbent licensees are would be granted a… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Wireless

Bruce Mehlman: Accelerating 5G Will Be Good for America

What did you do on your summer vacation? Major broadband network operators spent the season making plans to deploy superfast 5G wireless broadband. 5G is the communications technology that offers broadband speeds of up to a hundred times faster than 4G, lower “latency” (basically, faster response time), and other benefits that will power the Internet… Keep Reading

Broadband News/Net Neutrality

In a Sunday Filing, Justice Department Takes Aim at California Net Neutrality Bill

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: California is merely the largest of the large number of states that have attempted to take a "federalist" approach to the "interstate commerce" of network neutrality. This sets up the first of many political flashpoints over the issue. Feds launch lawyers at California net neutrality law, on high political alert, from Steve… Keep Reading

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