Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

October 2009

Net Neutrality

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn Files Latest Anti-Net Neutrality Bill

WASHINGTON, October 31, 2009 - This week Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., added to the growing number of network neutrality-related bills when she filed legislation that would ban the Federal Communications Commission from regulating internet access, as proposed last week by Chairman Julius Genachowski. Blackburn’s measure, H.R. 3924, is intended “to prohibit the FCC from further regulating the Internet.” In a statement, she said FCC rules “ironically would make the Internet less neutral by allowing the FCC to regulate it in the same way it regulates radio and television broadcasts.” Keep Reading

ICANN Approves Non-Latin Domain Names

The Internet domain-name governing body has approved, after years of discussion, the use of internet addresses that consist solely of non-Latin characters. "The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," said Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush in a statement. "Right now internet address endings are limited to Latin characters – A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names." Keep Reading

First County to Declare Broadband a Legal Right: Not Finland, but Switzerland

October 31, 2009 - Finland made headlines earlier this month in declaring that broadband had become a legal right. While this startled some people, the Finns were not the first people to declare this – the Swiss were. Further, in 2003, at the World Summit on the Information Society, a declaration of principles was drafted and signed by a number of nations around the world, including the United States. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/NTIA/Recovery Act

NTIA's Broadband Data Collection Efforts to Combine With Census Bureau Questions

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2009 – At a Friday workshop that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration held on data collection and the broadband stimulus, NTIA announced that the agency will be collecting large amounts of data that they would like to make more broadly available. Researchers and other government agencies will also be using the data collected to create new programs and create predictive models, agency officials said. Keep Reading

BroadbandCensus.com People Column: Tech Lobby, Wireless Board Changes

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2009 - CTIA-The Wireless Association announced Friday that it has a newly elected board of director officers. AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph de la Vega will serve as CTIA’s chairman, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse will act as vice chairman, Asurion CEO Bret Comolli as treasurer, Cellcom President and CEO Patrick Riordan as secretary and T-Mobile USA President and CEO Robert Dotson as chairman emeritus. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Expert Opinion

BroadbandCensus.com: Setting the Table for the National Broadband Plan

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2009 – Over the summer, BroadbandCensus.com split our operations between the news and events that we host, and the Creative Commons database with the local broadband SPARC: the Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition in the local broadband marketplace. As we’ve now entered the fourth year of this saga in which BroadbandCensus.com has been leading the charge for public and transparent broadband data, much has changed about the opportunity that we face, and our country faces, in bringing better broadband data to consumers, and to policy-makers. In previous versions of this series of blog posts taking stock, I’ve highlighted our efforts to start the ball rolling on crowdsourcing broadband data, and on uniting scholars and state officials through the “Broadband Census for America” conference that we hosted on the eve of the passage of the Broadband Data Improvement Act. Today, I’d like to speak about some of the major changes that 2009 has brought to BroadbandCensus.com – particularly as both our news and our data side have helped to set the table for the national broadband plan currently under development. In the final series of these blog posts, next week, I plan to unveil some of the major changes in store as we relaunch BroadbandCensus.com. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Smart Grid

Information Technology Sees Gold in Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2009 – Under regulations recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Administration, large sources and suppliers in the U.S. must collect accurate and timely emissions data of greenhouse gases. Information technology firms see big opportunities to find innovative solutions to help companies covered under the new rules to comply with reporting requirements. These representatives say that potential new regulatory changes, which were issued by the EPA on September 22, 2009 – and become effective at the beginning of the year – could spur new business ideas. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

Microsoft, Yahoo Weigh In On FCC’s Proposed 'Open Internet' Rules

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2009 – Microsoft and Yahoo on Thursday gingerly weighed into the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules governing internet access – otherwise known as “Net neutrality” – that were announced last week. The two companies offered up, to BroadbandCensus.com, carefully crafted comments splitting the difference between the hardening battle lines between Google and AT&T. Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

Strickling and Adelstein Tout Role of Small Business, and Rural Ones, to Broadband Recovery

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2009 - Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling said Wednesday that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will work to apply the lessons from the first round as it moves on to the next phase of broadband stimulus applications. “The NTIA and RUS are finalizing a new request for information that will help us shape the round two process,” Strickling said, testifying before the House Small Business Committee. He also said that at least 15 percent of the applications for stimulus funding came from small and disadvantaged businesses. Keep Reading

Google to FCC: Less Than 100 Phone Sex Numbers Blocked

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2009 - Google told the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday that its Google Voice service currently is restricting calls to fewer than 100 specific phone numbers that it believes are involved in the business of adult sex chats. Google provided a detailed response Wednesday to questions posed by the FCC concerning Google Voice’s practice of preventing calls to certain telephone number prefixes. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Smart Grid

Information Technology: Environmental Boosters, But Not As Green As You Might Think

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2009 - Many think of oil and paper industries as enemies in the war against climate change. They think of sport utility vehicle drivers and excessive paper use as contributing factors to global warming. But what about the carbon footprint of the information technology industry: the personal computers, e-mails, spam messages and electricity required to support internet infrastructure? Keep Reading

FCC Announces Agenda for November Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission will hear updates from staff on the formation of a national broadband plan at its November open meeting, scheduled for November 18. The staff presentation will include an analysis of "major gaps" in American broadband service availability. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act charges the FCC with developing a national broadband plan, which it must deliver to Congress before February 17, 2010. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates

Rural Utilities Service Turns 60

The Rural Utilities Service celebrated the 60th anniversary of its' telecommunications loan and grand program on Wednesday. In a press release, Wireless Communications Association International president Fred Campbell congratulated RUS on the milestone: "The funding made available through the telecommunications loan and grant programs administered by the RUS has been critical to ensuring that rural consumers have access to essential communications services like wireless broadband." Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

Lawmakers Want Stimulus Funds Getting To Rural America; 'Remoteness' Definition Raises Concerns

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2009 - Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation raised concerns Tuesday about getting broadband stimulus funds out to remote areas and how these areas should be defined. The discussion took place during an oversight hearing on the process of awarding out the $7.2 billion provided to the federal government by Congress to expand broadband deployment and adoption. Keep Reading

FCC Appoints New Members to Public Safety Interoperability Advisory Council

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has appointed persons to serve on the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council. Genachowski also designated William Smith, representing AT&T, and Chris Fischer, representing the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International as Co-Chairs of the group. Keep Reading

FCC Dives Into Web 2.0 Applications, Tools to Plug Free and Open Intenet

The FCC has established the OpenInternet.gov web site as a portal for public participation in the discussion about preserving the free and open Internet, introducing collaborative tools Web 2.0 applications. Among the links included on the site is one to Idealscale at http://openinternet.ideascale.com/, which allows the public to evaluate, rank and discuss the ideas regarding the open Internet, in new and improved pathways for communication to encourage and facilitate public participation. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

GoodBye Network Neutrality, Welcome Open Internet!

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2009 - Absent from the notice of proposed rulemaking released by the Federal Communications Commission Thursday is the charged term of “network neutrality” that has been discussed over the years. Instead, the paper is focused on the need to preserve an “open internet” through government intervention. Keep Reading

NTIA's Lawrence Strickling Describes Role of BTOP in Broadband Plan, Innovation Strategy

NEW YORK, October 26, 2009 – NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling, speaking at a telecommunications conference here on Friday, said that a national broadband plan is key to the innovation strategy of the Obama administration, along with expanding research and development, increasing education and providing a strong technological ecosystem. With regard to the Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program funding program, he said that not every good project would be funded, as there simply are not enough funds. At the same time, he said he wanted to make sure that the agency did not fund any bad projects. Keep Reading

Ex Parte Under Review

The Federal Communications Commission will hold a staff workshop at 10 a.m. on October 28 to explore possible revisions to the FCC’s current ex parte rules. The stated aim is to increase transparency of the Commission’s actions, while at the same time not scaring regulated interests away from sharing information that they have traditionally shared in closed-door meetings. Keep Reading

Liberté, Fraternité, Common Sense

The French Constitutional Court on Thursday approved legislation that would create a graduated-response program to copyright infringement. The goal is to enable copyright owners to halt illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing without suing individual consumers. Thomas Sydnor, Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation hailed the move, calling it a step forward for common sense and the rule of law on the Internet. "In America today, if a caregiver for my children used one of my home computers for illegal file-sharing, copyright owners would have to file a federal lawsuit and spend thousands of dollars—which they would then have to recover from me—just to alert me to the problem,” Sydnor added. Keep Reading

Wireless

Before October 27 Auction, a Q&A With Gregory Rose, Author of 'The WiMAX Band'

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2009 - Next Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to hold Auction 86, for the use of radio-frequencies being deployed through WiMAX technologies. The presence of two major carriers in the band – Clearwire and Sprint – makes this auction crucial for the success of WiMAX in the United States. Last week, BroadbandCensus.com began offering for sale a major report on “The ‘WiMAX Band’: Characteristics, Technology, Major Spectrum Holders in the BRS-EBS Service and Prospects for Auction 86.” BRS-EBS stands for Broadband Radio Service-Educational Broadband Service. Click here for further information about the report – including an extensive series of detailed and searchable auction tables in spreadsheets. Keep Reading

Introducing BroadbandCensus.com's People Column: Facebook Makes Changes

As Facebook increases its Washington presence, Andrew Noyes will be putting the pen down to join the company next month as manager of public policy communications. Noyes has been a reporter for National Journal Group since 2006 where he worked first for the now-dead Technology Daily publication, and later for CongressDaily. Also on the Facebook team is Tim Sparapani, director of public policy, and Adam Conner. Keep Reading

Sen. McCain Introduces Legislation to Kill Proposed FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday introduced legislation prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the Network neutrality rules that it kicked off on Thursday. The two-page bill is a naked prohibition upon the FCC: the agency “shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services.” Click here for a copy of the bill. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

FCC Takes First Step to Formally Regulate the Internet Through Proposed Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, October 22, 2009 - The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved controversial proposed rules governing internet access during its monthly public meeting. Commissioners on all sides of the debate stressed the importance of having an open internet, and in engaging in constructive dialogue on the issue going forward. The move marked the beginning of a formal phase of regulating internet access. Although the FCC in August 2005 adopted a policy statement pledging fidelity to four Net neutrality principles, such a policy was never binding upon all broadband providers. Additionally, the proposed rules go beyond those four generally-accepted neutrality principles. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

FCC Net Neutrality Efforts Spark Interest Group Mania

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2009 - As the Federal Communications Commission nears the monthly meeting slated for Thursday to consider new regulations regarding Net neutrality, e-mail boxes across Washington are being flooded by all manner of interest groups staking their claim over neutrality and freedom on the Internet. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Critics, Advocates Gear Up for FCC Rumble on Thursday

As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to tackle the issue of Network neutrality at its October 22 meeting, major telecommunications carriers have all been sending letters to the FCC and newspapers in an effort to influence the agency actions. AT&T top lobbyists Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President at the company, recently sent out a memo to all of the company’s managers criticizing Net neutrality. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Book: Digital Cultures Create Intangible Assets for New Economy Businesses

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2009 – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation released their newest book, “Wired for Innovation: How information technology is reshaping the economy,” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Sanders. With innovation a key ingredient in the information technology revolution, the book explores topics such as, what are the business practices that enhance productivity and organizational capital? Keep Reading

Are We Ready to Regulate?

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based group calling itself a "non-partisan public policy think tank committed to articulating and advancing a pro-productivity, pro-innovation and pro-technology public policy agenda," has released a "WebMemo" asking "Are We Ready to Act on New Neutrality?: 10 Key Question that Need Answers." Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/States

Whose Bailiwick?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday heard oral arguments in the matter of the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to maintain a rate cap on telecommunications intercarrier payments for internet-bound dial-up traffic and a related ruling that helps keep wireless intercarrier payments low. Keep Reading

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