Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

November 2009

Broadband's Impact/Copyright

American Cable Association Endorses Time Warner’s Effort to Cap Licensing Costs

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - A trade association representing small and independent cable television providers has endorsed Time Warner Cable's effort to reign in rising programming licensing fees. The American Cable Association announced on Monday its support for Time Warner's "Roll Over or Get Tough" campaign, which the company launched week as a web site to educate consumers about rising programming costs' effect on bills -- asserting television networks are threatening to cut viewers off from their favorite shows. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Industry, State, Nonprofit Groups Urge Changes to Broadband Stimulus Programs

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - A number of groups took the opportunity Monday to weigh in on the government’s efforts to distribute the $7.2 billion allotted by Congress in January to expand broadband deployment and adoption. “Many of our nation’s most experienced broadband providers were forced to sit on the sidelines during the first round of funding,” said U.S. Telecom Association President Walter McCormick Jr., in a Monday statement. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act

NTIA Announces Award for Six More Broadband Mapping Projects

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - The U.S. government announced Monday that it has awarded millions of dollars to five state entities and one nonprofit organization - Connected Nation - that proposed projects to help collect better data on broadband availability across the country. The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the government agency responsible for taking the lead on broadband data as part of the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program, announced funding for broadband mapping and planning activities in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Privacy

Turkey Wants To Be The Internet Gatekeeper For Its Citizens

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - Turkey’s government is working on a project that would give every child a designated email address at birth, according to reports coming from the country’s state news agency late Monday. Turkey is also looking to develop a homegrown Internet search engine to address government national security concerns related to citizens using search engines based in foreign countries. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Tuesday Panel to Explore ‘Grand Bargain’ on Broadcast Spectrum

A proposal to return much of the spectrum used by commercial television broadcasters is gaining some mindshare in Washington telecommunications circles. A high ranking FCC official recently suggested it might be possible to craft a "grand bargain," in which broadcasters return unused portions of their digital television spectrum to the government in exchange for proceeds from an auction. The spectrum to be auctioned off could fulfill a coming need for spectrum to be used by the burgeoning wireless broadband industry. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Expert Opinion

BroadbandCensus.com Sees Hope in NTIA’s Request for Form 477 Database

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - The news that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration aims to seek access to the Form 477 database is positive news -- providing that the public obtains access to the database, too. Even before the founding of BroadbandCensus.com more than two years ago, the individuals associated with the data side of BroadbandCensus.com have been urging the public disclosure of basic broadband data. We call this the Broadband SPARC: for Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. Keep Reading

Broadband Data

NTIA Seeks Access to FCC’s Form 477 Database for Better Broadband Data

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2009 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration last week asked the Federal Communications Commission to release a key database of information about broadband deployment assembled from providers of high-speed internet access. In a public notice dated Wednesday, November 25, the FCC said it intended to release this database -- the Form 477 database -- to the NTIA unless it received opposition from the carriers who have provided the broadband data by December 7, 2009. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Recovery Act

Lessons the FCC Can Learn from the Past!

I think the FCC has to look back at how Broadband proliferation occurred from its beginnings to understand how to move it forward today. By researching and studying The Cable Communications Act of 1984, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, , and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the federal arm of… Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

Former Googler in Obama Administration at Cross-Hairs of Net Neutrality Debate

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2009 - The rhetoric surrounding whether the Federal Communications Commission should move forward with rules to regulate internet access to support the principle of network neutrality took on new legs this week when a government official – a former top policy official at Google – conflated net neutrality, free speech and anti-government censorship in the same discussion. It comes at a time that the FCC has already moved away from the controversial term “network neutrality” to focus instead on the importance of ensuring that an “open internet” exists going forward. Keep Reading

Wireless

FCC Takes Steps To Allow Use Of Unused TV ‘White Space’ Spectrum

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2009 - The Federal Communications Commission has moved ahead to implement an order from last year to establish rules to allow new wireless devices to operate in unused broadcast television spectrum. “The rules will allow for the use of unlicensed TV band devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses,” according to a public notice (DOC) dated November 25. The FCC document invites proposals from entities that would like to be “Designated TV Band Device Database Managers.” Keep Reading

Panelists at FCC Workshop Debate Agency’s Role in Funding Broadband Research

WASHINGTON, November 25, 2009 - In a workshop held Monday at the Federal Communications Commission, academics and industry leaders outlined their concerns and suggestions about the upcoming national broadband plan. The workshop, organized by the FCC’s national broadband taskforce, sought answers to specific questions about how research funding can propel technology innovation. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Copyright

How Will Content Evolve With Online Business Models?

WASHINGTON, November 24, 2009 - News reports this week, referencing unnamed sources, stated that one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world is considering more ways to profit from the distribution of its articles online by opting out of Google News and moving into Microsoft’s Bing search engine. News Corporation Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch has reportedly been in talks with Microsoft about a deal in which News Corp would remove its media content from Google’s search engine and include the content on Microsoft’s Bing search engine for a fee. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Copyright

British Internet Service Providers Cry Foul Over Copyright Bill

WASHINTON, November 23, 2009 - British Internet service providers are alarmed by government efforts to enact legislation they claim would place an unfair burden on them to go after alleged copyright infringers online. The U.K. Internet Services Providers' Association said Friday that they are concerned that legislation currently being considered would “penalize the success of the Internet industry and undermine the backbone of the digital economy.” Keep Reading

Federal Communications Commission Moves Into Energy And Environment

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - The Federal Communications Commission plans to hold a field hearing on energy and environmental issues this month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The hearing, which will take place on November 30, will focus “on how broadband can help the nation achieve its energy and environmental goals, including energy independence, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and clean energy generation.” Keep Reading

Genachowski: Broadband is the ‘Platform’ for All Forms of Communication

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - In an interview for C-SPAN’s “The Communicators” series, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke of the national broadband plan that is currently being put together, as well as the short term progress that has happened in relation to broadband. The broadband “platform,” according to Genachowski, is a platform that everyone takes part in; from communicating with friends and family, to communicating for working purpose. Even now, engaging with the government and its services is done on this platform. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Launch of National Broadband Research Center Puts Focus on Adoption, Not Access

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 – Declaring that its prior mission had been accomplished, on Thursday the Alliance for Public Technology rebranded itself as the National Broadband Research Center, a new organization charged with carrying the banner for broadband adoption. When the Alliance for Public Technology was founded twenty years ago, its members saw themselves as leaders in the call for equal access to technology. Now, “the goal of universal access is not really new,” said Kenneth Peres, president of the board of directors, and an economist for the Communications Workers of America. Keep Reading

FCC Creates Standardized Process for Cell Tower Siting, Discusses Broadband ‘Gaps’

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2009 - In unanimous 5-0 decision, the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission voted Wednesday to standardize the application process for tower siting requests. Advocates of the move said that the action marked another step by the agency to speed adoption of broadband in the United States. For example, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said, “We are promoting broadband by removing roadblocks to its development.” Keep Reading

Net Neutrality

Speakers Want Open Internet Access Around The World

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2009 - Speakers at a telecommunications law conference held last week touched on the importance of having unfiltered access to the Internet around the world. "The freedom of speech implies a freedom of access," said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature Du Net. "This is a form of participating in politics and with other citizens,” he continued at the second annual University of Nebraska College of Law’s Space and Telecom Law Conference held in Washington on Thursday. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion

C-SPAN’s STUDENTCAM 2010

C-SPAN, a private non-profit organization created by the Cable Television Industry as a public service, has created a great way for students in grades (6-8-Middle School) and (9-12-High School) to get involved on a national level by producing a 5-8 minute documentary on two topics.  The program is titled C-SPAN’s STUDENTCAM 2010, and students are… Keep Reading

Open Access Rules Touted as Prescription For Low U.S. Broadband Rank

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - The United States has lost a lot of ground concerning internet expansion, adoption and affordability – ranking below the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Korea – according to experts at a telecom conference on Thursday. Additionally, said Debra Lathen, board member of British Telecom, the U.S. is plagued by battles over efforts to intrude upon network neutrality. That is not the case in the United Kingdom, she said. Such a problem does not exist in England. Keep Reading

Report Calls State Of Broadband Access For Native Americans ‘Deplorable’

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - The Native American population is one of the most disconnected groups in the country, according to a study released Thursday on broadband penetration. The Native Public Media and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative suggest that the Federal Communications Commission create a Tribal Broadband Plan within the national broadband plan that it is currently drafting. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Study: Mobile Broadband Growth To Increase Competition

Mobile services in the U.S. are currently very competitive, according to a report (PDF) released Thursday by William Lehr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study, which was commissioned by the industry advocacy group Broadband for America, suggests “that the overall impact of mobile broadband will be strongly pro-competitive for broadband services overall, and for fixed broadband access in particular.” Keep Reading

Fiber at the Federal Communications Commission: Broadband Speeds Are Key

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - Broadband speeds are important because technologies such as multi-way high definition video communication require next generation services to run, Benoit Felten of the Yankee Group said during a Federal Communications Commission meeting Thursday. Felten said he expects in the next few years there will be many more offerings of 100 megabytes or higher broadband service that homes can subscribe to for reasonable prices, but currently this speed can only be found mainly in parts of the European Union or Asia. Felten, who was one of many experts the FCC had outline the specifics of broadband technology, focused his talk on fiber deployments around the world. Keep Reading

National Broadband Plan/Wireless

ITIF Urges Government Involvement to Speed Mobile Payments in U.S.

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - Experts at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation said Tuesday they are hopeful that mobile payment can catch on in the United States, but admitted that responsibility will fall to governments to provide the catalyst. “The market cannot do this on its own either in the short term or in the long-term,” said ITIF President Rob Atkinson. Keep Reading

Broadband People Column: Rey Ramsey to Leave One Economy for TechNet

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 – Rey Ramsey, the head of non-profit organization One Economy Corp., is leaving to head the technology industry fundraising organization, the group said Thursday. Ramsey will assume his new leadership role beginning in January. TechNet’s former president, Lezlee Westine, left the organization in May to head the Personal Care Products Council. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act

GAO Says Lessons of Broadband Stimulus Won’t Be Learned Before Round 2

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - The Government Accountability Office on Monday released a report analyzing the possible challenges faced by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utility Service when they implement the broadband stimulus. The largest problem that the GAO saw was that after 2010, both agencies will no longer have any funding to provide oversight to projects. Additionally, they currently lack enough staff to properly provide oversight. In the 2010 budget request to Congress, NTIA asked for an additional 40 full-time employees; RUS asked for 47 Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Expert Opinion

Broadband Census Launches BroadbandBreakfast.com for News; Keeps BroadbandCensus.com For Public and Transparent Data Collection

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 - Today, Broadband Census News launches BroadbandBreakfast.com, a new daily web site with definitive and independent news on broadband stimulus funding, wireless internet, and the national broadband plan. This new domain, BroadbandBreakfast.com, will be used for the journalistic operations of Broadband Census News LLC -- our company's news subsidiary -- and will cover broadband technology and internet policy. Our reporters are passionate about broadband, and we aim to maintain our focus on core issues of broadband technology and internet policy. Meanwhile, the web site BroadbandCensus.com has been relaunched for the purposes of Broadband Census Data LLC: ensuring that the public has free and transparent access to basic and granular broadband information about broadband Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. Keep Reading

Recovery Act/States

The Scoop on NARUC: From Washington to Main Street, Broadband Questions Remain

CHICAGO, November 18, 2009 - One striking sentiment dominated this week’s convention of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners: The federal government remains on nearly as steep a learning curve on crafting the future of broadband as many state agencies, and the best work ahead will likely get done when public and private concerns team up. “Of course more needs to be done, and they’re still learning [in Washington] how to reliably and effectively get the funds out,” said David Svanda of Svanda Consulting in Clarksville, Md., and a past president of NARUC. Keep Reading

Joint Center Applauds New Report on Expanding Broadband Adoption

The U.S. Broadband Coalition's report on increasing broadband adoption and use got a boost on Wednesday as its working group racked up an endorsement from the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies Media and Technology Institute. The working group report presented - but did not endorse - a number of policy options for increasing broadband adoption among minorities. Keep Reading

Broadband Plan of Attack is Evolving, Say Industry and Regulators

CHICAGO, November 18, 2009 - The title of Wednesday’s panel at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners sounded militant enough: “Broadband Plan of Attack.” Yet the speakers on hand gave the distinct impression that across public, private and academic sectors, conclusive battle plans remain to be drawn. Regulators from Washington, telecom providers and researchers agree that the push forward for wider broadband access remains both a certainty and an imperative. Yet not everyone seems to be dancing the same step just yet—a fact reflected in the frank appraisal of Robert Curtis, director of deployment for the national broadband plan at the Federal Communications Commission. Keep Reading

Summit Speakers Want More Broadband Access For Minorities, Criticize Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2009 - The opening speaker of a summit focused on improving broadband penetration to minority and low-income areas of the country, and criticized advocates of Net neutrality for being out of touch with the needs of minorities, as he attempted to enlist the mantle civil rights leader Martin Luther King into his cause. “[L]et us remember the worlds of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face-to-face with another problem,’” said Julius Hollis, the founder of the Alliance for Digital Equality, in prepared remarks. “If we fail to find common-ground on the issues before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission relative to the rulemaking governing broadband adoption, the financing of broadband infrastructure and the over-arching issue of net neutrality, the long-term socio-economic chaos that will be inflicted upon our society would be far too devastating to comprehend,” warned Hollis. Keep Reading

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