Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

January 2010

Wireless Broadband Challenges Include Rolling Up WISPS and Obtaining Stimulus Funding

GERMANTOWN, Md., January 31, 2010 - Two of the biggest challenges facing the expansion of wireless broadband in this country include the disparate number of rural and remaote wireless carriers, and how to ensure that stimulus funding goes to wireless carriers. The Wireless Internet Service Provider Directory lists 1,860 WISPs in the U.S., while another directory includes over 2,500. Notwithstanding, there exist numerous other WISPs that are simply not contained in these directories. Keep Reading

McDowell Warns Against Regulation of Broadband as Telecommunications Service

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2010 - In his keynote address to the Free State Foundation on Friday, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell said that the agency’s number one goal in the national broadband plan should be to do no harm. He was concerned, he said, that the agency was considering classifying providers of broadband infrastructure as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Re-regulating internet services in such a manner might lead to a parade of horribles, McDowell said – as well as vexing nuts-and-bolts questions since the deregulatory push of the past decade remade the structure of much of telecommunications law. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion

Cable Trends: Predicting Stock Value as a Percentage of Division

Cable industry stocks, like all tech stocks, have seen their ups and downs when it comes to performance. The industry has been through periods of high infrastructure spending, acquisitions and divestitures, increased programming costs, higher retransmission costs, and competitive pressures, each playing its own role in keeping values lower. How do industry revenue streams [...] Keep Reading

NTIA Chief Larry Strickling Urges BTOP Rejects to Reapply, Reapply, Reapply!

DENVER, January 29, 2010 - Ditch the discouragement, review successful applications and reapply, reapply, reapply, was the message at the Denver workshop on Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grants. “Don’t fret over round one, there’s more money in round two,” said Larry Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Friday presentation. “I know folks are getting what you’re calling a rejection letter, but we’re looking at it as an 'opportunity to reapply' letter.” Keep Reading

BroadbandBreakfast.com Releases Free Webcast on ‘Net Neutrality, Copyright Protection and the National Broadband Plan’

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2010 - Broadband Census News LLC on Wednesday released, for FREE, the full-length video of the BroadbandBreakfast.com event on January 19, 2010: The Town Hall Webcast on the topic of "Net Neutrality, Copyright Protection and the National Broadband Plan." The event, moderated by Kim Hart of The Hill and Drew Clark of BroadbandBreakfast.com, begins with an introductory welcome by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, and is followed by two panels, the first focused on technolgy, and the second focused on policy. Keep Reading

Rural Utilities Service Unveils $310 Million in Stimulus Funds for 14 Projects

WASHINGTON, January 26, 2010 - The Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service is doling out $310 million in broadband stimulus funds, department Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday. The monies will be spread throughout 14 projects seeking to bring speedy Internet connections to rural communities in the United States in an effort to lift and grow their economies. "The awards for these broadband projects will support anchor institutions – such as libraries, public buildings and community centers – that are necessary for the viability of rural communities," Vilsack said. Keep Reading

New Feature on BroadbandBreakfast.com: Question of the Week

WASHINGTON, January, 26, 2010 - BroadbandBreakfast.com today launches a new feature: We're seeking answers to questions from our readers, and we will publish some of the answers that we receive back. This question will help prepare for the upcoming Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, February 9, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.: "Setting the Table for the National Broadband Plan: Collecting and Using Broadband Data."

The question: "How Can the FCC Help Collect and Release Better Broadband Data?"

Keep Reading

Comcast’s impending Regulatory Hurdle: Simple Motives behind a Dream – NBC-Universal

Since announcement of the Comcast/NBC-Universal merger consummated the deal creating subsequent analysis and conjecture about how the new venture will be structured, with its impact on programming distribution and fears of dominance, and anti-trust issues within the marketplace; Comcast is set to go before regulators to convince a skeptical crowd how this union [...] Keep Reading

Hillary Clinton: ‘U.S. Government Is Committed To Internet Freedom’

WASHINGTON, January 21, 2010 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday addressed a crowd of activists and policymakers on the lack internet freedom abroad – and its impact on U.S. policy. “Technology is forming a new nerve-system for our planet” Clinton said, relating stories of technology serving people world-wide: saving lives in Haiti, helping farmers in Kenya, and facilitating open dialogue around the world. Clinton also spoke of the Internet as the “digital commons of our time,” adding that the responsibility of every nation to maintain the integrity of the Internet as a system for facilitating commerce and the free flow of information throughout the world. Keep Reading

FCC Net Neutrality Workshop Examines Importance of Transparency

WASHINGTON, January 21, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission in a Tuesday workshop explored consumer choice, user control of their online experience and the importance of transparency. The agency’s fourth Open Internet Workshop on Consumers, Transparency and the Open Internet focused on the sixth principle of network neutrality - transparency. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Expert Opinion

The New York Times Highlights BroadbandCensus.com and Other Internet Speed Tests

WASHINGTON, January 21, 2010 - Today's edition of The New York Times includes a story about internet speed tests, including BroadbandCensus.com, and the various approaches that each of the major providers take in offering speed tests. The piece, "How Fast is Your Web Connection?" by Peter Wayner, includes ISPGeeks.com, Toast.net, VisualWare, Pingtest.net, and DSLReports.com, along with BroadbandCensus.com. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Big Broadband Stimulus Grants for Middle-Mile Networks in N.C. and Michigan

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Wednesday continued its rolling award of broadband stimulus grants, doling out $63 million for four broadband grants in Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina. With the announcements, the NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service have awarded $253 million in broadband stimulus grants, or about 3.5 percent of the total broadband stimulus funds. The money has been spent on 23 projects so far, or an average of $11 million per grant. The largest winners in Tuesday’s announcements were the Merit Network in Michigan, which won $33 million; and MCNC in North Carolina, which won $28.2 million. Both were for infrastructure grants to build fiber-optic networks within their states, connecting households and anchor institutions to broadband facilities. Keep Reading

Panelists Debate Copyrights, Open Internet in U.S. Broadband Plan

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2010 - Communication and intellectual property experts debated whether a national broadband plan is the right vehicle for addressing copyright and network neutrality issues and whether the FCC is overstepping its bounds by dabbling with copyright issues. Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn sparred with officials from the Recording Industry Association of America, telling RIAA’s executive vice president and general counsel that the recording and Hollywood industries along with some song writers want iinternet service providers to filter networks for copyright infringement. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Comments: Verizon Says Net Neutrality Rules Unnecessary, Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2010 – Verizon Communications’s net neutrality filling is unique in that the telecom giant is one of the only companies which provides broadband service via high-speed fiber optic cables and copper digital subscriber lines, plus wireless broadband via third-generation and fourth-generation wireless services. The company’s opposition to net neutrality is based on, it says, the lack of evidence that users’ internet rights have been violated. Additionally, the companies said that enforcement of such principles will have negative economic consequences. Keep Reading

Last Chance to Register for National Town Hall on ‘Net Neutrality, Copyright and National Broadband Plan’

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2010 - Monday is the last day to register to attend BroadbandBreakfast.com's Town Hall Webcast on "Net Neutrality, Copyright Protection and the National Broadband Plan," which takes place tomorrow, or on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Register at http://ipbreakfast.eventbrite.com. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Comments

FCC Inundated With Network Neutrality Filings From Wide Range of Groups

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission was inundated this week with a new slew of comments on its proposed plan to ensure an open internet through network neutrality regulation. Players like the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council weighed in on the Internet’s importance to minority communities, while heavy hitters from Hollywood and big communications firms also added their more than two cents. Here’s just a sampling of comments from the broadband industry community and look for more in-depth stories on BroadbandBreakfast.com in the next couple of days. Keep Reading

FCC’s Open Internet Workshop at MIT Brought Robust Exchange Among Academics

BOSTON, Mass., January 15, 2010 - Academics, economics, technology specialists, application creators, internet service operators and investors descended on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday to discuss the possible effects of the proposed net neutrality rules on innovation, investment and internet users. Sharon Gillette, chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission and Paul de Sa, chief of the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, moderated the late afternoon and evening workshop. This article summarizes the entire comments made at the substantive MIT workshop. Keep Reading

New Study Suggests Benefits for Net Neutrality Policies

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2010 - Internet service providers and content providers are at a disadvantage since they are not compensated for all of the information they disseminate, and that leads to systematic underinvestment in the Internet, posits a new paper (PDF). The authors of “Free to Invest: The Economic Benefits of Preserving Network Neutrality” say if that income could be accessed, government policy could help overcome that market failure. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Transparency

Obama Pushes for Efficient, Modern Government

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2010 - The federal government must embrace the type of technological innovation and experimentation that has borne fruit in the private sector, President Obama said Thursday at a White House forum on modernizing government. Bringing the government into the 21st Century is critical, he said, and the “technology revolution that has transformed society over the last decade has yet to reach government offices.” Keep Reading

Former Miami Mayor Heads to Alliance for Digital Equality

ATLANTA, Ga., January 14, 2010 - Former Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz on Monday was elected vice chairman of the Alliance for Digital Equality. “Due to his extensive experience on broadband related issues facing the unserved and underserved, Manny will be a tremendous asset in advocating on a variety of policy and economic issues for America’s low income citizens,” Alliance Chairman Julius Hollis said. Keep Reading

Broadband Breakfast Club Discussion on Education Now Available Online

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2010 - Broadband Census News LLC on Thursday released, for FREE, the full-length video of the Broadband Breakfast Club event on January 12, 2010: "Setting the Table for the National Broadband Plan: Education and Distance Learning." Don't Miss BroadbandBreakfast.com's forthcoming Town Hall Webcast on Tuesday, January 19, 2010: "Net Neutrality, Copyright Protection and the National Broadband Plan." Among the speakers at the webcast include FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Registration for the live webcast is available for FREE at http://ipbreakfast.eventbrite.com. There is a $45.00 charge to attend the breakfast in person. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Copyright

World’s First Fair Use Day Attracts Interest – And Signs that Congress Doesn’t Understand It

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 - The consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge on Tuesday hosted the first-ever World Fair Use Day. “Fair use” refers to the defense, under the copyright statute, that permits individuals and businesses to make use of others’ copyrighted material under certain circumstances. The keynote speaker was Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., who told the attendees how Congress as a whole sees the issue of mixing and mashups – they don’t understand it. Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Recovery Act

Commerce Department Awards 10 More Broadband Mapping Grants; Total Funding is $97 Million

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 – The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday announced that it has awarded grants to fund broadband mapping and planning activities in Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas under NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program. With the grants, the NTIA has awarded 51 of the 56 applications: one for every state, plus the district of Columbia and five territories. The NTIA has spent approximately $97 million on the applications, the agency said. Keep Reading

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