Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

July 2011

AT&T’s Newly Proposed Economic Model For Merger Riles Opposition

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 – Sen. Al Franken (D-MN.) sent a filing to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice Tuesday requesting the denial of the merger between wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. Less than 24 hours after AT&T submitted its most recent economic model to the FCC and DOJ for the proposed merger with T-Mobile, the junior senator from Minnesota weighed in on the conflict, stating that the merger would drive up prices for consumers and likely cost thousands of jobs. Keep Reading

New Zealand Broadband Plan Sheds Light on U.S. Plan

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011 – Broadband experts examined whether New Zealand’s ‘Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative’ contained lessons that could be applied to the U.S.’ own broadband situation Tuesday at a New America Foundation Panel (NAF). Panelist Blair Levin, Communications and Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute and one of the primary authors of the National Broadband Plan, exhibited confidence in America’s broadband future. Keep Reading

BroadbandBreakfast.com Co-Sponsors ‘Telecom 2018 Workshop’ at Wiley Rein, July 28th

WASHINGTON, Thursday, July 21, 2011 – The internet and intellectual property policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com will co-sponsor the July 28, 2011 "Telecom 2018 Workshop" at Wiley Rein, 1776 K Street NW in Washington, DC. The registration form and schedule for the free event is available at http://telecom2018.com The workshop represents the first opportunity for… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadband Adventures in Wunderland: The Myth of the $7 million home

If it were a piece of classical music, the “study” by Navigant Economics’ Jeffrey Eisenach and Kevin Caves could easily be titled “Variations on a False Narrative in the key of F.” They claim, after a review of three (count ‘em, 3) of the hundreds of broadband grants, the broadband stimulus cost too much for too little ROI. The most misleading of the claims, though, is the alleged $349,234 spent per un-served household. Well, I should say the $7 million per un-served household, but I’ll come back to that in a bit. Keep Reading

July Breakfast Club Examines Connect America Fund Transition

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 - The July Broadband Breakfast Club gathered key industry experts to discuss how the Universal Service Fund could be transformed to support next generation broadband communications technologies on Tuesday. “The Universal Service Fund (USF) has done a great job in getting phone service out but now it needs to be reformed to support broadband,” said Joshua Seidemann, Director of Policy, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA).

Broadband Breakfast: Making the Universal Service Fund Into a Universal Broadband Fund from Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband's Impact

New Tools to Measure Home Broadband Connections Now Available

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – Consumers now have a new way to capture and record actual data about the speeds and quality of their broadband service. Representatives from New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative (OTI), Google and Georgia Institute of Technology proclaimed the arrival Tuesday of Broadband Internet Service BenchMark (BISMark). BISMark is a project of M-Lab, a private sector-academia open-source technology collaboration. The technology uses consumer grade commercial wireless routers to capture data on a user’s broadband speed, and stores it on a Google database for the user to analyze. Users can apply for a router through a link on ProjectBismark.com. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Langevin Makes the Case for Establishment of White House Cyber Security Director

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – Despite bipartisan agreement over the need for effective cyber security legislation, members remain divided over authority and enforcement specifics. In an opinion piece in the Saturday edition of the Washington Post, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) critiqued another article published early July in which Sens. Joe Liebermann (ID-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE) recommended proposed legislation that would grant the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) statutory authority to work with industry to identify and evaluate critical cyber infrastructure and establish best practices between government and the private sector in order to improve security. Keep Reading

Analysis: Consumers Still Confused About New 4G LTE Systems

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011- Both AT&T and Verizon taken steps to to deploy their 4G LTE networks in recent months, with Sprint and T-Mobile heavily advertising their existing 4G technologies. With rampant speculation regarding the iPhone 5 industry watchers have predicted that consumers would be clamoring for the faster speeds promised by LTE. "Not so," says consumer research firm Retrevo. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity

Pentagon Announces Buildup of Cyber Defenses

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2011 – The Defense Department announced late last week a plan to proactively deal with cyber intrusions through a collaborative buildup of civilian and military network defenses. The DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (DSOC) is the first unified strategy for conducting operations in cyberspace between the Defense Department’s military, intelligence and business operations. The DoD is coordinating its cyber security efforts with the Department of Homeland Security and private companies responsible for maintaining critical infrastructure through threat information sharing and more robust network protection. The program is called Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Pilot. Keep Reading

BroadbandBreakfast.com Hosts the Broadband Breakfast Club July 2011 Event ‘Making the Universal Service Fund into a Universal Broadband Fund’

WASHINGTON, Monday, July 18th, 2011 – The internet and intellectual property policy news and events service BroadbandBreakfast.com will hold its July 2011 Broadband Breakfast Club event, “Making The Universal Service Fund into a Universal Broadband Fund” on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

Rural Telecom Associations Raise Concerns Over USF Reform

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2011 – The FCC should consider costs and service areas of rural broadband customers as it reforms the Universal Service Fund (USF) to include broadband expansion, urged members of congress and rural telecom associations Thursday. The rural telecom associations announced at the Capitol building the inauguration of a DC-based print advertising campaign to highlight the economic harm of the FCC’s current proposal. The associations believe that USF reform as it is presently being considered would result in lost jobs, poor health care coverage and stifled innovation due to blocked access to global markets. Keep Reading

Agency Heads Appear Before Congress to Tackle Privacy Issues

WASHINGTON July 18, 2011- Two congressional subcommittees called on the heads of several government agencies late last week to inquire how each addresses Internet privacy issues. The panel, assembled by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology included the heads of the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Get Our Older Adults Online

If you’re like most consumers today, you’re spending many hours a day online, surfing the Internet for information, sending and receiving e-mails, watching videos, exchanging photos, communicating on social networks, playing games, and shopping online. However, within the older adult community, age 65+, only a little over a third have adopted broadband and are able to go online at home. With much of our information, entertainment, commerce, and even government services now on the Internet, our seniors have rapidly become the most digitally divided segment of our society – and with the great benefits the Internet has to offer our aging community, they’re missing out on an opportunity to improve their lives at a most critical point. Keep Reading

New America Foundation: New Media Only Minor Component of Arab Spring

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 – Despite U.S. media portrayals of the Arab Spring as spontaneous and enabled by social media, Middle East experts said Wednesday at New America Foundation that the revolutions were part of a decades-long train of events. Future Tense, a project of the D.C.-based think tank, held a conference to discuss the role of new media in the Arab revolutions of the past year. The afternoon was filled with several different panels and speakers, all experts on the Middle East or social media that presented to a room overflowing with students, embassy and government officials and media professionals. Keep Reading

Free State Foundation Panel Calls for USF, Intercarrier Compensation Reform

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 - The Free State Foundation, a free-market think thank, assembled key industry experts Wednesday and pressed for the immediate need for reforms to the Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation systems. For the past year, the Federal Communications Commission has worked on updating the Universal Service Fund to handle the demands of broadband expansion rather than voice service. Keep Reading

FCC Homes in on E911 Location Data at July Meeting

WASHINGTON July 13, 2011 - The Federal Communications Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that would aim to improve the ability of first responders to locate mobile and Voice over IP (VoIP) callers who contact 911 during its July meeting on Tuesday. The Commission passed by a unanimous vote a Notice of Proposed Rule Making on improving the accuracy of location information for wireless and Voice over IP (VoIP) services. The NPRM seeks to establish a standard for VoIP location information. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadcast Broadband to Everyone: Messaging Beyond the Inner Circle

At MIO, we’re well aware that broadband isn’t being used to its full potential because not enough of the right people know what it is or what it can do for them. And since they don’t know what they’re missing, they’re not asking policymakers or the companies that provide broadband to make it more accessible. This is, in essence, the underlying problem that will perpetuate the digital divide. Our nation’s goal is to decrease that divide: to help key decision-makers understand what broadband is and why they need it; encourage companies and policymakers to make it widely available; and help communities make the most of the opportunities it offers for economic development, increased quality and reach of services, and jobs. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/Privacy

FTC and DOJ Forum: Child ID Theft By Family Members Most Damaging

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011 – Child ID Theft more commonly occurs via organized crime, but the most severe damage happens when done by family members, experts concluded at a joint Child ID Theft forum Tuesday. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice held the forum one day after hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ attacked U.S. government security contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, resulting in the theft of 90,000 military email addresses. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/Media

Netflix to Separate Streaming from DVD Plans

WASHINGTON July 12, 2011 -Netflix announced Wednesday that it will no longer offer a combined DVD and streaming plan, instead offering customers a la carte plans to choose from. "Netflix members love watching instantly, but we've come to recognize there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs by mail," said Andy Rendich, Netflix Chief Service and Operations Officer. "By better reflecting the underlying costs and offering our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVD, we hope to provide a great value to our current and future DVD-by-mail members." Keep Reading

Experts Cast Doubt Over UK Consumer Group’s IP Address Shortage Claims

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2011 – A British consumer group claimed Monday that nearly four out of ten of the nation's 20.9 million broadband users worry about increasingly limited Internet access, though experts in the field called into question the findings, pointing to the impending implementation of the next generation of Internet Protocol addresses. With the world population set to approach 7 billion people this year, according to the United Nations, there is concern that the world is running out of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. IP addresses are unique online identifiers that act like phone numbers for individual computers. Keep Reading

Intellectual Property

Klobuchar Streaming Bill Language Causes Concern

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 – Proposed legislation introduced last month with the intent to target digital pirates whose activities hurt American jobs has instead raised the eyebrows of critics, who worry the bill would adversely affect millions of YouTube users. “Intellectual property is vital to our nation’s economy, and our businesses rely on trademark and… Keep Reading

FCC and FTC Deregulation Under Review As Key to Job Growth

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 – What was originally billed as a federal agency confessional before House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday turned into a search to create American jobs and economic growth. Monday, the subcommittee held its fourth hearing to improve the regulatory review system. With the national unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, burdensome regulations from federal agencies are seen by both sides of the aisle and agency representatives to contribute to the problem. An Executive Order the President issued in January sought to streamline federal agencies by having them do a retrospective review of existing regulations and discard those they determined outdated and unnecessary. Keep Reading

OECD Releases Open Internet Framework

WASHINGTON July 6, 2011- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy Making last week, presenting a new framework of policies that will promote open internet regulations while still protecting the rights of content makers. The OECD is an international organization composed of 34 governments with a goal of promoting democracy and expanding market economies. Keep Reading

Cybersecurity/Privacy

Senate Considers Recommendations for Data Privacy and Security Bills

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2011 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee assembled Wednesday its third hearing this legislative session on data privacy and security. In a hearing rushed so that members could make it to the Senate floor in time to vote, members and witnesses from government agencies and private sector entities testifying before the senate committee reiterated support for federal data security legislation. Consumer privacy bills such as the Do Not Track Online Act of 2011, Commercial Bill of Rights Act of 2011 and reintroduction of the Data Security and Breach Notification Act are all currently before the committee. Keep Reading

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