Better Broadband Better Lives

Monthly archive

May 2014

NTIA’s Larry Strickling Recounts Broadband Stimulus Gains, Seeks to Continue Efforts Without Federal Funds

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2014 - The president's chief adviser on telecommunications, the head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, on Thursday heralded the first of a series of workshops designed to find ways to "build on the momentum of our successful broadband grant program" without access to federal funds. In a blog… Keep Reading

Cities Need to be Involved in Municipal Broadband Because Their Future Depends Upon Such Networks, Says Panel

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 - Four believers in municipal internet access expressed their dismay at the New America Foundation at an increasingly consolidated broadband marketplace – and promoted local government ownership as a remedy. Speaking on a panel of experts on Wednesday at the think tank, they blasted giants AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Comcast Blasts Public Utility Regulation, White House to Host Smart Home Expo, and ‘Commercially Reasonable’ Data Roaming

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 - Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has defended his company and its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable against critics, reports Re/code. Saying that he could accept "some kind of net neutrality law," he scorned the idea of reclassifying broadband as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act, which… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Data Brokerage Industry in the Hot Seat, Library and Education Group Want More E-Rate Funds

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 - The National Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission released a report charging the data brokerage industry with collecting "troves" of information on nearly all American consumers. The agency urged Congress to push for more transparency. Believing that an invasive collection of personal data could harm consumers, the FTC recommended… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: China’s Tit-for-Tat with America on Cybercrime; FCC Chairman Wheeler Discusses Next-Generation Internet Networks

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 – In what appears to be a tit-for-tat on the United States Justice Department’s indictments last week for cybercrime, China has accused the United States of spying on government officials, businesses and mobile phone users, reported the BBC News. "As a superpower, the United States takes advantage of its political, economic,… Keep Reading

Fiber to the Home Council Webinar on Municipal Broadband Solutions Focuses on Open Access Opportunities

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 – In a Wednesday webinar, the Fiber to the Home Council invited broadband planning firm Magellan Advisors to discuss their ways of advising communities seeking to build advance broadband networks. Guest members included Magellan Advisors President John Honkers and Vice President Kyle Hollifeld. They described their firm as a 'turnkey' that… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: House Passes USA Freedom Act to Rein in NSA, But Key Civil Liberties Groups Defect

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 - The House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act on Thursday in a 303 to 121 vote, according to Ars Technica, instituting changes to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of American phone records. The goal is to end the practice of gathering records of meta-data about the individuals to which and… Keep Reading

FBI Director Testifies On Cybersecurity, Says Agency Can Balance National Security and Civil Liberties

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 - At the Senate Judiciary Committee's oversight hearing on the FBI on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey faced scrutiny over the agency's ability to balance national security and civil liberties in light of technological advancements. Among issues discussed were cyber threats and surveillance programs that acquire data on a massive scale.… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Germany Rebuffs Surveillance for Repression, Wearable Technology in the Body and Cyber-Attacks

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2014 - ABC News reported that Germany plans to limit their exports of surveillance technology to states "that fail to respect their human rights." The action is a response to recent allegations made against intelligence agencies, claiming that surveillance programs have been unwarranted and non-transparent. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he wanted to keep… Keep Reading

FCC’s Wheeler Testifies Before House Subcommittee, Defends Record on Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler came under heavy criticism during a Tuesday hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, with many members expressing disapproval of the agency’s recent performance, particularly over the issue of network neutrality. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., criticized the agency’s "selective… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FBI after Chinese Hackers, AT&T after DirecTV, Congress after FCC Chairman Wheeler

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2014 - On Monday, tensions with China over cybersecurity increased as the U.S. Justice Department indicted five Chinese military officers for stealing trade secrets from six United States companies. The Guardian quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as saying, “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: AT&T-DirecTV Merger and its Impact on the Marketplace

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 - AT&T announced that it would acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal, according to multiple sources. The agreement may allow AT&T to position itself in a way to rival cable firms. AT& would acquire about 20 million of DirecTV's customers. The Washington Post recounts that the stated goal of the… Keep Reading

Building a Legal Case for Net Neutrality Rules, FCC’s Wheeler Hopes Courts Will Look Favorably on His Logic

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s last two efforts to enshrine network neutrality. So what makes current chairman Tom Wheeler feel as though he can succeed where two of his predecessors failed? The answers lie in the details of the 85-page order – called a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the legalese of Washington telecommunications bureaucrats – released late on Thursday. At its core, Wheeler aims to regulate broadband providers without having to treat them as regulated entities. [...] Keep Reading

Critics on Both Ends of the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, With a Few Supporters in the Middle

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 - The Federal Communication Commission's effort to thread the needle on net neutrality with regulations that will withstand legal scrutiny while also satisfying open internet activists led to starkly divided responses to the Thursday measure. In the camp expressing disappointment that agency Chairman Tom Wheeler didn't go further, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, said that innovation over the internet in America could unless broadband were to be reclassified as a common-carrier telecommunications service. "Internet access today is like traditional phone service decades ago - we can't live or work without it," Markey said. "We must stop broadband behemoths from setting up fast and slow lanes and picking winners and losers. Start-ups and small business would suffer, slowing our economy and job growth throughout Massachusetts and around the country." [...] Keep Reading

At the Scene of the Federal Communications Commission as the Agency Passes Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2014 – In a Federal Commissions Commission meeting tinged with protest, the agency voted Thursday to begin a process to re-established certain network neutrality rules after they had been struck down by a federal appeals court in January. On a 3-2 vote, the agency’s three Democrats kicked off a proceeding seeking public input on how to find a solution protecting and promote the open flow of information on the internet that will pass legal scrutiny. Chairman Tom Wheeler retained the support of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn – even though Rosenworcel said she only “concurred” with the proposal. [...] Keep Reading

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition to Meet in Washington This Week

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014 - Efforts to construct Gigabit Networks will be featured prominently at the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition meeting this week in Washington, the fourth annual event for this community of broadband users. The even will run from Wednesday, May 7 through Friday, May 9. Registration and the agenda for the event… Keep Reading

For Utah’s UTOPIA, New Utility Financing Model for Open Gigabit Networks Contrasts with Google Fiber

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, May 5, 2014 - One of the largest global companies involved in the construction of highways, airports, bridges and other capital-intensive infrastructure projects plans to spend more than $300 million to complete a Gigabit Network in Utah. The Australian-based company, Macquarie Capital, believes that it has found its first North American… Keep Reading

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