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Broadband Roundup: Charter Schools Love E-Rate, Kickstarter CEO on ‘Fast Lanes,’ and Broadband Video Quality




WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014 - As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote on E-Rate modernization July 11, some educators are "threatening to derail" the process according to The Hill. These educators have criticized Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal for focusing large sums of funding on Wi-Fi while neglecting to increase the overall E-Rate budget.

The commission might not even have the three votes necessary to pass the modernization proposal, The Hill reported.

“There are still some Commissioners who are listening to educators in the field, and we hope their voices ring loudly in next week’s meeting,” said an education advocate opposed to the proposal, according to The Hill.

An analysis from Funds for Learning requested by Education Week also revealed that public charter schools are requesting 79 percent more E-Rate funding per building than traditional public schools are, based on about 21, 000 applications in 2014.

Smaller applicants were shown to have to pay more for their services, "likely due to their inability to tap into the economies of scale that bigger applicants benefit from," said John Harrington, CEO of Funds for Learning, according to Education Week. "Usually they're paying higher per-unit prices."

The Pew Research Center has found that many experts do not have high hopes for the internet's future. It released a poll surveying 1,400 experts, who said they anticipate the internet becoming more Balkanized, filtered and segmented as a result of actions by nation-states to maintain security and political control.

The poll also showed that experts think trust will disappear in light of government and corporate surveillance.

The experts did also predict that by 2025, the internet will be more accessible, with artificial intelligence and natural language processing making the Internet more useful.

Without net neutrality, Kickstarter might never have existed, CEO Yancey Strickler said in a commentary for the Washington Post. A "fast lane" standard would cause websites that don't pay extra fees to be buffered to death and unable to execute great ideas well, he added.

"[Fast lanes] would have created enormous logistical and financial hurdles — ones so big they might have shut us down before we got started. But that’s the world that start-ups will be born into if the FCC moves forward with its proposed rules allowing paid prioritization — a system where Internet carriers can charge for access to a fast lane,”  Strickler said.

Google is also going on the offensive via its Youtube channel, blaming internet service providers for recent video buffering on the site, according to Quartz.

In its Video Quality Report, the company claimed that ISPs are responsible for ensuring that congestion doesn't occur. Google has also followed in Netflix's footsteps of regularly reporting how well ISPs serve customers. Google's report is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Some ISPs have even been labeled as "YouTube HD Verified."


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