Better Broadband Better Lives

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Rahul Gaitonde

Rahul Gaitonde has 243 articles published.

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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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

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

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

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

Economic Policy Institute Debates AT&T T-Mobile Merger

WASHINGTON June 29, 2011-The Economic Policy Institute gathered leading industry experts for a panel on Tuesday to debate the impending merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. At the end of March, AT&T announced plans to purchase T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. The merger has garnered a great deal of controversy because it would create the nation’s largest mobile provider. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

When It Comes to Telecommuting, Companies Save, But the U.S. Lags

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011- The Telework Research Network released its report on the state of telecommuting Monday, showing that individuals who work from home are more productive than those who report to an office everyday, but that the United States has a lower percentage of workers who telecommute than its international counterparts. In the United States, many consider telecommuting a perk rather than a standard business practice, as it is in most of the rest of the world. In Canada nearly four percent of the population teleworks or workshifts regularly. In the United Kingdom, it is even higher at a little over five percent of the population. Keep Reading

Mobile Broadband/Wireless

Pricing Info for Tiered Verizon Data Plans Leaked

WASHINGTON June 23, 2011- The Android Central blog leaked Wednesday what it claims are internal Verizon Wireless documents that show details of tiered data pricing for wireless plans to be released in July. Verizon Wireless stated last year that it would have to eventually transition away from unlimited data to a tiered system. Keep Reading

Patent Legislation Passes House Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON June 23, 2011 - After several unsuccessful attempts in previous Congresses, the House Judiciary Committee passed the America Invents Act late Tuesday by a vote of 32-3, moving the first significant overhaul of the U.S. patent system in more than 60 years one step closer to becoming law. The Senate passed a similar piece of legislation, the Patent Reform Act, in early March with a vote of 95-5. The House bill has gained the support of many companies including 3M, Apple, Dell, Facebook, General Electric, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Keep Reading

ICANN Approves New Top Level Domains

WASHINGTON June 20, 2011 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a plan on Monday to expand Internet domain names from the familiar .com and .net include customized suffixes like .google or .movies. In a 13-2 vote the ICANN board of directors approved the plan after three years of discussions. The new naming system will allow companies to create their own generic name endings such as .car or .music. Currently there are 22 name endings; .com, .net, and .org are the most popular. Keep Reading

ID InSight Says NTIA Mapping Data Is Highly Accurate

WASHINGTON June 20, 2011 - The market research firm ID InSight released an analysis of the data collected by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for the national broadband map, which shows a high level of accuracy in data collection. “Through our initial analysis of the map, we are seeing very high degrees of accuracy - sometimes exceeding 99 percent when comparing the NTIA map to what we see with Broadband Scout,” said Adam Elliot President of ID InSight. Keep Reading

Congress/Privacy/Senate

Franken Introduces Geolocation Privacy Bill

WASHINGTON June 16, 2011- Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), introduced a bill Wednesday that would make rules more stringent for collecting geolocation data on mobile device users. The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 would require companies to obtain users' expressed consent to collect location data and to notify users when they share location data with third parties. Keep Reading

June IP Breakfast Club Debates Performance Right

WASHINGTON June 16, 2011- Broadband Breakfast gathered leading experts Tuesday to discuss a performance right for broadcasting at the June installment of the Intellectual Property Breakfast Club. Under current copyright regulations, when a song is played on terrestrial radio the writer of the song gets paid fee called a broadcast royalty. The singers and musicians that perform the song, however, get no such payment. Performance royalties are paid to singers from web-based radio stations along with cable companies that offer music channels.

Broadband IP Breakfast: A Performance Right for Broadcasting: Will Radio Begin to Pay?

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One Economy ‘Application for Good’ Winners Announced

WASHINGTON June 14, 2011- The One Economy Corporation, in conjunction with AT&T, announced the winners of the "Applications for Good" contest on Tuesday. “Technology is important, but today’s event shows that what really matters is how people, families and communities use technology to make their lives better,” said Kelley Dunne, President and CEO of One Economy. “We must constantly challenge ourselves to seek creative ways to meet people where they are in delivering resources that can truly transform communities.” Keep Reading

Patent Reform Coalition Calls for the End of Fee Diversion

WASHINGTON June 13, 2011 - The Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, the Coalition for Patent Fairness, the Innovation Alliance along with a group of universities sent a joint letter to Congress Monday recommending that any patent reform legislation end the diversion of user fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In early March, the Senate passed the Patent Reform Act of 2011. The America Invents Act, a House companion to the Senate bill, is currently up for debate in the lower house. The bills would update many of the operations of the USPTO. Keep Reading

Commerce Dept. Recommends Public-Private Partnership on Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 - The Department of Commerce released its Cybersecurity, Innovation and the Internet Economy green paper on Wednesday, advising cooperation between the government and private sector to implement ways to address cybersecurity issues. The Internet Policy Taskforce, a department-wide group created in April 2010, wrote the green paper with the goal of addressing the pressing issues surrounding cyber security. Keep Reading

Leahy Introduces Data Security Bill

WASHINGTON June 8, 2011 - Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, re-introduced a bill Tuesday that would establish a national standard for the notification to consumers by corporations when data breaches occur. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) cosponsored the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, a reiteration of bills by the same name that have failed in each of the three previous Congresses. Keep Reading

Innovation/States

California State Assembly Passes Online Sales Tax Bill

WASHINGTON June 7, 2011- The California State Assembly passed a bill last week that would require online retailers such as Amazon to collect state sales taxes on all goods the site sells within the state. The bill is similar to those that a number of other states and the U.S. Congress are currently debating. Keep Reading

Cisco Predicts Four-Fold Growth in IP Traffic Over Next Four years

WASHINGTON June 2, 2011 - Cisco predicted the next four years of global broadband consumption via virtual forum when it unveiled its annual visual networking index Wednesday. Each year Cisco produces a networking index that predicts internet use and broadband consumption for the next five years. While a number of firms produce similar reports, Cisco’s has consistently proven among the most accurate in recent years. Keep Reading

Technology Policy Institute Panel Discusses Spectrum Incentive Auctions

WASHINGTON May 24, 2011- The Technology Policy Institute assembled auction experts Monday to discuss the value and mechanics of proposed spectrum incentive auctions. “Markets work best when there are rules for the market players to act within,” said Peter Cramton, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland. “Increasingly people are getting their television service through cable and satellite making the mobile broadband market a much more valuable use for the spectrum currently held by television broadcasters.” Keep Reading

FCC Holds Final USF Reform Workshop in Nebraska

WASHINGTON May 20, 2011- The Federal Communications Commission held its final in a series of Universal Service Fund reform workshops, featuring key industry officials in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday. One of the key reforms that the FCC has proposed in its USF reform proposal is the use of reverse auctions as a new mechanism for the distribution of funds. Keep Reading

FCC/Wireless

Mercatus Gathers Experts to Debate Mobile Competition

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2011 - The Mercatus Center, a market orientated research center located at George Mason University, gathered key industry insiders to discuss how the Federal Communications Commission analyzes market competition in the wireless industry on Wednesday. “The FCC needs to look beyond just the numbers to determine if competition is actually occurring,” said Thomas Hazlett, professor of law & economics at George Mason University School of Law. “The Commission should take into account the analysis conducted by Wall Street to see how the financial market views the mobile market.” Keep Reading

May Broadband Breakfast Explores AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

WASHINGTON May 18, 2011 - Broadband Breakfast gathered former Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice officials along with leading industry experts to explore how the government will scrutinize the AT&T T-Mobile merger.

Will the FCC or the Justice Department Be Tougher on the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger? from Broadband Breakfast on Vimeo.

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Cybersecurity/FCC

Chertoff, Genachowski Join FCC Cybersecurity Roundtable

WASHINGTON May 17, 2011- As part of National Small Business Week, the Federal Communications Commission assembled leading experts for a cybersecurity roundtable discussion on Monday and unveiled a set of new partnerships aimed at educating the public. “A recent Symantec study found that American small businesses lose billions annually to cyber-attacks, and 74 percent of small and medium businesses reported being affected by cyber-attacks in the past 12 months,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “The average cost of each cyber-attack to small and medium sized businesses is nearly $200,000.” Keep Reading

LightSquared to Launch Nationwide Wholesale LTE Network

WASHINGTON May 13, 2011 – The New America Foundation gathered key industry experts on Thursday to discuss whether satellite spectrum should be reclassified so that it can be used for the expansion of terrestrial mobile broadband. With the spectrum crunch that many experts anticipate, many industry experts are calling for the reclassification of the satellite spectrum to be used for the expansion of mobile broadband. Rather than wholly reclassify the spectrum, LightSquared uses their mobile satellite spectrum holdings to deploy a nationwide Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network with both terrestrial and satellite components. Keep Reading

Broadband Mapping

Oregon Debuts State Broadband Map

WASHINGTON May 12, 2011- After nearly two years of data gathering, the Oregon Public Utility Commission debuted its broadband map Wednesday. The state received a $2.1 million grant through the Broadband Data Improvement Act and chose to conduct the mapping through its Public Utility Commission with support from the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council. Keep Reading

Senators Grill Mobile CEOs on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

WASHINGTON May 12, 2011- The Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights assembled leading mobile CEOs Wednesday to explore the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. “The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will bring together two of the four remaining national cell phone carriers to create the nation's largest cell phone network, with an estimated 43 percent market share,” said Sen Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Subcommittee, setting the tone for the hearing. “Should this deal be approved, AT&T and Verizon will control close to 80 percent of the national cell phone market.” Keep Reading

Sallet: Broadband Changes Traditional Value Chain

WASHINGTON May 11, 2011 - Former Director of the Office of Policy & Strategic Planning of the Department of Commerce under President Clinton, Jonathan Sallet, presented a new way to look at the traditional value chain with respect to broadband Tuesday at a congressional briefing presented by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. Sallet presented the value chain not as a chain at all, but rather as a circle. Keep Reading

Minow and Genachowski Discuss Spectrum and the Internet

WASHINGTON May 10, 2011 -To commemorate the 50th anniversary of former Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Newton Minow's famous speech in which he called television a “vast wasteland,” the National Press Club and the George Washington University Global Media Institute gathered current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Minow to discuss the current state of the commission and media. Keep Reading

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