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Broadband News - page 9

Citing Copyright, NBC's Rick Cotton Promotes Filtering Illegal Content Online

In an interview for C-SPAN's "The Communicators" series scheduled to air on Saturday, Rick Cotton, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, discussed his views about online piracy and counterfeiting – particularly with recent developments regarding the Internet and the pending launch of a national broadband plan by the Federal Communications Commission. Keep Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Data Security Bills

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two data security bills Thursday. The first measure, S.1490, seeks to prevent and mitigate identity theft, ensure privacy, and provide notice of security breaches. It also would enhance criminal penalties, law enforcement assistance, and other protections against data security breaches. The legislation was filed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. Keep Reading

Investor Protection Act Targets Internet Service Providers

Legislation introduced last month in Congress to provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with additional authority to protect investors from violations of the securities laws contains a section on Internet service providers. According to the text of the legislation, an Internet service provider would only be held liable if it had “actual knowledge that the material contains a misrepresentation of the kind prohibited in paragraph” or “is aware of facts or circumstances from which it is apparent that the material contains a misrepresentation” and fails to act quickly to remove or disable access to the material. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Advocacy Video Released Seeks to Touch Hearts (and Minds)

A video posted last month on YouTube from Jesse Dylon of FreeForm in support of Net neutrality wants to touch your heart and has the music and images to boot. “This is a video we made about free and open web access. An Open Internet should be a right for all people, of all backgrounds, with all interests. Net Neutrality is for all of us,” reads the last moment of the screen with the sound of the piano. Starring in the video are Net neutrality advocates Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, Vint Cerf, chief internet evangelist for Google, and Christopher Libertelli, senior director of government and regulatory affairs for Skype, among others. Keep Reading

Latest FCC Broadband Workshop on Impact on Small Business

The FCC will hold its second workshop on broadband opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses on November 12. The discussion will focus on the availability of financing for the growth and purchase of telecommunications facilities related to broadband technologies. The workshop will also explore capitalization in cable, wireless, TV and radio broadcasting, common carrier facilities, and ancillary services. The first hearing was in August, which discussed whether small and disadvantaged businesses are ready to take advantage of the existing broadband technologies. Attendants can register in advance online. Keep Reading

DOT, FCC Partner to Curb Distracted Driving

The Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Transportation will team up in an effort to reduce the incidence of distracted driving -- the use of mobile e-mail and text messaging devices by drivers while vehicles are in motion. The heads of both agencies announced the partnership on Wednesday while testifying during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Keep Reading

FCC Field Hearing to Focus on First Responder Needs

The Federal Communications Commission will host a broadband field hearing in conjunction with Georgetown University Medical Center on The Role of Broadband in Improving Public Safety Communications and Emergency Response. The hearing will focus on the specific broadband requirements for America’s first responders and emergency medical personnel, how to maximize broadband's potential in serving first responders with applications and new technologies, and the cost of implementing such communications technologies. At the core of the discussion will be how the National Broadband Plan now being developed by the Commission can help bring attention to, and address, these critical public safety issues. Keep Reading

ICANN Approves Non-Latin Domain Names

The Internet domain-name governing body has approved, after years of discussion, the use of internet addresses that consist solely of non-Latin characters. "The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," said Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush in a statement. "Right now internet address endings are limited to Latin characters – A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names." Keep Reading

FCC Announces Agenda for November Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission will hear updates from staff on the formation of a national broadband plan at its November open meeting, scheduled for November 18. The staff presentation will include an analysis of "major gaps" in American broadband service availability. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act charges the FCC with developing a national broadband plan, which it must deliver to Congress before February 17, 2010. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates

Rural Utilities Service Turns 60

The Rural Utilities Service celebrated the 60th anniversary of its' telecommunications loan and grand program on Wednesday. In a press release, Wireless Communications Association International president Fred Campbell congratulated RUS on the milestone: "The funding made available through the telecommunications loan and grant programs administered by the RUS has been critical to ensuring that rural consumers have access to essential communications services like wireless broadband." Keep Reading

FCC Appoints New Members to Public Safety Interoperability Advisory Council

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has appointed persons to serve on the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council. Genachowski also designated William Smith, representing AT&T, and Chris Fischer, representing the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International as Co-Chairs of the group. Keep Reading

FCC Dives Into Web 2.0 Applications, Tools to Plug Free and Open Intenet

The FCC has established the OpenInternet.gov web site as a portal for public participation in the discussion about preserving the free and open Internet, introducing collaborative tools Web 2.0 applications. Among the links included on the site is one to Idealscale at http://openinternet.ideascale.com/, which allows the public to evaluate, rank and discuss the ideas regarding the open Internet, in new and improved pathways for communication to encourage and facilitate public participation. Keep Reading

Ex Parte Under Review

The Federal Communications Commission will hold a staff workshop at 10 a.m. on October 28 to explore possible revisions to the FCC’s current ex parte rules. The stated aim is to increase transparency of the Commission’s actions, while at the same time not scaring regulated interests away from sharing information that they have traditionally shared in closed-door meetings. Keep Reading

Liberté, Fraternité, Common Sense

The French Constitutional Court on Thursday approved legislation that would create a graduated-response program to copyright infringement. The goal is to enable copyright owners to halt illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing without suing individual consumers. Thomas Sydnor, Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation hailed the move, calling it a step forward for common sense and the rule of law on the Internet. "In America today, if a caregiver for my children used one of my home computers for illegal file-sharing, copyright owners would have to file a federal lawsuit and spend thousands of dollars—which they would then have to recover from me—just to alert me to the problem,” Sydnor added. Keep Reading

Sen. McCain Introduces Legislation to Kill Proposed FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday introduced legislation prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the Network neutrality rules that it kicked off on Thursday. The two-page bill is a naked prohibition upon the FCC: the agency “shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services.” Click here for a copy of the bill. Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Critics, Advocates Gear Up for FCC Rumble on Thursday

As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to tackle the issue of Network neutrality at its October 22 meeting, major telecommunications carriers have all been sending letters to the FCC and newspapers in an effort to influence the agency actions. AT&T top lobbyists Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President at the company, recently sent out a memo to all of the company’s managers criticizing Net neutrality. Keep Reading

Are We Ready to Regulate?

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based group calling itself a "non-partisan public policy think tank committed to articulating and advancing a pro-productivity, pro-innovation and pro-technology public policy agenda," has released a "WebMemo" asking "Are We Ready to Act on New Neutrality?: 10 Key Question that Need Answers." Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/States

Whose Bailiwick?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday heard oral arguments in the matter of the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to maintain a rate cap on telecommunications intercarrier payments for internet-bound dial-up traffic and a related ruling that helps keep wireless intercarrier payments low. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Ronald Coase's 'The Federal Communications Commission', 50 Years On

Half a century ago, economist Ronald Coase criticized the political allocation of radio frequencies by the federal government in a seminal article, entitled “The Federal Communications Commission,” in the Journal of Law and Economics. He argued that the government could achieve efficient allocation by allowing property rights in the electromagnetic spectrum. He later won the Nobel Prize in Economics for the ideas first articulated in that paper. Keep Reading

Biden Touts Broadband Among Stimulus Funding, Although Nearly No Funds Released

Vice President Joe Biden gave an update on Thursday of the grants issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including broadband. Although practically no funds have yet been issued for broadband, the subject was included in the update of programs that are a part of the “president’s overall commitment to a lay a new foundation for economic growth in the 21st century” – together with smart grid, high-speed rail and health information technology. Keep Reading

Broadband Beneficial for Political and Electoral Engagement, Says Hispanic Group

A report released Friday by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality says that Latinas with internet access are more likely to be informed about new laws and the legislative process than those without a connection. “The Latina voter is a growing and influential segment of the California electorate,” said Helen Iris Torres, executive director of HOPE. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

FCC Chairman Genachowski Praises AT&T's Wireless VoIP Move

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday praised the Tuesday move, by AT&T, to no longer prevent customers with Apple's iPhone from using voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) telephone services bypassing AT&T's voice network. "When AT&T indicated, in response to the FCC's inquiry, that it would take another look at permitting VoIP on its 3G network I was encouraged," Genachowski said in a statement. Keep Reading

Regulation of Special Access Market Unnessary, Says Phoenix Center

The level of competition among special access providers in metropolitan areas has been an issue for a number of years. While some believe that simply allowing these providers to operate in a truly open market the problems would be solved, many others feel that the Federal Communications Commission should increase regulation. A recent paper by the Phoenix Center, “Market Definition and the Economic Effects of Special Access Price Regulation,” supports the deregulatory position. Keep Reading

Free State Foundation Legal Thinkers Criticize Net Neutrality

The Free State Foundation on Tuesday released a new book entitled “New Directions in Communications Policy,” which is critical of arguments for Net neutrality. The book is based upon a panel discussion on the national broadband plan, broadband stimulus funding, and Net neutrality, or the requirement that carriers not be permitted to offer speedier internet delivery to paying business customers. Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Genachowski Touts Net Neutrality's Power to Musicians

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski brought his rallying cry for Net Neutrality to the Future of Music Conference in Washington today. Noting the musicians that have supported this cause - from Bruce Springsteen to R.E.M. and Pearl Jam - Genachowski said, "With a free and open Internet, you don’t have to have big-time, star-power leverage over record labels, publishing companies, commercial radio stations, or particular retailers to get your music to the public. In today’s broadband world, the artists themselves can be self-empowering -- they are free to connect with audiences, paying customers, and musical social networks in ways previously unimaginable." Keep Reading

D.C. Circuit Seemed to Support FCC Position on Universal Service: Report

The universal service fund has been growing at an alarming rate over the past few years, and in order to curb its growth the Federal Communications Commission choose to cap the amount of support a competitive eligible telecommunications company could receive in 2008. The Rural Cellular Association filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit court of appeals to remove this cap. The court seemed to support the position of the FCC in capping the fund, according to a Monday research report by Stifel Nicholas. Keep Reading

FCC to Air Out Net Neutrality at October Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission is taking an aggressive posture with its approach to Network Neutrality, releasing the "tentative agenda" for its next full commission meeting that highlights a single item: “ Open Internet: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on policies to preserve the free and open Internet.” The FCC also plans to release a “Commission Meeting Agenda” one week before the meeting with the specific, detailed items that will be placed on the agenda. Keep Reading

Bloggers Covered by Endorsement Rules, Says FTC

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday announced that it has approved final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act. The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The guidelines were last updated in 1980. Keep Reading

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