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Broadband News - page 9

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Tuesday Panel to Explore ‘Grand Bargain’ on Broadcast Spectrum

A proposal to return much of the spectrum used by commercial television broadcasters is gaining some mindshare in Washington telecommunications circles. A high ranking FCC official recently suggested it might be possible to craft a "grand bargain," in which broadcasters return unused portions of their digital television spectrum to the government in exchange for proceeds from an auction. The spectrum to be auctioned off could fulfill a coming need for spectrum to be used by the burgeoning wireless broadband industry. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Study: Mobile Broadband Growth To Increase Competition

Mobile services in the U.S. are currently very competitive, according to a report (PDF) released Thursday by William Lehr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study, which was commissioned by the industry advocacy group Broadband for America, suggests “that the overall impact of mobile broadband will be strongly pro-competitive for broadband services overall, and for fixed broadband access in particular.” Keep Reading

Joint Center Applauds New Report on Expanding Broadband Adoption

The U.S. Broadband Coalition's report on increasing broadband adoption and use got a boost on Wednesday as its working group racked up an endorsement from the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies Media and Technology Institute. The working group report presented - but did not endorse - a number of policy options for increasing broadband adoption among minorities. Keep Reading

Agenda for FTC Workshop of Fate of Journalism Features Murdoch and Huffington

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday released the agenda and speakers for its upcoming workshop, “From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” The workshop has been organized to consider the emerging issues of an increasingly internet oriented society. As more consumers turn to the internet for news and information, print news organizations have begun to struggle with the declining ad market. Besides the simple economics of the matter, as online news expands many wonder how the two news formats can successfully coexist. Keep Reading

Internet Phone Calls to be Legalized In United Arab Emirates

A technology that allows a user to make phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of an analog phone line could soon become legal in the United Arab Emirates for the first time in years, according to an Arab news web site. International internet-based calls using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) through providers such as Skype and Yahoo have been illegal in the UAE since 2004 and the related Web sites have been blocked, Maktoob.com reported last month. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Net Neutrality

New York City Council To Consider FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

The New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government plans to hold a public hearing to consider the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rules to regulate Internet access. The hearing will examine so-called Net Neutrality or open Internet principles and whether they “would effectively obtain the goal of maintaining a free and open Internet.” The council will also consider a resolution that asks the FCC and Congress to go forward with Net Neutrality regulations. The council said it plans to draft a letter to the FCC on the issue of net neutrality with citywide input. Keep Reading

Broadband Updates/Wireless

Google Provides Free Holiday Wi-Fi In Airports

Google is now a wireless carrier, working with airports across the country to provide free wireless from now through January 15, the company said Tuesday. Currently, the wireless will be available in 47 airports including: Las Vegas, San Jose, Boston, Baltimore, Burbank, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Louis and Charlotte. Google is working with Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group, Airport Marketing Income and others on the initiative. Keep Reading

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

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