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Expert Opinion

House Passes Email Privacy Act

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2017  – The House of Representatives on Monday approved by voice vote the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 387, designed to protect Americans’ privacy and public safety in the digital age. Below is a statement from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, applauding passage of the bill. I’ve written about previous version of this legislation… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion

Jessica Ward: Which Media Streaming Device is Best?

July 7, 2016 – Since 2008, the ability to “cut the cord” has existed with the help of devices allowing us to stream Netflix directly to our TVs. From 2008 to 2013, the idea that this technology could actually replace Pay TV (cable and satellite) seemed absurd. Fast forward to 2014 when the percentage of… Keep Reading

Drew Clark: What Henry Clay’s and Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Internal Improvements’ Means for Gigabit Infrastructure Today

Editor's Note: This column, "Once 'Athens of the West,' a Kentucky city seeks revival and improvements," was originally published in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah. Here is a complete list of Drew Clark's weekly columns for the paper. LEXINGTON, Ky. — This city now best-known for horse racing and bourbon was, 200 years ago, once described as the "Athens of the West." And while east-central Kentucky has since gone through its economic ups and downs, last month the state's civic leaders announced an ambitious fiber-optic development project that boosters say will once again put Kentucky in the national spotlight. 1606265Lexington enjoyed its early heyday from its founding in 1787 until the early decades of the 19th century. Its most notable resident was Henry Clay, the lawyer who became one of the three most influential national legislators (with Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun) of the antebellum era. Clay, the founder of the Whig Party, was a vigorous advocate of the "American System" of internal improvements. Today we would describe these as infrastructure investments. It was the internal improvement sought by Clay that made transportation possible across the Western frontier. They began creating a truly national marketplace. Lexington bequeathed us another figure sympathetic to the Whig cause: Mary Todd Lincoln. Visiting the museum here that was her home, I learned that her father — a member of the Kentucky Legislature — frequently invited his politically minded young daughter to sit in on meetings with constituents. Mary Todd left Lexington, or course. More than 400 miles west, in Springfield, Illinois, she met and fell in love with a more hardscrabble Kentuckian. Abraham Lincoln also was a strong proponent of "internal improvements." [More...] Keep Reading

Better Broadband for Rural America Means Looking Beyond Tradition: Join Us at the Rural Telecommunications Congress Today

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 - The Rural Telecommunications Congress portion of the Broadband Communities Summit opens here Tuesday with a series of conference sessions focused on looking beyond conventional rural telecom. Rural Telecommunications CongressWith a theme of "Connecting Communities Across the Countryside of Rural America," our conference sessions on Tuesday include a discussion of the State Broadband Initiative and its impact on rural America, and a robust panel on the companies and technologies that will broadband the life-giving broadband to rural America. The RTC sessions planning for Wednesday including a summary of the lessons learned from successful broadband deployments, "Broadband and the Farm," and the impact of the internet of things on rural communities -- plus important insight on telemedicine-based health and education programs. [...] Keep Reading

Important But Overlooked NTIA Report Highlights Best-Practices for Public-Private Partnerships on Gigabit Networks

April 13, 2015 - Attention on the significance of community-based Gigabit Networks rose dramatically when President Obama included an announcement about the importance of community broadband networks in his State of the Union address in January, and in remarks in Cedar Falls, Iowa, one week before the speech. 5500700478_c9b5bc8f9a_oAt the same time, the White House also released a report of its own on community-based broadband solutions, which highlighted the growing demand for Gigabit Networks, and also focused on some of the laws that restrict municipalities' involvement in broadband. Somewhat overlooked in the process, however, was an important report released on January 14 by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In a blog post that day, NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling recapped the investments of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: Upgrading 113,000 miles of fiber, and connecting 25,000 community anchor institutions. The Commerce Department also released an important 16-page report, "BroadbandUSA: An introduction to effective public-private partnerships for broadband investments,"  that bears re-examination. [...] Keep Reading

Rural Telecommunications Congress Takes Center Stage at Broadband Communities Conference – For a $195 Price

__1421904841AUSTIN, April 9, 2015 - The Rural Telecommunications Congress (RTC) will take center-stage at the 2015 Broadband Conference Summit here next week. Preconference workshops begin on Monday, April 13 and the Summit continues from Tuesday, April 14 through Thursday, April 16. For the seventh year in a row, the 12-year-old- Rural Telecom Congress has been partners with the Broadband Communities Magazine to improve broadband availability and usage across Rural America. FOR THE SPECIAL RATE OF $195, you can register for the full conference. This represents a $700 savings from the full conference cost.  RTC invitees use the code RTC195 to register at a special rate.  This includes all meals, refreshments , evening Receptions,  and admission to all sessions.  When registering, choose the “code holders” option and enter “RTC195” when prompted.  Go to the registration page at: http://www.bbcmag.com/2015s/pages/15register.php Keep Reading

AT&T Settles with FCC for $25 Million in Landmark Privacy and Data Breach Agreement

Cattanach_Robert (640x427)Editor's Note: On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced a $25 million settlement with AT&T for data breaches including  the releasing of thousands of customer records, including names, phone numbers and some Social Security numbers. BroadbandBreakfast.com welcomes commentaries and opinions on this and other subjects from a multitude of viewpoints. WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 - The FCC’s settlement with AT&T sets another benchmark for data breach enforcement, with several important developments. First, it demonstrates the continuing encroachment of the FCC into areas once thought to be the exclusive domain of the FTC.  This is a classic data breach enforcement action that typically would have been prosecuted by the FTC until most recently. [...] Keep Reading

Utah and Broadband Breakfast Club Announce Luncheon Event and Webcast on Friday, April 24

SALT LAKE CITY, April 8, 2015 - The Utah Breakfast Club, in collaboration with the well-established Broadband Breakfast Club of Washington, D.C., on Wednesday announced a special luncheon event on Gigabit Networks in Utah that will take place on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The luncheon event will take place at the Utah State Capitol, in the regular location of the monthly Utah Breakfast Club. This event will also be viewable as a FREE LIVE WEBCAST beginning at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/Noon MT/11 a.m. PT. Register for the FREE LIVE WEBCAST or to attend in person.

Those who seek to attend in person may register to attend this interactive discussion. Members of the Utah Breakfast Club pay $15, plus registration fee. Nonmembers pay $25, plus registration fee. (Individuals may obtain a NO CHARGE three month trial membership of the Utah Breakfast Club.) Lunch will be served at the Utah State Capitol beginning at 11:30 a.m. MT, with the program and webcast beginning promptly at 2 p.m. ET/Noon MT.

"Google's decision to bring fiber to Salt Lake City adds the the strong base of fiber-optic deployment with Utah," said Drew Clark, founder of the Utah Breakfast Club and the Broadband Breakfast Club. "With cities and states across the country now seeking to build Gigabit networks, this discussion about GigUtah will be of great interest throughout the nation."

The panel discussion and FREE LIVE WEBCAST will explore these topics:

Google has captivated the enthusiasm of internet users -- and the attention of economic development professionals -- by offering Gigabit Network service in selected cities across the country.

In announcing in late March that Google Fiber will expand to Salt Lake City (its eighth metropolitan area nationwide), the broadband world turned its envying eyes on Utah. With Google Fiber in Provo and now Salt Lake -- and with Gigabit Networks available in the 11 cities served by the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, or UTOPIA -- Utah is poised to be the first state where a substantial portion of its residents have access to the fastest-possible broadband internet services.

What does Google's investments say about the economic health and technology-savvy nature of Utah? What do cities and citizens get from Google Fiber that they haven't gotten from traditional telecom companies? And, for cities and states seeking to get a Gig, what are the best options to build and enhance Gigabit Networks?

CONFIRMED Panelists:

Devin Baer, Head of Fiber Business, Salt Lake, Google
Paul Cutler, Mayor, City of Centerville, Utah
Justin Jones, Vice President, Public Policy and Communications, Salt Lake Chamber
David Shaw, Shareholder, Kirton McConkie; Chair, Government and Utilities Practice Group
Moderated by Drew Clark, Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie; Founder, Utah Breakfast Club
For questions about the event, please contact Drew Clark at drew@broadbandcensus.com.

Source: www.utahbreakfast.com

Keep Reading

Orwellian Symbolism of Barack Obama, Seeking to Classify Broadband as a Utility, in China

Editor’s Note: With the announcement of President Obama’s desire to classify broadband as public utility, BroadbandBreakfast.com welcomes commentaries and opinions on the subject from a multitude of viewpoints. November 12, 2014 – During President Obama’s official visit to China Monday, the White House issued a statement of support of government regulation of the Internet with… Keep Reading

Drew Clark: Cities Crave Gigabit Networks, and Meet on Monday in California to Launch ‘Next Century Cities’

October 17, 2014 – Fiber-optic communication is increasingly being recognized as a new necessity of urban life, with momentum for cities to obtain Gigabit Networks enabled by fiber is growing every week. On Monday, October 20, a new group of cities — called Next Century Cities — launches a “city-to-city collaboration that supports community leaders… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Health

Expert Opinion: Telehealth Provides Antidote for ‘Help Wanted’ in Rural America

Rural Americans are sicker, poorer and more likely to be uninsured than their urban counterparts. Vital human capital links in our nation’s information and healthcare supply chain are missing in rural America, and we need more skilled health care professionals in those communities. Telehealth capabilities offer an antidote to the rural health care conundrum by… Keep Reading

Rural Telecommunications Congress Members and Others Take Spotlight at Broadband Communities Summit

AUSTIN, Texas, April 4, 2014 – Next week, at the Broadband Communities Summit here in Austin, the Rural Telecommunications Congress will take center stage with a series of sessions on “The Bandwidth of the States,” “Financing Future Bandwidth,” “Digital Learning in the Classroom,” “Rural Innovation,” and — as a kicker — “Cool Things Rural Communities Are… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Business as Usual Despite Departure of Universal Service Administrative Company CEO

Although it is the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) that is charged with implementing the ambitious universal service policy goals set forth in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”), the FCC designated the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”), an independent, not-for-profit corporation, to administer the day-to-day operations of federal universal service. USAC bills… Keep Reading

On Broadband: At the Beginning of a Cycle, a Low-Controversy Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 – Last Thursday’s testimony, by the full group of Federal Communications Commissioners at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, restores the pulse of the nation’s technology and communications policy issues to a “low-tension” state. We’ve seen this perennial cycle before: first, an issue stirs immense conflict among the agency’s five members.… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Technology Policy Institute Study Misunderstands Purpose of Broadband Program

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Finds Fault  with Study Critiquing Broadband Technology Opportunities Program WASHINGTON, November 18, 2013 – The Technology Policy Institute issued a report on Thursday criticizing the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  Unfortunately, the report reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of that program. The Technology Policy Institute study of BTOP mischaracterizes… Keep Reading

Illinois Announces Fourth Major Gigabit Network, to Frontier Communications Serving Southern Illinois University Area

CARBONDALE, Illinois, August 26, 2013 - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday announced the state's fourth investment in Gigabit Networks, providing $1.5 million in funding to a consortium led by Frontier Communications that will build an ultra high-speed broadband network in Southern Illinois. The project is the first Gigabit Network funded by the Illinois Gigabit Community Challenge that will serve an area outside of the Chicagoland. It is also the first award to an incumbent telecommunications company. The previous three awards went to Gigabit Squared, for a project with the University of Chicago on the city's South Side; the City of Aurora; and the City of Evanston, Illinois, and Northwest University. The first two awards were made in October 2012, and the Evanston announcement was made in January 2013. [...] Keep Reading

Utilities’ Economies of Scale for Broadband Fiber + Smart Grid Applications = Ultra-Fast Broadband Everywhere?

June 17, 2013 – The smart grid and broadband go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. And yet why is it so hard to get electric utilities and broadband experts to dialogue on the role that electric companies can play in expanding super-fast broadband? Tomorrow’s June 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club, on Advanced Energy, Smart Grid… Keep Reading

At the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday: Smart Cars as a Rapidly-Emerging Test Case for Machine-to-Machine Communication

March 18, 2013 – At the Broadband Breakfast Club, we strive to introduce our readers and club members to the most timely developments in broadband services. Think of your participation in our events as a vital early warning system to what you need to know about new directions in high-speed connectivity. The March 19, 2013,… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: ‘Making Sense of Data Caps and Tiered Pricing in Broadband and Mobile Networks’

By Nick Feamster, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Georgia Tech  (The original version of this article is posted in Dr. Feamster’s Blog ‘Connection Management’) WASHINGTON, February 27th, 2013 — Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel of the Broadband Breakfast Club at Clyde’s of Gallery Place in downtown Washington, DC.  The Broadband Breakfast… Keep Reading

Washington Post Story Demonstrates the Perils of Understanding Wi-Fi Developments Through Mainstream Newspapers

February 5, 2013 – Now that I’ve had a chance to read the front-page Washington Post story on so-called “Super Wi-Fi,” I have to confess to being extremely disappointed in the Post. Like many others, I was taken in on an allegedly new development repackaged in an exaggerated fashion. It is another re-affirmation for me… Keep Reading

2013 Telecom Predictions from Analysys Mason: LTE Limited, Social Media Shakeup of Instant Messaging, Slower Smartphone Growth

LONDON, December 19, 2012 – In 2013, roll-out of LTE services will have limited immediate economic impact, social media giants look set to stir up IP-based messaging services and smartphone penetration growth rates will slow considerably, according to Analysys Mason’s top telecoms predictions for the next 12 months. The technology, media and telecommunications consulting and… Keep Reading

iPods, iPhones, iPads – and the Wired and Wireless Broadband Connections That Feed Them

January 12, 2012 – The Broadband Economy has always been about three things: wired and wireless connections; the iPods, iPhones, and iPads that we got in our Christmas stockings; and the content that makes it fun and useful to “connect” your device to the internet. Some of us talk about the internet and broadband but… Keep Reading

SmartGrid: Moving Toward Regulatory Uniformity

Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq.  WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated. At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that… Keep Reading

Expert First Impression from Steve Morris, Vice President & Associate General Counsel of the National Telecommunications & Cable Association

WASHINGTON, Friday October 28, 2011.  Vice President & Associate General Counsel of NCTA, Steve Morris gave Broadband Breakfast his first impressions on yesterday’s USF Reform Proposal. Morris told us: The Chairman, the commissioners, and the FCC staff, all deserve a great deal of credit for bringing this item to completion.  Universal service and intercarrier compensation… Keep Reading

Forbes Mercy Including Fixed Wireless in the USF Discussion

WASHINGTON, DC October 24, 2011 – Forbes Mercy, President of Washington Broadband Inc and WISPA VP/ Legislative Chair shared some thoughts and comments with BroadbandBreakfast.com after our panel on “Bringing Broadband Infrastructure to Rural Areas: Where is the Progress?” You can watch the video of the panel or check out Broadband Breakfast’s summary below: http://broadbandbreakfast.com/2011/10/broadband-infrastructure-to-rural-areas-is-on-the-move-at-the-broadband-breakfast-club/… Keep Reading

Measuring Broadband Use and Adoption is the Next Frontier in Internet Data Collection

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, August 9, 2011 - It's very easy to take broadband for granted. People want to go online to look up answers on Wikipedia, to watch movies on Netflix, to hang out on Facebook, or to Skype cousins across the globe -- or across town. None of this can be done without broadband. Higher and higher speeds of internet connectivity are necessary to satisfy everyone's demand to do all of these things at once. That's where the Partnership for a Connected Illinois comes into play. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadband Adventures in Wunderland: The Myth of the $7 million home

If it were a piece of classical music, the “study” by Navigant Economics’ Jeffrey Eisenach and Kevin Caves could easily be titled “Variations on a False Narrative in the key of F.” They claim, after a review of three (count ‘em, 3) of the hundreds of broadband grants, the broadband stimulus cost too much for too little ROI. The most misleading of the claims, though, is the alleged $349,234 spent per un-served household. Well, I should say the $7 million per un-served household, but I’ll come back to that in a bit. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Get Our Older Adults Online

If you’re like most consumers today, you’re spending many hours a day online, surfing the Internet for information, sending and receiving e-mails, watching videos, exchanging photos, communicating on social networks, playing games, and shopping online. However, within the older adult community, age 65+, only a little over a third have adopted broadband and are able to go online at home. With much of our information, entertainment, commerce, and even government services now on the Internet, our seniors have rapidly become the most digitally divided segment of our society – and with the great benefits the Internet has to offer our aging community, they’re missing out on an opportunity to improve their lives at a most critical point. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadcast Broadband to Everyone: Messaging Beyond the Inner Circle

At MIO, we’re well aware that broadband isn’t being used to its full potential because not enough of the right people know what it is or what it can do for them. And since they don’t know what they’re missing, they’re not asking policymakers or the companies that provide broadband to make it more accessible. This is, in essence, the underlying problem that will perpetuate the digital divide. Our nation’s goal is to decrease that divide: to help key decision-makers understand what broadband is and why they need it; encourage companies and policymakers to make it widely available; and help communities make the most of the opportunities it offers for economic development, increased quality and reach of services, and jobs. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: The New Market Frontier in Technology

Last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recognized the role of technology in strengthening this country’s economy by investing 7.2 million in funding into technology and broadband adoption initiatives through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP). Through this funding the United States can build technology infrastructures and bring low-income residents online for the first time. However, technology in and of itself is not what is important. What is important is how people, families and communities use that technology to improve their lives. What will drive adoption and sustainability? Why will someone come online for the first time? What did we learn as an industry and society in bringing the first 100M on line that can help us in bringing the last 100M online? What is the real cost benefit analysis on people having access to information that directly impacts the way they manage their health, educate their children or plan for their financial future. I challenge all of us not to look at the cost of building these networks – but rather the cost of not building it. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: New Domain Names are Coming, and Present Opportunities and Risks

On June 20, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formally approved the program it has developed for creation of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The new gTLD program will expand the domain name system beyond the current 22 generic top-level domain names such as .com, .net, and .org, to potentially include just about .anything and .everything to the “right of the dot” as top-level domains. The new gTLDs will likely include generic and geographic TLDs such as .bike and .paris, as well as .brand registries that correspond to trademarks and company names such as .deloitte. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadband Adventures in Wunderland: The (Expensive) Myth of Competition

The National Broadband Plan won’t do jack until more folks in Wunderland acknowledge and aggressively address one stark truth – broadband competition is mostly a myth, expensively maintained through lobbyists, think tanks and easily-influenced politicians. Until we get meaningful competition, a significant part - though mercifully not all - of Wunderland’s policies will result in dabbling around the edges rather than a meaningful advancement of broadband in the U.S. Case in point: the misguided attempt by some of Wisconsin’s state legislators to prevent their state universities from using federal stimulus money to advance broadband is purely about AT&T clawing to maintain its near monopolistic hold over broadband there. In this and other states' legislatures we see cable and telco duopolies roadblocking federal and local efforts to get communities the broadband they want and need. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Why the FCC should deny the AT&T / T-Mobile Merger

In order for the Federal Communications Commission to approve the mega-merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, AT&T has to make a showing that the merger is in the public interest. Despite AT&T’s declaration that this merger is the most pro-consumer, pro-innovation and pro-investment solution to America’s wireless problems, a mega-merger like this can only hurt the broadband market, both for innovators and consumers alike. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Broadband or Bust?: Pike Place Market Meets the Information Superhighway

The goal of connecting consumers with businesses has remained unchanged for thousands of years. But the manner in which that connection with customers is made evolves with technology, time and culture. Broadband-based e-Commerce is just the latest variation. To understand the challenges that businesses face in developing a more technologically savvy business and the benefits to those that are further along in the process, we surveyed 77 vendors in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, a historic tourist spot and favorite local attraction that attracts 10 million visitors annually. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion: Building the Gigabit State in Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE, Illinois, June 2, 2011 – Boiled down to its bare essentials, a major research university like Southern Illinois University here needs three things to prosper: good students, great faculty, and world-class internet bandwidth. The only major research university in the southern half of Illinois, SIU has the first two out of three. But according to John Koropchak, a professor of chemistry and Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean at the university, the availability of bandwidth for SIU maxes out at 380 Megabits per second (Mbps). Guidelines by the National Science Foundation call for bandwidth availability to be 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) to 2.5 Gbps. That’s up to seven times the bandwidth currently available. Keep Reading

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