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Expert Opinion

Michael O’Rielly: Substantive Objections to a Government 5G Wholesale Network

Over the last few months, various ideas have been floated about the offering of 5G wireless services via a government-sponsored network. This entire effort seems convoluted and borders on the preposterous. Just the notion of the U.S. moving away from the highly-successful, private-sector led approach that is responsible for our country's premier position globally would… Keep Reading

Chris Jordan: Preparing for Potentially Dire Consequences of California Consumer Privacy Act

The California Consumer Privacy Act passed into law in 2018 is scheduled to go into effect January 2020. It could potentially have dire consequences for unprepared businesses serving their customers especially when they demand to be forgotten. The new law affects everyone from internet service providers to mom-and-pop shops when it comes to privacy, data… Keep Reading

Bruce Mehlman: It’s Fitting that Congress is Focused on Accelerating Our 5G Future

At the beginning of a new Congress, there’s generally an exciting, hopeful spirit, even after the bitter partisanship of the past election.  The issues that new committee chairs choose to focus on upfront are a good indication of their priorities and where they believe progress can be made. In telecommunications, therefore, it’s promising that Senator… Keep Reading

Drew Clark: How Abraham Lincoln’s Belief in Equal Opportunity Animated a Passion for Infrastructure Improvements

Editor's Note: Around the time of Presidents' Day eight years ago, I wrote this piece about the connection between Abraham Lincoln's passion for infrastructure improvements and his belief in equal opportunity. I linked it to the then pressing - and still pressing - need for infrastructure improvements in Rural America. On Abraham Lincoln's 210th birthday… Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Wireless

Bruce Mehlman: Accelerating 5G Will Be Good for America

What did you do on your summer vacation? Major broadband network operators spent the season making plans to deploy superfast 5G wireless broadband. 5G is the communications technology that offers broadband speeds of up to a hundred times faster than 4G, lower “latency” (basically, faster response time), and other benefits that will power the Internet… Keep Reading

Bob Frankston: From Net Neutrality to Seizing Opportunity for New Networks

Network neutrality is an important issue. We mustn’t allow transport owners to limit our ability to communicate. But, network neutrality in itself positions the internet as a telecommunications service. We need to step back and recognize that the internet itself is part of a larger shift wrought by software. I thought about this more when… Keep Reading

Bob Frankston: It’s Time to Move From ‘Broadband’ to ‘Infrastructure’

The success of the internet demonstrates that we now depend on network operators to assure that services like telephony work. The carriers are pushing back on neutrality because their business model is threatened by a level playing field. We should be encouraging innovative internet-native business models rather than working to preserve an industry threatened by… Keep Reading

Jonathan Lee: Antitrust Division’s Flawed Case Against AT&T/Time Warner is Simply Too General

Telecom attorney Jonathan Lee takes down the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division's specious case against the AT&T/Time Warner merger in this detailed blog post, excerpted below. (Click on the link at the bottom for the whole argument.) Here's the money quote: "This alleged harm is simply too general to merit analysis." Assumptions On Assumptions:… Keep Reading

Shirley Svorny: Why the Second-Best Solution – Redefining the Locus of Care – Is Needed for Telemedicine

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Telemedicine is one of the most immediately needed high-bandwidth broadband applications, and it promises concrete and easy-to-see benefits. Yet its usage had limited by occupational licensing. In this policy report, CATO Institute Adjunct Scholar Shirley Svorny lays out the case for the best option (eliminating all governmental licensing), a second-best option (defining… Keep Reading

William Rinehart: Why the Democrats $40 Billion Broadband Deployment Plan Misses the Mark

Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate recently released a plan for broadband deployment that would spend $40 billion in taxpayer money in an effort to get everyone online. Like many other proposals of this nature, however, it lacks in the very specifics that are so important in broadband policy. First, as the Federal Communications Commission… Keep Reading

Drew Clark: Rebutting Myths About UTOPIA and Fiber Networks in Deseret News Column

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Here's my piece in the Deseret News, responding to information about the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency that simply isn't correct. I discuss why cities need to open up their thinking about using fiber as a utility, and why cities are going to be in the game for a long time yet to come.… Keep Reading

Craig Settles: It’s Time for Co-ops To Stand Up and Embrace Broadband

In the battle to deploy broadband, cooperatives (co-ops) can be a decisive force to cover the rural flanks in states with aggressive broadband adoption goals such as California, New York, and Minnesota. In the more rural states, or ones without stated commitments to broadband, co-ops may have to carry the lion’s share of responsibility if… 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

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

Robert Cattanach: 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

Roslyn Layton: 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

Expert Opinion

Alexander Goldman: Broadband Expert Andrew Odlyzko Warns Telecom Investors That Industry Has Its Math Wrong, Again

November 4, 2014 – Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam claimed in an editorial in The New York Times, "The United States built its lead because companies invested nearly $1.2 trillion, over 17 years, to deploy next-generation broadband networks." That number is meaningless: over a period of 17 years, much of the… 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

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

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