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Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Seeks to Break New Broadband Ground with Social Media Lineup Announcement

in Broadband and Democratization/Broadband's Impact/Intellectual Property/Media/social networking/Social Networking by

March 17, 2013 – How a music festival connects to their audience is paramount to having a successful event. In recent years, several festivals – including the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – have turned to aggressive viral campaigns to keep people talking about a festival before and after the music plays.

The culture of music festivals is an expansive one, known for community unity – but also for silent competition amongst the growing music-listening options for consumers.

Leading up the 2013 lineup announcement for the Bonnaroo festival, which takes place from June 13-16 in Manchester, Tennessee, the organizers have launched a Twitter campaign known as “roo13wishlist.” This platform helped the Bonnaoo team keep the audience involved by fielding artist suggestions directly from members. It’s been a success thus far, said Howie Caspe, general manager of original programming at Bonnaroo, but “we have yet to even scratch the surface of what is possible.”

For the upcoming 2013 festival, Caspe and the rest of the Bonnaroo team used a massive internet campaign. They are attempting to set themselves apart from the other destination festivals in the “big three” – Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, California, from April 12-21; and Lollapalooza, in Chicago, from August 2-4 – by distinguishing their lineup announcement strategy.

The questions surrounding the lineup are debated and talked about for months leading up to the big announcement. Most festivals choose the classic route of releasing a lineup poster late at night, just in time for fans to devour each and every act. Each year, tens of thousands of fans, writers and industry folk eagerly await the lineup announcement. What big star will earn the coveted headline spot? What formerly disbanded group will reunite for a once in a lifetime concert?

Bonnaroo chose this alternate route for their 2013 lineup announcement. First, Caspe started off developing content for Nickelodeon and was integral in the creation of the Noggin, Teen Nick platforms. According to Caspe, the announcement “was a great platform…this is a moment where everybody is paying attention, how can we turn this into a great event and involve our audience in doing it.”

Bonnaroo’s announcement “was probably the most coordinated anyone had ever done in terms of all the moving pieces,” said Caspe.

The Bonnaroo team decided to leverage “an old-school telethon vibe.” This telethon, hosted by musician and comedian Weird Al Yankovic, mirrored a classic telethon with user call-ins, interactive games and prizes. Caspe notes that the Bonnaroo team wanted to bring the analog experience back to the digital world. By connecting with fans via Twitter, Tumblr, Google +, Facebook and YouTube, the Bonnaroo team was able to produce a announcement experience while connecting thousands of fans. Caspe said the the greatest integration was through the Google + platform.

Caspe wouldn’t reveal specifics, but was thrilled with the volume of traffic paying attention during the Bonnaroo-a-thon. Now, Caspe plan to continue the dialect of embracing the built-in Bonnaroo audience and engaging newly-interested fans.

“We want to continue to stick the core and keep them engaged, but also expand the audience wider. We want to look towards that next generation as much as possible. I think [our job] is to continue to look at unique ways to do that.”

Going forward, Caspe plans for Bonnaroo to embrace wireless and broadband usage on mobile devices at the festival itself. Though he is excited about the new possibilities, Caspe cautions that he would hate to see a climate where fans are glued to their phones rather than directly experience an engaging community festival experience.

California Rolls Out Telehealth Network

in Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/Health/States by

WASHINGTON, August 23, 2010 – The state of California last week officially launched its Telehealth Network, which is funded by $30 million in federal, state and private money.

The project received more than $21 million from the Federal Communications Commission, $3.6 million from the California Emerging Technology Fund as well as health care business United Healthcare, among other contributors.

The University of California is overseeing the project, which is using broadband and telehealth to link 800 facilities throughout the state.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said at a launch of the project that it will be part of a network of 68 similar telemedicine and online health networks nationwide.

CTN Executive Director Eric Brown said the network expects to activate the first 50 sites on the network over the next few months, including a roll out of electronic health applications.

Partners in the project are available at the new network’s web site.

T-Mobile Sued for Limiting ‘Unlimited’ Data Plan

in Mobile Broadband by

WASHINGTON August 9, 2010 – T-Mobile is being sued in California for putting limits on their unlimited data plan. The firm advertises the plan as having an unlimited amount of web and email but in actuality puts limits on its users.

The main plaintiff states that T-Mobile sent him the following message in May, “Your data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10GB; Data throughput [speed] for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50kbps or less.”

The suit alleges that the reduced speeds make the phones unusable.

T-Mobile has said that users are told of the limits in their contract.

Verizon Wireless was sued by the state of New York in 2007 for the same reason and the firm settled paying out $1 million to customers.

Cruizo Works With Three California Counties to Build Fiber Network

in Broadband Stimulus/Fiber/States by

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2010 – Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties want $43 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration fund for high-speed internet.

$12 million in matching or in-kind contributions have already been promised to build about 312 miles of broadband fiber from downtown Santa Cruz into rural parts of Monterey and San Benito County.

This initiative is public-private partnership and the majority costs, about $55 million, will be paid for by the government, internet provider Cruzio is acting as the project manager of the grant and will oversee construction.

Cruzio and the other companies and contributors of the initial $12 million would help install 112 miles of underground fiber and 200 miles of above ground fiber that would provide internet speeds 10 to 100 times faster than what is currently available.

The project would give high-speed internet access to 237 schools, colleges, libraries, healthcare and public safety providers.

If the grant is awarded, the area from Santa Cruz to Watsonville could be completed as soon 2011, Salinas to Monterey by 2012, and King City to Greenfield by 2013.

Commerce Announces Final Grant Awards from First Funding Round

in Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/NTIA/States/Universal Service/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2010 – The Commerce Department has announced nine broadband investments totaling more than $114 million in grants in more than a dozen states.

The grants will fund projects that lay the groundwork to bring enhanced high-speed Internet access to thousands of households and businesses and link hundreds of schools, hospitals, libraries and public safety offices.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by the Recovery Act, provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.

The announcement marks the final grant awards from the first round of BTOP applications. NTIA awarded 82 BTOP grants worth $1.2 billion that will expand broadband access and adoption through projects in states and territories. A total of 45 states and territories will be affected by this round of BTOP grants. NTIA recently began reviewing second round applications with the goal of making the first round two grant announcements this summer.

The following grants were announced yesterday:

Multiple states

One Economy Corporation: $28.5 million sustainable broadband adoption grant with an additional $23 million applicant-provided match to implement a comprehensive program of computer training, wireless Internet access, broadband awareness marketing, and online content and applications to residents of 159 affordable and public housing developments and low-income communities in 50 cities and towns across 31 states and the District of Columbia.

States impacted by this grant are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,  Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland,  Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Idaho

Digital Bridge Communications: $1.9 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $466,000 applicant-provided match to bring affordable wireless broadband service to rural, underserved communities in Cassia County, Idaho, including the towns of Albion, Burley, Declo, Malta, and Oakley. The project would expand Digital Bridge Communications’ existing network by adding five towers, 46 miles of new fiber, and a nine-mile microwave link. The project also proposes to offer speeds of up to 3 Mbps using both fixed and mobile wireless technology, as well as directly connect approximately 25 community anchor institutions at no charge.

Digital Bridge Communications: $980,000 broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $246,000 applicant-provided match to bring affordable wireless broadband service to rural, underserved communities in Jerome County, Idaho, including the towns of Barrymore, Falls City, Greenwood, Haytown, Hunt, Hydra, Jerome, McHenry, and Sugar Loaf. The project would expand Digital Bridge Communications’ existing network by adding three towers, 15 miles of new fiber, and two microwave links. The expanded network intends to offer speeds up to 3 Mbps using both fixed and mobile wireless technology, as well as directly connect approximately 25 community anchor institutions at no charge.

Digital Bridge Communications: $1.4 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $340,000 applicant-provided match to bring affordable wireless broadband service to underserved communities in Twin Falls County, Idaho, including the towns of Buhl, Burger, Clover, Deep Creek, Fairview, Filer, Godwin, and Hansen. The project would expand Digital Bridge Communications’ existing network by adding eight towers, three miles of new fiber, and nine microwave links. This expanded network intends to offer speeds up to 3 Mbps using both fixed and mobile wireless technology, as well as directly connect approximately 25 community anchor institutions at no charge.

Kentucky

City of Williamstown, Kentucky: $535,000 broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $134,000 applicant-provided match to deploy a high-speed fiber-to-the-home broadband network to unserved and underserved communities south of its existing network in Corinth, and north of its existing network to areas of Grant and Owen counties in northern Kentucky. The project intends to offer broadband speeds up to 10 Mbps and directly connect the three municipal organizations within the service area – Corinth City Hall, the Corinth Water District, and the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department – free of charge. In addition, the project expects to offer broadband Internet access for local consumers, including approximately 680 households and 20 businesses, and spur economic growth and job creation in the region.

Oklahoma

Pine Telephone Company, Inc.: $9.5 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $2.4 million applicant-provided match to deliver affordable wireless broadband service to underserved areas of Southeastern Oklahoma, including the Tribal lands of the Choctaw Nation and its 10 counties. The project intends to directly connect 20 community anchor institutions, including Choctaw Nation agencies, public schools, public safety agencies, fire and police departments, and a health clinic. The project’s last mile network plans to offer broadband speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to 3 Mbps to as many as 7,000 households and 75 businesses.

Puerto Rico

Critical Hub Networks Inc.: $25.8 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $6.7 million applicant-provided match to provide fast, affordable broadband connectivity for last-mile Internet service providers and underserved areas of Puerto Rico, including of the islands of Culebra and Vieques. The project plans to purchase a 10 Gbps undersea fiber-optic cable directly connecting to Miami and deploy more than 180 miles of terrestrial middle-mile microwave network using 11 towers. The network will offer speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps to anchor institutions, including more than 1,500 K-12 schools, and local Internet service providers.

Virginia

Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative: $19 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $5 million applicant-provided match to bring high-speed affordable broadband services to 15 underserved counties and the cities of Emporia and Franklin in South Central Virginia by expanding and enhancing its existing high-speed broadband and voice communications wireless network. The BIT Wireless project intends to offer wireless broadband at speeds of up to 10 Mbps to as many as 100,000 households, 14,800 businesses, and 800 community anchor institutions. In addition, the project will promote broadband adoption by discounting the cost of the equipment necessary to subscribe at home.

Washington

Public Utility District of Pend Oreille County: $27.2 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $6.8 million applicant-provided match to bring high-speed, affordable broadband   to underserved areas of Pend Oreille County in northeastern Washington State, which borders Idaho and Canada.  The proposed fiber-to-the-premises network would deploy approximately 526 miles of fiber-optic cable to deliver last-mile broadband Internet services and facilitate critical network redundancy in this rural area.  The project plans to offer affordable, high-speed broadband access to as many as 3,200 households, 360 businesses, and 24 community anchor institutions.

California Communities Win Broadband Grant

in Broadband Stimulus/Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/National Broadband Plan/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2010 – The Commerce Department last week announced a $7.25 million investment to boost economic opportunities in some low-income communities in California.

The money will go toward funding digital literacy in communities in Los Angeles, the Central Valley, Orange County, San Diego and the Inland Empire.

The California Emerging Technology Fund will coordinate a campaign using local partner organizations and others to disseminate information about broadband training and services to 5 million California residents.

The investment will upgrade California’s One-e-App online screening and enrollment system that aids families in applying for a range of health care and social service programs. The project expects to increase adoption of broadband Internet service among certain populations by more than 130,000 households.

Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration received more than 1,800 applications proposing projects totaling nearly $19 billion during a first Broadband Technology Opportunities Program funding round and is currently awarding grants on a rolling basis. NTIA is currently accepting BTOP applications through Mar. 15 for a second round of funding.

ZeroDivide Looks for Broadband Grant Partnerships

in Broadband Stimulus/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2009 – ZeroDivide, an investor in community enterprises leveraging technology to help underserved communities, is looking for non-profit partners to apply for broadband monies that are part of the national economic stimulus plan.

It’s specifically looking for collaborations to secure funds from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grants. It hopes to expand its work in a handful of western states including Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico along with Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

ZeroDivide says its strategy is to “build the capacity of vulnerable communities to understand, design and use broadband technology through systematic teaching, training, technical assistance and providing resources to a peer-based network of community anchor institutions in vulnerable communities.”

It hopes to accomplish its goal by focusing on community media production and distribution, online vocational skills curriculum development, community and civic engagement and technology capacity building.

The company is expecting all partners to complete an online application and should be looking to apply for up to $75,000 for two years.

California's Lessons Could be Model for Broadband Stimulus, Experts Say

in Broadband Stimulus/NTIA/States by

SAN MATEO, Calif.,  May 11, 2009 – States looking for answers to many questions on how to implement the broadband stimulus program should look to California, said a group of experts Monday during a panel at the Tech Policy Summit on the “state of the state.”

M2Z Networks CTO Milo Medin said California’s state-based mapping data shows approximately 96% of Californians have access to 1.5 Mbps broadband.  But San Fransisco Digital Inclusion Project Director Emy Tseng said that the number only measures availability of broadband — not adoption.

Tseng acknowledged the importance of mapping broadband availability and cost in determining adoption rates. But it isn’t enough to say “broadband’s there, let’s move on,” she said.  “We need to actively entice citizens to connect.”

Adoption could be pushed forward with education applications, Medin said.  He compared a lack of home broadband access to a textbook that can’t be brought home from school.   But it’s not enough for government to promote connectivity, he said, suggesting that those who are connected need to push those who aren’t to get on board.

San Francisco is taking a lead in pushing adoption in low-income communities, Tseng said. Not only are public housing units being equipped with broadband connections by the city, she said, but the city is installing refurbished computers so residents can use those connections.

But availability doesn’t equal adoption for applications either, Tseng cautioned.  One example she cited is a San Francisco program in which school offer parent-teacher interactions via the web.  While Tseng called it a “great offering,” such programs don’t help the 20 percent of low-income families that don’t have broadband at home, she said.  And the move of  job postings and applications to “online-only” methods  puts these low-income households at an even further disadvantage, she added.

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