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One Economy

One Economy ‘Application for Good’ Winners Announced

in Broadband's Impact/Education/Health/Minority/Wireless by

WASHINGTON June 14, 2011- The One Economy Corporation, in conjunction with AT&T, announced the winners of the “Applications for Good” contest on Tuesday.

“Technology is important, but today’s event shows that what really matters is how people, families and communities use technology to make their lives better,” said Kelley Dunne, President and CEO of One Economy. “We must constantly challenge ourselves to seek creative ways to meet people where they are in delivering resources that can truly transform communities.”

The prize winners will each receive $5,000 and the grand prize winner will get $10,000. The winners by chosen by a panel of Judges include Mark Drapeau, Microsoft; Carlton Hill, AT&T; Gloria Guard, One Economy; Alex Howard, O’Reilly Media; Patrick Mork, GetJar; and Jim Rosenberg, World Bank.

“There is no question that mobile phones and devices can deliver innovative, life changing solutions for people across the United States and around the world,” said Carlton Hill, Vice President of Device Operations and Product Development at AT&T.  “AT&T is proud to work with One Economy to challenge innovators, problem solvers and individuals to be a part of social and economic change.”

The prize for best health application went to “Snap Fresh,” an SMS-based application that helps food stamp recipients find locations where they can use food stamps to purchase healthy foods from farmers markets and grocery stores.

“Mobile Saver” won for best banking application. The application creates a web portal for the management of individual development accounts that are matched savings account that enables families with limited financial resources to save and build assets.

In the education category “TalkChalk” won the prize. TalkChalk connects learners by enabling safe communication between teachers, students, and parents via Facebook, e-mail, and SMS.

The prize for best gamming application went to “Nutrition Missions,” which challenges users with 68 missions involving cooking healthy food, nutritional guidelines, and green living activities.

The grand prize went to Remás, which facilitates the transfer of money from immigrants working in the United States to their families around the world. Remás is a web-based portal that lists money transfer websites, services and banks along with the fees associated with transfers. The application also advises users on the benefits of banking and opening bank accounts.

The Remás application is currently available in English and Spanish and on both the mobile web and standard website.

“We are so excited to win the first Applications for Good grand prize – what an honor,” said Brendan McBride,  founder and project lead. “A dedicated team of volunteers has poured hours and their own money into the development of Remás. This prize money will enable us to finish our testing and take our app live faster than we anticipated.”

AT&T And One Economy Team Up At Broadband Properties Summit

in Broadband's Impact/Education/Minority by

DALLAS, April 28, 2011 – One Economy CEO, Kelley Dunne, and representatives from AT&T delivered a joint keynote address at the Broadband Properties Summit on Tuesday, touting the power of broadband to facilitate the innovation economy and empower minority populations.

“I believe [broadband] is changing the way we live, work, and play,” said Bob Bickerstaff, vice president of consumer data products at AT&T.

Bickerstaff noted the growth of broadband adoption to its current rate of approximately 70 percent by those with access to it. He projected an adoption rate of 80 percent in ten years, driven by its integration into everyday life.

The new generation of connected devices, he said, currently numbers approximately 7 million, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

Dunne’s portion of the address emphasized the need to make broadband available to low-income and minority populations, calling it “the fourth utility.”  He began his speech with an anecdote about the pervasiveness of broadband by pointing out that Wi-Fi was available on his flight to Dallas.

“I Thought, ‘if we can get passengers on a plane online, we can certainly get low-income Americans online,’” Dunne told the crowd of several hundred.

Dunne also showed the audience a video highlighting One Economy’s “We Are Connected” campaign.  That campaign provides training in constructive uses of broadband technologies to individuals, who then train others in their communities.  The campaign include five mobile broadband stations that move around the U.S. providing training.

The campaign is made possible through a partnership between One Economy and AT&T, which provides significant funding for the organization’s efforts.

“I believe the industry has the obligation and opportunity to establish a new model,” said Dunne. “It will be found in a collaborative – not a competitive – model.”

Rick Hubbard, vice president of AT&T Connected Communities, echoed Dunne’s sentiment about the need to spread broadband to the underserved, but left most of the credit to One Economy’s efforts.

“Supplying the BB is the easy part,” said Hubbard. “One Economy deserves the credit because it’s about the use.”

AT&T Connected Communities has donated more than $37 million to One Economy since the organization’s beginnings in 2000, including $5,000 presented to Dunne at the conclusion of Tuesday’s keynote.  According to Hubbard, the giving program fits in with AT&T’s goal of supporting public-private partnerships such as One Economy and the Project to Get Older Adults onLine (GOAL).

“This is about how we support public-private partnerships like One Economy,” said Hubbard. “It’s really about getting broadband to the people to improve communities one life at a time.”

 

Broadband Breakfast Panel Zooms In On Broadband Adoption

in Broadband Data/Broadband Mapping/Broadband TV/Broadband's Impact/Education/FCC/NTIA by

WASHINGTON April 20, 2011 – National Telecommunications and Information Administration Deputy Administrator, Anna Gomez offered the keynote address Tuesday at this month’s Broadband Breakfast panel, opening an event where panelists explored how to best to expand broadband adoption and maximize access.

“Expanding broadband is key to the Obama Administrations mission to expand innovation,” Deputy Administrator Gomez said, kicking off the event.

Gomez presented an overview of the recently released Digital Nation report, the largest and most in-depth study of broadband use and access ever conducted by the Commerce Department. The Census Department gathered and analyzed the data in conjunction with the NTIA.

The report found that while adoption rose 5 percent between 2009 to 2010; many households in America still do not subscribe to broadband speeds fast enough to do common internet activities, such as watch streaming video.

“This lack of access and speed mean that one third of Americans are cut off from the growing digital economy,” Gomez said. “Not having access to broadband cuts citizens off from vital resources.”

While there are many reasons why consumers do not adopt broadband, Gomez said that the Digital Nation report found that most non-adopters claim lack of interest as their main reason.

“We found that 28 percent of non-adopters claim lack of interest. This makes our targeted adoption programs through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program even more important than we anticipated,” Gomez went on. “Many of our sustainable broadband projects are providing us key information on how these targeted populations are starting to use broadband. We intended to take the information we learn and expand it to programs across the nation.”

“One of the largest group of non-adopters are older Americans those over the age of 50, they just do not see the value of being online,” said Debra Berlyn, Executive Director of the Project to Get Older Adults onLine during the question-and-answer portion of the event. “Those seniors that are online do many of the same things that the rest of us do. They have particularly embraced social networking, video chatting and playing games.”

One Economy Corporation’s Vice President of Government Relations and National Engagement, BMaynard Scarborough, provided an overview of how his organization is teaching teens to train others in their community to use computers and the value of broadband access.

Scarborough also highlighted the need for organizations to work with each other to achieve their goals.

“No single group can solve all the problems we face, instead we need to work with each other bring our unique expertise to tackle this problem,” Scarborough said. “After this I plan to get in touch with Debra [Berlyn] to see how we can connect our teen teachers with her seniors”

Wendy Mann, Director of Communications at the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, told the assembled group how adoption of broadband is vital for economic expansion in rural America. According to Mann, many cattle ranchers see the need to adopt broadband since it will directly help them conduct business but they lack access.

“Access is still an issue in many parts of rural America,” Mann said. “Additionally the cost of access is much higher which adds an additional barrier to adoption.”

New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative Director Sascha Meinrath echoed Mann’s statements about cost and access.

“Through our Measurement Lab project we’ve found that rural areas are systematically not being given access to high speeds,” Meinrath said. “Also the prices paid by those in the middle of the country are much higher than those paid by people living on the coasts.”

Experts Discuss National Broadband Plan at the Broadband Breakfast Club

in Broadband Data/Broadband Plan Commentary/Broadband TV/Broadband's Impact/National Broadband Plan/Wireless by

WASHINGTON March 17, 2011 – On the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the National Broadband Plan, Broadband Breakfast gathered key industry experts to offer criticism and discuss the government’s implementation of the plan.

The National Broadband Plan: A One-Year Update from BroadbandBreakfast.com.

“The plan showed that broadband is not a luxury, it’s really a necessity” said Information Technology and Innovation Foundation founder Robert Atkinson, “It showed that speed is not the only goal, it’s also ubiquity and adoption.”

Communication architect Daniel Berninger called the plan “too timid,” and said, “the plan will not push us to become number one in the world.” He went onto say connectivity will be the main driving force of the economy in the future. Berninger fears that if the U.S. does not improve its high-speed network availability, it will never be able to overcome China’s massive population advantage.

John Erik Garr, former General Manager of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative, disagreed with Berninger’s characterization that the plan was too timid.

“We didn’t have all the data we needed but we wanted to create an aspirational document which presents a baseline while offering up some long term goals.” Garr said.

Jim Baller, founder of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, agreed with Garr, saying, “The plan did not have all the data it needed and therefore a consensus could not be made on what exactly we need.” However, the plan tried to move broadband development forward.

Broadband will be a key driving factor in the economy according to Baller, not just through expanding the network but also by creating applications on top of it.

“Companies like Netflix are adding value to the network,” Berninger said. “ISPs don’t like this because it uses their network too heavily, but these are the applications people want and its what drives them to adopt high speed broadband.”

Garr also contrasted the American plan to those in others countries. Many foreign plans, he said, focused solely on expanding networks, but his team wanted to look at the whole ecosystem, including applications and devices.

Atkinson agreed that the plan was aspirational and pointed out that networks should always be a little faster than what we need, so new applications can be developed.

One Economy’s Director of Community Impact, Clyde Edward, commended the plan for looking beyond simple network expansion.

“Access is not the only important part,” said Edward. “Low income families need to learn the value of broadband before they will adopt.”

The national purposes section of the plan laid out direct benefits to people that can be implemented in short term and some that require years of research.

Keith Montgomery, Senior Program Director, Broadband, ICF International, echoed the panel’s sentiments about showing the usefulness of broadband to expand adoption and told about working to expand broadband in New Zealand, where the first group of adopters were farmers.

“These small farmers were able to see how having access gave them not only better communication,” said Montgomery, “but it allowed them to get information faster and learn about commodity prices.”

Montgomery warned, however, that while adoption is important, the network needs to be robust for adoption to work properly. To illustrate, he pointed to wireless, which may be cheaper and easier to setup, but does not offer the reliability and speed of a wired connection.

The panel agreed that adoption is a difficult problem to solve since it requires more than just more money. For example, Garr and Edward both asserted that adoption is something that needs to be solved at the local level to cater to community needs. Atkinson agreed but added that while each community is unique, many communities share common characteristics and the federal government should compile adoption resources to help solve common problems.

The full video can be viewed here.

Broadband Adoption Panel Emphasizes Making a Use Case

in Broadband's Impact by

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010- Broadband adoption is a multifaceted and complex issue which involves a number of stakeholders and was the subject of the second panel at the Broadband Policy Summit VI. The panel consisted of representatives from organizations that advocate on the behalf of the elderly, rural Americans, and low income Americans.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Internet Industry Association David P. McClure internet commerce and trade organization moderated the panel. The panel consisted of former RUS Administrator Hilda Legg; Senior Policy Advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute Christopher Baker and One Economy’s Director of the Office of the Chairman and National Director of Community Impact Clyde Edwards.

Legg emphasized the need for true broadband to increase adoption; she felt that by giving users faster speeds they are more likely to use it since the connection is instantaneous. “If you want people to adopt then you need true access, reliable and constantly on.”

In response to survey results which showed that cost was the main reason why people did not subscribe to broadband the panelists each agreed that by showing the people how they can use it in their daily lives and help them save money or access entertainment they are more likely to subscribe. Legg pointed to the fact that many of those who claimed that broadband was too expensive have cable or satellite television because they see the value of the entertainment. Edwards highlighted a program run by One Economy which helps lower income Americans eFile their taxes which allows them to obtain their tax refund faster; once these individuals see how simple eFiling is and how they get their refund faster they are more likely to adopt.

Edwards also praised the Digital Literacy Corps which were proposed in the National Broadband Plan.He went on to explain a program which his organization runs to train young people in computer and internet use. These young people then go back into their community and help train others.

Christopher Baker was hopeful of the Google Fiber project going on and suggested the increase of such high speed test beds as a way to show why high speed access is necessary.

Minority Groups Want Special Rules For Tribal Areas

in Broadband Stimulus/NTIA Comments by

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2009 – A number of groups representing minority interests are advocating that special rules be created by the government for Native Americans applying for broadband stimulus grants.

The awards are being decided by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities, which were charged by Congress in January to distribute $7.2 billion of federal funding to expand broadband penetration across the country.

“[W]e recommend that NTIA and RUS consider creating special rules and allocating increased funding for tribal areas to ensure these communities are included in the digital economy,” according to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, Asian American Justice Center, League of United Latin American Citizens, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, National Urban League and One Economy Corp.

In public comments on the broadband grant application process, the minority groups “recommend that additional funding be allocated to promote capacity building efforts among local tribal nations.” This funding would help separate tribal areas create their own plans to maximize broadband funds, according to the document filed to the NTIA.

According to a study released last month by the Native Public Media and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, the Native American population is one of the most disconnected groups in the country.

“Native Americans are among the last citizens to gain access to the Internet, with access to broadband often unavailable or overly expensive in Native communities,” according to the research. The paper suggested the Federal Communications Commission create a tribal broadband plan within the national broadband plan that it is currently drafting. The Government Accountability Office wrote in 2006 that the penetration rate for broadband access in the Native American communities was less than 10 percent.

Elected Officials Say Broadband Plan Must Give Role to States and Localities

in FCC Workshops/National Broadband Plan/States by

WASHINGTON, December 9, 2009 – Mayors and state elected officials emphasized the value and importance of local engagement in initiatives designed to promote high-speed internet access at a Wednesday morning workshop at the Federal Communications Commission.

Three Commissioners plus Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd gathered to discuss the particular role that local and state governments have in promoting broadband for under-served communities.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn reminded the audience that that the local officials play a key role in recognizing where there are broadband gaps – and in bridging the disconnect in trust between the communities and the federal policy makers.

Eugene Grant, mayor of Seat Pleasant, Md., and vice president of the National Conference of Black Mayors, echoed Clyburn’s words. He said mayors and city governments are in the best positions to assess needs of their communities, and to be the most proactive.

“Municipal governments are in the best position to engage in broadband mapping to ascertain who connected and unconnected,” he said. “Municipal governments can easily find areas in need of most improvement and can define broadband opportunities a way that state and federal governments cannot.”

Grant also spoke of the Digital Harmony program in Tallahassee, Fla., which provides broadband home access, digital training, mentoring and support to sixth graders whose families cannot afford it.

The program has been a success, he said, but it can be very hard to find information about such programs. Grant said the agency should ensure that the national broadband plan include information about successful adoption programs, and how municipal governments can help.

Robert Steele, commissioner of the Second District of Cook County, in Illinois, cited One Economy’s Digital Communities program. He defined the program as a public-private partnership at the municipal level that delivered broadband to public access centers, created relevant content online, and established opportunities for digital literacy training to help communities understand how to improve their lives.

Steele said that after one year, 82 percent to 86 percent of the minority community houses in the program used the Internet at home, as opposed to the national average of 48 percent.

Additionally, after one year, 92 percent of the participants continued to use the Internet in their home and only one-third were still receiving the free access provided by One Economy. Many households became self-supported users of the initiatives, he said.

The FCC’s Lloyd asked all the panelists about where the funding comes from for literacy programs. Are the states coming up with creative ways to solve the problems?

Calvin Smyre, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and a Georgia state representative, admitted that states have not placed a priority on these issues owing to the recession.

The way to solve the problem, Smyre said, is to raise the program from a public policy perspective and make it a state and national priority. A direct correlation to public safety can elevate an issue.

“By working with local and city government states can come up with creative ways to elevate digital literacy to a quality of life issue which in turn will make it more of a funding apparatus,” he said.

Grant, of Seat Pleasant, also added that the key to addressing funding lies in partnerships. The Digital Harmony program would not have taken off without meaningful public-private partnerships. The corporate community should be engaged and help fund initial innovation, he said, because it creates an increased customer base for them.

Lloyd also asked Grant about how local community officials balance competing broadband demand from public safety, schools, and community organizations.

Grant responded by stressing the importance of engaging the public and getting them to understand that bringing broadband to the community bring access to the world. That, in turn, can accommodate many different interests.

In trying to address communication between the federal, state, and local governments, Steele, of Cook County, said that while local efforts to promote broadband have the advantage of more complete knowledge, federal and state efforts have better funding and more resources for better data-collection.

“Ideally, the national broadband plan would include municipal implementation, accompanied by federal support,” he said.

Additionally, federal lawmakers should make sure that public housing projects are wired for broadband, that the E-Rate is expanded to include digital literacy for adult learners, and that the Universal Service Fund include broadband in its list of supported services.

In Washington, D.C., housing developments have collaborated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to install broadband technology in new developments.

Gus West, board chair and president of the Hispanic Institute, made an important point when he pointed out that every community needs to be assessed individually. A rural town in Kansas must be dealt with differently than a community in inner-city Chicago.

It boils down to why each individual needs to be on the Internet, he said.

In order to apply for government benefits, a mother needs to have an e-mail address; in order to monitor her children in school, she will need access to the school listserv account; and in order to apply for a job, she must go online.

Broadband People Column: Rey Ramsey to Leave One Economy for TechNet

in Broadband's Impact/Premium Content by

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2009 – Rey Ramsey, the head of non-profit organization One Economy Corp., is leaving to head the technology industry fundraising organization, the group said Thursday.

Ramsey will assume his new leadership role beginning in January. TechNet’s former president, Lezlee Westine, left the organization in May to head the Personal Care Products Council.

As the CEO of One Economy Corporation, a global nonprofit he co-founded in 2000 that works to leverage the power of technology to improve the lives of low-income people. He plans to continue to serve as chairman of the board for One Economy. Moustafa Mourad, who is currently president of One Global Economy, will serve as acting president of One Economy during the transition.

In the portions of this article included as Premium Content, the column reports further details about Ramsey’s new role at TechNet, plus news about the Federal Trade Commission, Google picking up a former Microsoft employee, plus news about the non-partisan independent project Expert Labs.

[Private_Premium Content][Private_Free Trial]Ramsey is co-author of the book ManagingNonprofits.org: Dynamic Management for the Digital Age. Prior to his work for One Economy, Ramsey practiced law and served as the state director of housing and community services in the cabinets of two Oregon governors. He holds a bachelors degree in political science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.

In his new role at TechNet, Ramsey will be based in Washington, D.C., and will oversee the organization’s day-to-day operations, strategic planning and implementation of the group’s public policy and political agenda.

TechNet, a bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries, also announced Thursday that TechNet members Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, and Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, are joining the group’s executive committee.

Ohlhausen To Lead’s Firms FTC Practice

Maureen Ohlhausen is joining the Washington, D.C., communications law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer as a partner. In her new role she will lead the firm’s Federal Trade Commission practice. Ohlhausen spent 11 years at the FTC including as director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning from 2004 to 2008. She last served as technology policy counsel for the Business Software Alliance.

Ohlhausen has been on the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law and is a member of the American Bar Association Task Force on Competition and Public Policy.

Google Nabs ex-Microsoft Employee

Google has hired Dan Dodge who was recently laid off by Microsoft where he served as director of business development, he announced on his blog. Dodge spent nearly five years with Microsoft.

“I hope I played a small part in making Microsoft more approachable, friendly to startups, and easier to work with. Microsoft is a different company, a better company, than when I joined 5 years ago. There are more new people who joined Microsoft in the last 5 years than all the previous employees combined. However, laying off 5,000 people when you have $37 [billion] in cash and huge profits is not cool. But hey, thanks for pushing me on to the Next Big Thing,” wrote Dodge.

Dodge said he was contacted by Google 90 minutes after the news of his layoff broke. “That fast decisive action was refreshing, and such a contrast to the slow, secretive, bureaucracy at Microsoft,” he wrote.

Dodge’s job at Google will be helping developers and startups build great products and services using Google technology and platforms. He also noted in his blog that he is moving from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail, from Microsoft Office 2007 to Google Docs, from Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 to Google Android, and from Microsoft Internet Explorer to Google Chrome.

Anil Dash To Lead Expert Labs

Anil Dash will be leading Expert Labs, a nonpartisan, independent project that aims to improve the policy-making process by engaging experts and technologists, according to the New York Observer. The project is getting its support from a $500,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and their Policy Innovation Network.

Dash is the co-founder and “chief evangelist” for Six Apart, a company that creates the most popular blogging software in the world including the software that runs President Barack Obama’s blog.[/Private_Premium Content][/Private_Free Trial]

Google Provides Free Holiday Wi-Fi In Airports

in Broadband Updates/Wireless by

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.

Google further said it will give network users the option to donate to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. The company said it will match donations made across all the networks up to $250,000, and the airport network that generates the highest amount per passenger by January 1 will receive $15,000 to donate to the local nonprofit of their choice.

Google is also partnering with Virgin America to provide free wireless on every Virgin America flight between November 10 and January 15.

National Broadband Plan: Serving the Last, the Least and the Lost

in Broadband's Impact/FCC Workshops/National Broadband Plan by

October 8, 2009 – The national broadband plan needs to focus on “the least, the last and the lost,” according to panelists participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s field hearing on mobile applications and radio-frequencies Thursday in San Diego, Calif.

The “least” would include those in the lower income bracket, while the “last” are those in the outer limits of technology, panelists said.

Education and literacy is probably the main key to reaching the “lost,” who are mainly the people who have not understood the value of broadband in their lives.

Rey Ramsey, president of the non-profit group One Economy, added that mobile applications enable people to improve their lives using broadband.

“We need a purposeful approach to involve minorities in the national plan, since these groups have been slow in the adoption of the technology,” Said Ramsey. More work also needs to be done to build awareness on the benefits of broadband.

The national broadband plan currently under consideration by the FCC should also focus on maximizing opportunities for populations that have previously not been using broadband, panelists said.

High rates of internet connectivity can be used to improve consumers’ compliance with environmentally-friendly choices.

“We need to ask ourselves what we need to do in order to help lift the low income people through connection to broadband,” Ramsey said.

Egil Gronstad, vice president of technology planning for Leap Wireless – whose company sells voice and data to low-income and younger users – said that almost half of their subscribers have not previously purchased voice or data.

“This could be due to the high costs, but we are selling to them at lower costs, with a monthly subscription of up to $40 being quite affordable for even those in the lower income bracket,” Gronstad said.

There is a growing appetite for  mobile data as new applications hit the market, he said. The amount of data consumed is expected to double every year per subscriber and this will in turn put a lot of stress on the existing network even with existing mobile enhancements.

“The new applications call for additional spectrum to sustain it and improve its speed,” said Gronstad. He also asked the FCC to avail spectrum to smaller and mid-size internet providers in order to promote the provision of  high quality internet services to consumers.

Doing so would be especially useful in order to serve the tribal communities that are mostly in the rural areas that are unreached essential services such as the Internet, he said.

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