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Mignon Clyburn Expects FCC Universal Service Fund Proposals by Year-End

in Broadband Data/FCC/Universal Service/Wireless by

ARLINGTON, Va., October 2, 2010 – Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn emphasized the need for quality research in policy making, particularly with regard to reforming the universal service fund for telephone and internet connectivity.

Speaking at the Friday evening dinner session at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, a top telecom research conference here, Clyburn also said that she expected the FCC to propose changes to the USF system, and to propose funding for universal broadband, by the end of 2010.

Earlier on Friday at TPRC, the conference began with a panel examining broadband plans around the globe. The panel included officials from developed and developing nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the European Union; and the developing nations of India and Brazil.

The common problem between both groups was determining the value of broadband to the overall economy, panelists said.

They said it was simple to determine the direct value based upon construction of broadband networks; but the longer-term value to the economy was difficult to monetize.

Developing nations face this analytical problem when contemplating whether to invest in broadband or other more traditional resources such as hospitals or schools. Panelists said that the developed nations, by contrast, are more concerned with maximizing the value of government investment.

The challenges of broadband deployment differ by population density, geography and the government’s proclivity to intervene in the marketplace. Even different types of capitalism change the willingness of private industry to invest, said Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who compared Japan’s longer-term focus to U.S. firms’ greater focus on the short term.

The largest problem faced by developing nations was determining which type of broadband service to deploy (i.e. wired or wireless), and of finding the necessary funding. While most of the world accesses the internet via a computer, the penetration of mobile phones in India is so high that many regulators are beginning to pay greater attention to questions of mobile broadband.

The TPRC conference, currently in its 38th year, continues on Saturday and Sunday.

AT&T Upgrades Undersea Cable

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WASHINGTON July 27, 2010- AT&T has announced that they will be upgrading the capacity of their undersea cable, APCN2, to Asia. Currently the cable has a capacity of 10 GB/s and will be upgraded to 40 GB/s.

The cable spans 19,000 km and connections cities in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

“We are excited at the opportunity to meet our customers’ growing needs for more capacity as transmission demands continue to increase in the Asia Pacific region,” said Joe Watson, executive director, network engineering, AT&T Asia Pacific. “As traffic continues to grow by large measures in the region, our participation in major undersea cable networks like the APCN2 allows us to continue providing industry-leading solutions for our multinational customers around the world.”

United States Ranked 23rd in Broadband Development

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WASHINGTON, July 26, 2010 – According to a study released last week by Strategy Analytics, the United States ranks 23rd in its development of broadband infrastructure. It places one spot beneath the United Kingdom, which recently pushed back its goal of universal access to 2015 citing funding concerns, with smaller countries such as Lithuania and Singapore ranking several spots above it.

The study uses the same methodology as Strategy Analytics’ “Broadband Composite Index,” which looks at multiple factors in the development of broadband. These include household penetration, speed, affordability, value for money, and urbanicity. According to Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service and the report’s author, “The traditional single metric approach of looking at broadband is becoming less relevant. We feel confident that our multifactor index is a superior indicator of a country’s relative broadband advancement.”

Broadband Subscriber Rates Grow 13% in the Last 12 Months

in Broadband Data/International by

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2010 –  Late last week at the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore, Broadband Forum in conjunction with data from Point Topic GBS released a report on the state of global broadband. According to the report there are currently 484 broadband lines globally. It is important to note that the firm does not specific what speeds it considers broadband but it does include all current forms of internet connectivity both wired and wireless including satellite.

Broadband Forum is a global consortium of approximately 190 leading companies covering the telecommunications,

equipment, computing, networking and service provider sectors.  Point Topic is a United Kingdom based firm which specializes in broadband data analysis. Their Global Broadband Statistics division provides broadband subscriber figures for over 300 operators in some 90 countries throughout the world by access technologies and various delivery channels like local loop unbundling, retail and wholesale purchase.

The report found an overall growth of 3.12% in the first quarter of this year and growth rate of 12.41% over the past 12 months. 53% of the total growth can be attributed to Asia;

with China being responsible for 45% of the total lines added globally in the quarter.

DSL still is the dominant method of connection globally with fiber gaining ground, most actively in Asia.

In addition to broadband the report also looked at the current state of IPTV. They project 36.6 million IPTV subscribers globally, with represents a growth of nearly 8% over the past quarter. The service is the most popular in France which has nearly 9 million subscribers, in contrast the United States which has the second highest subscriber rate only has 6 million subscribers; however Asia is gaining in     subscribers.

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Talks Continue Amid Controversy Over Leaked Draft

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WASHINGTON, November 4, 2009 – While representatives of countries were scheduled to begin meeting today in Seoul, South Korea, to negotiate a confidential international anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, some public interest and consumer groups continue to press for more transparency of the negotiations.

On November 3 a number of groups signed a letter addressed to President Obama and carbon copied to other key administration officials calling for greater transparency of the talks.

The list of signatories included Knowledge Ecology International, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation, Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School, Peter Suber of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Laura DeNardis of the Yale Information Society Project, among many others.

“While we agree that the enforcement of intellectual property rights is very important, it is also a complex area where the “solutions” to the enforcement issues are often controversial, and it is important to balance a variety of competing interests, and to ensure that measures to enforce private intellectual property rights do not undermine civil rights and privacy, or unduly impede innovation,” reads the letter.

Last month, the United States Trade Representatives reportedly invited a number of folks in the technology space to view copies of the documents related to the negotiation. The Knowledge Ecology International letter complained that while the USTR appeared to be responding to calls for greater transparency of the process, the people it chose to show the documents to largely represented business interests who were required to sign a non disclosure agreement to prevent public discussion.

According to Knowledge Ecology, those who were able to see the documents after signing NDAs included representatives from the Business Software Alliance, Google, eBay, Consumer Electronics Association, Wilmer Hale, Verizon, the International Intellectual Property Alliance, Public Knowledge, Intel, Dell, Center for Democracy and Technology, Sony, Time Warner, among others.

“We have no confidence in this new approach,” reads the Knowledge Ecology letter. But the USTR said it has “broadened its consultations to include a diverse range of views including not only the list of cleared advisers who give input to USTR on a regular basis, but also to interested domestic stakeholders representing a broad range of views and expertise on internet and digital issues, including representatives from non-governmental organizations and industry leaders in intellectual property and technology.”

In 2007 the USTR said the goal (PDF) of the ACTA was to “establish, among nations committed to strong IPR protection, a common standard for IPR enforcement to combat global infringements of IPR particularly in the context of counterfeiting and piracy that addresses today’s challenges, in terms of increasing international cooperation, strengthening the framework of practices that contribute to effective enforcement of IPRs, and strengthening relevant IPR enforcement measures themselves.”

The idea of such an agreement took root in 2004 and gained group in 2006 when Japan and the United States launched the idea of a plurilateral treaty to establish effective international standards to enforce intellectual property rights, according to the USTR. In 2007 the USTR wrote (PDF) that the office hoped to “complete the negotiation by the end of this year.”

On April 6 the USTR released a summary (PDF) of the current state of the ACTA negotiations. Countries involved in the discussion include Canada, the European Commission, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United States and Singapore.

Former U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement Chris Israel called the accusation by Knowledge Ecology and others that the government has been secretive about the negotiations a “red herring.”

He told that the “USTR has reviewed the actual text with dozens of interested parties who both support and question ACTA. The goal is to work with a number of sophisticated and important trading partners to negotiate an agreement that will address the major problem of global piracy and counterfeiting. You can’t effectively do that online or in the blogosphere.”

Israel, who worked under the Bush Administration, added that “At some point senior government officials have to meet with each other privately and hammer out serious details. The Obama Administration is doing a great job tackling tough IP enforcement issues and trying to be as open and transparent as possible.”

There has been significant speculation and alarm bells raised including an EFF blog post and a post from Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, on the Internet this week about what will be discussed during the negotiations.

About was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on is produced by Broadband Census News LLC, a subsidiary of Broadband Census LLC that was created in July 2009.

A recent split of operations helps to clarify the mission of Broadband Census Data LLC offers commercial broadband verification services to cities, states, carriers and broadband users. Created in July 2009, Broadband Census Data LLC produced a joint application in the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program with Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program. In August 2009, released a beta map of Columbia, South Carolina, in partnership with Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation.

Broadband Census News LLC offers daily and weekly reporting, as well as the Broadband Breakfast Club. The Broadband Breakfast Club has been inviting top experts and policy-makers to share breakfast and perspectives on broadband technology and internet policy since October 2008. Both Broadband Census News LLC and Broadband Census Data LLC are subsidiaries of Broadband Census LLC, and are organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. About

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