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Broadband Roundup: City Leaders Call For Overturn of Local Broadband Bans

in Broadband Roundup/Broadband's Impact/FCC by

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 – City leaders in Wilson, North Carolina,  and Chattanooga, Tennessee, want the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that would prevent them from expanding their municipal networks, Broadcasting & Cable reported.

With an existing ban in place in North Carolina, Wilson can only serve its municipal network, Greenlight, to residents of Wilson County –despite having received multiple requests individuals out of its current service area. Municipal leaders said that Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gives the FCC ample authority to overturn local broadband bans.

According to the Wilson Times, Mayor Bruce Rose said:  “The city’s petition seeks to remove the significant operational barriers imposed by the state law so that Greenlight can continue to thrive and serve our community. I have seen Wilson evolve from the World’s greatest tobacco market to North Carolina’s first Gigabit City. We have continuously invested and re-invested in public facilities. Years ago, our city council saw fiber optics as the public infrastructure of the future and absolutely essential to improve the economy, provide jobs and improve our quality-of-life. Greenlight has been a great example of the benefits that community broadband can provide for a city.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that the petitions from the city leaders had been received, according to Broadcasting and Cable. The agency will review them and comments from incumbent broadband providers. Wheeler has previously urged against state laws prohibiting municipal broadband.

In a Thursday statement on the web site of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, CEO Joanne Hovis said the debate over community broadband had to be taken nationally given the incumbent broadband providers’ heavy influence over state legislation.

“If a community wants to partner with a local ISP or build its own network to supply services that are needed in the community, should it have the authority to make that decision itself or should incumbents be able to circumvent it with anti-competitive state laws that work in contravention to local needs and choice?  We side with Wilson and Chattanooga and believe these decisions should be made locally,” Hovis said. “Fortunately, FCC Chairman Wheeler also agrees with us.”

The FCC also approved Frontier Communications’ acquisition of AT&T’s local wireline, broadband and video operations.

Frontier Communications, which has also received Justice Department approval, now needs approval from the  Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The transaction is expected to finalize in the fourth quarter of 2014.

In other news, GigaOM reported that Verizon Wireless will throttle down LTE speeds for intense unlimited-plan users on busy networks starting Oct. 1.  Instead, Verizon will prioritize 4G customers who consume data on a gigabyte basis. Verizon said that few subscribers would be affected by this.

With Broadband as Driver for Today’s Consumer Electronics Technologies, Here’s the Top 10 Issues for 2013

in Broadband and Democratization/Broadband's Impact/CES2013/Intellectual Property/International/The Innovation Economy/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2013 – Starting the New Year off by attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides a wonderful lens with which to focus on the year ahead in technology.

Today, broadband is the driver for almost all of today’s digital technologies. Of the hundreds of examples of digital technologies that I experienced last week, I cannot recall a single one of them that wasn’t broadband-enabled.

Going to the show allows one to double-check one’s instincts for top issues in broadband. Here’s our list of the 10 most significant broadband developments to watch for in 2013 — and your guide to learning more about each of these subjects through the Broadband Breakfast Club, your window on broadband.

1. Data Caps for Wireless Broadband, the Spectrum Crunch, and Wireless Home Networking
The two largest wireless providers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have moved to a pay-per-megabit model for the consumption of wireless broadband. Consumers strongly resisted data caps for cable and DSL services, but have warmed to paying usage-based rates for wireless data. And users are chewing up data on their Samsung Galaxy phones, their Microsoft Windows Surface tablets, and on Apple iPhones and iPads and iPods. So long as users have both a wired home broadband connection, with a second screen that accesses Wi-Fi, broadband costs are manageable. Policy questions arise when users must rely exclusively on third-generation or fourth-generation wireless networks. This issue will be explored in the February 19, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

2. How Will FirstNET Improve Public Safety Communications?
One of the reasons that wireless providers insist on tiered pricing for wireless broadband is the spectrum crunch occasioned by more and more data usage over 3G and 4G wireless networks. This is one of several reasons why the government has been easing television broadcasters out of the airwaves, and beginning to make the most desirable frequencies available for other uses. Two of these high-value uses are for public safety communications and commercial mobile broadband. FirstNET, the nationwide, public-safety network called for in legislation last February, could provide key answers to weaknesses in response by police, fire and emergency response officials. This issue will be explored in the March 19, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

3. Smart Cars, Data Sensors, and Machine-to-Machine Communications: What’s Coming Up this Year
The increasingly small sizes of silicon transistors, coupled with greater broadband ubiquity, is making it possible to envision a world of machine-to-machine communications. Typical families now have more than five or even 10 broadband-connected devices — expect that number to rapidly multiply in the coming year. One of the most exciting developments in machine-to-machine communications exists in the world of smart cars. One Verizon Communications device on display at the Consumer Electronics Show was a Delphi Automotive plug-in, for sale as an aftermarket plug-in designed to send location, diagnostic, speed and mileage information about your car to a web-enabled portal. But how will smarter cars begin to affect vehicle safety? This issue will be explored in the April 16, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

4. Becoming a Gigabit Nation: What Have we Learned About Ultra-High Speed from Google, Comcast, Verizon and Others?
Speaking at the show, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski lauded the nation’s progress on broadband speeds. “More and more [providers] are thinking of speeds in terms of gigabits instead of megabits,” he said in an interview with Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro. But he said it still wasn’t enough. “We need more gigabit test beds in this country. We are in a global bandwidth race, and we don’t want to be behind the rest of the world on speed.” More and more gigabit or near-gigabit initiatives are now available for consumers and we need to learn from their progress. This issue will be explored in the May 21, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

5. Global and Mobile: How Wireless Broadband Spurs Economic Development
Many celebrities flock to the Consumer Electronics Show. One of them, former President Bill Clinton, delivered a substantive message about the impact that mobile smartphones are having upon the developing world. And the major manufacturers are paying attention to this need. One of the show’s big announcements concerned the creation of a chipset design from Intel that will enable cheaper smart phones. What does the developing world need in a mobile broadband network to spur economic development? This issue will be explored in the June 18, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

6. Smart Energy: Broadband and the Green Revolution
Advanced energy was a big theme emphasized by a variety of companies, from Ford to Panasonic to Verizon to Qualcomm. Information technology is being asked to play a supportive role in helping to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. This can be done by helping regulate energy consumption in homes, buildings and cars. Technology can also provide new service opportunities (e.g., telemedicine) that help avoid additional emissions. How can broadband be harnessed as a green technology? This issue will be explored in the July 16, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

7. Over the Top: Broadband Video Challenges Cable and Broadcast Programming
From Dish Network’s Hopper with Sling, which enables content sharing beyond the home; to Apple’s and Netflix’s attempts to offer a la carte television programming; to the many manufacturers designing smart and customized televisions, the next year is likely to bring new challenges and opportunities for video programmers. “Over the top” video is the next frontier for pay television programming. Is it a threat or an opportunity for cable operators? This issue will be explored in the September 17, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

8. Mobile Health: Will Wireless Devices Help Solve the Nation’s Health Crises?
In the “Last Gadget Standing” event at the Consumer Electronics Show, attendees were invited to put forward their proposals for “killer applications” that will change lives for the better. Three of the 10 finalists were mobile health applications. One was a diabetes monitor. The other conducted a battery of heart measurements. A third continuously provided global positioning service information about fitness and motion. These were just a sample of the mobile wireless technologies that could begin to provide answers to our nation’s health care problems. This issue will be explored in the October 15, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

9. Changes to Patent Law and the Landscape for Innovation
One surprising significant issue addressed in the show were the challenges that so-called “patent trolls” can cause to entrepreneurs. An unexpectedly strong turn-out greeted the discussion on patent reform, which was also highlighted in the keynote address by CEA’s Shapiro. This issue will be explored in the November 19, 2013, Broadband Breakfast Club.

10. Will Tablets Dethrone Computers as the Gateway to Sustainable Broadband Adoption?
Previously, technology prognosticators focused on the three-screen world: televisions, computers and mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Coming to CES this year forced me to think that we are really entering a two-screen world: a big screen at home (a TV) and a mobile screen that you take with you. Sure, the computer isn’t going away anytime soon, but the bulk of the innovation was on the big screen and the little screen. As consumers who have not yet adopted broadband begin to use mobile phones and tablets for serious online activity, it will be important to assess the best way to reach those currently not online.

Although this is one issue for which we haven’t yet scheduled an upcoming Broadband Breakfast Club, we expect it will be discussed at this Tuesday’s event, “The President’s and Congress’ New Broadband Agenda” on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Please join us! Register at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

Follow Broadband Breakfast’s coverage of the broadband economy at http://twitter.com/broadbandcensus. Our goals at #CES2013 last week were to promote the upcoming series of Broadband Breakfast Club events; to get the latest information on how broadband is driving digital technologies in 2013; and to test ideas for a book on technology, broadband, and digital media that Broadband Breakfast’s Publisher Drew Clark plan to write in 2013. He is on Google+ and Twitter.

RIM, RIP: How BlackBerry Lost its Way, and How iPhones and iPads are Tapping to Success

in Broadband Data/Broadband's Impact/Expert Opinion/Media/The Innovation Economy/Wireless by

April 2, 2012 – I admit to being taken in yesterday by Google’s April Fools prank – Gmail Tap. This priceless video promises to bring Morse code back for the smart phone era.

Gmail Tap hit a powerful nerve: how to make smart phones more useful for the things we do besides talking on them.

“Think of the size of the device…, and we are trying to cram an entire 26-key keyboard into that space,” said “David Brook,” listed as VP, Communications Services for Google. “It’s so many keys. I feel constricted by the keyboard,” says “Beth Dunning,” listed as Engineer, Gmail Tap.

Well, Morse code may be too far of a stretch. (“It’s just a dot and a dash. What’s simpler than that,” says “Mitch Fedenko” of the Tap team.) But the concept is a testament to the spirit of constant innovation in order to use technology to make our lives simpler.

Indeed, Gmail Tap is the perfect foil for the problem now faced by Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion. The lead story in Friday’s Wall Street Journal described the scale of the problem faced by the Canadian company RIM – with sales tumbling 25 percent in the last quarter, long-overdue devices now further delayed, and corporate customers beginning switch accounts to iPhones and Android devices.

It’s time to let RIM to Rest in Peace – but not before we can learn some lessons about its saga.

The ‘Crackberry’ Did One Thing Right

For many years of the past decade, I was one of many “Crackberry” users who loved the device for what it did right: e-mail. Blackberrys once weren’t even telephones. They were merely portable e-mail retrieval systems. And they weren’t just for enterprise users: I bought my first Blackberry for personal use, never synchronizing it to a Microsoft Exchange Server.

By 2006, Blackberry worked seamlessly with Gmail: was a good app. Because I could use it with my wireless provider at the time, I happily upgraded to the Blackberry World Phone. While I never found the web browsing experience entirely satisfactory, the Blackberry met most of my needs: email, robust contact management, a decent interface for mobile maps, one of the earliest Twitter Apps, and the ability to talk wirelessly.

Here’s where the Morse code joke comes in: I didn’t find the keyboard constricting. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have “fat fingers” (watch the Gmail tap video, ;->), but typing quick messages on my Blackberry was about as good as e-mail could get, I thought.

Rely on Other Companies to Do Their Part

We all know that the iPhone – which is less than five years old, having been released on June 29, 2007 – changed so much in mobile computing and connectivity. Not the least was the savior-faire that it brought to what we now know of as the App economy. But because the iPhone was restricted to the AT&T network, Apple forced users to choice between device and network.

This tension was captured by the difference between Apple’s slogan, “there’s an app for that,” and a short-lived counter-punch from Verizon Wireless: “there’s a map that that.” Verizon was referring to maps of its extensive wireless network.

As Apple maneuvered out of its exclusivity contract with AT&T, the iPhone has become ingrained into America’s psyche as the premier smart phone, a class-busting phenom that appeals to the elite and to the masses. I find it hard to say which one thing the iPhone does right – because of the elegant way in which it puts so many disparate things together. But Apple needed to break out a single-carrier deal.

Nearly 18 months after I began using my first iPhone, I now prefer the one thing I didn’t like about it –Apple cramming in an entire 26-key keyboard into a tiny, virtual space. I can type faster and more pleasurable on the iPhone 4 than on my late-model and last-legged Blackberry Curve.

Discover New Needs

The personal computer emerged victorious over specific purpose instruments because of its flexible platform for innovation. The PC can do a lot of things – but can it do any of them well?

I’ve written frequently about how telephone, computers, radios and televisions are no longer separate objects. They are all central processing units, with radio-frequency communications capabilities – but with different “form factors” for input and output.

The ever-so-slight ways in which our preferences evolve – beveled keyboard or touch-screen device – shift market power among the equipment-makers. The same goes for the alliances between CPU-makers and network operators. Apple can sell more iPhones if it works with more wireless companies.

This past Christmas, I briefly considered ditching by Sprint-network Blackberry for an Android device running on Verizon or Sprint. (My iPhone is on AT&T’s network, the only one available at the time of purchase.) Nothing grabbed me.

Then, less than a month ago, the iPad 3 came along. It was Apple’s first device that can access broadband through Verizon’s LTE (for Long Term Evolution) network. The speed results are astounding. In a head-to-head comparison test using the Federal Communications Commission’s mobile broadband test on March 16, the Verizon LTE iPad yielded 13.38 megabits download, and 13.26 megabits upload; while the AT&T iPhone yielded 0.70 megabits download, and 0.51 megabits upload.

Speeds and coverage areas of networks are constantly changing, so these results are no more than a snapshot in time. But in partnering with the best wireless providers, Apple opens new opportunities for consumer use of its device.

Much has and will be written about the new iPad as more consumers get their hands on it. My first impression is similar to many others: a gorgeous reading machine, which will be a killer-app for newspapers, magazines and books. At its heart, the iPad appears to be nothing more than an oversized iPhone, so why would anyone want both? For the same reason that consumers want a small screen for “everywhere” tasks, a bigger screen on a laptop computer for “work” tasks, and a super-big screen for a home theater television “entertainment.”

The new iPad is striking the next balance between the three screens. In doing so, it’s putting a screen on another industry that once had a dim future of its own: the newspaper business.

Drew Clark is the Chairman of the Broadband Breakfast Club, the premier Washington forum advancing the conversation around broadband technology and internet policy. You can find him on and Twitter. He founded BroadbandCensus.com, and he brings experts and practicioners together to advance Better Broadband, Better Lives. He’s doing that now as Executive Director for Broadband Illinois, based in Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield.

Pricing Info for Tiered Verizon Data Plans Leaked

in Mobile Broadband/Wireless by

WASHINGTON June 23, 2011- The Android Central blog leaked Wednesday what it claims are internal Verizon Wireless documents that show details of tiered data pricing for wireless plans to be released in July.

Verizon Wireless stated last year that it would have to eventually transition away from unlimited data to a tiered system.

Currently both AT&T and T-Mobile offer data plans through a tiered system while Sprint only has a single unlimited data package. The AT&T plans range from $15 to $45 for up to 4GB of data per month. T-Mobile charges between $10 and $60 for up to 10GB.

Verizon  currently offers two data packages, for $10 a month users of feature phones can access up to 75 Megabytes (MB) while smartphone users pay $29.99 for unlimited data.

The new plan would create four tiers, $10 for 75MB, $30 for 2 Gigabytes (GB), $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB.

The new data plans will cover both the 3G and new 4G Long Term Evolution Network (LTE) devices.

The documents claim that current data subscribers will be able to maintain their unlimited plans after the new tiered system takes effect.

 

No More Cell Phone Service For California’s State Employees

in Wireless by

As millions of cell phone subscribers considered the exciting option of signing up for an iPhone on Verizon Wireless’ network Tuesday, California government employees for their part were hit with the news that their work-related cell phones would be rescinded as Governor Jerry Brown embarks on his budget-slashing odyssey.

The cell-phone mandate — in the form of the governor’s very first executive order — aims to slice the number of cell phones that state employees use by half to 48,000.

That would mean that a fifth of all of California’s employees would have government-issued cell phones — down from 40 percent.

The governor’s office estimates that the cut will save the state at least $20 million a year.

Brown said he was still shocked by the number of cell phones in use by the state’s employees.

“It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones,” he said in a press statement.” Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding.”

The governor said that the goal is to cut the number of phones in half by June 1, but that goal might be stymied by existing contracts. He does not want to incur more fees by triggering early-termination fees.

The governor’s statement did not give any specific criteria about which governmental functions would justify the use of a cell-phone. He simply said that each department and agency must justify its employees’ use of the phones.

Official records show that Verizon Wireless and Sprint are the state’s vendors.

USF Mobility Fund: Good Idea, Bad Choices

in Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/FCC/National Broadband Plan/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2010 – A key policy goal of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s is the reform of the Universal Service Fund, which is a program designed to help bring communications service throughout nation. The recent National Broadband Plan proposed the creation of a mobile broadband fund to help achieve universal service by providing access to users in the most remote areas of the nation. In early October, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking which would launch this new fund.

The purpose of this fund is to “significantly improve coverage of current-generation or better mobile voice and internet service for consumers in areas where such coverage is currently missing, and to do so by supporting private investment. The Mobility Fund would use market mechanisms – specifically, a reverse auction – to make one-time support available to service providers to cost-effectively extend mobile coverage in specified unserved areas.”

In theory this is a good idea. Mobile broadband is finally robust enough to be used as a primary method of connection, and reverse auctions seem to provide a simple way of cutting costs and engage the marketplace to further future investment. However, the FCC is missing a key opportunity. Instead of funding an old technology, it should instead help to expand 4G coverage.

The main reasoning as to why 3G is to be funded is that much of the nation is already covered and so only a limited amount of funding would be necessary to cover the rest of the nation. Additionally, the FCC believes that if a strong business case can be made from customer usage in these areas of previous non-coverage firms will more likely install 4G. Again this idea is on strong footing. However, there is a key difference in 4G vs 3G – speed. While customers can use 3G to connect computers to the internet the majority of customers use their smart phones to connect via 3G.

Currently, 3G offers users speeds of 1.4 megabits per second down which, while fast, is not even close to average wireline speeds which most customers receive. Verizon’s LTE and Clearwire’’s WiMax service offer users speeds of 5 to 12 mbps which is very much comparable to wireline. The broadband plan found that in most cases actual download speeds for wireline customers are between 5-6 mbps. [1]

The goal of the Mobility Fund is to expand broadband access and while access via a smartphone is important, truly robust applications require higher speeds and the use of a computer. Instead of funding 3G, the FCC should instead look to the future and provide funding to promote 4G as a primary connection method.

As companies begin to transition from 3G to 4G technologies, the number of peripherals which support these older technologies will diminish.

Verizon, which is the current leader in LTE expansion, has already stated that while it is not going to be able to cover the entire nation, it’s willing to work with smaller providers to share technology and spectrum.  In its official page on LTE, the company states: “We are seeking companies that can assist in bringing the benefits of 4G LTE service to rural areas that currently lack Verizon Wireless coverage. Verizon Wireless may work with rural companies that have towers and backhaul capabilities, even if those companies are not currently wireless operators. Together, we will plan and coordinate a local LTE deployment schedule that makes sense for both Verizon Wireless and the rural company that we are collaborating with.”

In a legal filing, Verizon indicates that it also believes that the FCC should fund LTE rather than try to achieve universal 3G coverage. “We indicated that the commission should allow carriers that participate in the program to use mobility funding to deploy either 3G or 4G services because there are areas that do not have 3G coverage today that will likely move directly to 4G. We addressed Verizon Wireless’s rural LTE partnership program and said that, depending on how the anticipated mobility program is structured, those carriers that lease Verizon spectrum to offer 4G services in rural areas may be candidates to put this support to good use.”

Verizon is not the only firm to be offering LTE. MetroPCS has launched its network and AT&T also has plans to launch a network in the near future.

In regards to WiMax, the service received a major boost from the broadband imitative program. The technology netted 40 awards across 22 states with $504 million in funding. Additionally, the commercial WiMax provider is made up of a consortium of a number of telecos including Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner and Intel. This strong backing  of both community groups and commercial industry ensures that it will be a viable competitor to LTE and so should receive equal funding.


[1] Exhibit 3-G: Advertised Versus Actual U.S. Fixed Broadband Residential Download Speeds (Mbps) Broadband.gov

Verizon to Pay More Than $25M for Hitting Consumers With ‘Mystery Fees’

in FCC/Transparency/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau hit Verizon Wireless with a record $25 million payment to the government for mystery fees the company charged its customers during the last several years.

In addition to Verizon’s payment to the U.S. Treasury, the company will refund a minimum of $52.8 million to approximately 15 million customers and ensure that consumers are no longer charged these fees.

“Mystery solved: today’s settlement with Verizon Wireless is about making things right and putting consumers back in the driver’s seat,” said Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “Today’s settlement requires Verizon Wireless to make meaningful business reforms, prevent future overcharges, and provide consumers clear, easy-to-understand information about their choices. I am gratified by the cooperation of the Verizon Wireless team in the face of these issues, and pleased they are taking the high road.”

The bureau began investigating Verizon Wireless in January after large numbers of consumer complaints and press reports about unexplained data charges. The investigation focused on “pay-as-you-go” data fees — charges of $1.99 per megabyte that apply to Verizon Wireless customers who do not subscribe to a data package or plan.

The investigation found that approximately 15 million of these pay-as-you-go customers were or may have been overcharged for data usage over the course of three years, from November 2007 to the present.

“Today’s consent decree sends a clear message to American consumers: The FCC has got your back,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “People shouldn’t find mystery fees when they open their phone bills, and they certainly shouldn’t have to pay for services they didn’t want and didn’t use. In these rough economic times, every $1.99 counts.”

Verizon to Tier LTE Data

in Broadband Updates/Mobile Broadband/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2010 – After months of hinting and speculation, Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg has told the Wall Street Journal that the firm would introduce tiered data pricing. Currently AT&T is the only firm to tier mobile data on handsets.

Seidenberg said the new tiers would be for its LTE service, not current 3G offerings. No details about the tiers or their potential pricing was released, but he did state that the details would be public within six months. Earlier this month, the firm announced that it would launch its LTE service by the end of the year.

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.

Verizon to Launch Public LTE Trial

in Mobile Broadband by

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 – Verizon Wireless has officially ended its technical trials of super speedy technology known as Long Term Evolution, or LTE, and has now decided to move onto user trials.

“Technical trials are staged [and] tiered in accordance with industry standards. They’re [now] completed” said David Clevenger, executive director of public affairs.

The trials were being held in Boston and Seattle. Users were able to achieve download speeds of 5-12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2-5 mbps. In comparison, 3G technology is only able to achieve 1.5 Mpbs down and .5 Mbps up.

“Verizon Wireless is tapping select users in select cities for the friendly user trials, but is not disclosing details about these users” said Michelle Gilbert, a Verizon public relations representative.

Verizon released the following video in April about its trial in Boston.

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