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Utah, Michigan, Oregon and Others Host State Broadband Initiative Summits, Bringing Internet Data and Knowledge Together

in Broadband Data/Broadband Mapping/Broadband Stimulus/Broadband's Impact/NTIA by

October 18, 2013 – State Broadband Initiative entities have played the lead role in mapping high-speed internet services in their respective states. Now, these entities are also taking the lead to convene, connect and collaborate among broadband stakeholders.

Several states will be hosting broadband technology summits in the coming weeks, including Utah, Michigan, Oregon, Wyoming and Idaho. While each of these summits are different in tenor, depending on the local circumstances, they all have the theme of using high-speed internet to facilitate economic development in their states.

As a way to spur discussion of these events in advance of the summit, the Broadband Breakfast Club will be hosting a FREE webinar on Tuesday, October 22, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT, with the state broadband leaders from several of these states.

Below is a brief guide to summits:

Utah:

The Utah Broadband Project, which is part of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, will be hosting the 2013 Broadband Tech Summit in Provo, Utah, on Thursday, October 24. The summit will feature keynote speakers from Overstock.com, US IGNITE and the University of Utah.

The keynoter from the Utah-based Overstock.com is Bhargav J. Shah, the online reseller’s vice president of technology. From US IGNITE, founder and chief technology officer for the non-profit designed to spur advances in applications from high-speed connectivity. Ricart is a previous guest at a Broadband Breakfast Club webinar, on “How High-Capacity Applications are Driving Gigabit Connectivity

Other themes at the Utah event include “smart schools,” “high-capacity users forum,” and “social media and emergency management.”

“The 2013 broadband technology summit will be a forum for these regional planning participants to learn about improving broadband usage and infrastructure in their region,” said Kelleigh Cole, manager of the Utah Broadband Project.

Cole noted that the Spencer Cox, the new Utah Lieutenant Governor just confirmed on Wednesday, has been an active participant in the Utah Broadband Project. “This shows how broadband infrastructure has become a priority in all levels of state government,” she said.

Cole will join in the Tuesday Broadband Breakfast Club webinar.

Michigan:

Michigan broadband heros is theme of the broadband summit in East Lansing, Michigan, hosted by Connect Michigan, the state non-profit organization. The organization will award three Michigan Broadband Hero Awards, one for Broadband Access, one for Broadband Adoption, and one for Broadband Use.

The event includes keynote speeches by Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, by State Librarian Nancy Robertson, and by the broadband provider COMLINK. Additionally, the summit features a luncheon keynote speech by Howard Rheingold, the noted internet futurist. The afternoon panel will also feature a panel discussion on economic development and broadband featuring Blair Levin of the Aspen Institute, Michael Finney of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Professor Johannes Bauer of Michigan State University of Steve Webster of Prima Civitas.

Eric Frederick, who will join in the Tuesday Broadband Breakfast Club webinar, said that Connect Michigan next week will further publicize participation by Rheingold, and by the capstone economic development panel.

Oregon:

The Oregon Connections Telecommunications Conference is being held on Thursday, October 24, and Friday, October 25, in Hood River, Oregon. The event features Amber Case, a researcher exploring the field of cyborg anthropology. Further information is available at http://www.oregonconnections.info/program.htm

Wyoming:

Wyoming’s broadband summit will be held on Tuesday, October 29, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. More information is available at http://www.linkwyoming.org/lwy/default.aspx?page=108

Idaho:

Idaho’s broadband summit is being held on Tuesday, October 22, in Boise, Idaho. Mike Field, Executive Director of the Link Idaho initiative in the state, said that the summit will focus on community broadband centers, including the “anchor institutions” that help drive broadband developments. “Government, health care, libraries, first responders and education are the main folks that we are working together with,” he said. More information is available at http://linkidaho.org/lid/default.aspx?page=8&bhcp=1

 

Internet Innovation Alliance Strikes Positive Note About Broadband and Apps Economy in 2013

in Broadband's Impact/Congress/Education/FCC/Health by

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2013 – Broadband is about more than internet connection speeds, but now is everywhere, and affecting the way that consumers interacting with constantly-connected devices, according to a guide released by the Internet Innovation Alliance.

The IIA guide highlights the usage of broadband connectivity in the advancement of distance learning in schools, as well as how an internet protocol-based network can impact the consumer’s availability and access to healthcare. One healthcare application is a “technology- enabled electronic stethoscope, which amplifies heart sounds while canceling out ambient noise.”

Additionally, the guide offers IIA’s answers common questions such as Where did the internet come from? Who owns the internet? And how should members of Congress and the FCC work together in the regulation of communications networks?

The guide notes that 66 percent of American households have adopted some form of broadband in the year 2012. That number is exactly double 2005’s number. Additionally, from January to June 2012, the tech industry saw a 1.7 percent increase in new jobs, with 100,000 new hires.

The guide also notes which states are ahead of and behind the curve for broadband. California, New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts are among the states ahead of the curve for broadband “adoption, network quality and economic structure.” Alaska, New Mexico, Wyoming and Arkansas rank near the bottom.

Looking ahead to 2013, IIA strikes a positive note. Economist Michael Mandel said that the applications economy “didn’t exist five years ago, and now employs more than 500,000 Americans.” As the shift into cloud computing continues, the IIA says that 2013 is the time where “our innovators innovate, or entrepreneurs compete and ensure consumers have the knowledge and the freedom to make the most of the technology available to them.”

The full guide can be read at http://internetinnovation.org.

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Virginia Gov. McDonnell Signs Telemedicine Reimbursement Legislation

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s national broadband plan seeks to promote telemedicine, but the national health care bill recently-passed by Congress fails to include support for it.

However, last week Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed SB 675, a health insurance bill that mandates coverage for telemedicine services.

It requires insurers to cover all telemedicine services, making Virginia the 14th state to enact such legislation. According to the American Telemedicine Association, 23 states currently allow for Medicaid reimbursement, while California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Texas have telemedicine legislation pending.

The rural state of Wyoming has no telemedicine legislation pending, and is one of the few states that does not allow for Medicaid reimbursement, either.

Seven More States Awarded Broadband Data and Mapping Grants By NTIA; Total is 15

in Broadband Data/Broadband Stimulus/NTIA by

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2009 – On Friday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced seven new state recipients of the state broadband data and development grant program. These grants fund state efforts to map broadband availability and speeds. Each state was asked to pick a designated entity – either a state body or a non-profit organization – that would develop a plan for how broadband mapping would be conducted.

Of the seven states awarded grants on Friday, two choose to fully internalize their process and have state agencies control the mapping.

In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs was tasked; they received $1.4 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities and $463,000 for broadband planning activities both for over a two- year period.

In Washington State, the Department of Information Services received $1.7 million for data collection and mapping and almost $500,000 for broadband planning activities both for over a two-year period.

Wyoming and Idaho, by contrast, choose to contract their mapping to the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, a Seattle based non-profit. Wyoming received $1.3 million for data collection and mapping over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period. Idaho also received $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period. It received only $492,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period.

The other three states to receive awards on Friday were Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Each of these states designated state-related but independent organizations.

The Maryland Broadband Cooperative Inc. received $1.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and almost $480,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute received $1.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin obtained $1.2 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and approximately $485,000 for broadband planning activities over a three-year period.

The first eight grants were announced last month and with these new the total has risen to 15 but there are still 41 grants left. States previously awarded funds include: Arkansas, California, the District of Columbia, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia

Of the 15 states awarded state broadband data broadband mapping grants thus far, none have been affiliated with Connected Nation, a national non-profit organizations selected as the designated entity by at least nine states in their August broadband applications.

About BroadbandCensus.com

BroadbandCensus.com was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on BroadbandCensus.com 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 BroadbandCensus.com. 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, BroadbandCensus.com 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 BroadbandCensus.com.

Rural Telco Co-op Puts Cash Into WiMax Plan

in Broadband Stimulus/NTIA/Wireless by

ASHBURN, Va., April 28, 2009 – Looks like rural WiMax provider DigitalBridge Communications has found some new friends in the rural telco business, judging by a couple of announcements today from both Digital Bridge and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), which represents some 1,400 rural electric and telephone utilities across 48 states.

The twin announcements – an unspecified amount of funding by NRTC into DigitalBridge, and an agreement under which DigitalBridge will participate in WiMax rollouts by NRTC members – seem squarely focused on helping rural operations get so-called “shovel-ready” projects in line to grab some of the $7.2 billion in rural broadband stimulus funds that the government will spend by September 2010.

As we dig for more information, two things jump out of these agreements: One, that DigitalBridge could secure any further funding at all in the current economy speaks volumes of the investors’ confidence that WiMax is a technology worth betting on. And two, by joining forces with the NRTC, DigitalBridge becomes a trusted supplier to all those rural telcos who might be applying for the stimulus funds — gaining the kind of access and marketing reach that a small operation like DBC might not have been able to quickly secure on its own.

Though small, DigitalBridge is well known in WiMax circles for its WiMax installations, including mobile WiMax services in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that were arguably “the first to market” in the U.S., beating the Baltimore and Portland launches from Sprint/Clearwire.

Paul Kapustka is editor and founder of Sidecut Reports.

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