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BroadbandCensus.com Weekly Report June 15th 2009

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2009 – Entities focusing on the broadband stimulus program are watching closely for clues about the implementation details of the $7.2 billion program. At the same time, individual state efforts at broadbanddata and mapping are beginning to take shape, as in Texas.

Drew Clark

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WASHINGTON, June 15, 2009 – Entities focusing on the broadband stimulus program are watching closely for clues about the implementation details of the $7.2 billion program. At the same time, individual state efforts at broadband data and mapping are beginning to take shape, as in Texas.

Among the stories in this edition:

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Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney at The CommLaw Group. He has closely tracked the trends in and mechanics of digital infrastructure for 20 years, and has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers navigate coverage, identify markets, broker infrastructure, and operate in the public right of way. The articles and posts on Broadband Breakfast and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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FCC’s Open Internet Workshop at MIT Brought Robust Exchange Among Academics

BOSTON, Mass., January 15, 2010 – Academics, economics, technology specialists, application creators, internet service operators and investors descended on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday to discuss the possible effects of the proposed net neutrality rules on innovation, investment and internet users.

Sharon Gillette, chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission and Paul de Sa, chief of the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, moderated the late afternoon and evening workshop. This article summarizes the entire comments made at the substantive MIT workshop.

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BOSTON, Mass., January 15, 2010 – Academics, economists, technology specialists, application creators, internet service operators and investors descended on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday to discuss the possible effects of the proposed net neutrality rules on innovation, investment and internet users.

Sharon Gillett, chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission and Paul de Sa, chief of the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, moderated the late afternoon and evening workshop.

Agency Chairman Julius Genachowski provided an opening statement via video feed. He established the goal of the hearing as a discussion on how to preserve the internet that generates innovation, investment, job creation and growth.

Genachowski pressed for answers as to how to optimize innovation and investment throughout the edge and core of the networks, so that internet can play a critical role in our future.

Meredith Attwell Baker was the only  agency commissioner to attended in person; she told the audience that she was “still unconvinced that there is a problem that they should be addressing.”

“Nothing should interfere with the deployment of broadband,” she said. She said that she attended to get the facts from the policy experts, designers and operators themselves.

The workshop itself was organized into three different sections. After opening statements by Sally Shipman Wentworth, Senior Manager for Public Policy of the Internet Society, the audience heard presentations from Barbara van Schewick, Assistant Professor of Law, Stanford Law School; Shane Greenstein, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Marcus Weldon, Corporate CTO, Alcatel-Lucent; and Jeffrey Glueck, CEO, Skyfire.

These presentations were followed by a respondent’s panel, consisting of Tim Berners-Lee, Director, World Wide Web Consortium; David Clark, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Susie Kim Riley, Founder/CTO, Camiant; and an official from Akamai Technologies. Ajay Agarwal, Managing Director, Bain Capital Ventures; Nabeet Hyatt, Founder/CEO, Conduit Labs; Amy Tykeson, CEO, BendBroadband; and Christopher Yoo, Professor of Law and Communication, University of Pennsylvania Law School rounded out the second panel.

The portions of this article designated as Premium Content include summaries of the comments of each of the presentations, respondent’s reactions, and the general discussion that followed at the MIT forum.

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Opening Presentations

Barbara van Schewick began her presentation with the story of three different innovations and how they came to succeed: Ebay, Skype and YouTube. In all three of these examples the innovators came up with an idea, the users demanded that idea and there was a low cost of entry that that enabled applications to develop. If there were an increase in cost of access then benefit incentive for innovators might be lost. When there is uncertainty about technology and user’s needs, larger and more diverse groups will provide for better innovation to meet those needs.

Van Schewick added that when it comes to deciding which applications are more successful “users and providers have different criteria, users will use applications that meet their needs and networks will choose applications based on cost and use of bandwidth.” Applications do not create value through their existence but by letting us create the value we want. “Protecting factors that fostered innovation in the past can ensure innovation for the future,” she said.

Shane Greenstein’s main point was that wide participation in innovative activity is encouraged through transparency and consistency. Greenstein said that “we still live in an immature internet economy that will continue to evolve.” This quote was debated amongst many of the speakers in the panels.

Greenstein added that the two things that make the internet economy today different are: the rise of platforms and the emergence of a concentrated set of broadband suppliers. Given these two factors, transparency and consistency matter because platform providers can affect a small firm’s ability to capture value and in order for applications to succeed they must work on the networks of multiple internet service providers.

“Proprietary firms in ideal conditions would be punished by consumers for a lack of transparency and consistency; however market power leads to a stance that is not in line with the innovation we would like to see,” said Greenstein.

Marcus Weldon’s theme revolved around the idea of openness, best efforts and what he called a hybrid solution to this net neutrality debate. He said that openness was key as long as it was affordable and without bandwidth restrictions. Additionally, he said, the revenue stream must be large enough to sustain quality-of-service-style product offerings. Through his work at Bell Labs, Weldon tackled the question of how to quantify the cost of networks. The most effective proposal became apparent in a hybrid solution, creating a system of application innovation where users decide their level of access to different services for additional fees.

The final presentation came from Jeff Glueck of Skyfire. Skyfire is a cloud computing service that boosts the power of web browser for mobile phones. Glueck explained that mobile innovation is filled with uncertainty when it comes to access to application stores. He equated the mobile application market to Dell saying that a user could not use Firefox on their computer.

This tension with openness discourages innovation, competition and new entrants. Glueck said it would be horrible if we enabled a market where users would have to pay for a service like Skype. Instead, “nondiscrimination should be the Hallmark of network management.” He suggests that those users that are taking up incredible amounts of bandwidth are most likely performing illegal activities. Glueck continued that there is nothing in the net neutrality principles that would prevent an ISP for going after someone that is committing a crime of piracy or any other internet crime.

First Panel of Respondents

David Clark led the discussion about quality of service. He argued that “different sets of bits should define what quality of service you want.” Users should be able to pick their quality of service tailored to the applications that they care about. Clark said that the presentations did not discuss the issue of interconnection. In order to make quality of service available the ISPs need to negotiate interconnection. “The FCC’s role in this area should not be regulation but rather facilitation,” explained Clark.

Tim Berners-Lee’s main concern was discrimination in delivery of different packets. He does not want someone that is paying money to affect where he can buy his shoes or research his religion. He said “the neutrality of the web is the basis of how I go out and learn things.” Berners-Lee also remarked that at the beginning of the web, there was a lot of good will, but now the internet has changed.

His most important analogy was that while the free market works, not anyone is allowed to print their own money. “There are simple rules to a free market and we need some of those simple rules when it comes to the internet.”

Susie Kim Reilly believes that “application innovation and net innovation are not mutually exclusive.” Her main point harkened back to the quality of service discussion. She claimed that “the unintended consequences of no quality of service would be poor quality of service.” She agreed that there needs to be openness and transparency, but a subscriber should be able to choose which applications they want to be quality of service enabled.

The representative from Akamai technologies expressed his opinion as a leading company offering video transactions and content delivery networks online. “Quality of Service” has a slightly different meaning to Akamai other than just increasing the experience of the end-user, the official said. Akamai accelerates 15-20% of all web traffic for 3,000 well established customer websites.

Commissioner Baker began the discussion questions by asking Tim Berners-Lee which governments should have internet rules within this global forum and what is the role of the government in shaping net neutrality rules in the next stage of the internet? Berners-Lee again stressed the need for the most basic rules so that ISPs do not use their information in an underhanded way to affect things that should be independent.

Kim Reilly then asked the panel whether they would differentiate between non discrimination and a quality of service approach. Berners-Lee believed that bits cannot be treated in different ways.

Kim Reilly pointed to Akamai, she said “if you want to accelerate content, pay Akamai. It costs money to build infrastructure.” It is important to allow open standards but to let all collaborate. Berners-Lee then countered and suggested that Akamai could favor Google over all other search engines simply because they have more money and can afford to pay more.

Barbara van Schewick object to the entire discussion about quality of service. She said she wanted some clarification on which types of quality of service were being discussed; there is a need to distinguish bad quality of service from the good. Some forms of quality of service do not give users the same choice.

Van Schewich continued, “like treatment means you need to treat more applications alike, but the question is, what is alike if a new application comes along and a network provider can then say that you are not quite like video.” She called for a good rule that differentiated between bad discrimination and good discrimination.

The next question from the audience asked whether it is normal for cost of service to equal revenue. Weldon insisted that cost should never equal revenue, he also mentioned that the all you can eat model does not work so well in a perfect storm of growth. Greenstein disagreed. He claims that revenues from internet access have been growing and the market for an ad supported internet will continue to grow. Revenue growth in the industry is not flat.

Another questioner asked whether there could be benefits from deep packet inspection? Kim Reilly said that she has no problem with a form of DPI that “sits” in the network and looks at data traffic to see what applications are on the network and what usage patterns are there.

Berners-Lee, on the other hand, said he was concerned about the extreme commercial value of DPI information; the information in the wrong hands is very dangerous. When asked about is thoughts on Google doing the same thing with web search information, Tim countered that Google tracks and anonymous user ID.

Commissioner Baker directed her last question to Jeff Glueck. She asked whether effective transparency can solve concerns in the mobile internet market. Glueck added that the providers have just been slow to add capacity to their mobile networks. Rules need to be established to attack network management because in the current market there is a lot of opportunity for abuse.

Glueck attacked the idea of quality of service by saying by saying that users obviously want the application they are using at the time, he did not like the idea of letting the provider target his network for applications that were not gaming for example. Again he restated his position “network operators should charge the hogs more but do not discriminate between one application or another.”

Second Panel of Respondents

To start the second panel at the January 13 event, Ajay Argawal presented a case study of Skyhook Wireless to demonstrate how an open ecosystem unleashes innovation. Though the iPhone is not completely open, the development of Skyhook’s precise location devise has spurred innovation in such a way that during the last two years about 20 percent to 30 percent of all iPhone applications are using the Skyhook capability. He added that “regulation is a very big factor when it comes to putting dollars to work, certainty and clarity are very important from an investors point of view.”

Nabeet Hyatt said that “crazy” is a substitution word for innovation. He said that disruptive innovation is extremely important in the economy. Although he runs a game company that uses a lot of network bandwidth, he does not want to argue the side of preferential services because “anything but neutrality creates a small menu of services and then ‘crazy’ does not happen.”

Amy Tykeson represented the only ISP on either panel. Her bottom line came down to customer satisfaction. She stated three main concerns with the inquiry on net neutrality regulation. First, she agreed with Baker that if the Internet is not broken, there is no need to fix it.

“Light-handed operation has fueled innovation over the past decade,” said Tykeson. Second, she acknowledged that the eco system blurred the line between application and content providers, if you look at what si happening with search engines, you realize that ISPs are not the only ones directing traffic. Finally she stated that in order to ISPs to enhance customer experiences they need flexibility in order to adapt to solve congestion problems.

Professor Yoo said he believed that the market may actually be reaching maturity. Once usage starts hitting saturation, there is a flat stage notion of competition that fundamentally changes. Providers acquire new users through higher value and managing costs. We are in a phase where consumers actually care about every bit they receive. Carriers will begin to find ways to get more op ex rather than cap ex.

Van Schewick reacted to Yoo’s comments by noting that under the state of the current architecture – which no one is really fond of – still does foster innovation. Tykeson mentioned the creation of the cable industry’s DOCSIS 3.0 as an example of innovation that is still happening to improve the experience for customers.

As the discussion moved back towards the topic of usage tiers, Weldon said that although usage tiers may feel comfortable, real innovative services may only need the additional bandwidth for a second or for the duration of the application. The higher tiers may end up being a waste of allocated bandwidth.

Greenstein then brought the conversation back to the issue of internet maturity. He claimed that the ad industry is not set, the web will still cause great suffering for the film industry. He said however that the key growth and the one that is hardest to see is in enterprise internet protcol, the combining of wireline and wireless that is happening at different firms could foster massive innovation.

“When we look at that, where does the FCC have leverage?” Greenstein answered his own question, turning to Baker and saying, “the most important thing the FCC can do is provide more spectrum, release more spectrum, it will get used.”

He concluded by restating his position that because the Internet is not mature there are transparency and consistency problems that will need to be addressed.

Hyatt made his final remarks by stating that “something has changed that now required regulation.” Today and ISP is no longer just an ISP, if they make money they place it into cap ex and then all of a sudden they are the content provider as well. Tykeson responded by reminding Hyatt that the same goes for search engines like Google, manipulating content like Google Maps.

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Broadband People: Winter Casey Joins Google’s Washington Office

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2010 – After nearly a decade as a journalist in Washington, Winter Casey has accepted a position at Google where she will be doing strategic policy work. Casey, a self-described nerd, is looking forward to working for Google at the intersection of technology, policy and business issues.

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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WASHINGTON, January 8, 2010 – After nearly a decade as a journalist in Washington, Winter Casey has accepted a position at Google where she will be doing strategic policy work.

Casey, a self-described nerd, is looking forward to working for Google at the intersection of technology, policy and business issues.

As Washington is paying more attention to the role of the Internet in our lives and economy, in her new role, she’ll break down policy and new research for Google users.

Casey spent nearly five and a half years with National Journal with close to four years spent reporting on international issues for National Journal’s now-dead Technology Daily publication. Recently she has been reporting daily for Broadband Census News, and doing other freelance projects.

After growing up on a small farm in Maine, Casey started getting published on foreign affairs issues as a teenager in Washington, D.C. During a part time summer internship at the international desk of the Washington Times she was published with her own byline around 30 times.

Casey also spent time working and living in Honduras and Italy as a teenager. When she was sixteen years old she began undergraduate studies at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Casey returned to Washington, D.C., working day and night at school, internships and temporary jobs until she landed at National Journal.

Casey’s work as a journalist has been widely recognized by policymakers and business executives for her ability to present complex issues as fairly and accurately as possible. Her National Journal magazine story, “Why They Lobby,” was used in the 2009-2010 McGraw-Hill textbook on American government. Casey has also worked for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, The Magazine Group, USA Today, the State Departments International Visitor’s Program, and Universidad Jose Cecilio Del Valle in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Casey is passionate about journalism living up to traditional standards of excellence presented by journalists who strive to be fair to all sides and stick to reporting the news. She thinks quality journalism is extremely important to democracy and is optimistic media business models will eventually recover to support the medium.

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Broadband People Column: FCC’s Clyburn, Baker Get New Assignments

WASHINGTON, December 18, 2009 – The Federal Communications Commission has appointed Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker to serve on the federal-state boards for universal service and jurisdictional separations. Clyburn will serve as federal chair of both panels. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will continue to serve on both boards.

The Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service was established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to implement universal service provisions and to make recommendations on universal service matters. The Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations advises the FCC on the apportionment of regulated costs between interstate and intrastate jurisdictions.

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WASHINGTON, December 18, 2009 – The Federal Communications Commission has appointed Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Attwell Baker to serve on the federal-state boards for universal service and jurisdictional separations. Clyburn will serve as federal chair of both panels. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will continue to serve on both boards.

The Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service was established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to implement universal service provisions and to make recommendations on universal service matters. The Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations advises the FCC on the apportionment of regulated costs between interstate and intrastate jurisdictions.

The FCC also announced that Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioners Clyburn and Baker will be members of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services, along with Copps and Commissioner Robert McDowell. Clyburn will also serve as federal chair of the Joint Conference, which provides a forum for discussion on the development of broadband resources between the FCC, states, and local and regional entities.

In the portions of this story included as Premium Content, BroadbandBreakfast.com reports about the goings-on at Microsoft, The House Science and Technology Committee, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, CANARIE, the British Embassy and Google.

[Private_Free Trial][Private_Premium Content]Microsoft Taps Frank Cavaliere For Senate

Microsoft is bringing Frank Cavaliere on board as director of government affairs for the Senate. Cavaliere plans to focus on policies related to education and workforce development, immigration, intellectual property, telecommunications, trade, andinternet safety, among others.

Cavaliere previously served as vice president and senior counsel of federal affairs and policy for the Motion Picture Association of America. He has also been a vice president of federal and regulatory affairs at Vonage Holdings Corporation and the deputy legislative director for then-Sen. George Allen.

Tech Committee Chairman To Retire

House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., announced Monday that he will not seek re-election to the House when his term ends in 2010.

“When I was elected, I was the youngest member of the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I’m one of the oldest. In fact, I have members of my staff who weren’t even born when I took office.That tells me it’s time for a new chapter,” said Gordon. The congressman said he made the decision after consulting with his wife, Leslie, a partner with Korn/Ferry International.

“Turning 60 has led me to re-evaluate what’s next. I have an 8-year-old daughter and a wonderful wife who has a very demanding job. I am the only child of my 83-year-old mother, Margaret. They have made sacrifices to allow me to do what I love by serving in Congress, and now it’s my turn,” added Gordon.

Gordon was named chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee in 2007, when he became Tennessee’s first full committee chairman in 30 years. The congressman said he is grateful for the opportunities it presented such as to author landmark legislation such as the America COMPETES Act.

Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., said he will look to fill Gordon’s void. “As the second ranking Democrat on the Science and Technology Committee, I am interested in and will pursue the chairmanship of the full committee and look forward to discussing it with our Democratic leadership and my colleagues in our caucus.”

Gordon “has been a very effective leader of the Science and Technology Committee, strongly advocating the important role of Science for society, including a great emphasis on math and science education,” said Costello.

Dumont To Head Massachusetts Broadband Institute

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Judith Dumont to serve as director of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, an agency created to bridge the digital divide and deliver affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service to every community in the state by 2011.

“Broadband lifts up local economies, improves our schools and strengthens public safety. That’s why expanding coverage throughout the state has been one of our foremost priorities,” said Governor Patrick in a statement.

Dumont previously served as president of the decisioning solutions business unit at Lightbridge, Inc., a Massachusetts publicly traded software provider for the industry.

Arnaud To Leave CANARIE

Bill St. Arnaud is stepping down as chief research officer of CANARIE or the Canadian Advanced Network and Research for Industry and Education.

“Over the past 15 years of tenure at CANARIE I am very proud to feel that I have made a small contribution to several significant developments in the areas of customer owned networks, user controlled lightpaths, development of infrastructure as service, various broadband initiatives and most recently in looking at how networks and cyber-infrastructure can help address the challenge of climate change,” wrote Arnaud in a farewell email.

“I now look forward to pursing new opportunities related to my on going passion for Internet networking, especially in the area of developing network and ICT tools to mitigate climate change,” he added.

Arnaud has previously served as president and founder of a network and software engineering firm called TSA ProForma Inc., a software company that developed wide area network client and server systems.

Google Gets New Face

Jennifer Taylor, a senior policy advisor for information communications and technology and business relations for the British Embassy, will soon be joining Google’s public policy team. The British Embassy is currently looking to fill her position.

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