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Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Annual Conference on the State of Telecom

Building the Next Generation of Media: Online

Platforms and Cloud Content

Monday, October 19th 2015

Columbia University Campus
Faculty House
64 Morningside Drive
(West 116th Street)
New York, NY 10027

8:30am-5:30pm

Register at http://citisot2015.eventbrite.com

8:30-9:00am Registration and Breakfast

9:00-9:15am Welcome, Introduction of Topic, and Report on CITI’s
Project on Cloud-TV

Eli Noam, Professor, Columbia Business School and Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
9:15-10:30am Session 1 – Future Content
Distinguished experts from industry and academia will address several questions: As technology and delivery methods evolve, in what ways will they generate interactivity, immersion, individualization, and virtual reality participation? What new types of content are emerging? What will be the roles of sports and of UGC?

Terry Denson, VP- Content Strategy & Acquisition, Verizon Communication
Coleman Breland, President, Turner Network Sales
John Pavlik, Professor, School of Communications and Information, Rutgers University
Evangeline Morphos, Professor, School of the Arts-Film, Columbia University
Moderator: Darcy Gerbarg, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
10:30-10:45am Coffee Break

10:45-12:00pm Session 2 – Infrastructure and Technology
Noted innovators and implementers in technology and technology policy will discuss technology topics, including: What are the technology building blocks for Cloud-TV? What are the infrastructure needs? Are technologies like 4K likely to be successful?

Milo Medin, VP of Access Services, Google
Greg Harper, President, Harpervision
Robert Pepper, VP-Global Technology Policy, Cisco
Andrew McLaughlin, Partner, betaworks
Moderator: Robert Atkinson, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch

1:00-02:15pm Session 3 – Policy and Regulation
A panel of distinguished current and former policy makers and analysts will discuss the following issues: What legacy rules will survive or vanish, and which new rules will likely emerge? What might be the rules on interoperability, privacy, consumer protection? Is there a role for supranational harmonization and what should be its limits? In a world with different laws on content, how will providers of new types of content comply? How does ‘net neutrality’ affect cloud providers? What are the copyright and licensing issues associated with global online video? What is the role of public service broadcasters in an online video world?

Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman, Cable Europe
Christopher Yoo, Professor, and Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition, University of Pennsylvania
Alison Neplokh, Deputy Chief Technologist, Federal Communications Commission
Moderator: Heather Hudson, University of Alaska Anchorage
2:15-2:30pm Coffee Break

2:30-3:45pm Session 4 – Concentration and Industry Structure in Video and Platform Industries: a Problem?
A global panel of renowned professors will discuss market concentration and competition in the OTT and online network platform industries around the world, as well as the business drivers, the consumer interests, and policy issues. What are the impacts on vertical integration? On globalization? What are constraints on innovation and investment?

Daeho Kim, Professor of Media and IT, Inha University, Korea
Raul Katz Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
Moderator:Ben Compaine Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
3:45-5:00 pm Session 5 – Business Models and Industry
Leading financial and corporate analysts and investors will discuss the business dimensions of the emerging media and telecom environment. What are the investment and cost issues for next-generation video content and infrastructure platforms? For consumer prices and market penetration? Will the current flat-rate and bundled model continue to be dominant? What are the licensing, and monetization issues of multi-platform distribution video? What are the factors that explain the high market shares of leading firms? What is the business potential for peer-to-peer and user-generated for-profit video? Who are the likely big players?

Brent Olson, VP – Public Policy, AT&T
Tuna Amobi, Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst, Standard & Poor’s
Craig Moffett, Principal, MoffettNathanson
Harold Vogel, Principal, Vogel Capital Management
Gordon Goldstein, Managing Director – Head of External Affairs, Silver Lake
Moderator:Judith O’Neil, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
5:00pm Conclusions and Reception

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.citicolumbia.org

CITI Conference HAPPENING NOW on "Building the Next Generation of Media" 

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Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband's Impact

Partnerships And Trust Go Long Way To Securing Financing For Broadband Projects, Panelists Say

Broadband Breakfast panelists wrestle with the challenge of financing broadband infrastructure projects.

Tim White

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Screenshot taken from Broadband Live Online event

April 16, 2021 – Financing broadband projects requires real human relationships among everyone involved, said Broadband Breakfast experts Wednesday.

The weekly panel addressed the challenge of financing broadband infrastructure. Billions of federal dollars are making their way to expand internet access across the country, including the $9.3 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program and the $7 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. There is significant funding to be spent, but it’s not always as simple as receiving a check in the mail from the government.

Getting the necessary funds to build broadband networks — whether they are private service providers like Comcast, electric co-ops or municipal-owned networks — often requires financing with banking institutions or other means of funding.

“You really want to strike a deal with someone that you can trust, who you think has your community’s interests in mind,” said Christopher Mitchell, director of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Broadband Network Initiative. “Human relationships are important, and often are a precursor to striking any of these sorts of deals.”

He mentioned unique ways that companies and communities can collaborate to build broadband networks.

For example, he referenced some long-term agreements in Minnesota between localities and CTC – Consolidated Telephone Company. The localities would pay for and own fiber-to-the-home networks that are operated by the CTC. “That can really help for operators that have the capacity to do more work, but may be at their lending or borrowing limits,” Mitchell said.

Internet Service Providers “can work with a community that would take on the debt in order to build the network and then offer, whether that’s exclusive, whether that’s permanently exclusive, or timed-exclusive, that’s one way,” Mitchell said.

Partnering with anchor institutions

Another method is for providers to partner with communities or schools to build networks that are owned by the company but paid for by the community or school with state or federal funding, such as the company Clearnetworx in Colorado.

“ISPs sometimes have to build those relationships and have creative ideas to make these things happen,” Mitchell said.

“When I think about the creation of MBC back in 2004, I think it was really all about leadership and relationship and good timing,” echoed Lauren Mathena, director of economic development and community engagement at Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC). On grant processes and getting the necessary financing, she said “the biggest thing is building those relationships and keeping that determination, and if you haven’t started, start today, because it is a process.”

Many smaller banks often lend out for broadband projects, sometimes even banding together if they hit their limits, because they see it as a wholistic community development, explained Tim Herwig, district community affairs officer at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“A lot of these banks are locally-owned, the bank president, the members of the board, sit in the pew at church next to customers,” Herwig said. “Their kids go to the same schools together, they eat in the same restaurants, they go jogging down the same streets, right? They have a deep sense of corporate community responsibility. They see broadband as a gateway to the financial security and future of the communities where they serve,” he said.

High cost challenges

“The big challenge in a lot of these markets for rural operators is the economics of providing service in high-cost areas just don’t pencil out,” said Jeff Johnston, lead communications economist at CoBank, a private bank that focuses on services in agriculture and infrastructure for rural areas.

In addition to getting the upfront funding to building the infrastructure, there is also the operating costs to consider, and for some areas that’s not feasible without extra support, he said. “It’s one thing to get support up front to build a network in a high-cost area, but there’s on going expenses to managing the network,” he said.

Johnston also mentioned financial issues that may occur in federal reverse auction programs such as RDOF. “They’re great programs, first of all, but I also think operators going into these reverse auctions don’t overextend themselves,” he said. “Be realistic in what you think you can do operationally and financially.”

For MBC, which operates in Virginia, they pair funding with state and federal programs, such as the 1998 national tobacco settlement through the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, Mathena said. “We’ve been able to pair state and federal grant applications together, so that we’re using state dollars to help build that match, so that’s not just coming from MBC’s revenue,” she said.

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Broadband's Impact

FCC to Vote On Emergency Connectivity Fund Policies By Mid-May: Rosenworcel

The agency is expected to vote on policies for the new connectivity fund by mid-May, chairwoman says.

Derek Shumway

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April 14, 2021 – Jessica Rosenworcel, the chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, said Tuesday the agency will be voting by mid-May on policies to deliver the Emergency Connectivity Fund, which has received over 9,000 interested institutions through its portal.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund is part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law in March 2021.

It’s “the nation’s largest ever broadband affordability program,” Rosenworcel said Tuesday on a virtual panel hosted by Allvanza, an advocacy group for Latinxs and underserved communities within the technology, telecommunications and innovation industries; the Multicultural Media Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC); and the Asian Pacific American Advocate group (OCA).

It’s “designed to make sure we get every household in this country connected to high-speed Internet service because this pandemic has proven like nothing before,” she added.

The FCC made a sign-up portal on its website to determine interest in the program, and over 9,000 institutions have signed up to date, Rosenworcel said, adding she hopes the policies for the EBB can address the homework gap by extending internet subsidies normally reserved for schools and libraries to households.

Evelyn Remaley, acting assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and acting National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Administrator, said minority-aimed broadband initiatives have done great work in bringing together providers and companies with minority-serving institutions.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the FCC will vote by mid-May on policies related to the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. In actuality, the agency is voting on policies for the new Emergency Connectivity Fund from Biden’s new American Rescue Plan. 

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Digital Inclusion

Virt Seeks To Serve As The Hub To Find And Join Virtual Events

Launched last week, virt.com hopes to take advantage of the rise in virtual events by crowdsourcing them in one place.

Tim White

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Photo of GHS co-founder Victor Zonana, left, from Global Health New Zealand

April 13, 2021 – Global Health Strategies, the global advocacy group focused on health and policy, last week launched Virt.com, a new open-source media platform that crowdsources virtual events on various issues.

Those “issue channels” include health, Covid-19, climate and environment, gender, food and nutrition and human rights. It relies on users in different regions posting about upcoming events in those categories.

The launch last week coincided with a new ad campaign called Unmutetheworld, focused on digital equity around the world with the belief that internet access is a human right. It includes partnering with groups like National Digital Inclusion Alliance and grassroots organizations in many different countries.

“The pandemic has transformed our lives. The way we connect, the way we celebrate, the way we mourn, the way we work, access healthcare and learn, has changed,” GHS CEO David Gold said in an interview. “Broadband allows us to connect virtually even during the pandemic, but so many people don’t have access to the internet, they cannot connect, and we have to change that,” he said.

Gold described Virt as a way to connect people globally to meaningful conversations about health, science, policy, technology, among other topics. “We have a window of opportunity right now with the pandemic to really change. Despite all the terrible effects of COVID-19, we have this moment in time to make the case for big investments,” he said.

Gold highlighted the work of GHS and the Unmutetheworld campaign to connect people across different nations. “Broadband access comes to the heart of economic development, we have to take that momentum in the U.S. and expand it around the world,” he said.

Broadband is becoming increasingly more important, with more people working, schooling, or using health services virtually than ever before due to the pandemic.

Broadband central to digital activities

“Broadband used to be a ‘nice to have,’ now it is a ‘must have,’” Angela Siefer, executive director at NDIA, said in an interview. “Twenty years ago, we were worried about having enough computers in a classroom and lucky that one of them connected to the internet, but that has changed now, and we need to keep up with the technology. It permeates our whole lives,” she said.

President Joe Biden recently announced a new $2.3-trillion infrastructure proposal called the American Jobs Plan, which includes $100 billion for broadband programs over eight years. Congress has also recently introduced legislation on broadband initiatives, including $100 billion as part of the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act, or LIFT America Act, sponsored by the Democratic delegation on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“We are excited about the potential of these government initiatives, not just for funding deployment, but also to address affordability, digital literacy skills and devices,” Siefer said. “We’ve never had this much awareness about broadband issues. We’re seeing real ideas being put into action.”

Siefer also mentioned state-level efforts to expand broadband, including recent legislation in New York and Maryland. Maryland plans to spend $300 million of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan on broadband programs, including infrastructure, subsidies for fees and devices, and grants for municipal broadband. New York state recently announced the 2022 fiscal year budget including a $300 billion infrastructure package that contains broadband subsidies for low-income residents and an emergency fund to provide economically-disadvantaged students with free internet access.

“We’re seeing a shift to address adoption and affordability at both the state and federal level, where previously we only saw discussion of availability,” Siefer said. “It’s not just about unserved and underserved areas when it comes to digital equity, because the infrastructure might be there, but people are not participating in broadband for a variety of reasons,” she said. “Affordability and digital literacy lock people out. New programs aim to solve that problem and get people connected.”

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