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Quantum Technologies on Fiber Will Advance AI, Other Applications: Company Exec

Quantum technology is not merely a stepwise improvement on current technologies, but a seismic leap, said Qubitekk’s Duncan Earl.



Photo of Duncan Earl, president and chief technology officer of Qubitekk

WASHINGTON, December 27, 2022 – The new technology of quantum networking, run over fiber infrastructure, can enable advances in technologies, including artificial intelligence and virtual reality, according to an executive at a quantum computing company.

Quantum technologies will likely enable a range of highly advanced technologies, including many related to artificial intelligence, said Qubitekk chief technology officer Duncan Earl at a Fiber Broadband Association web event. He suggested quantum could be used to enhanced language translation tools and enhanced virtual reality.

But those quantum networks will need to operate over fiber, according to FBA President Gary Bolton.

Quantum technology is not merely be a stepwise improvement on current technologies, Earl said, but a seismic leap. Quantum computing is “…billions and billions of times more powerful on certain types of problems, problems that we can’t solve today, even if…the whole world was covered in super computers,” he said.

Quantum deals with tiny particles, and it relies heavily on two concepts, “superposition” and “entanglement.” Superposition is the ability of particles to exist in multiple places at once. Entangled particles are distinct particles that behave as a single particle – even if they are far apart.

Quantum networks, like traditional networks, transmit information between nodes. Instead of sending classical bits, however, quantum networks send quantum bits – or qubits – each of which is comprised of a single photon, Earl said. Unlike the classical binary bit, which is limited to a “1” or a “0”, a qubit has unlimited values.

“The biggest difference is the signal type,” Earl added later in his presentation, comparing traditional fiber and quantum networks. “Instead of sending an optical pulse with billions and billions of photons down the fiber, you’re sending just a single photon and so the detection of that is going to be quite a bit different and the preservation of that information is quite a bit different.”

Quantum computers, operating systems, and networks currently in development are likely to rapidly spread into markets, according to Earl. In November, the City of Chattanooga’s EPB announced a partnership with Qubitekk to launch a quantum network. A long-standing network innovator, Chattanooga in 2010 announced the availability of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds and in 2015 launched speeds of 10 Gbps.

Reporter David B. McGarry hails from sunny Los Angeles. He has written extensively on privacy and tech policy. His work has appeared in such publications as RealClearPolicy and The Center Square.

Artificial Intelligence

Sam Altman to Rejoin OpenAI, Tech CEOs Subpoenaed, EFF Warns About Malware

Altman was brought back to OpenAI only days after being fired.



Photo of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, taken 2019, permission.

November 22, 2023 – OpenAI announced in an X post early Wednesday morning that Sam Altman will be re-joining the company that built ChatGPT as CEO after he was fired on Friday. 

Altman confirmed his intention to rejoin OpenAI in an X post Wednesday morning, saying that he was looking forward to returning to OpenAI with support from the new board.

Former company president Greg Brockman also said Wednesday he will return to the AI company.

Altman and Brockman will join with a newly formed board, which includes former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor as the chair, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, who previously held a position on the OpenAI board.

Satya Nadella, the CEO of OpenAI backer Microsoft, echoed support for both Brockman and Altman rejoining OpenAI, adding that he is looking forward to continuing building a relationship with the OpenAI team in order to best deliver AI services to customers. 

OpenAI received backlash from several hundred employees who threatened to leave and join Microsoft under Altman and Brockman unless the current board of directors agreed to resign.  

Tech CEOs subpoenaed to attend hearing

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, announced Monday that tech giants Snap, Discord and X have been issued subpoenas for their appearance at the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 6 in relation to concerns over child sexual exploitation online. 

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, X CEO Linda Yaccarino and Discord CEO Jason Citron have been asked to address how or if they’ve worked to confront that issue. 

Durbin said in a press release that the committee “promised Big Tech that they’d have their chance to explain their failures to protect kids. Now’s that chance. Hearing from the CEOs of some of the world’s largest social media companies will help inform the Committee’s efforts to address the crisis of online child sexual exploitation.” 

Durbin noted in a press release that both X and Discord refused to initially accept subpoenas, which required the US Marshal Service to personally deliver those respective documents. 

The committee is looking to have Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testify as well but have not received confirmation regarding their attendance.  

Several bipartisan bills have been brought forth to address that kind of exploitation, including the Earn It Act, proposed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Graham, which holds them liable under child sexual abuse material laws. 

EFF urging FTC to sanction sellers of malware-containing devices

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group, have asked the Federal Trade Commission in a letter on November 14 to sanction resellers like Amazon and AliExpress following allegations mobile devices and Android TV boxes purchased from their stores contain malware.

The letter explained that once the devices were turned on and connected to the internet,  they would begin “communicating with botnet command and control (C2) servers. From there, these devices connect to a vast click-fraud network which a report by HUMAN Security recently dubbed BADBOX.”

The EFF added that this malware is often operating unbeknownst to the consumer, and without advanced technical knowledge, there is nothing they can do to remedy it themselves.

“These devices put buyers at risk not only by the click-fraud they routinely take part in, but also the fact that they facilitate using the buyers’ internet connections as proxies for the malware manufacturers or those they sell access to,” explained the letter. 

EFF said that the devices containing malware included ones manufactured by Chinese companies AllWinner and RockChip, who have been reported on for sending out products with malware before by EFF.

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Artificial Intelligence

Sam Altman to Join Microsoft, New FCC Broadband Map, Providers Form 4.9 GHz Coalition

After being fired on Friday by the board of OpenAI, former CEO Altman will join Microsoft and lead its AI.



Photo of Sam Altman, taken 2017 permission.

November 20, 2023 – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in an X post Monday that former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will be joining Microsoft after being fired from the machine learning company. 

Over the course of the last four days, OpenAI has undergone several shifts in leadership, which includes OpenAI investor Microsoft acquiring OpenAI president and chairman Greg Brockman to lead an AI research team alongside Altman

Brockman, who had been concurrently relieved from his role as chairman of the OpenAI board, announced his resignation Friday via X, upon learning that the board had decided to fire Altman. 

OpenAI said in a blog post Friday that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”

OpenAI then notified The Information Saturday that Emmett Shear, co-founder of streaming site Twitch, would serve as CEO after having CTO Mira Murati serve that role in the interim.  

Following Nadella’s announcement Monday morning, nearly 500 of the 700 OpenAI employees were signatories to a letter threatening to leave their roles to work under Altman and Brockman at Microsoft unless all of the current board members resign. 

As of Monday, OpenAI board member Ilya Sutskever posted a message of regret on X regarding the board decision to remove Altman and Brockman. The phrase “OpenAI is nothing without its people,” is now emerging from employee’s X accounts.  

FCC announces new national broadband map

The head of the Federal Communication Commission announced Friday the third iteration of its national broadband map, showing just over 7.2 million locations lack access to high-speed internet. 

That is less than the 8.3 million identified in May.   

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted that map data continue to fluctuate less between iterations, showing improvements in map accuracy. 

Previous iterations of the national broadband map had been criticized for not accurately depicting areas with and without service, with widespread concern that that would impact the allocation of Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment funding. 

The map outlines where adequate broadband service is and is not available throughout the nation and provides viewers with information on the providers who service those areas and the technology used to do so. 

Providers form spectrum advocacy coalition 

A group of telecom industry players including Verizon and T-Mobile announced Thursday the formation of the Coalition for Emergency Response and Critical Infrastructure to advocate for select use of the 4.9 GigaHertz (GHz) spectrum band. 

The coalition is in support of prioritizing state and local public safety agencies as main users of the 4.9 GHz band, while ensuring that non-public safety licensees operate on the band to avoid interference. 

“Public Safety agencies have vastly different needs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and they should decide what compatible non-public-safety use means within their jurisdictions,” read the coalition’s letter.  

In January of this year, the FCC adopted a report to manage the use of the 4.9 GHz band, while seeking comment on the role a band manager would play in facilitating license allocation between public safety and non-public safety entities. 

It had proposed two methods of operation for the band manager in which it would either lease access rights from public-safety entities and then sublease that to non-public safety entities, or to facilitate direct subleasing between public safety operators and external parties. 

In its letter to the FCC, the coalition announced support for the second of those methods stressing the fact that it will allow public safety license holders retain authority over who they sublease their spectrum to. 

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Industry Observers See MNO Opportunities in Leasing Network Space to MVNOs

Observers say MVNOs are presenting growth opportunities for network-owning service providers.



Photo of T-Mobile store, taken 2014 by Mike Mozart, permission.

NEW YORK, November 15, 2023 – Wireless industry observers are seeing more providers opening up their networks to mobile virtual network operators as an opportunity to diversify revenue sources.

Large mobile network operators with additional network capacity can lease that to MVNOs that don’t have such infrastructure, allowing for more such service-based shops to emerge.

“Twenty years ago, [it was] don’t touch the network, no one’s getting on the network, it’s not open, it’s completely closed,” Kelly Green, CTO at telecom venture capital firm TelcoDR, said at Jeff Pulver’s Fall 2023 VON Evolution conference in New York earlier this month.

“But small pockets of these organizations…are saying if we don’t do this we’re not going to survive and there’s a huge opportunity in doing so,” she continued. “So I think these days, we talked about monetization and sharing capacity – anyone can look like a virtual network operator and you know it’s up to the service providers to be able to service that innovation.”

Suzanne Hellwig, assistant vice president for 5G Ecosystem and Alliances at AT&T, speaking with Green at the VON Evolution conference, added that MVNO agreements are becoming so prominent these days because it is increasingly easy for entities outside the telecom space to become operators with minimal startup costs.

To underscore Hellwig’s point, Green pointed to the MVNO Mint Mobile, an online-only virtual service provider founded in 2016 by telecom entrepreneur David Glickman, who previously developed Ultra Mobile. The company was later purchased by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, with him becoming an owner in 2019.

The operator offers a variety of phone plans, which vary in prices from $15 to $30 per month. The company’s marketing philosophy is built on the idea that phone plans and data should be affordable.

Mint Mobile was purchased in a larger acquisition by T-Mobile in March of this year, when T-Mobile set out to pay up to $1.35 billion to take on Ka’ena Corporation, Mint Mobile’s parent company.

Observers noted the marketing-driven focus of the Mint brand, as Reynolds features as the main character in the company’s humorous advertisements.

Hellwig added that the MVNO space is easy for people with great influence or sublime marketing ability to enter because as we look toward younger generations signing up for phone plans, brand loyalty matters.

She used her kids as an example. She said while they may not be passionate about AT&T, they could be passionate about familiar influential people offering phone plans.

To alleviate regulators about competition concerns in the wake of T-Mobile’s quest to acquire Sprint, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said the telecom would continue all MVNO agreements following the acquisition and cited in a 2019 earnings report phone call that the capacity they create with their network provides incentive for T-Mobile to take on MVNOs.

Fortune Business Insights, a market research consulting firm, released a report in March that said global MVNO market size was valued at $78.15 billion in 2022 and is projected to generate $149.13 billion in 2030.

The report cited factors like 5G ecosystems and rapidly developing wireless technology driving that growth.

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