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Update on the Connect 2 Compete Initiative and EveryoneOn Campaign | BroadbandUSA - NTIA

Update on the Connect 2 Compete Initiative and EveryoneOn Campaign | BroadbandUSA - NTIA | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
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Watch the webinar updating the public on Connect2Compete and EveryoneOn.

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BroadbandPolicy
How broadband is impacting jobs and the economy, health care, the environment and energy, public safety, civic engagement, and education
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Inside the newsroom: The view from the Netherlands may keep us on the right track

Inside the newsroom: The view from the Netherlands may keep us on the right track | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
There were many insights, but perhaps the most noteworthy is also the simplest, and it came from my Danish colleague as we framed our discussion: a newspaper must stay connected to its community in as many ways as possible. The Deseret News has been around since 1850 and carries a rich heritage. Mylenberg leads a paper that was printing about 100 years before that and continues to publish.

How does it stay connected? Choir nights.

Subscribers have events they attend and among the most popular are coming together to sing. It's a Danish thing, and it's effective. He tries to hold events every week, giving the public a chance to be with their journalists in any number of activities. Great ideas on story coverage come from those meetings. Cost of entry is a subscription to the paper.
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What a great idea to keep subscribers connected to their local newspaper!
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Does the NBN work?

Does the NBN work? | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
More than one million premises have the NBN and 3.4 million premises are ready to receive it. The network is 30 per cent complete in terms of premises that can order a service and NBN is on track to meet its 2020 target, its chief executive Bill Morrow says.

Some consumers can’t speak more highly of it, others live in internet purgatory. They wage frustrating battles with installers who fail to keep appointments, they find their equipment is inadequate after installation or, despite living in an NBN-ready area, discover during installation that infrastructure is missing.
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The National Broadband Network provides an open access network on a large scale.
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Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing

Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
From neighborhood handymen to freelance computer programmers, Americans have long taken on piecemeal work in lieu of (or in addition to) traditional salaried employment. But today a variety of apps and online platforms are making it easier than ever for people to connect with customers who might like to hire them to do any number of jobs – from performing various types of online tasks to driving for ride-hailing services or cleaning someone’s home. These platforms also allow users to earn money in a range of other ways, such as sharing their possessions with others or selling their used goods or personal creations.

Proponents of these digital earning platforms argue that they offer important benefits, such as the freedom and flexibility to work at a time and place of one’s choosing or the ability to turn a hobby or pastime into a source of income. But others worry that this emerging “gig economy” represents a troubling shift in which workers face increased financial instability and are required to shoulder more of the burden for ensuring their own pay and benefits.

Against this backdrop, a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that a relatively substantial share of the public has earned money recently from a digital commerce platform. In the context of gig employment, nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) have earned money in the last year using digital platforms to take on a job or task. Meanwhile, nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) have earned money in the last year by selling something online, while 1% have rented out their properties on a home-sharing site. Adding up everyone who has performed at least one of these three activities, some 24% of American adults have earned money in the “platform economy” over the last year.
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Sizable evidence about the size and scope of the #GigEconomy, Online Selling and Home Sharing
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A Click Away: Helping rural residents stay connected with fiber internet - Utah Business

A Click Away: Helping rural residents stay connected with fiber internet - Utah Business | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
Checking your email on your smart phone in between meetings. Typing a question into your computer’s search engine and receiving an answer instantly. These are the conveniences of modern technology. And whether you are an entrepreneur living in Escalante or a farmer living in Fillmore, high speed and reliable internet has become mission critical to living in rural Utah.

Having immediate access to information is changing the way business is done in Utah, making the issue of location less important. In an age of telecommuting, businesses can set up headquarters anywhere and have become more focused on offering employees a desirable lifestyle.

“You see more and more lone eagles, even in rural areas, that have their own businesses and need broadband. They are able to live in a beautiful area and still do the job they love,” says Kelleigh Cole, director of the Utah Broadband Outreach Center (UBOC) that operates under the guidance of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The good news is Utah is doing very well in installing broadband services throughout the state.  “Along the Wasatch Front, 96 percent residents have access to speeds of 25 megabits and above, and in rural areas it’s 81 percent. Frequently, we are in the top five as far as speeds in the nation and we are the fastest in the Western United States,” says Cole.

Initiatives to expand fiber

Expanding broadband infrastructure, in both rural and urban parts of the state, is essential for economic development. The UBOC released a broadband plan highlighting key initiatives, such as helping communities increase speeds and giving Utah students the tools they need to succeed.

The UBOC is a public/private partnership. When broadband providers coordinate and collaborate with government entities, broadband infrastructure can be deployed more efficiently and inexpensively. It works with companies to map where services are available, and to what level, while planning for future needs. For the past five years, Utah has maintained an interactive broadband map at broadband.utah.gov/map that allows users to identify broadband service by speed and technology type in all areas of the state.

“We know which companies are located and where, so we can tell them what services are available and who’s offering them,” Cole says. The state also houses a map that shows where business fiber is available at locate.utah.gov.

Broadband providers and public/private stakeholders meet regularly to discuss strategies to increase broadband deployment. The UBOC collaborates with stakeholders to find solutions in areas where residents encounter broadband issues. “Occasionally, we get a phone call from a provider telling us they want to get into this rural community and they are having permitting or regulatory issues, and we help them work through it,” Cole says.

Utah is leading the way when it comes to connecting residents to fiber networks in rural parts of the state. Cole references two mobile broadband drive tests where a contractor drove 6,000 miles of federal, state and county roads to verify mobile broadband coverage. The data was then compared to provider-submitted data to verify accuracy.

More bandwidth equals more opportunities

Access to broadband services is quickly becoming the most differentiating factor of our time, according to Amber Brown, marketing director for Beehive Broadband. Industries like education, healthcare and public works all rely upon advanced broadband networks, and their presence can have an impact on local economies, particularly in rural areas. “The investment in fiber networks creates job opportunities, growth and the economic stimulus necessary to keep rural communities prospering,” says Brown.

Individuals and businesses are using technologies that require more bandwidth than ever before. As more and more applications go online, staying ahead of the increasing demand for broadband coverage is a constant challenge. More people have additional devices in their homes and on themselves that require broadband connectivity. “Think about the number of devices on your body that speak to the internet.  If you have a Fitbit or an Apple watch or a cellphone, those all interface with the internet,” says Cole.

Collaboration

Collaboration between public/private partners is vital to deploying broadband infrastructure throughout the state at reduced costs. The Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) is public/private partnership that works with private and independent telecommunications service providers to perform its mission. UETN connects Utah school districts, libraries, government facilities, higher education institutions and healthcare facilities across Utah.

UETN network bandwidth distribution expands distribution in Utah’s schools and libraries. This improves rural broadband access by helping schools, libraries and tribal centers to obtain scalable high-speed broadband services and develop sustainable critical broadband infrastructure for their communities. “Knowing that we are able to provide schools in the West Desert communities of Utah with the same speeds available to schools along the Wasatch Front is very satisfying and drives us to continue to push to make this more widely available,” says Brown.

UETN also connects hospitals, clinics and health departments into a secure healthcare network. Their higher broadband speeds allow for widespread use of electronic health records by healthcare facilities throughout Utah. “The network provides the platform for secure exchange of clinical health information among healthcare providers and facilitates the deployment of telehealth and telemedicine,” says Cole.

The connection between building roads and installing broadband may not be apparent at first, but new road construction is often the perfect time to install and expand broadband. In addition to building and repairing roads, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) also facilitates the expansion of broadband infrastructure into remote areas of the state, by expanding the agency’s fiber footprint and by installing and trading access to fiber conduit. UDOT helps facilitate the deployment of broadband infrastructure during construction projects providing substantial savings to all parties involved, notes Cole.
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Didn't think I'd see "success story" and UTOPIA together in a story, but here it is!
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The Fiber Optic Association

The Fiber Optic Association | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it

 


Read The Latest FOA Online Newsletter:

In this issue, we're following up on our article in the September Newsletter about the "growing pains" we're seeing in fiber optics by focusing on training techs.

Let's Talk Hiring And Training
Evaluating Job Candidates
How AT&T Views Training
Why Employers Can't Find Enough Candidates
Visiting a "State of the Art" Training Facility
WBMMF Has A New Name - OM5
KY Wired Moving Forward In Eastern KY
PA Turnpike Plans 550 Miles Of Fiber
Where Are FTTH Networks In America
178 Communities Building Broadband Networks
How Do You Identify A Counterfeit Cleaver?
A Better MPO Connector?
Why You Should Inspect All Connectors
Need A Secure Network - Make It 1-Way
"Dig Once" Guide and Links
Educational Systems For Fiber Optic Fundamentals
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Anyone else heard of this organization?
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The White House Frontiers Conference

The White House Frontiers Conference | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
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Interesting future-focused agenda from White House.
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Alexa Open Data Skills Challenge - Splash

Alexa Open Data Skills Challenge - Splash | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it

Consumer devices are becoming increasingly “smart”, helping people automate common tasks and increasing the convenience in which they acquire information and services. The Department of Commerce is excited to be the first government agency to support the development of voice recognition tools through Amazon Alexa Skills Kit with the goal of improving access to data.

On October 7th-8th, the “Alexa Skills Open Data Challenge” will be held at Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Software developers and civic hackers will have the chance to make build innovative solutions that connect open data with voice recognition.
What you can expect
By participating in the “Alexa Skills Open Data Challenge”, the Department of Commerce will provide its vast offering of open data to participants.  In addition, technical assistance at the event will be provided by US Department of Commerce’s digital services shop, known as the Commerce Data Service, along with supporting bureaus like the US Census Bureau.  Example scenarios than can be created with Commerce data include:

- Agriculture: Understand weather forecasts to better plan harvest  (source:  National Weather Service / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Recreation: Understand tide and marine conditions to plan surfing and fishing outings (source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Innovation: Determine which cities are generated the most patents (source:  US Patent and Trademark Office)   
- Demographic and Economic information: Ask questions related to US population, median income, and more (source: US Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis)

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Fascinating event bring broadband tech and government together!
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NITRD

NITRD | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
Welcome to the NITRD Program
The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program is the Nation’s primary source of federally funded work on advanced information technologies (IT) in computing, networking, and software. The multiagency NITRD Program seeks to provide the research and development (R&D) foundations for assuring continued U.S. technological leadership and meeting the needs of the Federal Government for advanced information technologies. The NITRD Program also seeks to accelerate development and deployment of advanced information technologies in order to maintain world leadership in science and engineering, enhance national defense and national and homeland security, improve U.S. productivity and economic competitiveness, protect the environment, and improve the health, education, and quality of life of all Americans. More...

The annual Supplement to the President’s Budget for the NITRD Program provides a technical summary of the research activities planned and coordinated through NITRD in a given Federal budget cycle, as required by law. The details are organized by Program Component Area (PCA) and presented using a common format
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Talk about an acronym - NITRD! - that aims to provide some research on broadband policy for the government.
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Connecting rural broadband by utilizing hybrid approach | TelecomLead

Connecting rural broadband by utilizing hybrid approach | TelecomLead | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
Bill Gerski, VP Sales at, Huawei and Joe Franell, CEO of Eastern Oregon Telecom, said that broadband availability in rural areas, especially in our rural communities, continues to be a major topic of concern in our country.

Affordable broadband is a building block for healthy communities. Broadband can spark economic development, support education, and provide residents with access to the news, information and cutting-edge Internet applications that are a fact of life in most other parts of the country. But less than half of rural adults have access to broadband at home, while two-thirds of metropolitan adults do. As the Internet becomes crucial in economics, education, and civic life, communities that are left behind pay a higher price for their lack of access. Rural residents should have access to the same high-speed broadband that many urban residents now receive.

Distance, density and terrain present overwhelming challenges in bringing broadband to rural areas. Many miles of cable must be attached to utility poles or buried, which is expensive. Often residents simply live too far from the necessary equipment for DSL service, or the terrain isn’t suitable for wireless connectivity. Even satellite reception requires a clear view of particular regions of the sky, which isn’t always viable in mountainous or heavily forested regions.

Utilizing FTTX, Fixed Wireless and Digital HFC Migration in a hybrid fashion overcomes these challenges while also reducing cost of ownership and increasing speed to market. Ultimately, it enables meeting the needs of an entire community.
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How fiber deployments help communities
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Digital Readiness Gaps

Digital Readiness Gaps | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
For many years concerns about “digital divides” centered primarily on whether people had access to digital technologies. Now, those worried about these issues also focus on the degree to which people succeed or struggle when they use technology to try to navigate their environments, solve problems, and make decisions. A recent Pew Research Center report showed that adoption of technology for adult learning in both personal and job-related activities varies by people’s socio-economic status, their race and ethnicity, and their level of access to home broadband and smartphones. Another report showed that some users are unable to make the internet and mobile devices function adequately for key activities such as looking for jobs.

In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning.
BroadbandBreakfast's insight:
Important new report on Digital Readiness Gaps from Pew Research's John Horrigan, with important insides on ensuring digital inclusion.
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Seven Federal Workers Who Made Your Life Better This Year

Seven Federal Workers Who Made Your Life Better This Year | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
Other than the military, federal employees aren’t often celebrated.

Political candidates dismiss them as  overpaid, paper-pushing bureaucrats. They make headlines mostly when something goes wrong—a major health insurance website failing to function, or senior managers spending too lavishly on the public dime. When Congress needs to slash the budget in a pinch, federal employee salary and benefits are frequently the first things it tries to cut.

On one night a year, however, America’s top civil servants get feted Hollywood-style, with a black-tie gala and the presentation of their version of the Oscars—the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, or Sammies. Now in their 15th year, the awards are the brainchild of the non-profit Partnership for Public Service, which solicits nominations from government departments and agencies, the contractors and associations that work with them on a daily basis, and the public at large.
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Fascinating celebration of public-private and government service!
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FCC chairman: Here are the new proposed rules for set-top boxes

FCC chairman: Here are the new proposed rules for set-top boxes | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
If you want to watch Comcast’s content through your Apple TV or Roku, you can. If you want to watch DirectTV’s offerings through your Xbox, you can. If you want to pipe Verizon’s service directly to your smart TV, you can. And if you want to watch your current pay-TV package on your current set-top box, you can do that, too. The choice is yours. No longer will you be forced to rent set-top boxes from your pay-TV provider.

One of the biggest benefits consumers will see is integrated search. The rules would require all pay-TV providers to enable the ability for consumers to search for pay-TV content alongside other sources of content. Just type in the name of a movie, and a list will come up with all the places it is scheduled for broadcast and where it can be streamed (like Amazon Prime or Hulu).

Integrated search also means expanded access to programming created by independent and diverse voices on the same platform as your pay-TV providers. Consumers will more easily find content even if it’s not on the pay-TV service to which they subscribe.
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Chairman Wheeler makes case for new set-top box mandate in Los Angeles TImes piece. Bottom line: unhinge programs from the platform.
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AT&T says slow pole access due to Google Fiber providing bad drawings

AT&T says slow pole access due to Google Fiber providing bad drawings | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
It’s not us, it’s them. When Google Fiber first informed cities that were on the list for service about a delay, many assumed it was because of the cost of putting cable underground and the well-publicized difficulties involved in gaining access to utility poles owned by other companies, specifically Comcast and AT&T.

Subsequent news that Google Fiber may be shifting its gigabit internet plans for other reasons notwithstanding, AT&T recently explained why it withheld pole access in an interview with FierceTelecom, as reported by Ars Technica.  The bottom line, according to AT&T, is that Google Fiber provided faulty information about where cables would be attached. In other words, “It’s them, not us.”

Related: Google Fiber facing slow Nashville rollout thanks to AT&T-owned telephone poles

Nashville, Tennessee is a case in point. AT&T was getting heat for the slow Google Fiber rollout in Nashville. According to Joelle Phillips, AT&T Tennessee president, errors in required engineering drawings submitted by Google Fiber were the show-stopper.

“We have had some problems in that part of the process,” said Phillips. “Their drawings frequently would not engineer the job in the way we think is appropriate.” Sometimes, added Phillips, “they have our lines too low to meet the national safety code.”
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How broadband poles are key to the future deployment of our internet infrastructure.
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Kentucky gov. scales back state-owned broadband network, prompting outcry

Kentucky gov. scales back state-owned broadband network, prompting outcry | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
The Republican formally announced that the “KentuckyWired” program would mainly focus on expanding connectivity in eastern Kentucky at a conference earlier this month, but he’s publicly contemplated changes to the project since taking over for his Democratic predecessor, former Gov. Steve Beshear, in January.

“We started to broaden it so now we were going to cover everything and wire the whole state, and while that’s admirable, if you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to anybody,” Bevin said at the “Shaping Our Appalachian Region” summit.

Beshear worked with Kentucky GOP Rep. Hal Rogers to broker a public-private partnership for the project last year, using state and federal funds to chip in for the cost of building roughly 3,400 miles of high-speed internet infrastructure around Kentucky. Australian investment firm Macquarie Capital and its partners would bear the brunt of the construction costs and get to operate the network for the next three decades, with the primary goal of selling service to state offices and schools that previously lacked quality broadband access.

Now, Bevin’s administration is working with Macquarie to change the project’s focus. Bevin’s press secretary declined to make any of project’s managers with the Kentucky Communications Network Authority available for an interview, but broadband accessibility advocates are vocal in their opposition to these changes.

“It feels like an opportunity that’s going to get missed,” Marty Newell, coordinator for the Center for Rural Strategies’ Rural Broadband Policy Group, told StateScoop. “Many times the ideas of the last person in the office are all without currency when the new person comes in, whether they were good ideas or not. I hope we get past this.”

Newell lives in Whitesburg, a city with a population just over 2,000, so he sees the need for better broadband options every day. Two providers serve Newell’s area — AT&T and a regional cable company — yet he notes that the best they can offer customers are “dial-up speeds.”
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Thoughtful summary of the Kentucky Wired network.
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Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’

Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’ | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe — and invented by the same man.

Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he’s British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. “South Park” lawsuit last year.

But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump’s son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner’s faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.
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Issue du jour: Do these theories hold water?
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Spike in Online Gig Work: Flash in the Pan or Future of Employment?

Spike in Online Gig Work: Flash in the Pan or Future of Employment? | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
By Siddharth Suri and Mary L. Gray
Most conventional jobs involve hierarchy. A boss divvies up work to the office’s full-time employees awaiting direction and a green light. While still true for the majority of American workers, a growing number of people are picking up work online — accepting jobs with companies that assign, schedule, route, and pay for work through websites or mobile apps. This on-demand “gig work” is unraveling the typical job. Yet none of our current workplace statistics or labor laws reckon with the new employment reality turning APIs into shift managers. Our research team spent the past two years conducting one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind to learn about the lives of on-demand gig workers. One of our greatest challenges was that we didn’t have a representative sample of American workers that could validate and enrich our findings. That is…until now.

We shared our survey questions and preliminary findings with the Pew Research Center for Internet, Science and Tech as they designed their survey, “Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing.” Pew wanted to develop a better way to gauge how many people, from a representative sample of the U.S. population, participate in gig work, ridesharing (think apps like Uber and Lyft) and homesharing (via sites like Airbnb and VRBO). It is hard to get a good headcount of those earning an income in the gig economy because the words to describe these jobs change with the launch of a new on-demand service or court case challenging what it means to “work” for a mobile app. Ridesharing and homesharing are more visible in the media. But a variety of jobs are quietly shifting online to become on-demand gig work, too. TaskRabbit and Thumbtack, for example, connect consumers with trade workers available to do the task. Crowdflower and Amazon Mechanical Turk are two of the more popular “crowdsourcing” platforms. They offer companies a way to post tasks online to a pool of people who have signed up to sift through the platform’s online listings of work opportunities. These public crowdsourcing platforms are the tip of the spear. Today, nearly every large tech company developing artificial intelligence uses proprietary services like these. The on-demand labor that AI-fueled jobs create is hard to measure, let alone see. The typical jobs performed on these platforms are white-collar office gigs, like transcribing audio, labeling images, and reviewing social media material flagged as “adult content” or “not safe for work.”
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Study on the future of work.
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PROGRAM

PROGRAM | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
10:15 AM
The Municipal Fiber Network: The Value is More than Faster Internet
The kickoff session focuses on the Network: How it is different from legacy networks; what will be expected of it; how the evolution in communications networks impact today’s decisions by municipal leaders and their stakeholders. Network connectivity is the foundation of the emerging city experience, this session provides insight and information about how virtualization, software-defined networks and abundant bandwidth is the foundation to every city and community.
Jeff Christensen, President, Entry Point Networks
10:45 AM
CASE STUDY: The Santa Monica Way — Build it Yourself
Santa Monica California was one of the first cities in the nation to invest, design and deploy a municipal broadband network. Today, the city continues to add new services and provide value for residents, visitors and businesses, all made possible by its fiber network. The decision-making, processes, and experience gleaned from this multi-year effort is the subject of this session. It will help cities of all sizes understand the value that Santa Monica derived from its network, and the methods and practices undertaken to overcome political challenges, operational barriers and more.
Jory Wolf, Vice President of Digital Innovation, Magellan Advisors
Former CIO, City of Santa Monica, California
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Don't miss the Smart Gigabit Cities event in Phoenix on Dec. 8!
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Fiber to the Home Council : Gimme Fiber Day

Fiber to the Home Council : Gimme Fiber Day | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
Gimme Fiber Day 2016  

On November 4th, the five FTTH Councils will celebrate Gimme Fiber Day, an annual event created to showcase how fiber has positively impacted communities across the world and what policymakers around the globe can do to help advance the roll-out and take-up of fiber optics.

The date for the annual celebration of fiber optics was selected as it corresponds with the birthday of the man who changed the way the world communicates, Professor Charles Kao.

To commemorate ‘Gimme Fiber’ Day, the FTTH Council Americas has a series of activities planned that will highlight the role fiber deployment has made in bringing countless communities into the 21st century. We also host an event in a city that has deployed a fiber network in order to showcase the many benefits of the network. 

To commemorate the upcoming Gimme Fiber Day on November 4th, the FTTH Council Americas has chosen CTI, serving Taylorville, Illinois as this year’s North American “Gimme Fiber Day” Award winner. CTI serves over ninety percent of central Taylorville with FTTH including the city government, the county government and the local schools — owning the town! They are planning to launch gigabit services in July and serve their entire residential customer base.

“Over the last fifteen years, the companies and professionals in this industry have created a market where innovation is the name of the game. We are excited to honor our award recipients who have dedicated so much time and energy to advancing the fiber-to-the-home industry,” said FTTH Council President Heather Burnett Gold. “Fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-antenna, fiber-to-the-premises, fiber-to-the-Moon — the ‘to’ doesn’t matter anymore. People want fiber everywhere and we look forward to seeing what these individuals and organizations have in store for the future of high-speed broadband.”

If your city is interested in hosting the 2017 Gimme Fiber Day, please fill out the Gimme Fiber Day application.
BroadbandBreakfast's insight:
We're 11 days out from this event from promoting fiber-optic infrastructure, and highlighting Taylorsville, Illinois!
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Eugene spending $4 million to improve downtown fiber network, Internet access

Eugene spending $4 million to improve downtown fiber network, Internet access | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
the flip of a switch, a Eugene software company joined the Internet’s fast lane.

Last year, Palo Alto Software hooked up to a new high-speed fiber network installed at the company’s downtown office building by the city and the Eugene Water & Electric Board.


Palo Alto saw a difference instantly. Internet speeds soared, CEO Sabrina Parsons said, 10 times faster than the business planning software company had been receiving through its commercial account with Comcast.

What’s more, Palo Alto’s monthly Internet bill — deeply subsidized by the two government agencies that set up the network — fell by 90 percent.

“It’s just more consistent service, faster speeds and we’ve saved money,” Parsons said. “We don’t have to depend on just Comcast.”
BroadbandBreakfast's insight:
The next infrastructure.
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FCC Postpones Vote on Set-Top Box Reform in a Blow to Chairman Wheeler

FCC Postpones Vote on Set-Top Box Reform in a Blow to Chairman Wheeler | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it

COPY THIS URL
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday postponed a vote on its highly-anticipated proposal to increase competition in the video “set-top box” market after the chairman of the agency failed to secure the necessary votes to approve the plan.

The delay amounts to a humbling setback for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who had made reforming the $20 billion set-top box market a centerpiece of his pro-consumer agenda. With 40 days to go before a presidential election that will determine the makeup of the FCC going forward, the fate of the reform measure is now in doubt.

As recently as Thursday morning, the vote was still scheduled, but Wheeler was ultimately unable to come to an agreement with his fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who had previously raised concerns about his plan, and who represents the key swing vote at the five-member agency.
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Motherboard weighs in on the complications of the set-top box order.
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The United States Digital Service

The United States Digital Service | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
The United States Digital Service


The United States Digital Service is a startup at the White House that pairs the country’s top technology talent with the best public servants, to improve the usefulness and reliability of the country’s most important digital services.
…what we realized was that we could potentially build a SWAT team, a world-class technology office inside of the government that was helping agencies. We’ve dubbed that the U.S. Digital Service…they are making an enormous difference…
President Barack Obama, March 2016
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Who here has heard of the US Digital Service? Provides an important toolkit for address tech and government.
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California broadband subsidy fund is maxed out

California broadband subsidy fund is maxed out | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) is just about topped up. The fund is used to subsidise new infrastructure in areas that lack broadband service that meets the California Public Utilities Commission’s minimum standard of 6 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload speeds. It’s also used to pay for broadband facilities and marketing programs in public housing and to fund regional broadband consortia.

The money for it comes from a tax that’s assessed on telephone bills – right now, it’s about one-half of one percent of the charges for in-state telecommunications services. (And yes, you can call it a surcharge. Or a fee. Many people do. But face it, it’s indistinguishable from a common sales tax).

By the end of November, the CPUC will have collected all the money – $315 million – that the California legislature has allowed. So the plan is to reduce the rate to zero percent, as of 30 November 2016.
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Important news about California Emerging Technology Fund and its future.
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How a telecom-backed law and a recent court decision conspired to give a small North Carolina city infinitely worse internet

How a telecom-backed law and a recent court decision conspired to give a small North Carolina city infinitely worse internet | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
As time progresses, internet speeds are supposed to get faster. The broadband options a city has in 2017 are supposed to be better than what it was available in 2016. However, in a matter of weeks, broadband service in the small rural of city of Pinetops, North Carolina is likely to get markedly worse.

Pinetops has found itself caught in the crossfire in a pitched battle between activists who advocate for the government to fill in gaps in the nation's broadband infrastructure and telecom industry-backed lawmakers intent on preventing municipal broadband efforts from competing with incumbent private providers.

In recent years, state legislatures across the country have passed a slew of laws—many of which were based on model legislation originally drafted by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council and lobbied for by the large, corporate internet service providers—throwing roadblocks in the way of municipalities creating their own broadband networks. These networks—like the ones Chattanooga, Tennessee and Lafayette, Louisiana—often provide faster speeds at lower prices than private alternatives.

Last year, as part of its effort to increase broadband accessibility across the country, the FCC issued an order circumventing some of those state laws. “You can't say you’re for competition, but deny local elected officials the right to offer competitive choices,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement about the FCC's move. “As they say in North Carolina, 'that dog won’t hunt.'”

Wheeler referenced North Carolina because the FCC's first assault on state-level anti-municipal broadband centered around the city of Wilson, North Carolina's desire to begin offering Greenlight, its municipal, gigbit-speed, fiber-to-the-home internet service that had been available to surrounding communities undeserved by the private sector—specifically, the small town of Pinetops.
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With the agency's refusal to appeal, attention turns to finding a political solution.
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UTOPIA wires Orem park in Provo Canyon with fiber optics

UTOPIA wires Orem park in Provo Canyon with fiber optics | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
The ancient art of storytelling got a big boost into the 21st century with the help of Orem, UTOPIA and Utah Department of Transportation.
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UTOPIA wires Orem park in Provo Canyon with fiber optics
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FAA's New Drone Rules Go Into Effect | Legal Alerts | Best Best & Krieger

FAA's New Drone Rules Go Into Effect | Legal Alerts | Best Best & Krieger | BroadbandPolicy | Scoop.it
New rules governing the use of small unmanned aircraft systems went into effect on Monday. The changes, which in principle reflect the draft version released in February 2015, will allow commercial operators to begin using drones domestically, within specific parameters, and will likely speed up the process for government operators as well. The new rule will:
Regulate drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting “non-hobbyist operations,”
Require pilots to keep drones within visual line-of-sight,
Require pilots to operate only during daylight hours or twilight if the drone has anti-collision lighting, and
Impose height and speed restrictions.
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