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TeleGeography: Xplornet bundles WiMAX with Shaw pay-TV; closes spectrum deal with YourLink

Shaw Direct, the satellite TV division of triple-play cableco Shaw Communications, has agreed a tie-up with WiMAX and satellite broadband provider Xplornet to bundle satellite pay-TV with wireless internet access in a package specifically aimed at rural Canadians.

 

The Globe & Mail reports that the pair’s discounted package combining Shaw Direct’s TV channels and Xplornet’s internet connections will initially target rural markets in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta in early May before being rolled out on a national basis to Canada’s roughly 2.4 million rural households by the end of the year. The bundle’s pricing is yet to be decided.

 

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Xplornet is targeting broadband coverage of the entire country by end-2012, via a combination of 3.5GHz WiMAX radio base stations and two satellites, one of which is already operational and the other scheduled to enter service this year; having previously offered fixed-wireless internet over pre-WiMAX network technology, Xplornet launched its first commercial mobile-ready networks based on the 4G WiMAX 802.16e platform in Ontario in March 2011.

 

Xplornet had around 150,000 internet subscribers across Canada at the end of 2011, with ambitions to quadruple the total in four years. Shaw Direct had over 900,000 satellite TV subscribers at the same date, mostly in areas outside of the Shaw cable network footprint.

 

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Consumers Need Greater Internet Access and Faster Broadband Speeds | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Consumers Need Greater Internet Access and Faster Broadband Speeds | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Consumers Need Greater Internet Access and Faster Broadband Speeds: Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today calling on the agency to implement pro-consumer policies to bring faster and better broadband service to all Americans, promote competition and choice in the broadband market, and protect an open Internet.

“The Internet is an indispensable tool that is necessary to stay competitive globally, and the Commission has a mandate to ensure the deployment of advanced broadband services nationwide,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “Access to high speed Internet service is not a luxury in today’s economy. It is a necessity. Policymakers must encourage broadband abundance and ensure high speed Internet service is deployed everywhere.”

Of course there is little competition at the network edge controlled by incumbent legacy telephone and cable companies because the microeconomics make it a natural monopoly or duopoly with little incentive to invest in upgrades and expansions.

If the Internet Association wants to see the edge upgraded and expanded to fiber to the premise (FTTP) infrastructure needed to create the abundance it wants, it will have to build that infrastructure as its member company Google is doing with its Google Fiber unit.

But as an open access network. The incumbent telephone and cable companies would be hard pressed to respond. But they too could win in the end with open access FTTP since they could offer services to customers over it.

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Planning for More BYOD Laws | Tech Spotlight | Gil Cattelain | Mobile Enterprise

Planning for More BYOD Laws | Tech Spotlight | Gil Cattelain | Mobile Enterprise | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It's not news to anyone in business or IT that BYOD and resulting device policies are becoming more and more common. Gartner recently predicted that half of companies will require employees to bring their own device by 2017.

However, the California Court of Appeal took BYOD policy to a new level a few weeks ago, when they ruled that companies are required to reimburse employees "a reasonable percentage of their cellphone bills" if employees use personal devices for work.

As the ruling stands today, only business-related phone calls made on personal devices are impacted, but there is very real concern that applications, file storage and data will be impacted soon.

Many industry experts are asking questions and sharing their opinions regarding where the future of BYOD management is headed.

Forrester analyst David Johnson said "just about anything an employee has to spend money on should be included, including software, file sharing services, and even Skype."

There are varying approaches to handling business versus personal costs if devices become more regulated, or if the ruling spreads to additional states. Similar legislation would be unsurprising, and California's status as a tech hub means the ruling is important to many, and will be carefully watched.

The situation leaves us to examine how affected companies will manage or reimburse their workers’ calls.


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FL: Fiber to the Press Release: Atlantic Broadband Announces 1Gbps in Miami… For 40 Homes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

FL: Fiber to the Press Release: Atlantic Broadband Announces 1Gbps in Miami… For 40 Homes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More people will read this story than Atlantic Broadband has current customers for its 1Gbps broadband project in Miami.


“Atlantic Broadband is proud to be the first company to deliver 1 Gigabit Internet service to its customers here in the Miami Beach area,” said David Keefe, Atlantic Broadband’s senior vice president and general manager of the South Florida region. “While other companies are talking about what they will be doing, Atlantic Broadband moved forward and started offering this service in one of its communities. We look forward to extending access to our Gigabit Internet service to other properties and communities within our Miami footprint.”


Although Mr. Keefe isn’t being modest, his company’s gigabit broadband coverage area certainly is.


At present, the company serves just 40 properties with the super high-speed broadband service in high-income Indian Creek Village — the 8th richest community in the United States.


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AT&T & Verizon: We have enough capacity so spectrum isn't a big issue | Dave Burstein | Fast Net News

Ralph de la Vega & Lowell McAdam are pros. More spectrum makes adding capacity cheaper but any wireless engineer can tell you the "spectrum crisis" is political bunkum. This week at Goldman Sachs, CEO McAdam of Verizon and President de la Vega of AT&T made clear they can move forward whether or not they get more spectrum.


That confirms what the previous Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and AT&T's John Stankey had said in 2009. Both were comfident they'd do just fine. Five years later, their average customer speed on LTE is about 15 megabits, ten times as high as 2009.

Ralph, one of the most respected executives in the business, told investors "We feel really good about where we are. ... we don't have this burning desire for the need of coverage or for other reasons to go aggressively after Wi-Fi. Other operators that may have less coverage or have other needs, may pursue it more aggressively." Both Verizon and AT&T have boxed in the unused capacity of their customers DSL & fiber connections. Turning it on would add ?30%-50% more capacity in territory.

Lowell, a trained engineer, "We have a lot of AWS spectrum, We have great capacity in place. We’re densifying the network with either small cells or LTE unlicensed. So the network has the capacity. ... We have the assets in place. I don’t think we need a heckuva lot more. ... It goes a long way beyond just getting the spectrum. ... Always looking for efficiency. The small cell technology being deployed gives us a lot more capacity. ... WiFi is a critical part of the ecosystem managing the network. Using unlicensed spectrum is going to be important for us as we go forward. We intend to deploy LTE-U with the small cell technology, integrate it within the wider macro network, There are many dynamics that are involved in being more efficient. ,,, Even working with content providers to make sure you have the right formats to put less load on the networks."

"We expect to see capex as a % of revenue to fall. I hope it continues at least at the absolute level," confirms that Verizon is not squeezed.


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3.8 Gigabit LTE. 3.8 Gigabit? Just a demo, but definitely feasible | Dave Burstein | Fast Net News

3.8 Gigabit LTE. 3.8 Gigabit? Just a demo, but definitely feasible | Dave Burstein | Fast Net News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Masayoshi Son at Sprint or Korea Telecom in Rwanda could deliver a gigabit in a few years. Nokia used 200 MHz, about 5 times the spectrum advanced carriers are using today, and achieved about 15 times the performance of today's better networks. Nokia has just demonstrated 3.8 gigabits, as you can see in this video. http://bit.ly/Nokia38

A team at Rice & Cornell Universities have designed a chip they believe will support a similar 3.8 gigabits in only 100 MHz, the amount of spectrum available to Sprint as well as most of Latin America and Africa. (Note below) Henry Samueli of Broadcom in a Marconi webinar predicted chips like that. Since 2011 and 3GPP release 10, every informed wireless engineer has known speeds will pass a gigabit (shared) on many commercial networks.


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Local Tennessee Communities Rally Behind Chattanooga's EPB | Lisa Gonzalez | community broadband networks

Local Tennessee Communities Rally Behind Chattanooga's EPB | Lisa Gonzalez | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the FCC contemplates the fate of the Chattanooga EPB's ability to expand to surrounding communities, some of those Tennessee communities are publicly announcing their support.


The Town of Kimball and Marion County, both part of the Chattanooga metro area, have passed resolutions asking state legislators to reconsider Tennessee's anti-muni law.


The Times Free Press reports that Kimball's Board of Mayor and Alderman unanimously and officially asked their state officials to introduce legislation enabling local authority. They requested action as early as the next legisaltive session.


Marion County passed a similar resolution in August - also unanimously. According to Kimball's City Attorney Bill Gouger:


"It is a situation where there are providers out there who would like to extend fiber-optic cable and high-speed Internet-type systems throughout our county," Gouger said. "The simple fact is, right now, our state laws make that really difficult to do, if not impossible."


County Mayor David Jackson is reaching out to the other municipalities in Marion County to increase support. From the article:


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Good News: Mobile Devices Now Competing To Be Much More Secure Against Prying Eyes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Good News: Mobile Devices Now Competing To Be Much More Secure Against Prying Eyes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While the more cynical folks out there have insisted that the tech industry is a happy partner with the intelligence community, the reality has been quite different. If anything, in the past many companies were simply... complacent about the situation, not realizing how important these issues were.


That's problematic, but the Snowden revelations have woken up those firms and enabled the privacy and security gurus who work there to finally get the message across that they absolutely need to do more to protect the privacy and security of their users. That's why you see things like Apple's new local encryption by default on iOS8, meaning that even if law enforcement or the intelligence community comes knocking, Apple can't get much of your data off of your device.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

Within hours, it was reported that the next update to Android would also have the same default encryption.


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New US Senate bill aims to limit access to emails stored abroad | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com

New US Senate bill aims to limit access to emails stored abroad | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday aims to place limits on access by U.S. law enforcement agencies to emails and other communications stored abroad.


The proposed legislation comes against the backdrop of a dispute between Microsoft and the government, in which the tech company has refused to hand over emails held by it at a facility in Dublin, Ireland.


The new bill, called the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act, aims to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to authorize the use of search warrants extraterritorially, only where the government wants to obtain the contents of electronic communications belonging to a U.S citizen or permanent resident alien or a company incorporated in the U.S.


It also provides that the court issuing the warrant shall modify or vacate the warrant, if it finds that it would require the communications provider or remote computing service to violate the laws of a foreign country.


The bill introduced by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah and current member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware and member of the Judiciary Committee, and Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada.


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Netflix Asks FCC to Address Interconnection Agreement Concerns in Open Internet Rules | Lydia Beyoud | BNA.com

Netflix Asks FCC to Address Interconnection Agreement Concerns in Open Internet Rules | Lydia Beyoud | BNA.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Netflix Inc. representative called on the Federal Communications Commission to include review of network interconnection agreements as part of its Open Internet rulemaking process, saying that the practice of Internet service providers demanding content providers pay fees to reach end users gives rise to the same concerns as paid prioritization for “last mile” service.

“We see the point of interconnection as an extension of the net neutrality rules,” Corie Wright, Netflix's director of global public policy, said Sept. 16 during a panel discussion at the FCC.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has said in official filings that the FCC shouldn't extend the scope of its net neutrality rules to govern interconnection agreements, also known as peering or traffic exchange agreements, between ISPs and content distribution networks (CDNs).

Doing so could increase network congestion and saddle broadband subscribers with higher costs, NCTA said.

The FCC is gathering information to determine whether ISPs like Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. use their positions as last-mile providers of Internet connectivity to disadvantage content providers. However, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said June 13 that the agency would be examining interconnection as a separate issue from the net neutrality rules.

Wheeler, at a June press conference, said the FCC isn't seeking to regulate the practice of interconnection agreements, but that it has “broad authority” to act if it finds that consumers are being harmed.


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Canada's New Investment Agreement With China Will Take Precedence Over Canadian Constitution for 31 Years | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com

Canada's New Investment Agreement With China Will Take Precedence Over Canadian Constitution for 31 Years | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Here on Techdirt we've been covering the secrecy surrounding CETA, the trade agreement between the EU and Canada, and its problematic inclusion of a corporate sovereignty chapter. But while attention has been focused here, the Canadian government is sneaking through a bilateral investment treaty with China that is arguably worse in every respect -- at least for Canadians. Here's how the Council of Canadians described the move:

"In the world of official government announcements, a two-paragraph media release sent out in the late afternoon on the Friday before Parliament resumes sitting is the best way for a government to admit, "We know this is really, really unpopular, but we're doing it anyway."

That's the way the Harper government, by way of a release quoting Trade Minister Ed Fast, announced that it had decided to ignore widespread public opposition, parliamentary opposition from the NDP, Greens and even lukewarm Liberal criticism, an ongoing First Nations legal challenge, and even division at its own cabinet table and grassroots membership and proceed with the ratification of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)."

The key problem, as is increasingly the case with international agreements, is the inclusion of far-reaching investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) measures that would allow China to sue the Canadian people. Here's what the treaty law expert Gus Van Harten told the Vancouver Observer:


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Netflix Seeks OVD Conditions on AT&T/DirecTV | Jeff Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Netflix Seeks OVD Conditions on AT&T/DirecTV | Jeff Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix has told the FCC that without conditions guarding against what it suggests are anticompetitive paid peering and data cap practices, the FCC should not approve the AT&T/DirecTV deal.

In its initial comments on the proposed merger, which were due this week, the online video powerhouse said that AT&T has made it clear it sees OVD's like Netflix as a threat to their own video offerings and could and had used its market power to degrade customers Netflix access until Netflix agreed to pay "a terminating access fee" (paid peering).


It said that without conditions to insure OVD competition, the combined company has the incentive and ability to harm edge providers, practices that will not be "disciplined" by competition in the broadband market.


AT&T has countered that given Netflix's increased volume of traffic to AT&T--by some estimates more than a third of U.S. downloads at peak periods, it should be paying the freight.


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Testing the Internet of Things: Can smart devices be united into an integrated whole? | Robert Mitchell | NetworkWorld.com

Testing the Internet of Things: Can smart devices be united into an integrated whole? | Robert Mitchell | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I have had a smart thermostat and Wi-Fi security cameras in my home for about a year. While using these (and researching my article The Internet of Things at home: Why we should pay attention), I started to wonder if the task of managing smart devices could quickly get out of hand.


Each device you buy, from the Nest thermostat to your smart crockpot, comes with its own app that lets you configure and program it, set up alerts and remotely monitor and control the device. As you go beyond two or three smart things, however, app clutter can take hold. There are simply too many apps, with too many alerts, to manage everything separately. What's more, each of these devices exists in its own silo, completely unaware of other smart devices in the home.


That's where a universal smart home integration and automation system like Revolv comes in. Revolv's eponymously named product, which is priced at $299, includes a hub that can communicate with smart devices that speak Wi-Fi, Insteon or Z-wave, and a mobile app that you can program to automate how you use the smart devices in your home and how they interact with one other.


There's a key benefit to managing everything from a single control point: You can program groups of smart devices to operate together in response to an event, such as the time of day, your departure from or arrival home or when you unlock the front door. For example, when you approach your home, the porch and hall lights turn on, motion sensors turn off, the garage door opens, the smart lock prompts you to remotely unlock the door with a single press and your favorite music is already playing as you walk in the door.


To find out whether Revolv could really simplify the process of living with smart devices, I decided to try it out myself.


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The kill switch is here: iOS 8 enables it by default | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com

The kill switch is here: iOS 8 enables it by default | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With the release of its new mobile operating system on Wednesday, Apple has become the first smartphone maker to enable by default a kill switch that can lock and secure a stolen phone.


Smartphones, both Apple and Android-based, are attractive targets for thieves, and law enforcement officials hope the kill switch will change that.

The software is capable of remotely locking and disabling a phone if it’s stolen, only allowing the handset to be unlocked with a correct password. That action essentially makes a phone useless, reducing the resale price to close to zero.

California lawmakers recently passed legislation that makes a kill switch mandatory on all new phones sold in the state starting in July 2015.

Apple’s last major operating system update, iOS 7, introduced kill switch software called “Activation Lock.” But it wasn’t enabled by default, something the California law requires. With that changed in iOS 8, the software becomes the first to conform to all elements of the California regulation.

“Apple products are the most commonly targeted smartphones, so deploying this technology on a default basis will safeguard almost all iPhone users in the years ahead,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. Gascon has been one of the leading proponents of the kill switch system.

There’s some evidence that Activation Lock is already having a deterrent effect since the launch of iOS 7 in September 2013.


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Amanda Wall's curator insight, September 19, 6:41 PM

This article is about Apple's new IOS 8 operating system and how they are the first smartphone to introduce a kill switch software called "Activation Lock." 

 

This is directly related to Public Relations as recently Apple was blamed for the iCloud innocent that leaked several nude celebrity photos onto the internet. Even though this innocent wasn't Apple's fault directly it was smart of them to introduce this new software at such a convenient time. This software allows us to protect and secure our phones if stolen, therefore, protecting our personal information and even photos.  

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Comcast Extends Free 6 Months of Internet Essentials Offer An Extra 10 Days As Regulators Ponder Merger | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Extends Free 6 Months of Internet Essentials Offer An Extra 10 Days As Regulators Ponder Merger | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As regulators ponder Comcast’s application to acquire Time Warner Cable, the issue of affordable Internet has been a hot topic as part of the merger review. So it is no surprise Comcast has announced it is extending its recent offer of six free months of Internet Essentials service to income-challenged families with school age children an extra 10 days.

“On August 4th, we made a special announcement: we are offering any family that has not yet signed up for Internet Essentials, up to six months of free service, if they apply before September 20th,” said Comcast executive vice president David Cohen on Comcast’s blog. “Today, I’m thrilled to announce we’re going to extend that offer through Tuesday, September 30th.”

Comcast admits that only families that have never applied for Internet Essentials in the past can receive free service. Those already enrolled or who attempted to enroll in the past do not qualify.

The cable company does not make participation easy and is intent on protecting the revenue it earns selling regularly priced Internet service by keeping current customers out of the Internet Essentials program.

Just qualifying for Internet Essentials requires navigating an obstacle course:


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Letter from the Resilient Region to the Minnesota Broadband Task Force | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I wanted to share the following – an impassioned request from the Resilient Region to the Minnesota Broadband Task Force…

On behalf of the Resilient Region theme champions and the public/private health care providers working with us on the telehealth project funded by the Blandin Foundation, I wish to share our request to have the Governor’s Broadband Task Force consider looking into the issues of Reimbursement Parity for Telehealth, Interstate Licensure, and Tele-Home Monitoring.

August 18, 2014


Dear Senator Klobuchar, Senator Franken, and Members of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force,


On behalf of the Region V Virtual Highway Taskforce, we are asking you to resolve the following issues surrounding telehealth, in order to provide more effective and efficient healthcare services in our rural areas:


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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police | Craig Timberg | WashPost.com

Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police | Craig Timberg | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

The move offers Android, the world’s most popular operating system for smartphones, a degree of protection that resembles what Apple on Wednesday began providing for iPhones, the leading rival to devices running Android operating systems. Both companies have now embraced a form of encryption that in most cases will make it impossible for law enforcement officials to collect evidence from smartphones – even when authorities get legally binding search warrants.

“For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement,” said company spokeswoman Niki Christoff. “As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on.”


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Interference on the Line | Joan Marsh | AT&T Public Policy Blog

In May, the FCC issued a comprehensive incentive auction framework order that represented a substantial step toward a successful auction. While the order resolved many open issues, it also set the stage for a series of new ones and the published list of follow-on proceedings made clear that significant work remains to be done.

Of the open issues, the one that is of greatest concern for auction success is the service rules that will be adopted for the unlicensed services that the FCC has concluded should be permitted in the 600 MHz duplex gap. In the order, the FCC expressed confidence that unlicensed TVWS (TV white space) devices can operate in a 6 MHz channel in the duplex gap adjacent to a 4 MHz licensed wireless microphone channel without causing interference to neighboring licensed allocations. The FCC further tentatively concluded that unlicensed devices operating at 40 mWs were viable, even with no separation from licensed wireless uplink. Importantly, the order contained no technical analysis supporting this conclusion, leaving open the question of how these proposals were justified.

The Commission, however, correctly concluded that, consistent with the Spectrum Act, use of the guard bands would be subject to the Commission’s ultimate determination that such use will not cause harmful interference to licensed services. We agree that such a determination is essential – interference issues that were left unresolved in the 700 MHz band plan created significant post-auction deployment challenges. Indeed, the 700 MHz A block remains significantly under-deployed even today, six years after the auction.


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World Wide Web inventor slams Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’ | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

World Wide Web inventor slams Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’ | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A quarter-century ago, Timothy Berners-Lee designed the world's first Web browser and server, kicking off a thing that people started calling the World Wide Web.

In a visit to The Washington Post, on Thursday, Berners-Lee said that system is now in danger from Internet service providers (ISPs) who stand to amass too much power over what was intentionally built as a decentralized network — one where no single actor could dictate outcomes to everyone else.

Berners-Lee pushed back against opponents of net neutrality regulation who argue that applying new rules on ISPs is tantamount to regulating the Internet. There's a difference between regulating providers of broadband and the services that run on top of it, said Berners-Lee. Strong net neutrality rules would help preserve that line dividing the two and limit the incentive of ISPs to meddle in the market for services.

"A lot of congressmen say, 'Well, sign up for the free market' and feel that it's just something you should leave to go by itself," said Berners-Lee. "Well yeah, the market works well so long as nobody prints money. So we have rules, okay? You don't steal stuff, for example. The U.S. dollar is something that everyone relies on. So the government keeps the dollar a stable thing, nobody steals stuff, and then you can rely on the free market."

When Berners-Lee built the Web, he took the telephone wire coming out of his wall, plugged it into his computer and could instantly connect to any other computer. He didn't have to ask his telephone company's permission to introduce a new feature, he said.

But the rules currently being deliberated by the Federal Communications Commission, which would tacitly allow ISPs to charge content companies for priority access to consumers, would change how easily inventors can spread their ideas. In such a future, Berners-Lee warned, new technologies and companies might crop up faster in other countries if services were forced to "bribe" their way to success.


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Malicious advertisements distributed by DoubleClick, Zedo networks | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

Malicious advertisements distributed by DoubleClick, Zedo networks | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two online advertising networks, Google’s DoubleClick and Zedo, have been delivering malicious advertisements that could install malware on a person’s computer, according to the security vendor Malwarebytes.


The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post and the Last.fm music services were among the websites serving the malicious advertisements, wrote Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher with Malwarebytes, in a blog post.

“We rarely see attacks on a large scale like this,” he wrote.

Although ad networks try to filter out malicious ones, occasionally bad ones slip in, which on a high-traffic site means a large pool of potential victims. Websites that serve the ads are usually unaware of the problem.

“What is important to remember is that legitimate websites entangled in this malvertising chain are not infected,” Segura wrote. “The problem comes from the ad network agency itself.”

DoubleClick and Zedo officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


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New organization sets out to make secure communication tools more user-friendly | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

New organization sets out to make secure communication tools more user-friendly | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google, Dropbox and the Open Technology Fund are supporting a new organization focused on making open-source security and privacy tools more user-friendly.


The organization is called Simply Secure and plans to bring together software developers, user-experience researchers and designers to identify usability challenges in secure communication tools and to develop solutions for them.

“There are already many credible and exciting software-development efforts that aim to make privacy and security ubiquitous,” said Sara Sinclair Brody, director of Simply Secure and former product manager at Google, in a blog post Thursday. “Rather than create redundant initiatives, we will focus on supporting existing open source work by providing usability and development expertise, direct ties to user communities, connections to funding sources, and other resources.”

The organization’s advisory board includes Google Security Engineer and Apache Software Foundation co-founder Ben Laurie; cryptographer and University of Waterloo professor Ian Goldberg, who designed the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol; and Wendy Seltzer, the policy counsel for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The increasing number of large data breaches and the mass Internet surveillance revelations of the past year have generated a greater demand for secure communication tools. As a result, many developers have set out to create encrypted messaging and voice applications, encrypted email services, online anonymity tools and more.


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Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage | Mike Robuck | CED Magazine

Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage | Mike Robuck | CED Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Have you seen any good fall premieres in September, or become a fan of a new show?

Chances are good that Andy Hunter’s team at Comcast already has a good idea of which shows will be breakout hits this season, and which returning shows are creating the most social media chatter.

After 20 years working for Viacom and, more recently, Epix, Hunter came over to Comcast Cable in February as its vice president of programming.

Hunter’s group is behind on demand viewing campaigns such as “Watchathon Week” in the spring, “The People’s Hot list on Xfinity On Demand” over the summer and the current season of returning shows and premiers this fall.

Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward since Hunter’s team works with the programmers on specialized content offerings, such as short forms, to help promote the VOD content.


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Digital Video Views On Rise | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

Digital Video Views On Rise | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Digital TV-video viewing continues to climb -- but it's still way behind traditional TV consumption.

Parks Associates says U.S. broadband households spend on average 1.3 hours per week watching video on a tablet and 1.6 hours per week watching video on a smartphone. But this compares to almost 20 hours per week on the television.

Other TV-video consumption reports from Nielsen show that TV viewers spend much more time with traditional TV viewing -- around four and a half hours per day of live TV on average; and around 30-35 minutes a day with digital video, according to its second quarter cross-platform report.

In virtually all studies, digital devices have seen soaring growth over the last four years.

“The percentage of video viewership among tablet households has tripled since 2010, rising from 9% to 28%,” stated Glenn Hower, research analyst at Parks Associates. "For smartphone households, the percentage of video viewership doubled from 16% in 2010 to 31% in 2014.”

And in one instance, digital is declining. Parks says TV-video viewing on laptop/desktop computers has dropped -- significantly.

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The Rich Still Watching Traditional TV | Thomas Umstead | Multichannel.com

The Rich Still Watching Traditional TV | Thomas Umstead | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Affluent Americans are highly engaged with traditional television but their digital media consumption is increasing significantly, according to a 2014 affluent survey conducted by global research company Ipsos.

More than 90% of Affluents -- defined in the survey as the 23% of U.S. households with at least $100,000 in yearly household income -- watched video on traditional television screens over as 7 day period, according to the report. In addition, 44% watched video on a computer, with both figures virtually unchanged from last year.

Nearly half of all Affluents have a TV connected to the Internet, 23% own a smart TV, and 23% have a TV connected to a digital media receiver or streaming device – all of which are up significantly from 2013, according to the survey.


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Northern MN going Gig with Paul Bunyan Communication | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Paul Bunyan has always served their area well – but that’s about to upgrade to wow service. It’s really nice to see what a local, independent company is willing to do. It’s an investment for the cooperative members in the communities as well as an investment in the business.

Also it’s interesting to see Governor Dayton and Senator Klobuchar quoted in the press release. Governor support – financial and otherwise – makes a difference!


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Inside the company that rebuilt Digg | Tim Lee | Vox.com

Inside the company that rebuilt Digg | Tim Lee | Vox.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Before there was Reddit, there was Digg. Digg used to be one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups. Founded in late 2004, it became a sensation because it represented a new way for readers to find news stories: it pioneered the concept of social news aggregation. People loved the idea that the links on Digg's popular home page were chosen by the votes of the users. Barely 18 months after he founded Digg, a 29-year-old Kevin Rose was grinning at the nation from the cover of Business Week. At its peak in 2009, the site got more than 30 million monthly visitors.

But then Digg's fortunes turned south. The recession, management problems, and a botched software upgrade all contributed to Digg's downfall. By 2012, things had gotten so bad that the digg.com domain name was sold off to a company called Betaworks for $500,000. Digg, it seemed, was dead.

But Betaworks has managed to reverse Digg's seemingly terminal slide. Digg's new CEO says the site has grown from 1.5 million users to 8 million over the last two years, and he expects more growth in the coming years.

Digg is just the latest success story for Betaworks, which calls itself a "startup studio," a reference to the Hollywood studios of the 1920s. Like an old-school movie studio, Betaworks keeps a roster of talent on contract to work on Betaworks sites. The result has been a string of successful websites and apps, including Tweetdeck, Bitly, and Chartbeat.

The story of Digg's comeback — and the Betaworks strategy overall — tells us a lot about how the web has matured over the last decade. Starting a mass-market website used to be a risky, expensive, and error-prone process. But new technologies and business models have taken much of the guesswork out of website development, making it possible for the Betaworks team to reinvent Digg in a matter of weeks.


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