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States Scream at Feds for Preempting, Then Preempt Cities | community broadband networks

States Scream at Feds for Preempting, Then Preempt Cities | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Here at muninetworks.org, we continually see instances of state government preempting rights of local government to make their own decisions on broadband. It was no surprise to us to read Josh Goodman’s recent Stateline.org article, GOP Legislatures Try to Limit Local Government’s Power.

 

Goodman takes a look at a disturbing trend in the relationships between local and state authority; a relationship that has local government walking on eggshells. More and more local governments are now contending with their own state legislatures stripping them of specific decision-making authority. Some decisions are better made at the state level, but the concept of a micromanaging, conservative GOP legislature seems contradictory. Any fan of state floor debate, has listened to countless hours of republican legislators berating democrats for trying to overstep into local concerns. Could it be a change of heart or perhaps a very targeted way to ensure local compliance with a party agenda?

 

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CO: ISP Sues Former Customer Over Reviews Claiming His Internet Speed Was Less Than A Third Of What Was Advertised | Techdirt.com

CO: ISP Sues Former Customer Over Reviews Claiming His Internet Speed Was Less Than A Third Of What Was Advertised | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Because this always works out well for the plaintiff, another company is suing another disgruntled customer over his online complaints.


Peak Internet, a Colorado ISP, has decided to ensure its former customer receives a broader platform to discuss its alleged connection speed issues. [H/t to Techdirt/Popehat reader Carl O. Graham, who may have shoved this in the wrong inbox…]


Russell Petrick is disabled and spends a lot of time on his computer at home. He signed on with Peak Internet for web access to watch movies and surf the net.

"It was just too terrible to consider keeping," Petrick said when asked about the service.

He said he was paying $50 a month for Internet download speeds of 20 mbps... Petrick claims the speeds were nowhere near that, and averaged 6.5 mbps.

"The fastest speed I got was 13.6 mbps download and 3.1 mbps upload," Petrick said. "I didn't get anywhere near the 20 mbps mark."


Since KOAA's "investigation" doesn't provide much more than "this is a thing that happened" reporting and the judicious deployment of the always-reliable "torn off bits of paper" skeuomorph highlighting words like "defamation" and "Yelp" to indicate a lawsuit is being discussed, I've hunted down some of the offending reviews.

Peak Internet's lawsuit says Petrick's statements are not only defamatory, but defamatory per se -- false statements that are so obviously harmful that the ISP doesn't even need to prove it's been harmed.


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I killed Facebook and left its body in the woods | T. C. Sottek | TheVerge.com

I killed Facebook and left its body in the woods | T. C. Sottek | TheVerge.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Facebook is dead. I killed it. You'll find its remains somewhere on the eastern shore of Maryland, in the forest beside a creek. I'll never hear its notifications again, at least not over the chirping of birds and the rumbling crescendos of cicadas.


I spread its body parts out, and buried them deep. Worms are munching on 10 years of wall posts, turning them over and excreting them in the soil. Bacteria are dissolving my college photos from the inside. The flesh of my profile picture has withered away, leaving behind a faceless void. Only bones will remain, for a time, among friends and relatives, until the coming flood of brands and sponsored likes washes them away into oblivion.


My colleague Ellis Hamburger says Facebook has a friend problem, but its problems run much deeper. It is an ergonomic exoskeleton we wear to get around, but it doesn't make us better people. It only makes us more efficient — for doing things that Facebook invented. It is for moving 10-ton pallets of old photos, for lifting endless "streams" of "content," and for carrying around our big data — the new byproduct of our existence — on our backs.


Facebook's biggest problem is us. It never turns its attention away from us, and it never lets our attention turn away from it. To borrow from Annie Dillard, Facebook is the constant verbalization of our awareness, it is the nagging need to experience every moment in anticipation of a moment yet to come: the mechanical drip of serotonin that comes with every "like." Self-consciousness is "the one thing that divides us from all creatures," Dillard wrote. "It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends."


Facebook destroys the present moment, leaving us only with the metadata of experience; ultimately meaningless traces of what we now think looks like real experience. It does this by locking us in a room with ourselves, our self-consciousness, and throwing away the key.


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Bahamas: BTC fined for blocking competitors | TeleGeography.com

Bahamian watchdog the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has issued fixed line incumbent and wireless monopoly holder Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC) with an order instructing the operator to cease certain anti-competitive practices.


URCA launched an investigation following complaints from Systems Resource Group (SRG, now part of Cable Bahamas Ltd [CBL]) that BTC had signed executive supply agreements with wholesalers preventing the latter from selling SRG’s ‘IndiGO’ calling cards, preventing SRG from distributing its calling cards through certain wholesalers since March 2012.


URCA’s probe found that BTC’s agreements were in violation of sections 67 and 69 of the Communications Act, as they prevent, restrict and distort competition ‘such that it appreciably affects trade within the Bahamas.’ Further, the regulator ruled that the telco’s measures amounted to an abuse of the operator’s dominant position.


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Argentina: Mobile operators must inform customers of tariff info | TeleGeography.com

Argentina’s communications ministry, Secretaria de Comunicaciones (SeCom), has announced that mobile operators must provide information to their pre- and post-paid customers regarding the cost of tariffs and services.


According to a SeCom resolution, wireless providers must include details about the prices of calls, text messages, internet browsing, promotions and bonuses on their webpages, via email, bills and customer care lines.


Furthermore, users can also receive an SMS once they top up their credit, outlining the cost of their service provider’s tariffs, while also under the new measures, customers are able to obtain details of their usage and costs incurred within the last six months.


The measures are aimed increasing transparency and protecting the rights and interests of Argentine consumers.

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Time Warner Cable Announces Eight New Cities for Maxx Upgrades; Northeast Can Forget It | Stop the Cap!

Time Warner Cable Announces Eight New Cities for Maxx Upgrades; Northeast Can Forget It | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You have to live in a warmer climate to be on the list of the next eight citiesto get Time Warner Cable’s massive Maxx upgrade.


This afternoon, Time Warner announced it would more than triple the broadband speeds of customers in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego at no extra charge.


“We are committed to reinventing the TWC service experience market-by-market,” said Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus. “We want our customers to know a new experience is coming that brings them super-fast Internet speeds and a more advanced TV product.”


Most of the cities on the upgrade list either have or are at least facing the threat of fiber-based competition from AT&T or Hawaiian Telcom.


With Verizon’s long-suspended FiOS project and Frontier’s ‘DSL or Die’-philosophy, Time Warner Cable has so far avoided spending money on upgrades where its only significant competition comes from DSL.


Outside of New York City, Time Warner has yet to announce any upgrades within its northeast division, which dominates cable service in Maine, western Massachusetts, New York, and parts of Ohio.


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NCTA's Powell: TiVo Just Wrong About CableCARD | Broadcasting & Cable

NCTA's Powell: TiVo Just Wrong About CableCARD | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell calls a claim "spurious" by TiVo that an agreement between TiVo and Comcast to work on a non-CableCARD retail set-top retail "solution" argues for retaining the ban on integrated security and channel surfing functions in leased boxes.


The goal of the ban was to spur a robust retail market in boxes, but everyone agrees that hasn't happened. But Powell says it is "peculiar" for TiVo to suggest that continued regulation of the leased set-top market is a way to spur innovation in the retail space.


Powell's response to that TiVo claim came in a letter to the leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee as it prepares to consider reauthorizing the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, a House-passed version of which contains a provision lifting the ban and Powell wants the Senate to follow suit.


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Verizon’s Cloud Video Unit Connects With Comcast’s thePlatform | Multichannel.com

Verizon’s Cloud Video Unit Connects With Comcast’s thePlatform | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In a deal that pairs two seemingly unlikely partners, Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), the cloud video unit of Verizon Communications, and thePlatform, the online video publishing firm owned by Comcast, have struck a strategic alliance focused on the delivery of multiscreen video.

 

Under it, they’ve integrated VDMS’s suite of video services with thePlatform’s mxp video-management system that they will sell jointly as a unified multiscreen video publishing system that relies on a single adaptive streaming format and distribution system alongside an integrated workflow.

 

They said integrated system will cover features such as dynamic ad insertion, closed captioning and analytics, and enable customers to manage files and metadata, set business policies and enforce content viewing rights for deliver to Web sites and a variety of IP-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.

 

The pairing has already resulted in some collaborative work – on the authenticated TV Everywhere service for music channel Revolt TV, and for a recently relaunched version of Bellator.com, the site for the Bellator mixed martial arts league co-owned by Viacom.


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The FCC Is Our Best Shot to Restore Local Authority | community broadband networks

The FCC Is Our Best Shot to Restore Local Authority | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For the first time in many years, we have an opportunity to repeal some particularly destructive state laws limiting investment in community networks. To be clear, this is our best shot. I've already covered the background and offered a blanket encouragement for you to post comments.


Chairman Wheeler has been looking for an opportunity to expand local authority by removing state laws that limit investment in Internet networks. The cable and telephone companies are marshalling their considerable forces to stop him. But we can, and must help.


We have spent years analyzing these state barriers for ways to restore local authority. The FCC, using its Section 706 power, is our best shot. The carriers have far too much power in the state capitals, which means that even when we have public opinion squarely on our side, the carriers easily kill state bills to restore local authority.


Anyone who thinks we have a better shot at rolling back state barriers individually in the states rather than with this FCC is wrong. Really wrong. Between Art Pope and Time Warner Cable lobbyists, there is no hope for any legislation that would threaten cable monopolies in North Carolina.


These petitions on municipal networks are not some FCC smokescreen related to the network neutrality proceeding. In fact, we at ILSR remain publicly frustrated with the FCC's failure to act more strongly in protecting the open Internet. But Chairman Wheeler, for reasons that seem somewhat personal to him, is particularly motivated to remove the anti-competitive laws passed by big cable and telephone company lobbyists. It strikes a chord with him and I, for one, am glad to see him taking action on it.


Anyone who claims action on municipal networks is some sort of trade for giving up on network neutrality is, once again, really wrong. For one thing, a trade requires two parties and I have yet to identify a single entity that would trade meaningful open Internet protections for rolling back a few barriers to municipal networks. Haven't found one. Not even us.


Further, restoring local authority on municipal networks is not a trade for the FCC later preempting local authority over the rights-of-way because once again, no one is ready to take that deal. Advocates of local decision-making authority tend to oppose preemption as a matter of course.


In the case of the current FCC proceedings, it must be noted that the FCC is actually being asked to preempt preemption, which is to say the principle remains that local authority should be respected. The FCC will remove state restrictions on local authority; no community will be required to take action it prefers not to.


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IAC Writes Down Aereo Investment | Multichannel.com

IAC Writes Down Aereo Investment | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

IAC has taken a write-down on its investment in Aereo.

 

That doesn't mean it is writing it off, but it’s reducing its initial valuation because it can no longer be justified.

 

The Barry Diller-helmed multimedia company said on its second-quarter earnings call that its investment in Aereo was among five investments comprising a $66.6 million write-down of "certain investments," which negatively affected adjusted earnings per share.

 

On an earnings call, an IAC exec, in response to a question from an analyst, said that of the five investments, two were smaller, two were small, a couple larger, and Aereo largest of all.

 

The Supreme Court last month ruled that Aereo's business model of using remote antennas to provide TV station signals and DVR functionality without paying copyright royalties violated the law.

 

Diller told Bloomberg TV back in April that if the company loses in the Supreme Court, "we're finished."

 

He took a little off that, saying there is possibly some "salvage," but ultimately concluded he could not see "a path forward" and that it would "probably not be able to stay in business."

 

Aereo has been trying to convince Washington that the upshot of the Supreme Court decision is that it is a cable service subject to the copyright license, but the Copyright Office has tentatively rules otherwise, and a path forward is unclear.

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Oklahoma's Sallisaw Passes Resolution to Support FCC As It Considers Preemption | community broadband networks

Oklahoma's Sallisaw Passes Resolution to Support FCC As It Considers Preemption | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sallisaw,OK home of DiamondNet, is the latest community to publicly express its desire to put telecommunications authority in the hands of the locals. On July 14, the Sallisaw Board of City Commissioners approved Resolution 2014-17 in support of the FCC's intention to preempt state anti-muni laws.


A Resolution Supporting Telecommunications Infrastructure For Local Governments


WHEREAS, local governments, being closest to the people are the most accountable level of government and will be held responsible for any decisions they make; and


WHEREAS, community/municipal broadband networks provide opportunities to improve and encourage innovation, education, health care, economic development, and affordable Internet access; and


WHEREAS, historically, the City of Sallisaw has ensured access to essential services by providing those services that were not offered by the private sector at a reasonable and competitive cost; and


WHEREAS, in 2004 the City of Sallisaw took steps to construct its own Fiber to the Premise telecommunications system and now provides the community with quality state-of-the-art broadband services including video, High Speed Internet and telephones services, that otherwise would not be available today; and 


WHEREAS, local government leaders recognize that their economic health and survival depend on connecting their communities, and they understand that it takes both private and public investment to achieve this goal; and


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FCC Asked To Add Cable, DBS to Political Ad Database | Multichannel.com

FCC Asked To Add Cable, DBS to Political Ad Database | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In a nod to the growing importance of cable ad buys in the political mix, Campaign watchdogs the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation want the FCC to start applying its political file requirements to cable and satellite.

 

As of July 1, all TV stations have to upload copies of their political advertising contracts to a searchable FCC database that Sunlight and others have used to track political spending, and try to hold broadcasters' feet to the fire when it comes to identifying the funders of those ads per FCC rules.

 

Cable and satellite must also keep the records, but must only make them available locally, the groups point out, and say that should change.

 

In a petition for rulemaking filed with the FCC, the groups note that cable political ad spending has increased in each election cycle since 2008 and could be as much as a fourth of all political TV spending in 2014.

 

It also pointed out that nine out of 10 households support pay-TV services.

 

"The petition filed today asks the FCC to bring cable and satellite providers under the same online public disclosure requirements now applicable to broadcast television stations," said the groups. "This is particularly important because political campaigns, super PACs, and other outside groups are increasingly advertising on cable and satellite."


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After CIA Angrily Denied Spying On Senate, CIA Admits It Did And Apologizes | Techdirt.com

After CIA Angrily Denied Spying On Senate, CIA Admits It Did And Apologizes | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Here's a surprise. An internal investigation by the CIA has determined -- just as Senator Dianne Feinstein charged -- that the CIA illegally hacked into the network of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers in order to spy on what they were doing with regards to a report on the CIA's torture program. They did this despite an earlier instance of a similar problem after which the CIA promised it would not touch the Senate Intelligence Committee network any more.

Of course, as you may recall after Feinstein angrily denounced the CIA's actions, and explained them in detail, CIA director John Brennan angrily denied it -- though as we noted, his angry denial really confirmed nearly all of the pertinent details. Still, he specifically stated:


"When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong."


He also told reporters:


"Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the Senate Intelligence Committee] or the Senate."


Things got even more acrimonious when both sides reported each other to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation. The CIA insisted that the Senate staffers mishandled classified information, while the Senate claimed that the CIA illegally hacked into their network. Once again, the Senate side of the story made the most sense -- because it had happened before. As you may recall from Feinstein's original explanation:


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Netflix meets with F.C.C. on net neutrality, Comcast-T.W.C. merger | Capital New York

Netflix meets with F.C.C. on net neutrality, Comcast-T.W.C. merger | Capital New York | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On Monday, Netflix executives met with Federal Communications Commission staffers to talk about the Commission's "Open Internet" plans, more commonly known as net neutrality.


According to a letter sent to the F.C.C. outlining the meeting, Netflix argued that as part of its open internet plan, the Commission should prohibit internet service providers from charging for direct access to customers. Netflix has in recent months reluctantly signed peering arrangements with Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, agreeing to pay for direct connection to the providers' networks.


Net neutrality, a maxim that holds that internet service providers should treat all traffic with equal weight, would be greatly hampered under proposed F.C.C. regulation changes that would allow I.S.P.s to offer for-pay "fast lanes" to content providers.


"In the traditional telephony ecosystem, the person initiating a phone call with another would be considered 'the caller' and was responsible for paying for the call—no matter which party did the most 'talking' on the call," Netflix told the F.C.C. "The Internet ecosystem is no different. A broadband ISP’s customer 'calls' Netflix and Netflix 'answers the call.' No matter that Netflix’s response causes more data to flow to the originating 'caller.'"


Netflix also responded to charges from providers—notably Comcast and Verizon—that the company deliberately chooses to send its data over congested networks in order to slow down its product and spur consumer complaints.


"This allegation is false," Netflix said. "In the case of Comcast, Netflix purchased all available transit to reach Comcast’s network. Every single one of those transit links to Comcast was congested (even though the transit providers requested extra capacity). The only other available routes into Comcast’s network were those where Comcast required an access fee."


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Canada: CRTC rules Rogers discriminated unjustly in domestic roaming agreements | TeleGeography.com

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) yesterday issued a judgement (Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-398) asserting that the country’s largest cellco by users Rogers Communications has been treating certain domestic rivals unfairly in its wholesale mobile network roaming agreements.


Based on its review of the sector, the regulator stated that: ‘there were clear instances of unjust discrimination and undue preference by Rogers Communications Partnership with respect to (i) the imposition of exclusivity clauses in its wholesale mobile wireless roaming agreements with certain new entrants, and (ii) the wholesale mobile wireless roaming rates it charged certain new entrants.


Consequently, the Commission prohibits exclusivity provisions in wholesale mobile wireless roaming agreements between Canadian carriers for service in Canada. Since the implementation of section 27.1 of the Telecommunications Act [see below] mitigates the risk of future unjust discrimination with respect to wholesale mobile wireless roaming rates, the Commission will not put in place a remedy in this regard.’


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T-Mobile US claims nationwide VoLTE footprint; ‘Wideband’ LTE now live in 17 metro areas | TeleGeography.com

T-Mobile US, which notched up its 50 millionth subscriber in 2Q14, has announced that it has deployed voice-over-Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) technology across its entire network footprint. Just two months after introducing VoLTE in Seattle, the cellco claims that the advanced technology now covers 233 million Americans in 325 metro areas, well ahead of its initial schedule.


Further, the carrier has confirmed that its so-called ‘T-Mobile Wideband LTE’ network, which involves the use of at least 15MHz+15MHz of spectrum, is already live in 17 metro areas, with the cellco on target to reach 26 cities by year-end. Wideband LTE delivers theoretical peak down/uplink speeds of 110Mbps/38Mbps.


Meanwhile, the company notes that it has already started equipping its cell sites in preparation for the introduction of its recently acquired 700MHz A block spectrum. T-Mobile notes that it has started field-testing its first 700MHz-compatible devices, with a view to introducing them commercially before the end of the year.

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Bolivia: ATT says it has not authorised COTEL’s fixed line price hike | TeleGeography.com

Bolivia’s La Autoridad de Telecomunicaciones y Transportes (ATT) has confirmed that it has not authorised an increase in the price of Cooperativa de Telefonos Automaticos La Paz’s (COTEL’s) fixed line service.


According to local news source La Razon, in the wake of the telco’s announcement that it was boosting the monthly charge by BOB5 (USD0.71) the regulator has directed COTEL to submit information regarding the reasoning behind the price hike.


It is understood that the president of COTEL’s board of directors Jorge Fabian Guillen has claimed that the extra income expected to be generated by the higher rates will cover the debts plaguing the cash-strapped telco; the operator is said to have debts amounting to BOB800 million. Meanwhile, Mr Guillen has also reportedly claimed that the price increase is little more than inflationary adjustment.

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ILSR Submits Comments to FCC on Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet | community broadband networks

ILSR Submits Comments to FCC on Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance recently submitted comments to the FCC as part of its Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet proceeding.


ILSR focused on the issue of paid prioritization, reclassification, and regulation of content. We also provided some examples of municipal networks that provide fast, reliable, affordable service and do not rely on paid prioritization to serve customers.


From the ILSR comments:


"The FCC should be extremely wary of any arguments that claim paid prioritization or other discriminatory practices are necessary to increase investment in next-generation networks. These networks are already being built and paying for themselves in both public and private approaches (as well as partnerships mixing the two). ILSR sees no reason to believe any additional revenues gained by discriminatory pricing would be reinvested in improving DSL and cable networks as the largest firms operating these networks generally face little competitive pressure to upgrade. That is the problem, not a lack of revenue in the current model.


Our reading of the various court decisions suggest the only option for the FCC to preserve the open Internet and prevent big cable and telephone companies from tinkering with the established principle of non-discriminatory carriage is reclassification and urge the FCC to take this step. However, we also urge the FCC to take actions to prevent any regulation of content. The FCC should concern itself with the transmission of information, regardless of what that information is, consistent with long-held Internet principles."


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MN: Lake County BBC – Fiber makes YouTube and Community Radio easier | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Lake County BBC – Fiber makes YouTube and Community Radio easier | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It has been a busy week for me on the road. It is especially fun to be “on location” in July but it means the posts are a little slower – since hiking Gooseberry Falls take priority.


As I drove from meeting to meeting I pointed out Minnesota’s history of natural resources to my kids. (Remember how fascinating you thought those tidbits were from your parents?) That and the weather and the scenery and the kindness of locals got me thinking that really Minnesota ought to be a prime destination for businesses and workers – once we have the infrastructure in place to support remote work. I mean remote video editors transferring files to clients; I mean larger businesses interaction on the virtual product design or electronic supply chain model.


We ought to be able to sell Minnesota to anyone who has a job that can be done remotely and likes hiking, fishing, music, potica, craft beer. It was fun to hear how some communities are getting those efforts going.


On Wednesday I stopped in on Lake County and their Blandin Broadband Community meeting. It was attended by School Superintendents, Community Ed leaders, Arts Board members, Community Partners, the local fiber provider (Lake Connections) and others. The efforts up there have been led by Angie Palmer with support from Karl Samp though the Blandin Foundation.


Here are some of the notes – starting with the comment of the day and a video from Lake County’s new YouTube Channel.


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FCC Sets State Anti-Muni Laws Preemption Pleading Cycle | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Sets State Anti-Muni Laws Preemption Pleading Cycle | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has set a pleading cycle for requests by two cities that it preempt state statutes limiting their provision of broadband service.


Expect cable operators to register their unhappiness with the move, which could mean more tax dollars going to subsidize the broadband competition.


The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tenn., and the City of Wilson, N.C., last week petitioned the FCC to take the move, one FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, has signaled he wanted to do so. The FCC has given the public and stakeholders until Aug. 29 to weigh in, with reply comments due Sept. 29.


The petitioners are alleging that "state laws restrict their ability to expand their broadband service offerings to surrounding areas where customers have expressed interest in these services," said the FCC in announcing the new dockets (14-115 and 14-116). "And they request that the Commission preempt such laws."


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has argued that such state limits were pushed through by ISP's trying to foreclose competition. Those ISPs argue the government should not be subsidizing their competitors, and point to examples of cities who failed at building out networks and left taxpayers to pay for those miscalculations. Then there is the ISPs' point about not being able to make a business case for pricing their service competitively with a subsidized entrant.

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Frontier Introduces Pay-As-You-Go No Contract DSL in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington | Stop the Cap!

Frontier Introduces Pay-As-You-Go No Contract DSL in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Frontier has also introduced a “pay as you go” broadband plan, selling prepaid, up to 6/1Mbps DSL service (speeds not guaranteed) to customers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to its customers in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington without a term contract or credit check.


The cost to get started is substantial, designed to discourage current broadband customers from considering a switch to a prepaid plan.


If Frontier is not offering a promotion waiving equipment and installation fees, customers must buy Frontier’s Welcome Kit ($39.99) which includes:


  • NETGEAR 7550 Wi-Fi Router
  • Power Cord
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Phone Cord
  • 3 In-Line Filters
  • Installation Guide


Customers who need Frontier to handle the installation or clear up any line problems will need to pay a $99.99 installation fee.


Those capable of managing the installation themselves will have to pay a $19.99 activation fee.


Three different plans are available:


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SHLB Partners with Connect Michigan for the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference | ITBiz.com

SHLB Partners with Connect Michigan for the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference | ITBiz.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Connect Michigan is pleased to announce a partnership with the Schools, Health, & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition for the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference.


The conference, to be held on October 29, 2014, at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, will bring together community leaders from education, libraries, economic development, local government, healthcare, and technology sectors to share and learn best practices for expanding broadband access, adoption, and use throughout the Great Lakes State and region.


We are excited to partner with the SHLB Coalition for this years event, said Eric Frederick, executive director of Connect Michigan.


The SHLB Coalition will bring a national perspective and best practices to the conference, providing attendees with even more advanced knowledge for moving Michigan to the forefront of the digital economy.


High-capacity broadband is the key infrastructure that K-12 schools, universities and colleges, libraries, hospitals, clinics and other health care providers need to provide 21st century education, information and health services.


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DirecTV Gears Up For 4K/UltraHD | Multichannel.com

DirecTV Gears Up For 4K/UltraHD | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

DirecTV will be ready to deliver 4K video on an on-demand basis this year, and be set up to follow with live 4K streaming next year or by early 2016, company president and CEO Mike White said Thursday on the company’s second quarter earnings call.

 

“We're working to secure some [4K] content,” White said. “We expect certainly in 2015 or early 2016, to be able to stream live content.”

 

The live side of the 4K ledger is dependent on the launches of two new satellites, slated to be in orbit over the next 18 months, that will give DirecTV the additional capacity it’ll need.

 

That extra headroom will “give us a unique advantage of capacity to be able to provide a great customer experience,” he said, reiterating that DirecTV should be able to offer 4K VOD before those birds are in place.

 

DirecTV’s 4K plans are relatively ggressive among U.S. pay-TV providers as consumer adoption of Ultra HD remains in the early phases.


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NY: Broadband Access To Be Expanded With $9M Investment | WWNYTV.com

NY: Broadband Access To Be Expanded With $9M Investment | WWNYTV.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An investment of more than $9 million will be made to expand broadband access and increase broadband use among older adults in the north country region of New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday.

The investment is a result of a public/private partnership between the state, Slic Network Solutions, Inc. and Older Adults Technology Services.

It includes funding from the $6 million broadband fund awarded to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.

This investment will provide broadband access from the town of Belmont to the southern end of Malone, and in the towns of Newcomb, Minerva, Chester, Oswegachie and Depeyster.

Slic will expand access to broadband services for approximately 2,500 unserved households, 134 businesses and 33 community anchor institutions in the North Country, including 2 schools.

The following projects are receiving New York State Broadband Grants:


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Apple's content delivery network is reportedly live and it's huge | GigaOM Tech News

Apple's content delivery network is reportedly live and it's huge | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year we heard that Apple was starting to build its own content delivery network, instead of relying on third-party CDNs like Akamai and Level 3 to deliver iTunes media content and software updates. That plan has come to fruition sooner than expected, according to CDN expert Dan Rayburn: Trace routes from downloads of OS X now show data coming directly from Apple infrastructure.


But that’s not all: According to Rayburn’s sources, this isn’t a standard CDN, it’s positively massive, with ten times the capacity currently needed — multiple terabits per second — ready to be deployed. He estimated the buildout, which includes paid interconnection deals with ISPs, will cost more than $100 million, much of it going to Level 3, which is selling network services to Apple in lieu of the CDN business it stands to lose.


This fall, Apple will release OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, which are free updates to its operating systems. Often, there’s a rush on the first day as millions of iPhones or Macs try to download the huge files. Rayburn thinks Apple will make use of its CDN to deliver these operating system updates this fall.


But yesterday The Information reported that Apple still has designs to launch a TV service that can “make any show available at any time—live broadcasts and old reruns alike—using remote storage.” A service like that would need a burly CDN, but it’s years away if it’s even a possibility. No matter what Apple decides to do with its CDN, it’s certainly an area to watch the Cupertino giant.

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Hacker group targets video game companies to steal source code | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

Hacker group targets video game companies to steal source code | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A group of attackers with links to the Chinese hacking underground has been targeting companies from the entertainment and video game industries for years with the goal of stealing source code.


The stolen intellectual property is used to “crack” games so they can be used for free, to create game cheating tools or to develop competing products, security researchers from Dell SecureWorks said in an analysis of the group’s activities.


Dell SecureWorks tracks the hacker group as Threat Group-3279 (TG-3279) and believes it has been active since at least 2009.


Information gathered by the company’s researchers while investigating compromises at affected firms suggests that the attack group uses a variety of tools for reconnaissance and persistent access on systems, some of which were developed by members of the group. These tools include an extensible remote access Trojan (RAT) program called Conpee and a rootkit called Etso for hiding network and file activity.


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