Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
122.9K views | +151 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

Cities dropping out of north Florida broadband project | CivSource

Some Florida cities are dropping out of the North Florida Broadband Authority citing concerns over the projects debt load and questions about its deployment timeline.  The Authority was investigated by federal broadband offist year over the same types of issues. The city council of Perry, Florida voted to end its involvement in the project.  Bradford, Florida also pulled out of the effort after a similar voted last week.

 

Click headline to read more-- 

more...
No comment yet.
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

TN: Chattanooga Video Explains Potential Gigabit Expansion Process | community broadband networks

TN: Chattanooga Video Explains Potential Gigabit Expansion Process | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Following up on our post last week noting the new video from Tennessee Fiber Optic Communities, another video recently posted explains what needs to change in Tennessee law for Chattanooga to expand Internet access beyond the current footprint.


EPB Chief Operating Officer David Wade also explains the process the municipal electric distributor will use to connect nearby communities.


Click headline to access hot links and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

VT: KeepBTLocal Working on Plan to Purchase BT | community broadband networks

VT: KeepBTLocal Working on Plan to Purchase BT | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Burlingtonians love their municipal network. We have reported in the past that, prior to the sale of the network to Blue Water LLC, a group of locals organized to create the KeepBTLocal cooperative. Recently, the organization reaffirmed its commitment to purchase the network when it goes up for sale, a condition of the Blue Water LLC transaction.

A customer satisfaction survey in April revealed that BT customers are more than twice as satisfied with their provider as those obtaining service from competitors. The VTDigger reported survey results:

  • 87% customer satisfaction with BT’s Customer Service;


  • 24% of customers chose BT’s services after being recommended by a friend or family member; and


  • General impression of BT by non-BT customers saw a 10% “positive” increase over their 2014 impression.


The survey also reported that customers with other providers were 40% satisfied with their service.

BT offers 150 Mbps for $55 per month and gigabit service for $85 per month or $70 per month with a 12 month contract. All speeds are symmetrical.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

City and School Board Partner for Fiber in Maryland | community broadband networks

City and School Board Partner for Fiber in Maryland | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cumberland and the Allegany Board of Education are collaborating to improve educational, municipal, and business connectivity in the city's downtown area, reports GovTech.

The district's 23 schools are all connected, but the Maintenance and Facilities Warehouse is not yet connected. The location of the facility and the proposed fiber route will create an ideal opportunity to install fiber in a commercial corridor where ISPs can tap into the infrastructure, notes Cumberland's economic development coordinator Shawn Hershberger:

“It will expand upon the solid resources we already have and make us more competitive for future economic development projects,” said Hershberger

The project will cost approximately $220,000. Half of the funding will come from a federal Appalachian Regional Commission grant. The school board and the city will split the remaining cost.

The city will connect its public service buildings and provide splice points for ISPs, who will be responsible for the cost to connect the last mile to the customer.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Growing Interest in Dark Fiber and Pricing Details | community broadband networks

Growing Interest in Dark Fiber and Pricing Details | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dark fiber is a growing business for both private and publicly owned networks. Data transport, data centers, ILECs, and CLECs are some of the most common users. Increasingly, wireless providers are turning to dark fiber for backhaul.

A May Fierce Telecom article reports that 14 percent of Zayo's wireless backhaul services are dark fiber solutions:

"We're seeing a shift with wireless backhaul contracts to dark fiber to the tower and we're starting to see that show up as the trend over the last couple of quarters," [Chairman and CEO Dan] Caruso said … "And you see it more pronounced in the current quarter where 14 percent of our product mix for fiber to the tower is dark fiber to the tower and you see that's grown and taken on a bigger piece of the pie."

Dark fiber leases have played an important role in developing revenue for municipalities that have invested in fiber infrastructure. Dark fiber leasing can be the only option in places where state barriers limit local options.

Santa Monica, Columbia in Missouri, and Maryland's Howard County, are only a few communities that lease dark fiber to ISPs and other commercial customers. A few networks, including Metronet Zing in Indiana, offer only dark fiber services. It is worth noting that, as Santa Monica discovered, the vast majority of businesses and residents prefer and easy, affordable, and reliable lit service rather than dark fiber. But the dark fiber niche is growing.

As more customers look for the service, negotiating leases and pricing models can be challenging. Municipal networks seeking guidance can start with a 2012 report from CTC Technology & Energy, Dark Fiber Lease Considerations [PDF].


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FCC Releases Final Version of TVStudy | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Releases Final Version of TVStudy | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has released its final version of the TVStudy software, which it will use to calculate interference protections and coverage areas in the repack of stations following the incentive auction, as well as initial coverages based on that final version.

The National Association of Broadcasters had sued the FCC over its TVStudy update (based on more current census information), arguing that coverage areas and interference should have been based on the version used when the incentive auction legislation passed the Congress. The legislation directed the FCC to make its best effort to protect station signals and contours after the auction.

The court upheld the FCC decision, paving the way for release of the info.

The FCC is asking for comment on that data, and points out that the stations list is not a final list of stations eligible for repacking and that it reflects current information which could, and likely will, change based on technical certifications by stations in advance of the auction.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

A Truly Bold Plan for New York City's Broadband Future | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost.com

A Truly Bold Plan for New York City's Broadband Future | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Summer Reading: "The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net"

This article is an excerpt from a proposal to NYC. Every city, in every state, should be contemplating similar actions.

The NYC Mayor's Office of Tech & Innovation has asked for bold ideas & innovation to "help bring high speed Internet to all New Yorkers", including "more choices among ISPs", and "expanded service to underserved communities", which may require "policy changes".

We applaud the City's recent, long overdue audit of Verizon's commitment to deliver a series of fiber optic-based services under the brand name FiOS to 100% of housing units by July 2014. The real question is, however, whether the City will actually take bold steps to fix what's broken.
Our Goals:

  • Get everyone in NYC wired with fiber optics from the incumbent utility company, Verizon.
  • Lower the rates of Time Warner Cable's cable and broadband services.
  • Get businesses, large and small, even in commercial buildings, wired with fiber optics.
  • Open up Empire City Subway's hold on NYC's critical communications conduits.
  • Open the incumbent networks to direct competition at all levels, allowing customers to choose which provider offers them broadband, Internet, phone or cable service.
  • Help make NYC be a fiber-optic-based-Internet mecca that will attract new business.
  • Fix the hold Verizon's wired services have on all wireless competitors.
  • Fix egregious and deceptive communications billing practices.


Let's put some facts on the table.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Federal wiretaps down slightly, encryption impact decreases | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

Federal wiretaps down slightly, encryption impact decreases | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For the first time in a number of years the use of authorized federal wiretaps decreased 13% in 2014 over 2013.

According to the 2014 Wiretap Report, released today by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts a total of a total of 3,554 wiretaps were reported as authorized, with 1,279 authorized by federal judges and 2,275 authorized by state judges. Compared to the applications approved during 2013, the number approved by federal judges decreased 13% in 2014 and the number approved by state judges increased 8%. One state wiretap application was denied in 2014, the report stated.

The court said applications in California accounted for 43% of all applications approved by state judges while the Arizona authorized the most federal wiretaps, approximately 7% of the applications approved by federal judges.

Some interesting facts from the report:


Click headline to read more and access hot link--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FBI alert discloses malware tied to the OPM and Anthem attacks | Steve Ragan | CIO.com

FBI alert discloses malware tied to the OPM and Anthem attacks | Steve Ragan | CIO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The security problems over at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are still the leading story in the news lately.

Just last week the public learned that the breach might impact up to 32 million people, including current, former, and prospective federal employees.

Moreover, the FBI released a memo earlier this month outlining the malware used in the attack, which has ties to the attack at Anthem.

The new figure of 32 million people is linked to the fiscal 2016 budget proposal for the OPM, which says in part that the agency has banking information on 2 million people, and background investigation details on 30 million.

However, when asked for figures, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta refused to offer exact numbers in public hearings.

The big hoopla surrounding the OPM breach is that China was named as the top suspect, but no one will come out on record to say it officially. Assuming they are behind the incident, then this isn't a case of financial fraud – this is espionage. Given that the OPM stored tens of millions of SF-86 forms (needed to obtain security clearance), the amount of raw data obtained by the attackers is staggering.

Another thought, for those of us who wear tinfoil hats – what if records were not only taken, but some were added as well? Would the OPM be able to tell? The attackers had at least a year of unchecked access on the network – plenty of time for someone to do whatever they wanted.

On June 5, the FBI released a memo detailing the malware used by actors that have "compromised and stolen sensitive business information and Personal Identifiable Information (PII)."

While Anthem and the OPM are not mentioned by name in the high confidence alert by the FBI, the timing can't be a coincidence. The key link though is the malware itself – Sakula.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

China tightens grip over the Internet with new security law | Michael Kan | NetworkWorld

China tightens grip over the Internet with new security law | Michael Kan | NetworkWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

China has adopted a new security law that gives the government control over its Internet infrastructure, along with any critical data.

On Wednesday, China’s legislature passed the national security law, which covers a wide range of areas including military defense, food safety, and the technology sector.

A full text of the law’s final draft has yet to be released, but it calls for better cybersecurity, according to a report from China’s state-controlled Xinhua News Agency. The country’s key information systems and data will also be made “secure and controllable” under the law.

Previous drafts of the legislation don’t state in detail what that control might mean, exactly. But U.S. trade groups have expressed ongoing concern that China’s security policies are going too far, and could push foreign businesses out of the country.

Earlier this year, China’s anti-terror legislation drew complaints because it could require U.S. tech companies to hand over encryption keys to the country’s government. U.S. President Obama even weighed in and has asked China to change the legislation.

In recent years, however, China has made cybersecurity a priority, following leaks from security contractor Edward Snowden that claim the U.S. had been secretly spying on Chinese companies. The Chinese government has even said it would block IT products from being sold in the country, if they failed an upcoming “vetting system.”

The policy changes in China probably won’t bode well for U.S. tech companies, especially for those who supply IT products to the government or state-owned companies, according to analysts. Already, China heavily censors its Internet, and has blocked many U.S. sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FISA Court Authorizes 'As-Is' Bulk Phone Collections For The Next Six Months | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

FISA Court Authorizes 'As-Is' Bulk Phone Collections For The Next Six Months | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Or so the FISA Court notes in its latest order authorizing the continued collection of bulk phone records under… well, not Section 215, which expired, but under a "non-hyper-literal evil genie" reading of the contradictory forces temporarily in play thanks to the passage of the USA Freedom Act.

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose," well, at least for 180 days. This application presents the question whether the recently-enacted USA FREEDOM Act, in amending Title V of FISA, 2 ended the bulk collection of telephone metadata. The short answer is yes. But in doing so, Congress deliberately carved out a 180-day period following the date of enactment in which such collection was specifically authorized. For this reason, the Court approves the application in this case.

The order notes that there was much more to consider in this renewal application. It nods to the expiration of Section 215 on May 31st and its brief return to its pre-Patriot Act form for roughly 24 hours before the passage of USA Freedom pushed the expiration date up until 2019. It notes the legal challenges brought against the bulk collection by Ken Cuccinelli and FreedomWorks, as well as the stipulations added to the collection by the surveillance reform bill.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

How to Stop Verizon from Screwing New York City | Susan Crawford--Backchannel | Medium.com

How to Stop Verizon from Screwing New York City - Backchannel - Medium

Late last week, New York City’s internal tech auditors released a stunning seventeen-page report about Verizon and its performance in keeping its promise to the city and its inhabitants. In 2008 Verizon promised to make FiOS available to everyone in the city by June 30, 2014, and signed an agreement to that effect. It is a year past that date, and Verizon is simultaneously telling the city that its work is done while refusing or failing actually to connect residences.

While there’s a lot of back-and-forth about the details, two things are obvious to me. First, the city has been out-lawyered and out-gunned every step of the way. Chances are its current attempt to get Verizon to change its ways under the 2008 agreement will be similarly hapless: Although the audit report is clearly right in its overall thrust, Verizon will have a bazillion arguments and tactics on its side. The company has unlimited resources it can deploy to frustrate any effort to enforce an agreement that is as full of definitional holes as a screen door — and as full of weird regulatory oddities as life at the FCC.

For example, the agreement required Verizon to “pass” homes with fiber (not actually connect them), but no one wrote down in the agreement what they thought “pass” meant. (Verizon’s interpretation, predictably, is that it doesn’t have to get very close.) And Verizon wouldn’t let the auditors see records for anything other than “cable service” (the one-way delivery of pay TV), even though what the city and its inhabitants need is a really fast, fiber data connection to the Internet. Plenty of ammunition for squabbles among lawyers; little to hang onto.

The second thing is a real heartbreaker: my great city of 3.5 million households and 8.5 million inhabitants — the media capital of the world and the nation’s densest metropolis — is not going to get cheap, competitive, unlimited data access over fiber with its complementary cloud of unlimited public WiFi. Because it has to wait for Verizon, our only shot at city-wide fiber, to do the work.

Why isn’t Verizon doing that work? Because, from the perspective of this huge telecom giant, it’s not worth it. In their terms, it’s “non-economic” to install fiber for everyone, particularly when there’s already a provider (in this case, New Charter, the anticipated product of Time Warner Cable’s merger with Charter and Brighthouse) selling okay-ish cable lines in the market.

Installing fiber — future-proof, infinitely upgradeable by swapping out electronics, potentially unlimited data capacity, and now the global standard — is a long-term play in a context in which shareholders are accustomed to quarter-over-quarter dividend increases and frequent buybacks. So Wall Street punishes the idea.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Attorneys General Close Ranks Against Google | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com

Attorneys General Close Ranks Against Google | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dozens of state law enforcement officials are backing Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's request to resume his investigation into allegations that Google facilitates online piracy.

The officials contend in papers filed this week that U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate in Mississippi prematurely blocked Hood from developing potential evidence against Google. “Upholding the District Court’s preliminary injunction order would have broad and unwelcome consequences,” attorneys general from 39 states and the District of Columbia write in a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Obviously, it would thwart General Hood’s ability to investigate and enforce, as necessary, violations of Mississippi’s consumer protection laws,” the officials write. “Significantly, it also would invite federal-court challenges to scores of civil investigative demands issued every year by state Attorneys General across the county.”

The attorneys general are weighing in on Hood's two-year-old fight with Google over “illegal” content available through the search results and on YouTube. The battle took place in private until last December, when materials leaked in the Sony hack revealed Project Goliath -- a secret Hollywood-backed initiative to enlist attorneys general to target Google for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement.

Days later, Google went to federal court, where the company sought an order banning Hood from attempting to enforce a subpoena for papers related to Web sites indexed in Google's search results. Google alleged that Hood had threatened to sue the company, or even prosecute it criminally, unless it agreed to block “objectionable” content. When it didn't agree to block material, Hood retaliated by issuing an “enormously burdensome” subpoena for millions of documents, the company said.

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate in Mississippi sided with Google and entered an order temporarily blocking Hood from attempting to enforce his subpoena. Hood is now appealing that order.


For their part, the attorneys general backing Hood argue that he is entitled to information needed to enforce the state's consumer protection law. “Google should not be allowed to bypass state subpoena review processes and derail a legitimate state consumer protection investigation by filing premature declaratory judgment lawsuits and obtaining sweeping preliminary injunctions in federal court,” the attorneys general write.


It isn't surprising that attorneys general would close ranks against a Web company. On the contrary, law enforcement officials in various states have long attempted to target Web companies that allegedly host illegal content.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Federal Appeals Court sets schedule for net neutrality case | The Hill

Federal Appeals Court sets schedule for net neutrality case | The Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A federal court has set a schedule for the legal case over the Federal Communications Commission's controversial net neutrality rules.

The telecom companies, trade groups and individuals suing the FCC must submit briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by July 30. Their supporters have until August 6 to submit their own filings.

The FCC will then have until September 16 to respond, with its supporters chiming in by September 21.

Another round of briefs from the petitioners in the case will come on October 5 — and all final briefs will be due by October 13.

Oral arguments will follow. Observers expect the court to decide the case by early 2016.

Telecom firms have challenged the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet as a utility. That decision gives the FCC more authority over Internet providers, which they say they can use to keep the powerful companies in check.

As the case winds its way through the court, the FCC is expected to clarify some of its expectations under the net neutrality order. It will likely initiate a rulemaking procedure in the coming months to determine how Internet providers must meet new privacy requirements instituted under the rule.

Only one formal complaint under the order's three "bright line rules" has been filed since it went into effect on June 12.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Tennessee State University Students Pay for Comcast Whether They Want It Or Not | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Tennessee State University Students Pay for Comcast Whether They Want It Or Not | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The average student of Tennessee State University living in on-campus housing will pay between $1,780-2,900 per academic year for housing, a meal plan, and Comcast’s Xfinity on Campus, an 80-channel cable television service that students pay for as part of their room and board.

TSU is the first college in Tennessee to launch the cable television service, which permits students off campus to use their university credentials to authenticate and access online programming from TV Everywhere websites and apps, such as WatchESPN and FXNOW.

Many students do not object to the Comcast service, in fact many appreciate it. Few know exactly how much it actually costs them, however, as its price is not broken out. Students cannot opt out of paying their share of the service either.

Universities respond positively to the program because it is administered and maintained by Comcast, which reduces the workload for campus employees.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Pew continues to survey as if it's 1999 on "Internet adoption" | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Pew continues to survey as if it's 1999 on "Internet adoption" | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Pew: Internet Penetration Reaches Saturation Levels – For Some - Telecompetitor: Internet penetration in the U.S. has reached saturation levels, at least for some groups, according to an analysis of 15 years of data collected by a Pew Research Center unit that has been tracking and studying Internet adoption and use in the U.S. since 2000.

The Internet saturation point has been reached for Americans – young Americans especially – with high levels of education and those who live in more affluent households, Pew highlights in “Americans’ Internet Access: 2000-2015.”

More than 8 in 10 of all American adults – 84 percent – now use the Internet, up from about half in 2000. Seventy percent of young U.S. adults used the Internet in 2000. That has increased steadily since 2000: Today 96 percent of young U.S. adults use the Internet. In contrast, it wasn’t until 2012 that more than half of U.S. adults 65 and older said they do.

These surveys of "Internet adoption" are growing increasingly irrelevant as the Internet delivers various types of services including data, video, voice, telemedicine, distance learning and control of home systems. The Internet is not a distinct service but rather a means of delivering multiple services -- and is now classified as a common carrier telecommunications service by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

That Pew continues to do these retrospective, backward looking surveys is puzzling in 2015. It does fit nicely however with the strategy of the legacy incumbent telephone and cable companies and their outmoded metallic Internet infrastructures to keep the concept of "the Internet" as it was in 1999 when it was used solely for data such as email and the then relatively new World Wide Web.


Click headline to access hot link--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Audit Reveals Verizon Tried To Corner NYC Broadband Market By Striking Exclusive Landlord Deals | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Audit Reveals Verizon Tried To Corner NYC Broadband Market By Striking Exclusive Landlord Deals | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we recently noted, New York City only just woke up to the fact that the lucrative 2008 Verizon franchise deal the city thought would bring fiber broadband to 100% of all five boroughs, has only resulted in Verizon cherry picking about half of the city's residents.


Of course as we pointed out, if the city had actually bothered to read the closed-door agreement struck with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg (or listened to a few local reporters at the time), leaders could have noticed at any time that it contains oodles of loopholes allowing Verizon to wiggle over, under and around most of the obligations contained therein.

While most people know by now that taking subsidies and tax breaks for fiber that never gets delivered is Verizon's MO in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (ok, well everywhere), the city only just appears to be realizing the scope of Verizon's shenanigans.


In addition to discovering that Verizon failed its build out obligations, analysis of the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications' audit (pdf) indicates that Verizon also tried to cajole landlords into exclusivity deals that may violate FCC rules:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

The forgotten origins of Greece’s crisis will make you think twice about who’s to blame | Ana Swanson | WashPost.com

The forgotten origins of Greece’s crisis will make you think twice about who’s to blame | Ana Swanson | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

The Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and Irish walk into a bar, where the French and Germans are the bartenders. It’s happy hour, and the Germans and the French are serving half-price drinks. Although everyone quickly drinks too much, the bartenders keep on serving. Eventually, the inebriated customers head home and get into all kinds of trouble -- fights, car accidents, some broken windows.

So who’s to blame? Clearly, the Greeks shouldn’t have drunk so much. However, the French and Germans also shouldn’t have served the Greeks when they were clearly drunk -- especially if the French and Germans mind having broken glass in their neighborhood.

Unfortunately, this isn’t much of a joke. After an extended binge, Greece is now mired in financial crisis and is dragging the European economy down with it. In the last few days, Greece has defaulted on a important payment to the IMF and shuttered its banks to prevent massive flows of money from leaving the country. On Sunday, the country is slated to hold a referendum on whether to approve tough austerity measures demanded by Europe -- a decision that could determine whether Greece will stay in the euro zone.

Some of the reasons for the crisis are obvious to anyone who looks. Greece has a lot of well-recognized economic problems: Its public sector is bloated and marred by corruption, and many analysts say that the country cooked its books to hide the real amount of debt from the rest of Europe.

There are also many well-documented problems stemming from the design of the euro zone itself – that the countries share a common currency even though they have different tax-and-spending policies. So that means that even though Greek workers aren’t as economically competitive as Germans, Greece can’t lower the value of its currency to make its products cheaper abroad and stimulate exports.

The same holds true for inflation, where Greece might benefit from a higher inflation rate that would make debt in today's prices become cheaper, while Germany has a historic unease with any policy that might stimulate inflation.

There are some other ideas about the deeper origins of the Greek crisis that you may be less familiar with.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Houston operator enTouch asks FCC to limit what AT&T-DirecTV can charge for RSNs | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

Houston operator enTouch asks FCC to limit what AT&T-DirecTV can charge for RSNs | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Houston MSO enTouch Systems has asked the FCC to impose restrictions on the amount of program licensing fees a combined AT&T and DirecTV will be able to charge rival operators for access to regional sports networks.

Specifically, enTouch is concerned about Root Sports Southwest, the channel--formerly co-owned by Comcast and branded CSN Houston--now under the control of DirecTV and AT&T. It is the exclusive local TV home to the NBA's Houston Rockets and MLB's Houston Astros.

"The FCC needs to craft conditions that will prevent AT&T and DirecTV from undermining competition to an even greater extent than they are doing now in our market by charging excessive fees for their Roots Sports Southwest RSN," said J Findley, president and CEO of enTouch Systems.

"Access to regional sports programming at reasonable rates is essential to attracting and retaining an important segment of the customer base that wants to view live sports on TV, as government analyses of the pay-TV market at the local level has been documenting for years," he added.


Click headline to read more and access hot link--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

AT&T GigaPower launches in Miami, Fort Lauderdale; Google Fiber secures San Antonio ISP licence | TeleGeography.com

AT&T has extended its GigaPower fibre-optic network to residential and small business customers in south Florida, including parts of Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Hollywood, Miami and surrounding communities.

The telco claims that the launch marks the area’s first 1Gbps residential connection.


To date, AT&T GigaPower has inaugurated services in selected areas of 14 markets: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Cupertino, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem markets.


Plans have also been announced to launch AT&T GigaPower in parts of Greensboro, Jacksonville, St Louis and San Antonio.

Elsewhere in the US Gigabit market, Google Fiber has reportedly secured a licence to operate as an internet service provider (ISP) within the San Antonio city limits.


According to the San Antonio Current, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas approved an application by business unit Google Fiber Texas to expand its footprint to an additional Texan city.


While the search engine giant-turned-Gigabit provider remained coy on its plans, a statement supplied to the newspaper read: ‘San Antonio has been great to work with as we have explored bringing Google Fiber to the city, and this amendment to our state franchise is an important next step. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Google Fiber to San Antonio soon.’


As noted above, San Antonio is one of the future markets earmarked for Gigabit connectivity by AT&T, meaning the two heavyweights could now go head-to-head in the Texan city. San Antonio is the seventh most populated city in the US and the second most populated city in the state of Texas.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

How Cisco brings communications to disaster relief efforts | Zeus Kerravala | NetworkWorld.com

How Cisco brings communications to disaster relief efforts | Zeus Kerravala | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Although Cisco Live 2015 is in the books now, the memories of it certainly lives on. Each event I attend is different and gives me a better understanding of how Cisco operates as a company. I've written many posts over the years on Cisco's ability to be innovative to capture market transitions and drive the company's growth.


One of the things I've liked about Cisco over the years is the philanthropic side to the company that resonates from CEO John Chambers down to all of the employees. I've heard Mr. Chambers talk on more than one occasion about corporate social responsibility and how important that is to the Cisco culture.

One of the more interesting discussions I had around this topic at Cisco Live was with Sue-Lynn Hinson, who manages what Cisco calls the Tactical Operations (TacOps) team. The goal of this group isn't to drive sales or to market the latest and greatest product.


Sue-Lynn never goes on sales calls and she and her team have no quota to fill. Instead, the TacOps team spends its time travelling the globe to establish emergency IP-based communications to first responders, government agencies, relief organizations, and others in times of emergency caused by disasters or other incidents.

The TacOps team has at their disposal a number of custom-built emergency response solutions to establish communications in disaster areas. For example, the Cisco Network Emergency Response Vehicle (NERV) is a mobile communication center that is designed to establish communications in emergency situations.

The NERV can be up and going in 15 minutes and can run for up to four days without requiring any resources, which is essential in situations that are already likely to be resource-constrained. The NERV provides a number of services to disaster workers such as:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

CA: Rough Day for Internet: Fiber Issues, Amazon/AWS Outage, Vandalism Disrupts Service | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

CA: Rough Day for Internet: Fiber Issues, Amazon/AWS Outage, Vandalism Disrupts Service | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

West coast Internet users, particularly those around San Francisco and Sacramento, experienced major disruptions to the Internet last evening into this morning, affecting everything from cable television and phone service to popular online destinations including Amazon.com (and websites hosted by its AWS data service), Tinder, and Netflix.

The range of disruptions led to early media speculation a “coordinated attack” on the Internet was underway on the west coast, but a statement from the Sacramento field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation this morning clarified it was investigating only a single case of alleged intentional vandalism in the San Francisco area today.

The FBI suspects someone climbed down a manhole in Livermore early this morning and intentionally cut a high traffic fiber line owned by Level 3 and Zayo. This is not the first case of suspected vandalism. At least 10 other fiber line cuts in Fremont, Berkeley, San Jose, Alamo, and Walnut Creek have occurred in the Bay Area over the last year.


Click headline to read more, access hot inks and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Cable Websites Take a Dive in Consumer Ranking | Leslie Jay Goff | Multichannel

Cable Websites Take a Dive in Consumer Ranking | Leslie Jay Goff | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Among 262 companies whose websites were evaluated by 10,000 consumers, six cable MSOs were among the lowest-scoring organizations on the list.

The "2015 Web Experience Ratings," conducted by the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm, examines consumers' likelihood to forgive companies for a poor experience at their websites. The Waban, Mass.-based firm included nearly 300 companies across 20 industries, including pay TV service and Internet service.

Overwhelmingly, consumers indicated they were unlikely to forgive Time Warner Cable, Comcast and CenturyLink (all three tied at #252 of the 262 firms) and Frontier (dead last at #262) for lackluster website experiences in the Internet service category; and TWC (#256), Comcast (#258), Charter Communications (#260) and Cox Communications (#261) in the pay TV service category.


Additionally, Cox was one of the companies that fell the most in the annual ranking from last year, Temkin Group noted, with only 29% of respondents saying they could forgive the MSO for a poor online experience. The two categories earned "very weak" ratings across the board while banks and credit card issuers generally had "strong" ratings.

"It's ironic that many of the cable companies that provide Internet service earned such poor ratings," Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, said.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Leap second causes Internet hiccup | Jeremy Kirk | ComputerWorld.com

Leap second causes Internet hiccup | Jeremy Kirk | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The addition of a leap second to world clocks on Wednesday caused some networks to crash although most quickly recovered.

Some 2,000 networks stopped working just after midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis with Dyn, a company that studies global Internet traffic flows.

Nearly 50 percent of those networks were in Brazil, which may indicate that Internet service providers use a common type of router that may not have been prepared for the leap second, he said.

Most of the networks quickly recovered, which may have required just a reboot of a router, Madory said.

The Internet's global routing table, a distributed database of networks and how they connect, contains more than 500,000 networks, so the problems affected less than a half a percent, Madory said.

Just after midnight, the number of changes to the global routing table spiked to as much as 800,000 per 30 seconds, according to Dyn. Changes to connections between networks are announced by providers using BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and propagate across the Internet to other providers.

Madory said it's not unheard of to see a flurry of new BGP announcements around those levels, but the timing around the leap second and 2,000 networks going offline "can't be a coincidence."

A leap second is added every few years to keep UTC synced with solar time. The difference between the two widens due to the slowing of the Earth's rotation. Since 1971, 26 leap seconds have been added to clocks.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

EOBC Offers FCC 1% Solution | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

EOBC Offers FCC 1% Solution | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition (EOBC) has told the FCC that its plan to drop its offering prices to stations in the reverse broadcast incentive auction by 5% in each of the initial rounds, is a bad idea any way you look at it, and one that could "destroy" broadcasters ability to get important information to help them decide what to do.

There are many options, including bidding, dropping out, and changing their election--say from selling out to sharing or moving to a lower channel assignment.

EOBC has suggested 1% drops is better for all concerned, and made that point in a filing to the commission Monday in which it said a 5% drop would result in "inefficient outcomes, compromise the ability of bidders to make rational decisions about participation, and likely hinder the ability of broadcasters to elect the option to move to VHF."

EOBC says that, by contrast, its proposal to drop prices by only 1% per round would "simplify the bidding process, increase opportunities for outcome discovery, result in more exact exit values, and allow bidders to prepare in advance, with full knowledge of the prices that will be offered in each round.”

EOBC concedes that the lesser decrements (the opposite of "increments") would extend the auction "by a couple of weeks," but said that seemed a small price to pay for simplicity and efficiency of the actual auction process.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Report: Time Warner rebuffed Fox deal because AT&T and Verizon would soon become big customers | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

Report: Time Warner rebuffed Fox deal because AT&T and Verizon would soon become big customers | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With both AT&T and Verizon ramping up mobile video services and making deals with programmers, it's no secret that the two wireless companies are going to become far more influential in the video programming business in the future.

But a new Bloomberg analysis illustrates just how influential. According to the news service, which cites unnamed sources, Time Warner Inc. rebuffed an $80 billion takeover offer from Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox last year, partly because it believed that AT&T and Verizon would soon emerge as aggressive buyers of its content.

Analysts say that top-shelf content is a means for AT&T and Verizon to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market for mobile data. "When you begin to lose pricing power over your pipes and you're national, how do you distinguish yourself? With proprietary content," noted Leo Hindery, managing partner at Intermedia Partners, to Bloomberg.


Click headline to read more and access hot link--

more...
No comment yet.