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Depot Park Infrastructure Prime Location to Support Data Centers | Sacramento, CA

Depot Park Infrastructure Prime Location to Support Data Centers | Sacramento, CA | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Depot Park, Sacramento's secure business campus, now offers unrivaled amenities, including 24/7 gated security, abundant parking and on-site childcare, plus it is located in an Enterprise Zone that provides tax incentives including hiring credits, business expense deductions and sales tax credits. Beyond these benefits Depot Park is ideally suited to welcome companies in need of a space for their data centers and call centers.

 

Depot Park's 300 acres and three million square feet of office space are completely fenced and the entry points are staffed 24/7. Aside from its scale and security, Depot Park is connected. It offers data fiber optics, Wi-Fi and fiber hard lines across the entire site.

 

AT&T provides direct and redundant connections with a ringed infrastructure, while SureWest and Comcast both offer direct connections. All electricity is provided by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), one of the nations most reliable electrical utility suppliers. These features mean every business has a redundant power source and multiple data lines all safely inside a gated facility with round-the-clock security.

 

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Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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'Here Come the Videofreex': Film Review | Frank Scheck | The Hollywood Reporter

'Here Come the Videofreex': Film Review | Frank Scheck | The Hollywood Reporter | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon's documentary recounts the story of a pioneering collective of video journalists who were the forerunners of public access television and the modern internet news era.

Thanks to the ubiquitous presence of cell phones, the ability to shoot video footage anywhere and anytime is now taken for granted. But it wasn't always the case, as Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon's fascinating documentary about a group of early video pioneers illustrates. Recently screened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAMcinemaFest, "Here Come the Videofreex" should become mandatory viewing in journalism schools.

Largely composed of video footage shot more than four decades ago as well as contemporary interviews with such former members as David Cort, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg and others, the film relates how in 1969 several young people banded together to take advantage of Sony's recent invention of portable video cameras.


Dubbing themselves the "Videofreex," they began shooting impromptu news footage. They eventually attracted the attention of Don West, a young CBS news executive, who hired them to cover the counterculture that was largely being ignored by broadcast news organizations. Armed with cameras, the group traveled across the country in a CBS-provided RV.

"They treated us like rock stars," one of the members comments.

They snared the first-ever television interview with Abbie Hoffman during the trial of the Chicago 8, as well as one with Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton who was killed during a raid by the Chicago police just a few weeks later. They also covered the Woodstock music festival, interviewing attendees about such topics as the "bad acid" about which was warned against from the stage.

But their pilot episode was rejected by CBS and West left the network shortly thereafter, either as a result of being fired or resigning — even he's not exactly sure which. The collective managed to smuggle out their tapes and soon resumed their mission, covering such topics as the burgeoning women's movement, anti-war demonstrations and the 1972 Republican convention. They hosted well-attended weekly screenings in their Soho loft.


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NAB Seeks Hill Help on Relocation Costs | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Seeks Hill Help on Relocation Costs | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to sources, broadcasters—and specifically the National Association of Broadcasters—have been looking for some help from Congress on the broadcast incentive auction, including on getting a little more money for the broadcast relocation fund.

That is the fund that will cover expenses for broadcasters giving up spectrum to get out of the business or share with another station, plus some for cable operator expenses in repositioning their headends.

In the incentive auction legislation, Congress earmarked $1.75 billion for the fund. The FCC has rebuffed broadcaster efforts to make that a budget rather than a cap. Broadcasters wanted the FCC only to reclaim as much spectrum from TV stations as it could relocate within that $1.75 billion, but the FCC has signaled it will not hold itself to that figure, though it will take steps to minimize expenses to try and keep within it.

But NAB is not taking any chances, said one source, looking to appropriations committees, for one, to try and get language freeing up some more money, particularly given that an earlier spectrum auction—AWS-3, which raised over $40 billion—has essentially paid for all the items—R&D, an interoperable first responder broadband network (FirstNet)—FCC spectrum auctions were required to cover out of their proceeds per the legislation, with plenty left over to pay down debt.

"We have been warning members of Congress for months that the $1.75 B repacking reimbursement fund will be inadequate," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton, "particularly with the FCC projecting it may repack more than 1,000 TV stations."


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Some Time Warner Cable Customers Get a Small Speed Boost Thanks to Overprovisioning | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Some Time Warner Cable Customers Get a Small Speed Boost Thanks to Overprovisioning | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable customers in parts of the northeast have noticed their broadband speeds increased slightly over the last several days.

Stop the Cap! reader Howard Goldberg was among those who noticed Time Warner’s broadband performance in upstate New York has improved, at least for upper tiers.

“Over the past 24 hours, Speedtest.net (against the TWC site in Syracuse, and many others) is reporting 60-62Mbps down and 6.0-6.2Mbps up, an increase from 55/5.5Mbps we have had over the past few years,” Goldberg notes. He is subscribed to Time Warner Cable Ultimate, marketed in upstate New York as 50/5Mbps service.

We noticed the same thing late last week here in Rochester as speed test results now consistently top 60Mbps when using a Time Warner Cable-based server. The upstream speed increase was less visible, but still measurable.

Goldberg also reports ping times have dropped from the 18-22ms range to 13-15ms when using the Syracuse, N.Y. test site, which could also point to a more responsive Internet connection overall.

Cable companies occasionally deliver speeds that are actually faster than what they sell, known as overprovisioning, to improve customer satisfaction and boost their performance in the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing national speed test program, designed to verify if providers are actually providing the speeds they are marketing to customers.

Are Time Warner customers in other areas seeing similar results? Report your findings in the comment section.


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Charter Asks FCC to Approve Time Warner Cable/Bright House Merger; Stop the Cap! Urges Changes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Charter Asks FCC to Approve Time Warner Cable/Bright House Merger; Stop the Cap! Urges Changes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications last week filed its 362 page redacted Public Interest Statement laying out its case to win approval of its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, to be run under the Charter banner.

“Charter may not be a household name for all Americans, but it has developed into an industry leader by implementing customer and Internet-friendly business practices,” its statement reads.

The sprawling document is effectively a sales pitch to federal regulators to accept Charter’s contention the merger is in the public interest, and the company promises a range of voluntary and committed service upgrades it says will improve the customer experience for those becoming a part of what will be America’s second largest cable operator.

Charter’s proposed upgrades fall under several categories of direct interest to consumers:


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MI: Inside the bold plan to bring gigabit fiber to Detroit | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com

MI: Inside the bold plan to bring gigabit fiber to Detroit | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When discussing the ongoing revitalization efforts in Detroit, it's hard to miss the name Dan Gilbert. The founder of Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a Detroit native himself, Gilbert's investment firms have funded dozens of tech startups in the city and turned its defunct old buildings into shiny new workspaces that look like Silicon Valley transplants.

Until last year, what Detroit lacked in this daunting task to become a tech hub was access to affordable, high-speed broadband, the kind that Google Fiber was famously bringing to other cities around the country. So, rather than pray for Google to arrive or incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to spontaneously change their pricing and services, Gilbert invested in two Quicken Loans employees who were crazy enough to suggest building a fiber network themselves.

The result is Rocket Fiber, which was formed last year and is stepping into the broadband market with its own Google Fiber-inspired offering: 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) broadband service for $70 per month. To date, the company has laid almost seven miles of fiber in Detroit's downtown area and has received "submissions of interest" from more than 80 businesses and 3,000 consumers, with plans to reach 12 miles and 32 buildings by the end of the year.
See also: Verizon calls New York's report on FiOS failure a 'union tactic'

What's most notable about Rocket Fiber, however, is how the company has been able to mitigate the risk of entering a market known for capital-intensive investments, time-consuming deployments, and billion-dollar incumbents with a reputation for stamping out any whiff of competition.

Last July, Ars Technica published an article providing an in-depth look at several fiber startups that struggled in this market. The article described the obstacles that stand in the way:


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Is facial recognition a threat on Facebook and Google? | Mike Elgan | ComputerWorld

Is facial recognition a threat on Facebook and Google? | Mike Elgan | ComputerWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Both Facebook and Google have been working hard at using computers and algorithms to identify people in photos. They've gotten really good at it.

We still don't know what they'll do with that technology. To a large degree, it's up to us. But first, we have to understand what's possible.

Facebook is one of the leading organizations in the world developing facial-recognition algorithms. Facebook software can now identify people in photographs as well as people can. Facebook's DeepFace (no, I'm not kidding -- it's called DeepFace) can tell whether the subjects in two different photographs are the same person with 97% accuracy. That's even better than the FBI's own Next Generation Identification system.

DeepFace achieves this amazing feat by analyzing faces, turning them into 3D models, then making it possible to recognize the faces from angles and under lighting conditions that are different from those in other photos of the same person. The technology uses more than 120 million parameters, and a page on Facebook's research website explains that the company "trained it on the largest facial dataset to-date, an identity labeled dataset of four million facial images belonging to more than 4,000 identities."

But that's not enough for Facebook. It wants to be able to identify people even when their faces aren't showing. Toward that end, Facebook researchers are developing a system that looks at hairstyle, body shape, posture, clothing and so on.

Facebook can now recognize people whose faces aren't showing with 83% accuracy.

Tellingly, the company tried to avoid freaking people out with this research by developing the algorithm using Flickr pics, not Facebook photos.

While Facebook's ability to recognize people is astonishing, so is Google's.


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FCC Puts Spectrum Auction Pedal To the Metal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Puts Spectrum Auction Pedal To the Metal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Wheeler FCC has begun moving rapidly toward its proposed early-2016 broadcast incentive auction, and the attendant multi-billion dollar remake of the spectrum landscape. The direction for that rapid move is not making many broadcasters happy.

A flurry of decisions, including an important one from the court, have begun to offer a clearer picture of how the forward auction (with the FCC paying broadcasters to vacate spectrum) and reverse auction (with wireless companies buying up that spectrum for smartphones and tablets) are unfolding.

The commission has released a final omnibus order—a.k.a. a final decision—denying most of the changes asked for by the major broadcast affiliate associations and one key ask for noncommercial television stations.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has also teed up for a July 16 vote the final rules for both auctions, blogging recently that, “it is now time to end the back-and-forth and make decisions.”

A list of auction-eligible stations was released by the commission in May. After that list is certified, the FCC will use its formula for calculating prices—also to be voted on July 16—to come up with the actual opening bid prices for stations, which it is expected to release before the end of the summer, and then start accepting applications in the fall from stations who want to participate.

How fast the auction can proceed could depend on whether lawsuits muck up that timetable. Unhappy low-power TV interests have said they will sue over the FCC’s decision not to revisit their fate in the auction, and noncommercial broadcasters are unhappy about the FCC not reserving a channel in all markets for them, post-auction.

Here is a status report on key decisions:


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Years Of Pretending Netflix Cord Cutting Wasn't Real Is Biting The Cable Industry In The Ass | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Years Of Pretending Netflix Cord Cutting Wasn't Real Is Biting The Cable Industry In The Ass | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If you didn't know, Netflix is kind of huge. So huge, in fact, that some new analysis suggests that if Netflix was a Nielsen-rated TV network, the service would, sometime within a year, attain a larger 24-hour audience than ABC, Fox, NBC or Fox. That's something Nielsen itself should probably be tracking, but as we've noted previously, Nielsen has painfully lagged on actually tracking the cord cutting revolution, for fear of upsetting cable and broadcast executives with their heads planted squarely in the sand.

The analysts at FBR Capital Markets note that Netflix served 10 billion hours of internet video content in the first quarter of the year, roughly two hours per subscriber per day. By dividing this two-hour figure by 24 hours, then multiplying it by the number of U.S. Netflix subscribers as a percentage of households, the analysts estimate Netflix would see a Q1 ratings score of 2.6, on par with both ABC and NBC. The difference, of course, is that Netflix is growing quickly while traditional cable broadcasters are losing market share, especially on the kids programming front.

Of course, the fact that Nielsen can't join the modern era and track TV viewing over the internet suggests this isn't quite yet an apples-to-apples comparison:


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NC: Google Fiber Construction Begins in Raleigh & Charlotte | Karl Bode | DSL Reports

NC: Google Fiber Construction Begins in Raleigh & Charlotte | Karl Bode | DSL Reports | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Fiber has announced that the company has begun construction on its gigabit fiber network in both Raleigh and Charlotte. Both cities were unveiled back in January as part of the company's latest expansion, which also included Salt Lake City, Nashville, and Atlanta. Google Fiber's Twitter account announced the beginning of construction those two cities with a few photos of crews at work digging and burying fiber lines.

Google Fiber said it had begun network construction in both Nashville and Salt Lake City earlier this month. The company has yet to announce when users in these markets can sign up for service, but it's expected to be late this year.

"Since we first announced Google Fiber would come to the Triangle, our team of engineers has been working closely with cities across the metro area to design our network – preparing permitting packages, creating a detailed map of where we can put our thousands of miles of fiber and plotting out existing infrastructure such as utility poles and underground conduit," states the company.

Google Fiber is expected to announce expansion to Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio and San Jose sometime later this year, as the company continues to pressure complacent incumbent broadband ISPs. Usually that's more from a PR perspective than a physical deployment perspective, since the actual number of connected Google Fiber customers remains small.


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MD: City task force calls for better broadband in Baltimore | Stephen Babcock | Technical.ly

MD: City task force calls for better broadband in Baltimore | Stephen Babcock | Technical.ly | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A task force pulled together by city officials released a report Friday that’s designed to serve as a roadmap for improving Baltimore city’s broadband capability, and generally embracing technology as part of the city’s planning process.

The 27-page Smarter City report was developed by a 27-member group. They identified four areas that would improve Baltimore’s technological capabilities: improving infrastructure, economic development, bridging the digital divide and civic engagement.

To “fuel new growth,” the report states, “the city must continue to innovate by taking greater advantage of technology.”

Whether it is a state-of-the-art citywide broadband network, leveraging existing networks and private investment, providing ready access to the Internet in our public schools or easy-to-use online city services, improved technology will play a major role in shaping Baltimore’s future.

To complete these steps, the task force calls on Baltimore to build a “leading-edge digital infrastructure,” with a focus on improving broadband capabilities. The task force cites the Baltimore Broadband Coalition as a grassroots group that is already doing work, and writes that more needs to be done.

In addition to the task force’s report, the city also released a separate study from Magellan Advisors that identifies ways to improve the city’s broadband infrastructure. Magellan calls for the following steps:


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Sprint to mothball consumer wireline business from September | TeleGeography

Sprint Corp is looking to drop its consumer wireline business and a number of associated services, by 19 September, or ‘as soon thereafter as the necessary regulatory approvals can be obtained’, it has confirmed in a regulatory filing.


Citing ‘changing market conditions’ Sprint will no longer provide consumer long-distance services and associated features in each of the 50 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands or Guam. Previously, on 5 January the telco received permission to cease offering its ‘Sprint Services’ wireline features to new customers.

In 2006 Sprint spun off its EMBARQ-branded local exchange carrier (LEC) business, which operated in 18 states, into an independent company. In July 2009, EMBARQ was purchased for USD11.6 billion by CenturyTel, which rebranded as CenturyLink after the merger.

While rumours concerning the hinted-at sale of Sprint’s remaining fixed line assets continue to swirl, in February 2015 CEO Marcelo Claure told investors that the assets are strategic in letting it compete in the wireless business. As such, Sprint will continue to use the existing wireline network to deliver MPLS-based solutions to its business customers.

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Google's Project to Offer Free Superfast Wi-Fi Internet to the World has Begun | Swati Khandelwal | The Hacker News

Google's Project to Offer Free Superfast Wi-Fi Internet to the World has Begun | Swati Khandelwal | The Hacker News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Imagine a city with Wi-Fi hotspot. Now imagine that it is free as well. This won't be just an imagination for long as Google has unveiled its new plan to bring Free, Superfast Wi-Fi to cities around the world.

Sidewalk Labs, a Google-owned company that focuses on improving city living through technology innovations, has announced that the company will roll out free WiFi to everyone in New York City around September this year.

But, How will the company do this?

Google-backed Sidewalk Labs will convert over 10,000 New York's old phone booths into ad-supported "Wi-Fi pylons." These booths will offer free wireless Internet access to anyone within 150 feet of radius.

Sidewalk Labs is leading a group of investors acquiring Control Group and Titan, companies working to cover New York City with Free, Superfast Wi-Fi service.

Besides offering free Wi-Fi, the booths are also intended to provide free cell-phone charging, free domestic phone calling and a touchscreen-based information hub that provides you everything you need to know about the city and transit directions, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, each Wi-Fi pylon will deliver advertising on the sides through Titan's advertising network, which is expected to bring $500 million in ad revenue to the city over the next 12 years.

If this first trial in New York City proves to be a success, then the search engine giant will step forward to roll out similar programs in other cities around the world in the hopes to get the whole world online.


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Can Wi-Fi offloading finally give the mobile Internet some breathing space? | Erikla Morphy | ComputerWorld.com

Can Wi-Fi offloading finally give the mobile Internet some breathing space? | Erikla Morphy | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At last year's Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, Boingo Wireless CEO David Hagan pretty much called it about wireless carriers' timeline in adopting Wi-Fi offloading. Wi-Fi offloading refers to the migration of data from the mobile network using complementary network technologies, in this case a Wi-Fi network. The reason would be to smooth out performance -- no more dropped calls! -- and possibly to offer new services, such as Wi-Fi Calling, or VoWiFi.

Speaking at Deutsche Bank's 2014 event, though, Hagan made clear that wireless carriers were not quite seeing the value of Wi-Fi offloading -- at least not yet. Most of the carriers didn't have a real Wi-Fi offload strategy in play, he told the audience according to LightReading. That would probably change within a year.

At the time the reluctance of wireless carriers to use Wi-Fi offloading was not surprising; indeed Hagan's prediction that many would embrace it was probably the more eyebrow-raising prediction. After all, from a wireless carriers' perspective, offloading network traffic to a Wi-Fi network meant offloading that revenue as well.

Fast forward one year, Boingo announced a partnership with Sprint to do exactly that. Hagan, as I said, called it at the Deutsche conference.

This is how it works:


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Pai, Fischer Team to Slam Net Neutrality Rules | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Pai, Fischer Team to Slam Net Neutrality Rules | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai and Nebraska Republican Senator Deb Fischer teamed up for an op ed in the Omaha World-Herald Monday to criticize the FCC majority's new network neutrality rules in particular and FCC regulatory policies in general.

That came in advance of a planned press conference in Omaha where they will talk more about their alternative to what they call the federal government's open Internet rules (ever since President Obama publicly called for Title II-based rules, Pai has called it the Administration's new rules, rather than the FCC's).

In a line that would certainly surprise FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Pai and Fischer argue that "It is time to make Internet access and broadband deployment a national priority." That is essentially the mantra of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, as well as the goal of an Obama Administration wireless spectrum-clearing plan that includes broadcast incentive auctions.

But Pai and Fischer have a very different view of how that should be achieved, saying that the federal government's current course is bureaucratic micromanaging that will result in higher prices and delayed deployment, including hurting rural small businesses.


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6 reasons why we’re underhyping the Internet of Things | Dominic Basulto | WashPost.com

6 reasons why we’re underhyping the Internet of Things | Dominic Basulto | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just when you thought the Internet of Things couldn’t possibly live up to its hype, along comes a blockbuster, 142-page report from McKinsey Global Institute (“The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype”) that says, if anything, we’re underestimating the potential economic impact of the Internet of Things.


By 2025, says McKinsey, the potential economic impact of having “sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems” (McKinsey’s definition of the Internet of Things) could be more than $11 trillion annually.

According to McKinsey, there are six reasons we may be underhyping the Internet of Things.


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Middle mile, dark fiber networks are needed to drive more rural broadband | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Middle mile, dark fiber networks are needed to drive more rural broadband | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Whether it's the broadband stimulus program or the Connect America Fund, there has been no shortage of efforts in recent years to drive broadband into rural areas. However, a growing number of service providers say that there should be more focus on providing middle mile fiber-based networks that can backhaul traffic and connect with major Internet peering points.

Speaking during the JSA Telecom Exchange event, a group of panelists that operate in rural areas agreed that new government programs should mandate that applicants build out dark fiber networks where they sell wholesale to other service providers.

One of the key challenges any service provider has is making a business case to serve a rural market because the return on investment is harder to justify because there aren't as many customers to address than it is in a major metro area.

Peter Aquino, chairman, president and CEO of Broad Valley Micro Fiber Networks, said that in order to effectively make a business case to invest in bringing fiber to rural markets, service providers need a three-pronged approach that includes: an anchor tenant, customer demand, and some way to supplement the business case with government programs. These programs could include the USDA's Community Connect grants and the FCC's Connect America Fund I and II.


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Battle Cry of New Hampshire: No Fiber, No Votes | Susan Crawford | Backchannel | Medium.com

Battle Cry of New Hampshire: No Fiber, No Votes - Backchannel - Medium

Last week, Jeb Bush announced he’s running for president, joining a crowded field of eleven Republican candidates, Still in the wings: Govs. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Chris Christie. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee are in, while former Sen. Jim Webb is testing the waters.

That means that in the months to come, we may have upwards of 20 men and women, accompanied by zillions of staff and supporters, tromping around the great state of New Hampshire, making significant eye contact and asking for votes in preparation for the February 9 primary.

And they will all have the same problem: They won’t be able to communicate.

I don’t mean that they won’t be able to go to town halls and shake hands; there will be plenty of that. But their staffs will often find it incredibly frustrating to send around the large digital files — say, pictures, or video, or that killer PowerPoint presentation mapping county-by-county strategy — that are essential to any campaign. And they’ll have problems making phone calls to keep in touch with the outside world.

Why? Because New Hampshire, our nation’s 42nd most populous state, has lousy connectivity. The FCC defines high-speed Internet access to be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up these days, and more than a third of the rural population in New Hampshire (most of which votes Republican, by the way) can’t buy that kind of connection at any price. Fewer than one out of every six urban New Hampshire residents can buy that connection even if they want it: the wire just doesn’t exist in their town.

And those figures are for potential “access,” not actual “subscription.” Price matters a great deal, most people in the state have very few — and often just one — choice of provider, and that provider can charge whatever it wants to provide the service of its choice.


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Canada: Rogers buys Mobilicity plus Shaw’s 4G spectrum; Wind gets windfall | TeleGeography.com

Canadian quadruple-play operator Rogers Communications announced yesterday that it has received government approval for two deals to acquire 100% ownership of small cellular rival Mobilicity for CAD440 million (USD356 million) and purchase the unused mobile spectrum of cableco Shaw Communications for CAD350 million.


Industry Canada confirmed that it has approved the deals, which involve Rogers transferring all of Mobilicity’s AWS-1 (1700MHz/2100MHz) frequencies to up-and-coming rival Wind Mobile and splitting Shaw’s AWS-1 spectrum between Wind and Rogers, whilst Wind has agreed to give Rogers a portion of its existing AWS-1 frequencies in return.

Specifically, Rogers will retain Shaw’s 20MHz AWS licences across British Columbia and Alberta, while transferring the remainder of Shaw’s regional AWS frequencies – 10MHz in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario – to Wind. All of Mobilicity’s AWS spectrum – across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta – is being transferred to Wind, and in return Rogers is taking a 10MHz portion of Wind’s spectrum holdings in Southern Ontario.


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MN: Pine County Broadband 2014 Update: less than 25 percent covered | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Pine County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 7.9
  • Number of Households: 11,393
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 24.63%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 24.63%


Pine County is sitting at less than a quarter coverage. But they are working on better coverage. Pine County is actively working to pursue better broadband as a partner in the East Central Broadband Initiative. They were part of the East Central Broadband conference in April 2014; the conference is planned primary by community leaders and attended by community leaders, member and providers. One topic that came up was talking about broadband as a utility.

In January, MidContinent announced good news for Pine County, if they’re patient…

At the Dec. 17 city council meeting, MidContinent Communications announced that it plans to bring “gigabit internet” to the Pine City area by the end of 2017. The new service is 35 times faster than the national average and five times faster than MidContinent’s current top speeds.

Otter Tail County Broadband 2014 Update: 65 percent but deploying MN Broadband Funds | Blandin on Broadband//

My hope is that these county-specific posts will help policy makers and county residents understand where they stand in terms of broadband access. Assuming it might get forwarded to folks who don’t eat and sleep broadband I wanted to provide a little background on broadband to help set the stage…

How does Minnesota define broadband?


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Philanthropy for Hackers | Sean Parker Op-Ed | Wall Street Journal

Philanthropy for Hackers | Sean Parker Op-Ed | Wall Street Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the past several decades, there has been a monumental shift in the distribution of wealth on the planet. A new global elite, led by pioneers in telecommunications, personal computing, Internet services and mobile devices, has claimed an aggregate net worth of almost $800 billion of the $7 trillion in assets held by the wealthiest 1,000 people in the world.

The barons of this new connected age are interchangeably referred to as technologists, engineers and even geeks, but they all have one thing in common: They are hackers. Almost without exception, the major companies that now dominate our online social lives (Facebook, Twitter, Apple, etc.) were founded by people who had an early association with hacker culture. I still consider myself to be one of them. Once you adopt the mind-set of a hacker, it’s hard to let it go.

Hackers share certain values: an antiestablishment bias, a belief in radical transparency, a nose for sniffing out vulnerabilities in systems, a desire to “hack” complex problems using elegant technological and social solutions, and an almost religious belief in the power of data to aid in solving those problems.

Hackers are popularly considered to be troublemakers, but they are also dedicated problem solvers, as interested in discovering holes in systems as they are in exploiting them for personal gain. By identifying weaknesses in long-established systems, they have successfully disrupted countless industries, from retail and music to transportation and publishing.

Mostly awkward and introverted, more interested in ideas than in making money or running companies, hackers are generally reluctant empire-builders. The geeks were not supposed to inherit the Earth, so nobody—least of all the hackers themselves—expected these iconoclastic loners to change the world, acquiring enormous power and financial resources in the process.

This newly minted hacker elite is an aberration in the history of wealth creation. In the first place, they achieved success at a young age, generally before they turned 40. They also grew up thinking of themselves as outsiders and never fully integrated with establishment institutions or aspired to participate in elite society, choosing instead the company of their peers. They are, as a result, underprepared for the enormous responsibility that has been handed to them—a burden they never dreamed of carrying.

At the same time, they are intensely idealistic, so as they begin to confront the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems, they are still young, naive and perhaps arrogant enough to believe that they can solve them. This budding sense of purpose is now bringing the hacker elite into contact with traditional philanthropy—a strange and alien world made up of largely antiquated institutions.


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The Scariest Trade Deal Nobody's Talking About Just Suffered a Big Leak | David Dayen | New Republic

The Scariest Trade Deal Nobody's Talking About Just Suffered a Big Leak | David Dayen | New Republic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Obama administration’s desire for “fast track” trade authority is not limited to passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In fact, that may be the least important of three deals currently under negotiation by the U.S. Trade Representative. The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would bind the two biggest economies in the world, the United States and the European Union. And the largest agreement is also the least heralded: the 51-nation Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks brought this agreement into the spotlight by releasing 17 key TiSA-related documents, including 11 full chapters under negotiation. Though the outline for this agreement has been in place for nearly a year, these documents were supposed to remain classified for five years after being signed, an example of the secrecy surrounding the agreement, which outstrips even the TPP.

TiSA has been negotiated since 2013, between the United States, the European Union, and 22 other nations, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and others scattered across South America and Asia. Overall, 12 of the G20 nations are represented, and negotiations have carefully incorporated practically every advanced economy except for the “BRICS” coalition of emerging markets (which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

The deal would liberalize global trade of services, an expansive definition that encompasses air and maritime transport, package delivery, e-commerce, telecommunications, accountancy, engineering, consulting, health care, private education, financial services and more, covering close to 80 percent of the U.S. economy.


Though member parties insist that the agreement would simply stop discrimination against foreign service providers, the text shows that TiSA would restrict how governments can manage their public laws through an effective regulatory cap. It could also dismantle and privatize state-owned enterprises, and turn those services over to the private sector.


You begin to sound like the guy hanging out in front of the local food co-op passing around leaflets about One World Government when you talk about TiSA, but it really would clear the way for further corporate domination over sovereign countries and their citizens.


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Iowa Gov. Branstad Signs ‘Connect Every Acre’ Bill into Law | Rod Boshart | GovTech.com

Iowa Gov. Branstad Signs ‘Connect Every Acre’ Bill into Law | Rod Boshart | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Against the backdrop of a high-tech tractor and corn planter, Iowa's Gov. Terry Branstad used a rural Dallas County equipment dealership as his venue Monday to sign legislation designed to help expand broadband access to underserved communities and aid farmers using precision agriculture in unserved rural areas.

“Our state already has a low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent but, to continue our growth, we must look at ways to encourage connecting every acre of Iowa to high-speed broadband,” Branstad said before signing House File 655 into law.

“I’m pleased with the strong bipartisan support this measure received in the Iowa Legislature,” the governor told reporters and others who gathered at an implement warehouse to witness the bill signing. “Together, Iowa lawmakers came together to pass this meaningful legislation to continue building Iowa for the future.”

The measure that cleared the split-control Legislature during the recently-ended 2015 session would establish a state-run grant program, but it would depend on money from the federal government, private-sector investors and non-profits initially to fund the grants. The legislation — one of Branstad’s 2015 priorities — commits no state money to the program but sets up a property tax exemption for 10 years for companies that expand the reach of high-speed broadband service into remote areas.


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IN: From there to here: Its been a bumpy ride for Gary/Chicago International Airport | NWI Times

IN: From there to here: Its been a bumpy ride for Gary/Chicago International Airport | NWI Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In late 2012, the Gary/Chicago International Airport runway expansion was in disarray: contractors were not getting paid, railroad negotiations had ground to a halt, and the airport was struggling to come up with $50 million more to meet the exploding cost of the project.

After six years of stop-and-go work, all airport officials had to show for their effort were a couple hundred acres of graded dirt and a relocated NIPSCO substation. In addition, the cost had ballooned to $166 million from original estimates of about $90 million.

"With this shortfall we have, we are trying to get some cash," said then-airport authority President Nathaniel Williams.

Despite the beleaguered position of the project just two-and-a-half years ago, this week, corporate jet aircraft and others began landing and taking off on an expanded 8,900-foot main runway.

In addition, the runway now has federally mandated 1,000-foot safety areas at either end, heading off a threat by federal regulators to curtail some of the airport's most important activities. And a major rail line now loops far around the airport's northwest end, rather than on a 38-foot-high embankment smack up against the end of the main runway.

Observers and airport users are saying the longer runway opens up new possibilities for the airport, including a shot at attracting regularly scheduled air service.


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US: T-Mobile shifting 1700MHz HSPA+ users to 1900MHz band | TeleGeography.com

T-Mobile US is in the process of shutting down its AWS-1 (1700MHz/2100MHz) HSPA+ network, as it completes its transition to 1900MHz PCS spectrum for 3G use.


A T-Mobile spokesperson told Fierce Wireless: ‘We are continually upgrading our network and have finished building our PCS UMTS network that provides a better LTE experience for all our customers … Over the next year, all of our AWS UMTS customers will also have access to 4G LTE on the PCS UMTS network.’


T-Mobile first started refarming its 1900MHz spectrum for HSPA+ use in September 2012, with Las Vegas its first confirmed switch-over market.

Meanwhile, a related story by blog TMoNews claims that switch-overs have occurred this year in Indianapolis (25 February), Louisville (18 May) and Chicago (18 June). According to the blog around 20 more markets, including the likes of Houston, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Miami, are set to follow in the next two months.

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NBA OTT to Allow Individual Game and Team Streaming | Bernie Arnason | Telecompetitor

NBA OTT to Allow Individual Game and Team Streaming | Bernie Arnason | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Add the NBA to the growing list of content providers who are shaking up the traditional pay-TV model. The NBA announced that their upcoming 2015-16 NBA League Pass service will offer both single games and a season’s worth of any individual team’s games options for both linear TV and OTT video distribution. Think of it as a la carte for NBA basketball.

NBA League Pass had been available through both linear and digital options before, but subscribers had to buy all the available games for a single price. It was the NBA’s equivalent of the popular NFL Sunday Ticket package. This updated version ‘unbundles’ the service and allows subscribers to purchase individual games or follow one team for the whole season. And watch it on the device of their choice.

Current NBA League Pass subscribers have been able to purchase the service through an existing pay-TV provider or direct from the NBA. The NBA didn’t provide full details for this ‘unbundled’ form, but did say it will be available to broadband subscribers on iOS and Android devices. Current supported devices include iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Roku, among others. We’ll have to wait until mid-July before the NBA releases the full details.

It’s a significant development from multiple sides. It adds fuel to the growing OTT video fire, by offering yet another example of premium content over-the-top, impacting the traditional pay-TV model. The NFL recently announced an experiment to stream one NFL game for their upcoming season as well.


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