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CTIA again pushes for wireless tax moratorium | FierceWireless

CTIA again pushes for wireless tax moratorium | FierceWireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The CTIA is once again taking up a perennial lobbying issue by pushing for a five-year moratorium on new state and local wireless taxes, citing a study that says the tax burden on wireless customers has gone up during the past few years.

 

In a blog post, CTIA President Steve Largent said that the trade group is advocating for the U.S. Senate to pass the Wireless Tax Fairness Act. "The U.S. House already passed the bipartisan bill last year, but we need the Senate to do the same so millions of wireless customers can get some much needed financial relief," he wrote. The bill has been an annual favorite of the CTIA but has yet to make it into law despite years of legislators pushing it.

 

Largent pointed to a study by Scott Mackey, a partner at KSE Partners in Montpelier, Vt., which notes that the average wireless tax burden on consumers increased from 16.26 percent in July 2010 to 17.18 percent in July 2012. Mackey works with a coalition of wireless providers, including all of the Tier 1 carriers, "in support of state and local tax policies that encourage investment in wireless networks and reduce excessive taxes on wireless consumers," according to the report.

 

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Colorado Springs, CO, to Get 2-Gig Broadband This Summer | Wayne Heilman | GovTech.com

Colorado Springs, CO, to Get 2-Gig Broadband This Summer | Wayne Heilman | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast Corp. said Wednesday that it will launch 2-gigabit-per-second Internet access this summer to nearly 1 million customers in Colorado Springs and the Denver area and immediately make 250-megabit-per-second access available to all its Colorado customers.

The fastest Internet speed previously offered to Colorado customers by the Philadelphia-based cable television and entertainment giant was 150 megabits per second, so the 250-megabit-per-second service is 67 percent faster, while the 2-gigabit-per-second service is 13 times faster.

Comcast's basic residential Internet service offers access at 25 megabits per second, though the company offers an "economy plus" package with access at 3 megabits per second.

Comcast said the 250-megabit service, called Extreme 250, will carry a regular price of $149.95 a month, but the company won't disclose pricing for the 2-gigabit service, called Gigabit Pro, until it launches the service, said Cindy Parsons, a company spokeswoman in Denver. Without limited-time promotional offers, Comcast's other Internet packages range in price from $39.95 a month for the "economy plus" package to $114.95 for 150-megabit-per-second service, called Extreme 150.

"We're delighted to offer our customers new Internet tiers like Extreme 250 and Gigabit Pro that will provide the fastest high-speed Internet speed to the most homes," Rich Jennings, senior vice president of Comcast's operations in Colorado and New Mexico, said in a news release.

The Gigabit Pro service will be available to homes in close proximity to Comcast's nationwide fiber-optic network and will require installation of professional-grade equipment.


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MA: 16 WiredWest towns have voted to authorize $26M so far. And over 6,000 deposits for service. More votes to come! | WiredWest.net

MA: 16 WiredWest towns have voted to authorize $26M so far. And over 6,000 deposits for service. More votes to come! | WiredWest.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sixteen towns have passed bond authorization votes so far, totalling $26 million, which would qualify towns participating in a regional network to an additional $14 million in state funding through the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.


Bond authorization votes require a 2/3rds majority to pass. The 16 towns that have passed it, have recorded votes well above that threshold, including two unanimous votes in West Stockbridge and Rowe. Towns have until June of 2016 to vote on bond authorizations, and it’s expected that at least 10 more towns will vote, many in the coming weeks and months.


At this point, we have enough critical mass to move forward with the planning work required (i.e., engineering, utility pole permitting). That work will be done in partnership with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). WiredWest is currently meeting weekly with MBI on these and other critical network planning issues.


To ensure financial sustainability of the network, each town is required to get to a minimum of 40% of town premises pre-subscribing to services on the network. Right now, WiredWest has almost 6,000 deposits for service, which you can see here. Nine towns are over the 40% minimum, with several towns over 50%. And a number of towns only a few subscribers away from 40%.


Broadband leaders across the country are weighing in on the tremendous achievement of WiredWest towns.


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Google Backs Off Zero Rating In India After Facebook Takes A Global Public Relations Beating | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Google Backs Off Zero Rating In India After Facebook Takes A Global Public Relations Beating | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google appears to be backing away from its plans to support zero rated apps (deals that allow some apps to bypass broadband ISP usage caps) in India after Facebook found itself at the heart of a global public relations kerfuffle for the practice. As we've been noting, Facebook's Internet.org initiative has been under heavy fire in India as the nation debates net neutrality rules. The program, which provides free access to some Internet content curated by Facebook, has been criticized for being a security, privacy (since it doesn't allow encrypted content and creates a one-stop shopping location for aggressive governments) and net neutrality threat.

Internet.org Project content partners have been dropping out of the project in droves, noting they're not comfortable with an AOL-esque version of the Internet where Facebook gets to decide who is, and who isn't, included. Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg haven't been making things any better for themselves with a series of tone-deaf responses to criticism in which they've tried to argue that a crippled version of the Internet is better than no Internet at all. Oppose Facebook's vision for the developing world, Zuckerberg has repeatedly argued, and you're the one hurting the poor.

Of course, net neutrality supporters and companies like Mozilla have argued that if Facebook wants to really help the poor, it would provide subsidized access to the real Internet and get out of the way. Facebook isn't willing to do this, and continues to operate under the pretense that it's engaged in an entirely selfless, altruistic endeavor that they've insisted has absolutely nothing to do with making money. The assumption is that nobody's quite smart enough to realize Facebook has its eye on being the gatekeeping cornerstone of the developing world's future Internet ad empire.


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Google Fiber Says It's Passing On Rightscorp Settlement-O-Matic Demands For 'Transparency' | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Google Fiber Says It's Passing On Rightscorp Settlement-O-Matic Demands For 'Transparency' | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As Rightscorp continues to explore its legally-dubious efforts to shake down broadband users for cash, the company is finding itself with its hands full across multiple, costly legal fronts. Earlier this month, the company was beaten back in court by a tiny ISP by the name of Birch Communications, after the courts rejected the use of DMCA subpoenas for ISP subscriber data. Rightscorp's also doing battle with Cox Communications, trying to drum up user identities while claiming the DMCA gives it the authority to threaten users with account termination.

Despite all the noise Rightscorp makes in the media and in the courts, it's not very good at being a copyright troll. The company's latest earnings report suggested the company is losing more money than ever, spending $1.24 million on legal fees and other costs last quarter to collect just $308,000.

ISPs are under no obligation under the DMCA to forward copyright infringement notices, though most ISPs do so anyway. However, on principle many ISPs (like Comcast) refuse to pass on Rightscorp's early settlement notices, which demand users pay an upfront payment of $20 to avoid legal escalation (which usually never comes). On behalf of its client Rotten Records, Rightscorp is now suing two Comcast users for sharing an album each and ignoring hundreds of settlement notices:


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Canada Prepares to Say Goodbye to the 3-Year Cellphone Contract; June 3rd is the Deadline | Phil Damnpier | Stop the Cap!

Canada Prepares to Say Goodbye to the 3-Year Cellphone Contract; June 3rd is the Deadline | Phil Damnpier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Canadians still stuck on an old three-year wireless contract may be able to leave their current carrier penalty-free as soon as June 3rd as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) deadline on lengthy wireless contracts takes full effect this Sunday.

In June 2013, the CRTC banned three-year cell phone contracts in its wireless code to give customers a chance to switch providers more often without an expensive early termination fee to deter them. The commission set a two-year transition period which will end June 3.

But it turns out wireless carriers have not made the process of leaving penalty-free easy and the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) expects the ombuds office will be forced to intervene on behalf of consumers. Some providers have applied creative interpretations of the wireless code the industry earlier sued to block on the grounds it created retroactive interference with contractual rights. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the wireless industry’s lawsuit last week. The CCTS is notifying providers what it expects from them.

There are two primary groups of customers affected by the June 3rd deadline:


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AT&T Opposes Net Neutrality Conditions On Merger | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com

AT&T Opposes Net Neutrality Conditions On Merger | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Consumer advocacy groups, along with Cogent and Dish, recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to require AT&T to follow the new net neutrality rules for seven years -- even if they're struck down in court -- as a condition of any merger with DirecTV.

AT&T doesn't like that idea -- which isn't surprising, considering that it's suing to vacate the new rules.

This week, the company officially said that there's no reason to tie the new broadband regulations to its proposed $48.5 billion merger. Instead, AT&T says it's willing to follow the 2010 neutrality rules -- which are weaker than the current ones -- for three years after the merger closes.

The current rules, slated to take effect June 12, prohibit broadband providers from blocking traffic and creating paid fast lanes. (The 2010 rules prohibited all broadband providers from blocking or degrading traffic, but only barred wireline providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination.) The new rules, unlike the old ones, also contain a "general conduct" provision that bans providers from hindering consumers' efforts to reach content companies online.

The consumer groups, Cogent and Dish also asked the FCC to require AT&T to offer standalone broadband service of at least 25 Mbps for no more than $29.95 a month.

AT&T doesn't like that idea either. Instead, the company counters that it will offer stand-alone service for thee years at “reasonable market-based prices.”


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Regulators eyeing Comcast for possible NBCU deal violations | Claire Atkinson | NY Post

Regulators eyeing Comcast for possible NBCU deal violations | Claire Atkinson | NY Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal regulators are weighing taking action against Comcast for allegedly violating 2011 agreements that enabled the cable giant to buy NBCUniversal.

The allegations were made during the public comment period of the review of Comcast’s now-defunct plan to acquire Time Warner Cable and officials at both the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department have spent the past few weeks sifting through those claims, several Washington insiders confirmed to The Post.

In some instances, Comcast agreed not to take certain actions, like interfere in another company’s actions — and Comcast agreed to support certain initiatives, sources said.

“They’re sitting on a ton of potential evidence,” one source close to the process explained. “They’re asking themselves if they can create a separate proceeding or whether they need a new complaint to allow [the evidence] to be introduced.”

Alleged complaints being parsed by regulators include:


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A Tale of Two Territories: Frontier Plans Upgrades for Newly Ex-Verizon/AT&T Customers While Legacy Areas Suffer | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

A Tale of Two Territories: Frontier Plans Upgrades for Newly Ex-Verizon/AT&T Customers While Legacy Areas Suffer | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The new CEO of Frontier Communications is promising more fiber to the home service and advanced ADSL2+ and VDSL2 service to dramatically boost Internet speeds… if you happen to live in a Verizon territory Frontier is planning to acquire in Texas, California, or Florida.


For Connecticut customers that used to belong to AT&T, Frontier also plans to spend money to further build out AT&T’s U-verse platform to reach more suburban customers not deemed profitable enough to service by AT&T.

For legacy Frontier customers in other states? Frontier plans nothing beyond what it already provides — usually dismally slow DSL.

Speaking to investors during the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Frontier CEO Daniel McCarthy said upgrades offer the company new earnings opportunities, but a closer analysis reveals those benefits will only reach customers in areas where Verizon and AT&T already did most of the work and spent the money required to build advanced network infrastructure.

Verizon has spent millions upgrading customers in Texas to its FiOS service and has a significant fiber to the home presence in California and Florida. Because fiber infrastructure is already largely in place, Frontier will not have to spend huge sums to build a new network. Instead, it will spend incrementally to expand service to nearby service areas.


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Cisco sees Internet half full | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com

Cisco sees Internet half full | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cisco’s most recent Visual Networking Index (VNI), the ongoing report of Internet and IP trends and statistics, finds that more than half of the world’s population will be Internet users by 2019. Also, the number of machine-to-machine (M2M) interconnections – the underpinning of the Internet of Things/Everything – will triple by then.


Another interesting stat is that the VNI expects 3.2 networked devices/connections per capita by 2019, up from two devices per person in 2014. That translates to 24 billion networked devices/connections online by 2019, up from 14 billion in 2014, a compounded annual growth rate of 11.4% and almost half of the 50 billion total connected devices Cisco expects by 2020.

Cisco’s VNI is based on analyst forecasts, real-world mobile data usage studies, and Cisco's own estimates for global IP traffic and service adoption. The company usually updates it two or three times a year.

In 2014, 39% of the world’s population of 7.2 billion were Internet users, according to the VNI. That will increase to 51% of 7.6 billion people in 2019 while annual IP traffic triples during that time.

And within that timeframe, M2M connections globally will grow from 3.3 billion in 2014 to 10.5 billion by 2019. Consumer healthcare will have the fastest M2M connections growth at 8.6X during that time, a compounded annual growth rate of 54%, the VNI finds.


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Tech Companies, App Developers Oppose FTC's Privacy Settlement With Nomi | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com

Tech Companies, App Developers Oppose FTC's Privacy Settlement With Nomi | Wendy Davis | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Trade groups representing tech companies and app developers say they are opposed to the Federal Trade Commission's proposed consent decree with retail tracking firm Nomi Technologies, which allegedly misrepresented its privacy practices.

Nomi said in its former privacy policy that people could opt out of being tracked in retail environments by providing the company with their devices' 12-digit MAC addresses, according to the FTC. The company, which provides analytics services to retailers, also allegedly promised to allow consumers to opt out “at any retailer using Nomi’s technology.”

But Nomi didn't require its 45 retail clients to disclose whether they used the technology, and most of its clients didn't voluntarily do so, the FTC alleged in a complaint unveiled last month. The result was that consumers who might have chosen to opt out at retail locations weren't able to, according to the agency.

The company agreed to settle the FTC's charges by promising that it won't in the future misrepresent its policies. Nomi's current privacy policy no longer says that consumers can opt out at retail locations.

This week, trade groups including NetChoice (which counts Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo as members) and the Application Developers Alliance weighed in against the consent decree, arguing that the FTC's decision to prosecute Nomi could backfire.


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DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Can online gamers perform the sometimes tedious software verification work typically done by professional coding experts?

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) think so and were so impressed with their first crowdsourced flaw-detecting games, they announced an new round of five games this week designed for improved playability as well as increased software verification effectiveness.

DARPA began the program known as Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) in December 2013 and opened the Verigames web portal (http://www.verigames.com/home), which offered five free online formal verification games.

“These games translated players’ actions into program annotations and assisted formal verification experts in generating mathematical proofs to verify the absence of important classes of flaws in software written in the “C” and “Java” programming languages. An initial analysis indicates that non-experts playing CSFV games generated hundreds of thousands of annotations,” DARPA stated.


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Noncoms: FCC Obliged to Reserve Noncom spectrum | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Noncoms: FCC Obliged to Reserve Noncom spectrum | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Representatives of the Big Three noncommercial broadcasting groups met with FCC officials earlier this week to argue for reserving at least one channel for public broadcasting in each market after the spectrum auction.

The groups had petitioned the FCC for that change after its original proposal did not set aside those channels. According to sources, the proposed resolution of that and other petitions to reconsider its spectrum auction framework also does not include granting that request, which prompted the noncoms to take their case directly to the commission. The item is being circulated among the other commissioners and changes are still at least possible.

In the meetings, Lonna Thompson, executive VP, COO, APTS; Cindy Campbell, VP, Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and Eric Wolf, VP, and Thomas Rosen, senior counsel, at PBS, argued that the FCC "has both the authority to reserve a portion of the public airwaves for noncommercial educational service and the obligation to continue doing so."

Without that set-aside, they warned, it could adversely impact minority communities and others reliant on over-the-air TV.


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MN: Mille Lacs County visioning meeting | Mille Lacs Messanger

As a Blandin Broadband Alumni Community, Mille Lacs County, MN will be holding a community visioning session from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, in the Council Room at the Milaca City Hall, 255 First Street East, Milaca.


The meeting will allow businesses and residents an opportunity to provide input into the current state of broadband in the county and also to suggest short-term solutions to increasing access and usage of broadband in Mille Lacs County. The meeting will be co-facilitated by both Blandin consultant, Bill Coleman and also Doug Dawson, president of CCG Consulting, whom Mille Lacs County has contracted with to conduct a broadband feasibility study.


Mille Lacs County has held similar community visioning meetings in the past years to solicit ideas for projects for applying for Blandin broadband grants. Some of the successes have been the addition of Wi-Fi in several locations around the county, the addition of Wi-Fi on area school buses, eCommerce seminars for local business owners, and the distribution of computers through PCs for People to low income families in the county.

CCG Consulting will be looking for feedback from the public about their broadband experiences. Dawson is looking to hear stories about availability, pricing, and how the lack of broadband, or slow broadband is affecting people’s lives.


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Quantifying the Benefits of Fiber | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs

Quantifying the Benefits of Fiber | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Four times in the last two weeks I have been asked the question about how to value the public benefits of operating a fiber network. It’s a fair question, because anybody that builds a fiber network for a whole community brings added value beyond just the monetary value of the revenues of the network to the service provider.

Fiber networks automatically bring a number of community benefits. With greater download speeds people are enabled to telecommute more or to work from home full-time. Communities with fiber generally see a surge in entrepreneurship. Fiber speeds make it easier for people to partake in advanced video services like distance learning or telemedicine. Applications that require bandwidth are just starting to burgeon due to the expanding number of people with broadband.

But my clients weren’t asking about those ‘normal’ benefits of fiber. What they really wanted to know is if there is something more that they could and should be doing after they have built a fast network.

Each of these carriers had made a list of ideas they wanted to discuss with me, and interestingly, they all had two of the same things on their list. First, they wanted to know if it made sense to use their fast network to bring community-wide WiFi to their service area. They also are interested in looking harder at the digital divide—particularly at the idea of making sure that every school kid in their community has access to broadband at home.

Even more specifically, they wanted to understand if there is a model for helping to pay for these ideas. They were already convinced that these are good ideas and they wanted to know if there was some ways to monetize them.

And that is a really good question.


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High-Speed Internet as Important as Plumbing, Developers Say | Ely Portillo | GovTech.com

High-Speed Internet as Important as Plumbing, Developers Say | Ely Portillo | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ultra-high speed Internet such as Google Fiber still seems a bit fantastical to many people, but developers and real estate professionals say they can’t afford not to integrate the fastest speeds into new buildings any more than they could neglect to install plumbing.

Google Fiber is preparing to roll out its gigabit-speed Internet service locally – an executive said Thursday they hope to “light up” their first houses in Charlotte this year – and competitors such as Time Warner Cable are boosting their speeds as well.

“Reliable, fast Internet is a hot topic in the real estate community,” said Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble, at a forum in South End sponsored by the Urban Land Institute. Here’s what some of the players had to say about how the new ultra-connectivity is changing real estate:

Get ultra-high speed right, or get punished in the marketplace. “I wouldn’t say (renters) ask for it. They expect if. If it’s not there, they won’t live there,” said Greg McDonald, director of telecom support for Greystar, which is building the Ascent apartment tower uptown. He said Millennials especially expect the highest speeds. More and more of our daily activities run online – the Internet is now many people’s source of television and phone service.

Slow Internet service now constitutes a major risk for a property’s reputation. “We can’t tolerate a customer tweeting ‘I can’t get my Internet connectivity,’ ” said Tyler Niess, chief marketing officer for Charlotte-based Crescent Communities, which is developing multiple local apartment, office and hotel towers. “It’s a real risk.”


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Incumbents' petition to block FCC's Title II rules faces steep legal hurdles, likely dismissal | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Incumbents' petition to block FCC's Title II rules faces steep legal hurdles, likely dismissal | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable outlines the legal arguments being made by incumbent telephone and cable companies seeking to block enforcement of the Federal Communication Commission's recently promulgated regulations reclassifying Internet services as common carrier telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act.

The incumbents' petition is likely to be dismissed. The reason is what's known as judicial deference: courts generally defer to regulatory agencies' interpretation of statutory law requirements. The doctrine holds that regulators have the necessary expertise to discern and apply the finer points of statutes whereas judges, who generally do not, are naturally reluctant to second guess the decisions of regulators or interject themselves into disagreements over statutory law between regulators and regulated entities. Under the doctrine of judicial deference, the appropriate forum to work out disagreements with regulators over application of statutory law is the rulemaking process and not the courts.

In this case, the incumbents face an especially steep challenge because the Communications Act specifically grants the FCC broad discretion to apply Title II of the Act in the first section of Title II. Section 201(b) states that "[t]he Commissioner may prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary in the public interest to carry out the provisions of this Act."


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Exclusive: FCC poised to side with Verizon, AT&T in airwaves spat | Alina Selyukh | Reuters.com

Exclusive: FCC poised to side with Verizon, AT&T in airwaves spat | Alina Selyukh | Reuters.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

U.S. telecoms regulators are leaning toward rejecting a T-Mobile US Inc request that more airwaves be set aside for smaller wireless companies like itself to bid on during a government auction next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Such a decision, which could be finalized in coming weeks, would end months of speculation and vigorous lobbying by the nation's No. 4 cellular operator, which wants the Federal Communications Commission to further limit how much spectrum dominant U.S. carriers Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc can buy in the auction.

The FCC voted last year to restrict the participation of Verizon and AT&T in the 2016 spectrum sale by reserving a piece of each market's airwaves for non-dominant carriers, but not to the extent sought by T-Mobile.

The vote was something of a compromise among the FCC's Democrats, who wanted to give smaller carriers a leg up but also to ensure that restrictions on the big carriers would not cut the proceeds of the auction, expected to be the agency's largest.

Though no recommendation has yet been prepared and the deliberations could still shift, the FCC staff's current thinking is that an adequate amount of spectrum has already been set aside for smaller carriers, according to the people familiar with the matter.


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AT&T, DirecTV Assure FCC They Will Promote OVD | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

AT&T, DirecTV Assure FCC They Will Promote OVD | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T has clearly gotten the message that access to over-the-top video competition is a key issue for the FCC in its review of the proposed merger with DirecTV.

In a meeting with FCC officials about the deal, most of a dozen executives from both companies told the commission that they had "strong incentives" to support online video services, both as stand-alone and bundled

They also shared some confidential info on various peering, managed service and OVD distribution deals it has done, and said it is pursuing others that will "ensure consumers will be able to enjoy seamless and high-quality OVD services."

The FCC has yet to restart its unofficial shot clock on the deal, likely as the FCC review team tries to ensure that will be the case if the deal is approved.

Even as AT&T was making that case, Cogent was telling the commission that the company was contesting interconnection ports and there needed to be strong interconnection conditions on the deal. Netflix has also been arguing that AT&T had used its interconnection control to degrade access to Netflix, and threw in data caps and usage-based pricing as other ways to advantage its own services.


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Frontier targets millennials with OTT, over-the-air video trial | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Frontier targets millennials with OTT, over-the-air video trial | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A top Frontier Communications executive revealed it is moving ahead with its trial of over-the-top video with its partner TiVo as a way to appeal to users who are not interested in traditional linear television services.

Speaking to investors during the Bernstein 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Dan McCarthy, CEO and president of Frontier, said the trial with TiVo is designed to look at both OTT and over-the-air options.

"We're looking at how to attack a segment of the market that's not interested in a pure linear play," McCarthy said. "We're in a trial right now with TiVo as our partner to bring a combination over-the-air and over-the-top content provisioning to a single user interface with time shifting and DVR."

Similar to its larger ILEC counterparts like Verizon that's considering its own OTT video play, the driver is a desire to appeal to the millennial segment.

"The OTT trial with TiVo is a way to see if we can appeal to the millennial segment that is really not interested in linear TV service from anybody, but are willing to go to the Internet and consume what they want when they want, and occasionally they'll want something over the air," McCarthy said.


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Google’s Android TV Wants to Turn Every App Into a TV Channel | Janko Roettgers | Variety

Google’s Android TV Wants to Turn Every App Into a TV Channel | Janko Roettgers | Variety | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

ABC, CBS and… TED?

Google has a new plan to surface online video on TV: Publishers of internet video apps can now add linear channels of programming to the company’s Android TV platform, where these channels are going to be available in the same program grid also used to navigate broadcast TV networks.

The new initiative, dubbed Android TV Channels, is being unveiled at Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco Thursday. Launch partners include TED, Vevo, the Huffington Post, Bloomberg, the Weather Network, AOL, Pluto, and and the European live-TV streaming service Zattoo.

Owners of an Android TV device can add these channels to their lineup by selecting them in the Play app store on their device. After that, these channels will be listed right next to the traditional TV channels from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox when accessed through the live TV interface of Android TVs that companies like Sony and Sharp started to sell in recent weeks. Consumers will be able to channel-surf broadcast TV networks and online sources, which should make for a much more TV-like viewing experience of online video content.


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Best Practices in Community Wireless 2015 | Esme Vos | MuniWireless.com

Best Practices in Community Wireless 2015 | Esme Vos | MuniWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Best Practices in Community Wireless 2015 is now available for download from Freedman Consulting LLC. The report, developed by Freedman Consulting, with support from the Ford Foundation, highlights 11 communities in the United States that have deployed community wireless networks to achieve different goals.

The report examines the evolution of wireless technology and explores lessons learned by communities that have implemented these networks. The 11 communities are Boston (MA), Corpus Christi (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Oklahoma City (OK), Ponca City (OK), Port Angeles (WA), Richmond (CA), San Francisco (CA), San Jose (CA), Santa Clara (CA) and Santa Monica (CA).

The networks vary in size, usage and business model. In some cases they are used only for municipal purposes; in others, the public and the municipality use the network. Those of you who are familiar with the articles on MuniWireless over the years will recognize many of these networks, their triumphs and travails. Much of the material in this report updates the older articles on MuniWireless.


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Harold Feld of Public Knowledge on the Net as a Public Utility | Jessica McKenzie | Civic Hall

Harold Feld of Public Knowledge on the Net as a Public Utility | Jessica McKenzie | Civic Hall | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Personal Democracy Forum is next week, and we’re reaching out to some of the speakers for a quick preview of their respective talks and panels.


What follows are a few words from Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge.


Feld will be speaking on the net as a public utility.


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TISA: Yet Another Leaked Treaty You've Never Heard Of Makes Secret Rules for the Internet | Jeremy Malcolm | EFF.org

TISA: Yet Another Leaked Treaty You've Never Heard Of Makes Secret Rules for the Internet | Jeremy Malcolm | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A February 2015 draft of the secret Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) was leaked again last week, revealing a more extensive and more recent text than that of portions from an April 2014 leak that we covered last year. Together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), TISA completes a trifecta of trade agreements that the administration could sign under Fast Track without full congressional oversight.

Although it is the least well-known of those agreements, it is the broadest in terms of membership. As far as we know, it presently includes twenty countries plus Europe (but notably excluding the major emerging world economies of the BRICS bloc), who, with disdainful levity, have adopted the mantle “the Really Good Friends of Services”. Like its sister agreements, TISA will enact global rules that impact the Internet, bypassing the transparency and accountability of national parliaments. The only difference is that its focus is on services, not goods.

In our previous analysis, we focused our attention on two points from the leaked text. The first was a provision that would prohibit democratically-elected parliaments from enacting limits on the "free flow of information" to protect the privacy of their citizens—limits that, we argued, should be debated publicly, not behind closed doors. The second was text on net neutrality, that would lock in a particular set of global rules on net neutrality, including an open-ended exception for “reasonable network management” that could become a loophole for exploitation. Those provisions remain in the new leaked draft.

But the latest leak has revealed more.


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FCC Cracking Down on Wireless Robotexts, Calls | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC Cracking Down on Wireless Robotexts, Calls | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated to the other commissioners a proposal for a June vote on preventing unwanted robocalls and "robotexts," spam and telemarketing calls to wireless phones that makes it clear that carriers can help their subs block those unwanted communications.

That is according to FCC officials speaking on background.

Wheeler is trying to close what he sees as "loopholes" in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by issuing declaratory rulings on more than 20 petitions for clarity on how it interprets the TCPA regarding wireless phones, though some of the changes will apply to wired phones as well. Some of those questions had come from carriers and others wondering if they were allowed to provide blocking technology given their common-carrier requirement for completing calls.

Complaints about violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are the FCC's most numerous. More than 215,000 complaints came in last year alone, according to an FCC official.

App developers and others have sought input on just what consumer protections square with the law.


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ISPs Say Title II Decision Is Ripe for Stay | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

ISPs Say Title II Decision Is Ripe for Stay | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable and Telco ISPs have outlined the ABCs (and Ds and Es) of why a federal court should uphold their requests and stay the June 12 enforcement date of the FCC's Title II reclassification of Internet access service.

That came in a joint reply to the FCC's opposition to the stay.

The lead line was this: "The FCC’s reclassification of broadband Internet access as a Title II common carriage service is a seismic departure from the status quo that has prevailed for more than two decades. It will expose Petitioners and their members to a host of new, ill-defined requirements, and it immediately threatens them with class action litigation and enforcement actions."

The chorus making that point included USTelecom, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association, AT&T, CenturyLink and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.

Their response was divided into arguments for why they will prevail in their underlying legal challenges, and why it is in the public's and ISP's interest to grant a stay in the interim.


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