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FCC fast tracks text-to-911 service | CNET News

FCC fast tracks text-to-911 service | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Soon there will be more than just one way to contact 911.

 

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today that the four largest wireless carriers in the U.S. have agreed to fast track a service that will let people text the emergency 911 line.

 

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all signed on and major deployments are planned to roll out in 2013 and the service should be fully available nationwide by May 15, 2014.

 

"Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century -- and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal," Genachowski said today in a statement.

 

Dubbed "Next Generation 9-1-1," the FCC has been working on this project for the last two years. When Genachowski first announced the plan to "bring 911 into the Digital Age" in November 2010, he referenced the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting when students tried to text police for help, but were unsuccessful.

 

The goal of the service is to offer people more ways to contact emergency officials, as well as improve the network to ensure it holds up for new communication technologies. According to Genachowski, a key component in Next Generation 9-1-1 is the rapid deployment of text messaging, photo, and video support.

 

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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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Comcast Still Lying About Its Data Caps: Woodstock, Ga. Customer Misled to Believe There Are None | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Still Lying About Its Data Caps: Woodstock, Ga. Customer Misled to Believe There Are None | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Before regulators, the media, and elected officials, Comcast’s executive vice president David Cohen has repeatedly told all who can hear that there are no usage caps on Comcast’s broadband service.

“There isn’t a cap anymore. We’re out of the cap business,” Cohen began saying in May 2012 after the cable company dropped its nationwide 250GB usage cap. But in several markets, mostly in the southern and western United States, Comcast snuck the caps back on residential Internet customers, only this time they claim it isn’t a usage cap at all.

“We effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want,” says the cable company these days.

But if the “usage caps” are actually gone, why is Comcast issuing executive-level memos to its customer service representatives and supervisors that repeatedly state the company does, in fact, have “data caps” in about a dozen cities across the country — part of an ongoing market trial that suggests Comcast is considering extending a new 300GB usage allowance nationwide.


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This new app lets you hail a New York taxi and skip the Uber surge pricing | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

This new app lets you hail a New York taxi and skip the Uber surge pricing | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new front has opened in the seemingly unending battle between taxi cabs and Uber in New York City. Arro, a fresh app in the ride-hailing business, is hoping to lure riders back to yellow and green cabs with a smartphone interface that's as easy to use as Uber's.

Currently undergoing a beta test, Arro will let you hail one of 7,000 cabs with a few taps on your device, according to Crain's. It will also skip many of the fees associated with Uber. There won't be any surge pricing, for instance, which drives up the cost of an Uber during periods of high demand. And users won't have to pay the $2 fee that Uber charges customers for hailing a regular taxi through its app.


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Study: 15% Of Wireless Users Now Tracked By Stealth Headers, Or 'Zombie Cookies' | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Study: 15% Of Wireless Users Now Tracked By Stealth Headers, Or 'Zombie Cookies' | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year AT&T and Verizon were caught modifying wireless user traffic to inject unique identifier headers (UIDH). This allowed the carriers to ignore a user's privacy preferences on the browser level and track all online behavior. In Verizon's case, the practice wasn't discovered for two years after implementation, and the carrier only integrated a working opt out mechanism only after another six months of public criticism. Verizon and AT&T of course denied that these headers could be abused by third parties. Shortly thereafter it was illustrated that it was relatively easy for these headers to be abused by third parties.

While the fracas over these "stealth" or "zombie" cookies has quieted down since, a new study suggests use of such stealth tracking is increasing around the world as carriers push to nab their share of the advertising pie. Consumer advocacy group Access has been running a website called AmiBeingTracked.com, which analyzes user traffic to determine whether or not carriers are fiddling with their packets to track online behavior. According to a new study from the group (pdf) examining around 200,000 such tests, about 15% of site visitors were being tracked by the carriers in this fashion all over the globe:


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Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years Later: Recovery Efforts Gauged Differently According to Race | Kasia Anderson | Truthdig

Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years Later: Recovery Efforts Gauged Differently According to Race | Kasia Anderson | Truthdig | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just as the immediate aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans residents in different ways—depending on race, class and other factors—the story of the city’s recovery a decade later varies, depending on who tells it.

Wednesday’s The New York Times coverage of the cataclysmic hurricane’s 10-year anniversary set the stage:


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Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette | Lee Rainie & Katharyn Zickuhr | Pew Research Center

Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette | Lee Rainie & Katharyn Zickuhr | Pew Research Center | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cellphones and smartphones have become a mainstay in the lives of many Americans, and this has introduced new challenges into how users and non-users alike approach basic social norms and etiquette. People are sorting through new rules of civility in an environment where once-private conversations can easily be overheard in public places and where social gatherings can be disrupted by participants focusing on digital screens instead of their in-person companions.

This Pew Research Center report explores newly released survey findings about Americans’ views about the appropriateness of cellphone use in public places and in social gatherings and the way those views sometimes conflict with their own behaviors.

The results are based on a nationally representative survey of 3,217 adults on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, 3,042 of whom are cellphone users.


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LPTV Coalition: Licensed Stations Must Have Priority | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

LPTV Coalition: Licensed Stations Must Have Priority | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition says it can get behind the FCC's TV station repack plan, including its proposal to reserve a vacant channel for unlicensed use, but not if unlicensed is given priority over licensed low powers and translators.

That is according to an ex parte filing on a meeting between the coalition and top incentive auction execs and bureau chiefs.

The FCC has proposed that "vacant" means a channel left over after it has found new homes for full-powers and class As in the post-incentive auction repacking of TV stations below channel 37, but not necessarily for the translators and other low powers that were not given signal protections in the incentive auction legislation.

That isn't going to cut it with the coalition.


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Boston Globe Columnist Pushes for Broadband Dereg; Fails to Disclose He's On Time Warner Cable's Board | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Boston Globe Columnist Pushes for Broadband Dereg; Fails to Disclose He's On Time Warner Cable's Board | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Boston Globe has asked an industry-funded columnist to stop writing about broadband issues because he failed to disclose his conflicts of interest.

John E. Sununu is a former Republican U.S. Senator from New Hampshire and the son of former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu. Since leaving office, he has earned a significant sum representing the interests of large telecom companies while assisting the Republican presidential primary campaign of Ohio Governor John Kasich. He has used his column in the influential newspaper to help both, without any disclosure to readers he has direct financial and personal conflicts of interest.

Media Matters criticized the paper after it allowed the former Republican senator to complain about the “unnecessary regulation of the internet” without disclosing he has been paid over $750,000 by corporate interests.


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How Georgia successfully overhauled IT Kenneth Corbin | NetworkWorld.com

How Georgia successfully overhauled IT Kenneth Corbin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Dean Johnson joined the state of Georgia's tech team in 2007, he was embarking on a turnaround mission.

The organization that hired Johnson, the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), had been chartered by a 2000 statute in an effort to streamline the state's IT operations, but inefficiencies, duplication and security risks were rampant.


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Why Comcast may be poised to win the Internet speed race | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Why Comcast may be poised to win the Internet speed race | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast said this week that it's planning to roll out a next-generation cable technology allowing it to compete at the same speeds as Google Fiber — 1 gigabit per second. That's very good news for Internet users in the short term, if it pans out.

Within three years, and possibly two, virtually all of Comcast's 22 million broadband subscribers could be gigabit-enabled, according to the company. The only catch? You'll have to swap out your cable modem for a new one that supports that extra speed (and probably pay a pretty penny for the service).

Still, if Comcast is successful, it would suddenly become one of the largest providers of gigabit Internet in the country. AT&T also provides gigabit Internet through its U-verse product, and as I just mentioned, so does Google Fiber. But Comcast could conceivably edge out these other providers; they offer gigabit services in only a handful of cities so far, with an uncertain timeline for expanding because of the need to build new fiber optic infrastructure. There's a race on to become a nationwide gigabit company, and with this move, Comcast could pull ahead.


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Robert Reich: Why the 'Gig' and 'Share' Economy Is the Last Thing You Want to Depend on to Pay the Bills | AlterNet.org

Robert Reich: Why the 'Gig' and 'Share' Economy Is the Last Thing You Want to Depend on to Pay the Bills | AlterNet.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As Labor Day looms, more Americans than ever don’t know how much they’ll be earning next week or even tomorrow.

This varied group includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes.

On demand and on call – in the “share” economy, the “gig” economy, or, more prosaically, the “irregular” economy – the result is the same: no predictable earnings or hours.

It’s the biggest change in the American workforce in over a century, and it’s happening at lightening speed. It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will have uncertain work; in a decade, most of us.


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Comcast Eases Mobile Payments | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Comcast Eases Mobile Payments | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast said millions of its subscribers already view and pay their bills online or using the MSO’s mobile app, but the MSO is now trying to remove more friction from the process via a new feature to its My Account app that lets customers pay their bills by using scanning credit card info with their smartphone cameras.


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Verizon to FCC: Fix Broken Retrans System | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Verizon to FCC: Fix Broken Retrans System | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Add telco video provider Verizon to those asking the FCC to fix the "broken" retrans system.

That came in the company's comments to the FCC on what should be in its next annual video competition report to Congress.

Sounding like a spokescompany for the American Television Alliance, of which it is a member, Verizon talked about rising prices and increasing blackouts and the need to
unbundle programming.


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U.S. agency warns electric utilities to bolster authentication | Grant Gross | ComputerWorld.com

U.S. agency warns electric utilities to bolster authentication | Grant Gross | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

U.S. electric utilities should pay close attention to their authentication systems and access controls to reduce data breaches, a government agency says in a new cybersecurity guide.

About 5 percent of all cybersecurity incidents that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's industrial control cyber team responded to in 2014 were tied to weak authentication, said the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Another four percent of industrial control incidents were related to abuses of access authority, the agency said.


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AirBnB hires former Clinton White House aide and the Beltway brain drain continues | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com

AirBnB hires former Clinton White House aide and the Beltway brain drain continues | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AirBnB hired Washington insider Chris Lehane to head global policy as the home-sharing app continues its steady march toward a global expansion marked by often difficult regulatory tussles.

Lehane, a former campaign aide to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore's press secretary, is the latest high-profile political operative to join the top ranks of Silicon Valley's most aggressive -- and often controversial -- companies. Ride-hailing app Uber hired former Obama advisor David Plouffe to head policy, and Amazon named former Obama press secretary Jay Carney to lead communications.

Facing growing concern over AirBnB's safety, taxation and labor policies, the company has urgent need for regulatory experts.


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Rochester, Minnesota, City Council Reviews Municipal Fiber Proposal | community broadband networks

Rochester, Minnesota, City Council Reviews Municipal Fiber Proposal | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year, Rochester City Council members chose to look further at the prospect of developing a municipal fiber network. On August 17th, the Committee of the Whole met to hear a proposal from Alcaltel-Lucent to deploy 500 miles of fiber for approximately $42 million.

According to the Post Bulletin, the city recently surveyed 1,200 Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) customers and found that more than 75 percent of them supported the idea of Internet access from RPU.

Rochester residents and businesses have long suffered with expensive, unreliable, slow connectivity from incumbent Charter Communications. City Council member Michael Wojcik introduced the idea of publicly owned infrastructure in 2010 but the idea never picked up steam. He revived the issue last year when constituents began calling his office with complaints about Charter.


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New Orleans Economy Is Booming With Businesses And Talent | Adriana Lopez | Forbes.com

To know New Orleans is to love her – her past, her present and her future. Her before Katrina, her underwater, her post Katrina and what she is still yet to become.


Katrina’s winds came and went quickly – in only a matter of hours. But, what followed took years to repair. Ten years later, as the city and the world reflect on commemorating the tragedy, New Orleans is not only repaired, but resurrected a stronger, better city. It was almost as if the floodwaters christened the city for her to become a better version of herself.


Today, all eyes are on New Orleans – hoping to see the best or expecting to find out the worst, wondering how far New Orleans has come or speculating on how little things have changed. Some headlines might claim otherwise, but there’s proof that New Orleans is quickly moving on an upward trajectory and planning on staying up there.


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Tor security concerns prompt largest dark market to suspend operations | Lucian Constantin | CSO Online

Tor security concerns prompt largest dark market to suspend operations | Lucian Constantin | CSO Online | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Agora, the Tor network's largest black marketplace, has been temporarily shut down because its administrators worry the website is vulnerable to recent methods of exposing Tor Hidden Services.

Hidden services are websites that can only be accessed from within the Tor network, which is specifically designed to hide the IP address of both servers and users. The built-in anonymity safeguards have made Tor Hidden Services the preferred method for running online marketplaces that allow buying and selling illegal goods like drugs, guns, stolen credit card details and more.


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How Your Local Police Department Could Be Spying on You | Terrell Starr | AlterNet.org

How Your Local Police Department Could Be Spying on You | Terrell Starr | AlterNet.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Imagine that your local police department uses a high-tech monitoring device to track your cell phone activity and find your exact location. The cops arrest you, and before long, you're standing before a judge fighting a robbery charge or some other crime.

The cops don’t tell the courts that they used a Stingray, a surveillance device that poses as a cell phone tower and gathers your phone’s location and identifying data, to make the arrest. Neither the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney or defendant knows that the cops used the Stingray because no warrant was issued to surveil your phone in the first place. Even if the cops wanted to disclose that they used Stingrays, they can’t because they signed confidentiality agreements with the FBI barring them from saying a word.

Basically, the boys and girls in blue have found a way to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and any due process to place people in bracelets. It’s a practice that is a lot more common than you think.


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IN: A statewide plan to expand broadband access | Robert Yadon & Barry Umansky | Pal-Item.com

IN: A statewide plan to expand broadband access | Robert Yadon & Barry Umansky | Pal-Item.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Successful deployment of statewide broadband service is within reach for Indiana. However, the state must take a proactive, leadership stance to provide the necessary incentives to bring public and private resources together to reach this goal. Without a comprehensive state broadband strategic plan, each region would be left to the costly and time-consuming task of charting its own course independently.

Within the framework of federal law, and building upon the legislative achievements already made in the state, Indiana can take steps, outlined below, to establish a more meaningful, multifaceted and effective statewide policy to stimulate consumer demand for broadband and to provide a variety of incentives for consumers, businesses and Internet service providers to enjoy, provide and expand high-speed broadband across the state. To that end, here are suggestions for legislative and regulatory action:


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VAB: Cord-Cutters Seek Savings, Not Better Content | Jon Lafayette | Broadcasting & Cable

VAB: Cord-Cutters Seek Savings, Not Better Content | Jon Lafayette | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cord-cutters don’t have much spending money and they like watching TV shows, according to a new white paper from the Video Advertising Bureau that tries to minimize the threat posed by streaming video.

The VAB—a trade organization representing the cable industry and the broadcast networks—calls its paper “Disconnected Reality: Untangling the Great Cord Cutting and Streaming Misperception.” It seeks to provide an answer to the question of what impact cord cutting has on the TV/video ecosystem, and what that means for marketers.


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"Digital New England" Conference Set for September 27th, 28th in Portland | community broadband networks

"Digital New England" Conference Set for September 27th, 28th in Portland | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Over the past year, New England has been a hotspot for broadband initiatives, legislation, and experimentation. The trend will continue into September when Next Century Cities and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) host Digital New England: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders on September 27th and 28th in Portland, Maine.

From a description of the event:


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New York City and Verizon Battle Over FiOS Service | Patrick McGeehan | NYTimes.com

New York City and Verizon Battle Over FiOS Service | Patrick McGeehan | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When New York City was preparing to let Verizon offer its high-speed FiOS Internet service in 2008, a city councilwoman, Gale A. Brewer, warned that “New Yorkers need to know whether they are going to wait three years or six years.”

For many frustrated residents, like Stephanie Brooks, it has already been seven years and there is still no FiOS in sight. Ms. Brooks, who owns a brownstone in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, says she doubts that she and her neighbors will ever have the kind of speedy Internet options available in other parts of the city.

“Why aren’t we getting the opportunity to get service and have a choice?” said Ms. Brooks, who pointed to more affluent neighborhoods that Verizon wired years ago. “They built around us.”

Ms. Brooks’s complaint goes to the core of an increasingly bitter dispute between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Verizon, one of the nation’s biggest and most profitable telecommunications companies, that may end up in a courtroom.


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Comcast Business Adds Fiber to Diet in Chico | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Comcast Business Adds Fiber to Diet in Chico | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast Business said it has moved ahead on a “major expansion” of its fiber network to the Meyers Business Park in Chico, Calif., that will be marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony later today.

Comcast said it installed more than 3.5 miles of fiber, both underground and aerial, from its existing lines to the business park and its 166 businesses. The high-performance fiber network will provide the businesses with Internet services up to 10 Gbps.The expansion comes as a result of a more than $350,000 investment from Comcast, the MSO said.


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THE NET NEUTRALITY REPORT: Where we are now, what happens next, and why mobile is central to the debate | Jessica Smith | Biz Insider

THE NET NEUTRALITY REPORT: Where we are now, what happens next, and why mobile is central to the debate | Jessica Smith | Biz Insider | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Americans are increasingly ditching their desktops and reaching for their mobile devices to access the internet instead.

For this reason, mobile broadband – or internet access from any mobile device – was included in the FCC's recently adopted net neutrality proposal, making it subject to many of the same constraints and regulations as the wired internet.

This has added another layer to the hot-button debate on net neutrality – the concept that all data transmitted over the internet, from all sources, ranging from established digital content companies like Netflix to budding online startups to indie blogs, should be treated equally.

In a new report, BI Intelligence examines how new provisions enacted by the FCC are applied to the mobile market, the impact that the application of net neutrality has on stakeholders like ISPs, consumers, and digital media companies, and what is likely to happen with the FCC's net neutrality rules in the months and years to come.


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NAB Tells FCC It Needs 'Bad Actor' Retrans Factor | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Tells FCC It Needs 'Bad Actor' Retrans Factor | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The National Association of Broadcasters has proposed a new definition of bad actor, and it has nothing to do with the cast of Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space.

In a phone call with a staffer for FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, NAB executive VP and general counsel Rick Kaplan suggested that MVPDs are manufacturing retrans impasses as a way to pressure the FCC to "intervene and tinker" with the system.


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