Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
80.4K views | +63 today
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

EPIC Sues CIA For Release Of Documents Concerning Domestic Spying It Swears It's Not Doing | Techdirt

EPIC Sues CIA For Release Of Documents Concerning Domestic Spying It Swears It's Not Doing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've written several times before about domestic spying being performed by the government agencies, most of which is performed under the protective guise of "national security" as part of the "War on Terror." The end result tends to be diminished rights rather than something more positive, like "terrorists caught."

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has been looking into the CIA's involvement in domestic surveillance, something the CIA is definitely not supposed to be doing.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


Three different plans are available:


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

The following projects are receiving New York State Broadband Grants:


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

Pay Different Prices To Access Different Sites: Virgin Mobile Leaps Through Net Neutrality Exemption With Gusto | Techdirt.com

Pay Different Prices To Access Different Sites: Virgin Mobile Leaps Through Net Neutrality Exemption With Gusto | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've talked about the mocked upversions of what a non-neutral internet service might look like -- whereby the service provider offers different "packages" to include different websites. There have been a few attempts to show what these graphics looks like.


These graphics were seen as warning signs for what internet access providers desired. But we keep hearing from those who advocate for the big broadband guys that no access provider would ever really want to do that. Well, in the midst of all this fighting over what the FCC should do about net neutrality, Sprint's Virgin Mobile subsidiary has decided to dive into the pool with a bunch of plans that look suspiciously like these graphics


"For about $12, Sprint will soon let subscribers buy a wireless plan that only connects to Facebook.

For that same price, they could choose instead to connect only with Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest—or for $10 more, enjoy unlimited use of all four. Another $5 gets them unlimited streaming of a music app of their choice."


This is all being powered by a startup called ItsOn, which looks designed specifically to break net neutrality to help access providers shake people down. It specifically filters only "approved" (i.e., paid for) services.

So far, it appears that Virgin Mobile and Sprint have wisely avoided marketing graphics like those above, but the plan sounds nearly identical. As with T-Mobile's Music Freedom plan and the famed zero-rated plans that have allowed people in various countries to access Facebook and other apps without incurring data charges, these are all positioned as being pro-consumer. That's done on purpose, but it's bogus.


Click headline to read more and view the graphics--

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

Reclassifying Broadband Under Title II Becoming Politically Feasible | Techdirt.com

Reclassifying Broadband Under Title II Becoming Politically Feasible | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the most annoying things about the net neutrality fight -- as we've been noting for over a decade -- is how silly the net neutrality debate was once it became "partisan." An issue that, previously, had been a general one about the future of the internet turned into a ridiculous political circus with Republicans (misleadingly) claiming it was about "regulating the internet."


You'd think that the "pro-business party," as they like to call themselves, would support a policy of an open and free internet that enables so many entrepreneurs and businesses to exist. But, of course, "pro-business" is often code for "pro-big-legacy business." Either way, the unfortunate news is this has become a stupidly partisan issue, and when that happens, reasoned debate often goes out the window.


Given that, one the prevailing narratives in DC circles is that this idea of reclassification of broadband under Title II (basically common carrier status) was "politically impossible," because it would entail a huge partisan fight in Congress, and apparently no one wants to do that.

This argument, too, is kind of stupid and typical of the Jay Rosen-coined concept of the "Church of the Savvy," in which the narrative of the politics becomes much more important than the policy itself. In this case, it's pretty clear that the "fight" is happening no matter what rules the FCC comes out with. The politicians opposed to net neutrality have made it clear that they'll oppose any rules that the FCC adopts, including its currently proposed, ridiculously weak, rules under Section 706, which leave the door wide open to destroying net neutrality and creating fast lanes.

Given that, it seems like the FCC has a choice on its hands:


Click headline to read more--

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

FCC to Verizon: Your throttling had better be about managing congestion, not cash | GigaOM Tech News

FCC to Verizon: Your throttling had better be about managing congestion, not cash | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, isn’t impressed with Verizon’s recently announced plan to throttle the speeds on its unlimited plans. In a letter to CEO Dan Mead, he asked Verizon to respond to three questions about its plans. Verizon’s stated reasons for the new policy is to help it manage its LTE network congestion, but Wheeler’s query indicates he’s pretty skeptical of Verizon’s justification.


My colleague Kevin Fitchard described the plan this way:


"On October 1, Verizon will start throttling back LTE speeds on its heaviest unlimited-plan subscribers when they move into congested cells on its networks. What that means is that when the network gets crowded, Verizon will prioritize 4G customers who buy their data by the gigabyte over unlimited plan customers who fall into the top fifth percentile of monthly data usage."


The letter from Chairman Wheeler is actually pretty scathing, especially for an agency that recently lost a major court case against Verizon over network neutrality. Wheeler writes:


Click headline to read more--

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

CA Representative Waxman Takes Issue With Republican Knock on FCC | Broadcasting & Cable

CA Representative Waxman Takes Issue With Republican Knock on FCC | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In his opening statement for a markup on several bills, House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Henry Waxman (pictured) (D-Calif.) took issue with a statement from the committee's leadership criticizing FCC process.


Last week, Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), issued a press release saying "the process is clearly broken and something smells rotten on the [FCC's] Eighth Floor [where the FCC commissioners reside].


Waxman cited that press release and its complaints about the FCC using an "irregular process." He said he disagreed with the assessment, then turned the criticism on the committee.


Waxman complained that the committee was marking up bills, including the LABEL Act and an anti-spoofing bill, without subcommittee markups, which is the regular order. Waxman said bad process can produce bad results, but supported those bills as "common sense" legislation, even if he did not support the process.


"While they were not voted on in subcommittee," he said, " I support their passage."

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

Comcast Expands School-Focused IPTV Trial | Multichannel.com

Comcast Expands School-Focused IPTV Trial | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bridgewater College, a school founded in 1880, is about to get access to something new – an emerging multiscreen video service from Comcast that is delivered entirely over IP.

 

Bridgewater College, a Virginia school with about 1,800 students that’s located about two hours from Washington, D.C., has signed on for Xfinity On Campus, a new IP-delivered subscription video service that supports live TV streaming and on-demand content to select iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch models (the AirPlay function is disabled), and browsers running on PCs and Macs. Comcast is working on an Xfinity On Campus app for Android-powered devices.

 

Bridgewater College joins a small batch of east coast colleges that are testing or preparing to test the Xfinity On Campus, which is still technically in the trial stage. Other schools that are on board include Lasell College, the University of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Drexel University, and Emerson College.


Click headline to read more--

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

5 Things We Learned From The GAO Report On Broadband Caps | TheConsumerist.com

5 Things We Learned From The GAO Report On Broadband Caps | TheConsumerist.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Broadband data caps might not be affecting everyone just yet, but that could easily changeas the current wave of ISP merger mania continues. A preliminary government report taking a look at data caps, both wired and wireless, was released this week. It finds that ISPs and subscribers are far from being on the same page when it comes to how much data consumers move.


The Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the behest of Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, looked at broadband data caps by examining ISPs policies, conducting focus groups with the public, and interviewing tech experts and public interest advocacy groups.


The report (PDF) is still preliminary; the final version won’t be released until November. Even so, though, the report is a good gauge of the pitfalls and potential benefits of usage-based pricing plans. The short version? Consumers don’t feel they’re getting all of the info they need, and are worried about their home and mobile broadband providers soaking them for extra cash.


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

IAC Writes Down Aereo Investment | Multichannel.com

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


A Resolution Supporting Telecommunications Infrastructure For Local Governments


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


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


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


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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

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


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


He also told reporters:


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


Click headline to read more--

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

Title II Rules Poor Choice, ISPs Say | USTelecom.org

Title II Rules Poor Choice, ISPs Say | USTelecom.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Sixteen small and medium-sized USTelecom members are among 99 small and medium-sized Telco Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  that sent a letter July 30 to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker expressing concern about applying Title II regulation to broadband services.
 
“The time, regulatory uncertainty and costs associated with a Title II regime would deter investment in new broadband services and discourage our banks from providing capital for deployment of new infrastructure and improvements,” the letter said.  “Given the widely acknowledged challenges this country faces in persuading all Americans to adopt broadband, any policy that results in higher costs for providers and new fees for consumers should be a non-starter.”
 
The companies said they are committed to maintaining an open Internet and “to having an open dialogue with the FCC about how best to create a regulatory framework that maintains openness without sacrificing investment, innovation, and opportunity for all Americans,” the letter said.
 
USTelecom members signing the letter include:

Click headline to read the list--
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Free, France’s T-Mobile, Wants To Acquire T-Mobile For $15 Billion | TechCrunch.com

Free, France’s T-Mobile, Wants To Acquire T-Mobile For $15 Billion | TechCrunch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

France’s disruptive telecom company Free just announced that it wanted to acquire T-Mobile US. The WSJ first broke the story. Free then confirmed the bid in a press release.


Free (also known as Iliad) offers $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent of the American company at $33 per share. Overall, Free says that it values T-Mobile at a 42 percent premium compared to T-Mobile’s share price of $25.4 before rumors of a Sprint acquisition started making the rounds. Shares opened at $31.02 before rumors of Free’s bid surfaced.


This deal makes a lot of sense as T-Mobile is very reminiscent of Free’s strategy. In fact, T-Mobile’s uncarrier campaign could be inspired by its French counterpart.


Now, T-Mobile investors can expect a bidding war between Sprint and Free. Many were concerned that a Sprint acquistion would create antitrust issues. The Department of Justice already blocked AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile, so it could happen again.


As Free doesn’t operate in the U.S., it doesn’t have a problem on this front. But Free is an even smaller company than T-Mobile.


Click headline to read more--

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

US House Energy & Commerce Committee Passes E-LABEL Act | Broadcasting & Cable

US House Energy & Commerce Committee Passes E-LABEL Act | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has approved the E-LABEL Act (the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act of 2014), which essentially gives the FCC nine months to do what it has already done, which is to allow the manufacturers of electronic devices with integrated screens to opt for on-screen and online labels to provide FCC-required information—like certification and testing—rather than having to affix or etch a physical label.


E-LABEL bills were introduced in the House and Senate at around the same time the FCC announced it was changing its guidelines to allow for onscreen and online labeling of devices with integrated screens, essentially mooting the bills, though the legislation means the FCC could not take the unlikely step of changing its mind and reverting to a physical label mandate.


On July 11, the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology issued new labeling guidance saying it was authorized to allow alternative means of labeling and it was doing so by advising that all devices with an integral screen can now display that label digitally on that screen, and up to three steps deep into the device menu. The user manual must include information on accessing that FCC info, or it can be on the equipment's website.


Click headline to read more--

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

IIA Study: New Network Compact Is Consumer-Driven | Multichannel.com

IIA Study: New Network Compact Is Consumer-Driven | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) is suggesting that regulators take a fresh look at the so-called network compact and recognize that it should be competition and consumer-driven, with regulation only a targeted means of helping maintain that compact.

 

"The New Network Compact: Consumers Are in Charge," a new study from Anna-Maria Kovacs, visiting senior policy scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy, says that regulators, consumer advocates and network providers all agree that there are core values that should apply to communications "ecosystems"--public safety, universal access, consumer protection, and competition.

 

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has invoked that compact in explaining the need regulatory intervention when those values appear to be threatened — from media ownership regs to network neutrality-- but the Kovacs analysis suggests that the competition portion of that compact has now empowered consumers to set their own priorities, which may not match those of regulators.

 

She suggests that the old compact has been enforced in a top-down fashion from "inescapable regulators" to "monopoly providers" to "passive consumers" at the bottom.

 

Now, Kovacs argues, "empowered consumers" are at the top but part of a two-way flow chart including "competitive  providers" and "strategic regulators."


Click headline to read more--

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

Cablevision Touts WiFi Milestone | Multichannel.com

Cablevision Touts WiFi Milestone | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cablevision Systems said its network of WiFi hotspots emitting an “Optimum WiFi” SSID has exceeded the 1 million mark thanks in part to recent deployments at The Coney Island and Long Beach boardwalks and 24 New Jersey Transit rail stations.

 

Cablevision has been deploying quasi-public hotspots with its own SSID in a variety of public and business locations that are also open to other cable operator members of the “Cable WiFi” roaming consortium (Comcast, Cox Communications,  Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are the other members), as well as in home-side gateways. The breakdown of Cablevision’s WiFi deployment between those location types was not immediately known.

 

In May, Cablevision CEO James Dolan said on the MSO’s first quarter call that Cablevision was rolling out “smart” WiFi routers that would put the company on track to expand its Optimum WiFi footprint to 1 million access points by year-end. “WiFi  is a differentiator for the business,” Dolan said, noting that “you’re going to see some of these products are going to be rather disruptive, most likely to some of the current marketplaces, particularly the wireless data market.”


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.