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NC: SEATOA Conference Set for March 21st-22nd | community broadband networks

NC: SEATOA Conference Set for March 21st-22nd | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This March 21-22, the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SEATOA) will be hosting the "Networking Communities for the New South" conference. The conference will be held at the Omni Charlotte Hotel.

 

We are excited to see Susan Crawford as the keynote speaker. From the conference page:

 

"She will provide a broadband policy reality check, and answer – among other questions –whether current so-called “level playing field”, “free-market” policies are leaving us with a second class network that only the rich can afford."

 

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Video codec pain points remain for 4K UltraHD | Michelle Clancy | RapidTVNews

Video codec pain points remain for 4K UltraHD | Michelle Clancy | RapidTVNews | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Even though some pain points remain unaddressed, standards committees and industry consortiums are working through a number of video standards to support 4K/UltraHD video as well as next-generation mobile video based on HEVC and DASH packaging.

According to ABI Research, the majority of vendors are going in predictable directions; meanwhile, a few trailblazers are working on disruptive innovations.

Areas such as the inability of TCP delivery to keep up with high throughput demands, the lack of perceptual tools in modern codecs, as well as the inefficiency of storage within CDNs all pose significant additional challenges within the ecosystem.

ABI said that a number of innovative companies, from start-ups to more mature businesses, are addressing these issues: bitmovin, beamr, Akamai, Aspera (part of IBM), Vantrix and Conviva.


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Rupert Murdoch urges media firms to unite to fight Amazon and Netflix | Donomic Rushe | The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch urges media firms to unite to fight Amazon and Netflix | Donomic Rushe | The Guardian | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The media industry needs its own competitor to online streaming giants Amazon and Netflix, Rupert Murdoch told a technology conference on Wednesday.

“As an industry, we need a competitor - a serious competitor - to Netflix and Amazon,” Murdoch told the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California.

21st Century Fox, which he chairs, is one of the partners in Hulu, a Netflix rival to Netflix, alongside Disney and NBCUniversal. The relationship has been a fraught one. Jason Kilar, Hulu’s CEO, left abruptly last year. His new video startup, Vessel, is backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

But Murdoch said the companies were now working together. “I think we’re all on the same page,” Murdoch said.

His comments come after Time Warner announced it would launch an internet-only version of HBO, the popular cable channel that is home to Game of Thrones, Girls and True Detective. The move has shaken up the cable industry, where HBO is one of the primary drivers of new subscriptions.

Murdoch said it would be difficult for HBO to launch a standalone service while negotiating with cable companies. “They don’t want to get into conflict with them, so they’re really only aiming at the moment at the 10 million people who don’t get cable,” he said.


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ESPN and a la Carte Programming | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs

ESPN and a la Carte Programming | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this month ESPN announced that it would be providing some professional basketball and other programming available by a subscription basis on the web.


This got the sports world buzzing. I follow several sports bulletin boards and sports fans have been looking for a glimmer of hope that sports programming will be sold a la carte.


A large percentage of football fans (at least the vocal ones on line) say that they hate paying for the big programming packages to just get sports. They all say they would gladly pay for ESPN and a few other networks (depending upon the part of the country they live in).

Unless these guys all live in bachelor pads that only watch football and basketball channels they probably are ignoring the fact that their families probably prefer to watch something other than sports. But let’s just suppose that a genie came along and gave these guys their wish. What might an a la carte sports programming world look like?


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Verizon Wireless to pay back customers allegedly billed for free calls | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

Verizon Wireless to pay back customers allegedly billed for free calls | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Wireless has agreed to a $64.2 million settlement in a class action lawsuit that alleged it billed phone customers for calls that were supposed to be free.

The proposed settlement (PDF) was filed last week in US District Court in New Jersey and first reported by Law360.

"The motion asks US District Judge Jose L. Linares to sign off on the agreement, which would include a $36.7 million cash payment from Verizon in addition to $27.5 million in 'calling units' that will be accessible via personal identification number," Law360 wrote. The lawyers who represented consumers will get $19.26 million from the total settlement amount.

Damages to consumers had been estimated at $156 million.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006, with plaintiffs alleging that "(a) Verizon Wireless had an undisclosed billing policy and practice under which Verizon Wireless billed subscribers on its Family SharePlans for usage by the Plans' primary and secondary phone lines in a manner different from the manner in which Verizon Wireless was contractually required to bill, in violation of state and federal law; and (b) Verizon Wireless charged certain customers for In-Network talk time even though those customers' calling plans provided for free In-Network calling, in violation of state and federal law," according to the settlement.

Verizon did not acknowledge any wrongdoing. Customers who were allegedly overcharged between May 2002 and May 2006 will be eligible to get refunds or credits if the settlement is approved.

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AT&T brings U-verse service to Adams County, Mississippi | Sean Buckley | FierceTelecom.com

AT&T brings U-verse service to Adams County, Mississippi | Sean Buckley | FierceTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T may have focused a lot of its broadband attention on driving 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services into more communities, but its move to bring its fiber-to-the-node (FTTN)-based U-verse service to Adams County, Mississippi, shows it is not slowing down its traditional U-verse strategy.

In this latest deployment, AT&T will make the U-verse service available to Natchez, as well as unincorporated areas of Adams County.

"The expansion of U-verse supports economic growth and increases consumer choice in Adams County," said David Carter, supervisor, District Two, Adams County.

This latest rollout is part of the telco's Project Velocity IP (VIP) investment plan to expand and enhance its IP wireless and wireline networks. As part of that initiative, AT&T U-verse will continue rolling out to additional regional locations.

Under the Project VIP program, AT&T expects to cover 57 million customer locations in its wireline service area with the expanded and enhanced wireline IP network.

U-verse continues to be a shining star in AT&T's wireline portfolio.


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MD: Baltimore Residents Take the Initiative With CrowdFiber Campaign | community broadband networks

MD: Baltimore Residents Take the Initiative With CrowdFiber Campaign | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A community group from Baltimore, MD is taking their fiber campaign directly to the people. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that over 900 people have pledged more than $17,000 to the Baltimore Broadband Coalition. It seems the good people of Baltimore are tired of the city's on-again off-again romance with the idea of a municipal network.

According to the group's CrowdFiber site, the grassroots organization began in a church basement in the Roland Park neighborhood, quickly expanding to other neighborhoods. There is no specific plan in place yet; the group hopes to use the campaign to first raise awareness of the problem. From the article:

"This is an advocacy effort to help to change what has been the city's plan, or lack of plan, on broadband," said Philip Spevak, one of the campaign's organizers. "Those numbers will help to motivate the city."

Members of the group are also visiting community meetings to help spread the word.

In a Sun commentary published shortly after the group organized, Spevak wrote:


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Drupal: If you weren't quick to patch, assume your site was hacked | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

Drupal: If you weren't quick to patch, assume your site was hacked | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Users of Drupal, one of the most popular content management systems, should consider their sites compromised if they didn’t immediately apply a security patch released on Oct. 15.

The unusually alarming statement was part of a “public service announcement” issued by the Drupal project’s security team Wednesday.

“Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of SA-CORE-2014-005 - Drupal core - SQL injection,” the Drupal security team said. “You should proceed under the assumption that every Drupal 7 website was compromised unless updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC, that is 7 hours after the announcement.”

The SA-CORE-2014-005 advisory, published Oct. 15, warned used about a highly critical SQL injection vulnerability that affects Drupal versions older than 7.32. Exploiting the vulnerability does not require authentication and can lead to a complete website compromise.

The reason why Drupal’s security team came out with a stronger warning and additional guidance Wednesday was because of the speed with which attackers began targeting this vulnerability and because a potential compromise can be very hard to detect.

“Attackers may have copied all data out of your site and could use it maliciously,” the Drupal security team said. “There may be no trace of the attack.”


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Verizon: 'Title II Is Not The Answer... Except When It Gives Us Massive Subsidies, Then It's Totally The Answer' | Techdirt

Verizon: 'Title II Is Not The Answer... Except When It Gives Us Massive Subsidies, Then It's Totally The Answer' | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Oh, Verizon. When all the big broadband providers filed their original comments with the FCC concerning its net neutrality/open internet proposal, Verizon's comments were a little different than the others. Comcast and AT&T were pretty effusive in supporting FCC boss Tom Wheeler's proposal to rely on Section 706 rather than Title II.


Verizon, however, seemed to push back against any new rules, even under 706. Verizon noted that it wanted to do whatever the hell it wanted, even if it meant "differentiated services" (i.e., paid prioritization, fast lanes, slow lanes, etc.):

...consumer welfare is best protected if the Commission allows broadband Internet access service providers to manage their networks and—if they so choose—offer differentiated services or implement sophisticated pricing strategies as long as those practices do not harm competition.

In assessing whether a practice harms competition, it is essential not to confuse harm to competitors with harm to competition. The Commission has stated “We believe that consumers of broadband access service should have the ability to exercise meaningful choices.” Those choices should include services offered by edge providers that have chosen to enter arrangements for differential treatment in order to offer more desirable services to their customers. Such options will benefit consumers, even as they reduce rival edge providers’ economic welfare by increasing the competitive pressure they face.

Of course, in the past few months, the pressure on the FCC to actually use Title II has increased, and the other big broadband players have made it quite clear that they're furious with Verizon for fighting back against the last set of totally meaningless rules, since the backlash may lead to much stricter rules under Title II.

It now appears that Verizon is belatedly making a big push to attack the idea of Title II and say, "Hey, those original plans from Wheeler to use 706 sound great." That seems to be the clear message from Verizon's new letter to Senator Pat Leahy and corresponding blog post entitled "Title II Is Not The Answer".

In the letter, Verizon refers to the Title II option as "unprecedented utility-style regulation" and praises Section 706 as being effective.

Unprecedented, huh? Really?

If that's the case, why did Verizon beg regulators to have its FiOS internet broadband service classified under Title II for the sake of government subsidies? Here's Verizon using Title II in New Jersey:


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Attendees at Connect Michigan Conference Want Rural High-Speed Broadband | Austin Allen | BroadbandBreakfast.com

Small business owners, teachers, librarians and representatives broadband industry official gathered at the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference in the city of Lansing on Wednesday to discuss affordable and innovative ways to enhance Michiganians’ internet access. The conference was hosted by Connect Michigan, a Michigan subsidiary of the non-profit national group Connected Nation .

The conference’s three main panels covered the competitive edge of technology for small businesses, rural broadband infrastructure development and ultra-high-speed broadband network development.

One topic that kept returning to the forefront during the question and answer session were slow broadband speeds. Some cited 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps) in rural areas or the lack of internet connectivity altogether.

Representatives from ISPs and local nonprofits said that higher download speeds of 10-30 Mbps are either available or coming soon to the rural areas of Michigan. But several attendees from various backgrounds expressed their concern with those levels of connectivity, giving the pace of innovation in the technology industry. They said that 30 Mbps barely meets demand, and doesn’t future-proof their communities. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has also said that 25 Mbps is very limited connectivity for 21st century communications. But others in rural areas who currently get internet over dial-up connection, or slow 1.5 Mbps connections, said they would be happy with 5-10 Mbps.

Another problem Connect Michigan faces in fulfilling its mission arises from rural communities themselves. Many local municipalities have broadband-hostile ordinances: many communities don’t want large ugly cell tower in their quaint towns.


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Free Broadband for Public Housing in New York Sought as Condition in Comcast Deal | Emily Steel | NYTimes.com

Free Broadband for Public Housing in New York Sought as Condition in Comcast Deal | Emily Steel | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A group of New York politicians is lobbying Comcast to provide free broadband to all city public housing residents and expand other low-cost Internet offerings as a condition for the cable operator’s proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.

Led by New York City’s public advocate, Letitia James, and City Councilman Ben Kallos, the group of state and local politicians is calling on Comcast to help bridge the so-called digital divide between people who have access to broadband connections and those who do not. About a third of New York City families do not have broadband, according to the Knight Foundation.

“With every second we wait, the digital divide is widening,” Mr. Kallos said. “What we have with the Internet is literally a portal to the world’s knowledge. One third of our city can’t get on the Internet and can’t learn whatever, whenever they want.”

The group also is asking that Comcast provide free broadband access at senior, youth and community centers as well as in homeless and domestic violence shelters. Also on the list of conditions is free Wi-Fi service in all city public parks and commitments to provide faster speeds. It also is seeking agreements from Comcast to operate under net neutrality, the idea that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows from content providers to consumers and back.

“We need our city to remain competitive in the 21st century,” said Ms. James, who noted that during her term on the City Council she had heard a significant number of complaints from constituents about cable and Internet service.

The politicians outlined the conditions in a letter they planned to send on Wednesday to the New York Public Service Commission, one of the state and local authorities across the nation reviewing the deal. The commission, which is considering whether the deal is in the public interest, has the power to reject the transaction in the state and is scheduled to vote on the matter next month. The commission has said that it is considering several issues including the affordability of broadband, service quality and infrastructure investment.


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Cricket Revealed As Mobile ISP That Was Blocking Encrypted Emails | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Cricket Revealed As Mobile ISP That Was Blocking Encrypted Emails | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A few weeks ago, we wrote about how VPN company Golden Frog had quietly revealed in an FCC filing that an unnamed mobile broadband provider had been (even more) quietly blocking people from sending encrypted emails -- basically blocking users from making use of STARTTLS encryption.


The Washington Post has now revealed that the mobile operator in question was Cricket -- a subsidiary of AT&T, and that it stopped blocking such encryption a few days after our post was published.


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Google Wallet Exec Rebooting the Payment Terminal | Rachel Metz | MIT Technology Review

Google Wallet Exec Rebooting the Payment Terminal | Rachel Metz | MIT Technology Review | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last year, Osama Bedier—then the head of Google Wallet—decided he was on the wrong side of the payments business.

Bedier’s new company, Poynt, has a new kind of credit-card terminal. The sleek-looking, $299 touch-screen gadget accepts cards with embedded chips—which will soon be widespread—as well as digital payments, and can run apps for things like customer loyalty programs and sales analytics. Poynt unveiled the device on Wednesday and plans to ship it to merchants in early 2015.

Google’s digital payment app, Google Wallet, offers consumers a number of payment-related features, including a quick way to pay at stores by tapping a phone that contains a near-field communication (NFC) chip. Although adoption of Google Wallet has been slow, NFC technology is gaining in popularity, and that is likely to accelerate with the introduction of a similar system from Apple, called Apple Pay (see “With Apple Pay, Forget Cash, Just Pull Out Your Phone”).

Meanwhile, the U.S.’s major credit-card companies are mandating a shift to more secure credit cards that eschew the familiar magnetic strip for a chip that uses a unique string of numbers for each transaction (a standard known as EMV, which stands for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa” for the card companies that first backed the technology).

This change, which has already occurred in other parts of the world and aims to staunch the kinds of security breaches that have occurred at major retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus, and Home Depot, means that U.S. merchants must upgrade millions of credit-card terminals to accept the new cards by October 2015 or face liability for any fraudulent transactions.

Bedier, a former PayPal executive who came to Google in 2011, saw an opportunity to switch his focus from the gadgets we can use to make payments to the ones used to handle the transactions: credit-card terminals and cash registers.


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Pew: Many 'Net Experts Predict Major Cyber Attack | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Pew: Many 'Net Experts Predict Major Cyber Attack | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cyber attacks on communications networks will likely increase in the next 10 years, and a majority of experts polled (61%) by Pew Research Center say those will include a major attack somewhere in the world by 2025 that causes tens of billions of dollars in damage and "widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself and its people?" The other 39% of respodents believe there would be no such attack, with mitigation efforts keeping pace with the bad guys.

That is according to the Pew Research Center's latest "Digital Life in 2025" report, released Wednesday (Oct. 29). It is the latest offering in its ongoing project saluting the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web.

The "canvas" -- it is not a randomized survey -- is based on 1,642 respondents, billed as "experts and Internet builders," all of whom were asked for predictions about the future of cybersecurity threats.

“Cyber attacks are already pervasive, and it is trivial even for children to acquire the means to inflict serious damage," said software engineer Robert McGrath who helped develop the World Wide Web. "The United States has already attacked other countries, and other deliberate attacks are suspected. Losses are already in the tens of billions...It is only a matter of time before there is a serious incident, i.e., one that journalists recognize as an event.”


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Awash with streaming video? Survey says you're not alone | Joan Solsman | CNET.com

Awash with streaming video? Survey says you're not alone | Joan Solsman | CNET.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Streaming video isn't everything to everyone, but it's quickly becoming normal for almost everybody, according to a new survey.

In the second year of a survey about streaming-video behavior in the US, 83 percent of respondents say they stream TV and movies at home, up from 74 percent last year. Nearly all "millennials" -- people aged between 18 and 34 -- are streaming at home: 90 percent.

Frequency of streaming is going up, too. The survey found 61 percent of people stream at home weekly, up from 44 percent in 2013. Among young people, the jump was greater: 72 percent of people under 35 years old report streaming weekly, 20 points higher than last year.

Crackle and PlayStation, both part of Sony, commissioned the survey of 1,200 people, which was conducted by research and consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates in July and released Wednesday. Crackle is a video-streaming site similar to Hulu, one that has TV, movies and original shows like "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" for free with ads, and the PlayStation range of gaming consoles are among the most common devices used to stream video from the Internet to a TV.


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Unpacking the F.C.C.'s Online Video Proposal | Edward Wyatt | NYTimes.com

Unpacking the F.C.C.'s Online Video Proposal | Edward Wyatt | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission caused a storm of excitement on Tuesday with a blog post saying he was seeking to to expand the definition of cable operator to include online video distributors.

The chairman, Tom Wheeler, suggested in the post that his proposal would allow consumers to soon be able to buy only those cable channels they want – say, all those dealing with pets and animals but none of those sports channels. That sort of unbundling has long been a goal of some consumer groups.

They probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for that policy change to happen. While the move by the F.C.C. might be a step toward à la carte video programming, it is a baby step at best. For now, it is uncertain whether the F.C.C. will even formally vote on the proposal, let alone approve it.

And on Wednesday, it was also uncertain how far-reaching the proposal was. And since the details of the proposal won’t be available for at least several weeks, educated guesses ruled the day, almost all of it based on Mr. Wheeler’s blog post.

In his post, Mr. Wheeler said he would “ask the commission to start a rulemaking proceeding in which we would modernize our interpretation of the term ‘multichannel video programming distributor’ (M.V.P.D.) so that it is technology-neutral.”

He also wrote: “The result of this technical adjustment will be to give M.V.P.D.s that use the Internet (or any other method of transmission) the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the same ability to negotiate to carry broadcast TV stations that Congress gave to satellite systems in order to ensure competitive video markets.”

Unpacking the second part of that statement first:


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Telecom Industry Gets Serious About G.fast | Joan Engegretson | Telecompetitor.com

Telecom Industry Gets Serious About G.fast | Joan Engegretson | Telecompetitor.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At least two North American service providers are very interested in using G.fast technology to dramatically boost the bandwidth that can be delivered over existing copper pair phone wiring, according to a source who should have a good handle on this – Lincoln Lavoie, senior engineer for the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab oratory, which has been selected by the Broadband Forum to certify G.fast equipment.

The G.fast standard, expected to be finalized by the International Telecommunications Union by year-end, defines a broadband connection that relies on fiber – or possibly ultra-high-speed vectored 49-pair VDSL2 — installed close to, but not all the way to the customer premises, Lavoie said. The “magic number” that service providers are targeting for G.fast performance is 500 Mbps over distances of 100 meters or so, he noted. That distance roughly corresponds with where distribution points serving a dozen homes or so are typically located.

“The last bit of bringing fiber to the home is the costliest part,” commented Lavoie. He also noted that some homeowners interested in ordering FTTH service sometimes cancel their orders when they learn that installation would require digging up their lawn.

Eventually, G.fast is expected to support speeds up to 1 Gbps, Lavoie noted.


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Iowa: More fiber in Muscatine's online diet? | Sarah Tisinger | MuscatineJournal.com

Iowa: More fiber in Muscatine's online diet? | Sarah Tisinger | MuscatineJournal.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Muscatine's public utility may soon be speeding toward the next generation of data delivery — and it could be doing it on a highway about the size of a human hair.

That could be good news not only for its customers, but it could make Muscatine, Iowa a more attractive place for future businesses.

MPW submitted its 2015 budget proposal to the Board of Water, Electric, and Communications Trustees on Tuesday night, which included an $8.7 million project that would transition the traditional coaxial wiring to optic fibers.

Fiber optic cable uses bundles of extruded silica glass or plastic fibers, like a "tube" about as thick as a human hair, to deliver signals via light as opposed to copper wires in coaxial cables. Fiber optic cables are less susceptible to interference, can carry signals over greater distances with less loss, and can carry much more data in a single strand.

“I’m excited for it,” said Erika Cox, MPW Employee and Community Relations.

The plan is just a proposal at this point, but could be approved at next month’s board meeting. Cox said the project proposals were presented to MPW employees Wednesday morning.

“There’s lots of advantages. It would allow almost unlimited bandwidth, faster speeds and higher reliability. Even though it’s an Internet product, it’ll also improve the picture quality on our digital TV service,” Cox said.

Along with picture quality, the transition would allow MPW to add cable services that are not offered with coaxial wiring, due to the lack of bandwidth.

Optic fibers are already being used from the MPW office on Cedar Street to about 98 nodes throughout Muscatine neighborhoods, which then goes through the coaxial wiring into people’s homes and small businesses. The proposal is to replace the coaxial wiring and to have fiber optics into each home and small business, a transition that would span three years.

“It’ll be a fiber-based community system and really gives a competitive advantage for recruiting new businesses," Cox said. "Our intention would be to offer a gig of Internet service, which is 1,000 megabytes. Right now, the highest we offer is 50 megabytes per second. The only other communities that have that capability are the Google fiber communities or very large metropolitan communities where larger Internet companies can get an adequate return on their investment."


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M-Lab: Streaming Issues Were Conscious ISP Business Decision | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

Looking to better understand the recent traffic slowdowns experienced during interconnection feuds, M-Lab has released a new study (pdf) that analyzed transit and connection points between large last mile ISPs and transit operators such as Level3 and Cogent. While the report is clear not to affix specific blame for the sort of Netflix streaming issues seen by customers of Verizon and Comcast, they do clearly point out that the problems were the result of choices made by ISPs in their business relationships, and not congestion.


Netflix and Level3 have accused AT&T, Verizon and Comcast of intentionally leaving peering points un-upgraded to force content companies like Netflix to pay them for direct interconnection to bypass these intentionally congested links. These problems evaporated once the deals were signed and ISPs were paid.

In contrast, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have insisted that these are just run of the mill peering disputes, and have blamed the slowdowns on Netflix's choice of transit partners. ISPs often single out Cogent as the faulty party here given their history of feuds governing settlement-free peering arrangements.

The report however indicates that only customers on ISPs that were busy trying to get Netflix to pay direct interconnection fees experienced performance problems.

"In New York City, Access ISP Cablevision customers did not experience the same degradation symptoms as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon customers when connecting across the Cogent network," states M-Lab. "Similarly, in Dallas and Los Angeles during the relevant time period, customers of Access ISP Cox did not experience a significant pattern or degree of degraded download throughput when connecting across Cogent sites."

Again, the study is quick to point out that because interconnection and peering agreements are confidential and much of the data is obscured from the public, they can't comfortably single out specific ISPs, even if fault is generally implied. You'll recall Verizon threatened to sue Netflix for even suggesting the ISP's choices were to blame for streaming performance degradation.


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US: CenturyLink taps Alca-Lu for upgrade | TeleGeography.com

US telco CenturyLink has deployed Alcatel-Lucent’s 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) to meet the growing data and video demands of its nationwide customer base. The introduction of the new software means that CenturyLink now boasts an end-to-end managed IP/MPLS network, while the 7950 XRS is expected to provide the telco with increased speed and capacity.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, August this year saw CenturyLink introduce symmetrical broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps in 16 cities via fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.


The advanced transmission speeds were made available to residential and business customers in selected areas of the following locations: Denver (Colorado), Las Vegas (Nevada), Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minnesota), Omaha (Nebraska), Orlando (Florida), Portland (Oregon), Salt Lake City (Utah), Seattle (Washington) and Columbia and Jefferson City (both Missouri).


Meanwhile, business-only customers witnessed an upgrade in Albuquerque (New Mexico), Colorado Springs (Colorado), Phoenix (Arizona), Sioux Falls (South Dakota), Spokane (Washington) and Tucson (Arizona).

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CurrentC already hacked | Yoni Heisler | NetworkWorld.com

CurrentC already hacked | Yoni Heisler | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CurrentC, the mobile payment platform from the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) poised to take on Apple Pay, sent out an email on Wednesday indicating that it's already been hacked. While the only information compromised were customer email addresses, the news couldn't have come at a worse time for CurrentC, which has been lambasted in the media in recent days.

Over the past few days, both Rite Aid and CVS disabled support for Apple Pay across all of their nationwide locations. The reason? Both companies belong to the MCX, a consortium of companies planning to roll out their own mobile payment platform dubbed CurrentC in early 2015. Naturally, Apple Pay fans, and otherwise champions of the free market, have been absolutely vitriolic in their hatred for CurrentC. Indeed, the service isn't yet even operational and the CurrentC app already has horrible 1-star ratings on iTunes.

In any event, the email sent out to members of CurrentC's pilot program reads:


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Critical Site Selection Factor #5: Advanced ICT - Companies Look to Visionary Locales | AreaDevelopment.com

Critical Site Selection Factor #5: Advanced ICT - Companies Look to Visionary Locales | AreaDevelopment.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The rise of “big data” in nearly every industry vertical has promoted continued importance of a robust information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure as a site selection factor. In the most recent Area Development Corporate Survey, availability of advanced ICT services ranked as the #5 factor, with an importance score of 84.6 percent.

Corporate decision-makers now regard advanced ICT capabilities — telecommunications and wireless, Internet capability, fiberoptic networks, backup systems, and the software that integrates it all — as another aspect of infrastructure that now amounts to table stakes for potential locations, along with factors such as reliable electricity and sound transportation systems. Such capabilities are especially critical for certain kinds of operations such as data centers, shared-service facilities, and call centers. “It’s one of those boxes that you need to be able to check,” says Ginovus’ Larry Gigerich.


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Visualizations may shape smarter city development | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com

Visualizations may shape smarter city development | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s more to making cities smart than the Internet of Things and the collection of big data.

The move to address urban problems like pollution and traffic congestion has shone a spotlight on instrumenting things like roads, light poles and mobile devices, and seizing insights from the information they generate. But how that data is presented can affect the impact it has and the types of questions that get asked, panelists at the GreenBiz Verge conference said Tuesday.

Just as smaller sensors have expanded data collection and big-data tools have made it possible to better analyze information, visualization software is also evolving. That could help to give ordinary citizens a say in how cities are built and run.


Decisions about transportation, housing, pollution and other issues have long been made using models based on urban planning theories, said Paul Waddell, a UC Berkeley professor and founder and president of planning software company Synthicity. Now planners who build those models can use them to put structure around big data, he said. What that data can accomplish is determined partly by what visualization software can do, and its capabilities keep growing.

Synthicity’s Urban Canvas software lets users quickly visualize large amounts of data to find out how different decisions could affect things like the environment and the character of neighborhoods, Waddell said. Software like Urban Canvas can mean planners aren’t locked in to drafting one or two possible solutions and asking residents to accept or reject them, he said.

“We can do interactive design, we can do interactive visualization, and we can start to engage communities more directly in evaluating the outcomes that matter to them,” Waddell said.


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Verizon reasserts no plans for Internet 'fast lanes' | Reuters.com

Verizon reasserts no plans for Internet 'fast lanes' | Reuters.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Communications Inc on Wednesday reasserted that it was not planning to strike any Internet "fast lane" deals that would help some websites load faster than others, in a letter to a top U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee lawmaker.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, last week wrote to top U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) urging them to formally commit to no so-called "paid prioritization" deals in which content companies could pay ISPs to ensure smooth and fast delivery of their traffic.

Verizon on Wednesday wrote back, calling paid prioritization a "phantasm."

"As we have said before, and affirm again here, Verizon has no plans to engage in paid prioritization of Internet traffic," Verizon's general counsel Randal Milch said in the letter.

"Unfortunately, the fever pitch over 'paid prioritization' and 'fast lanes' among advocates of greater Internet regulation is just demagoguery since no major ISP has expressed an interest in offering 'paid prioritization' and all agree that the FCC has a valid legal path to prohibit it."

The Federal Communications Commission has received almost 4 million comments after it proposed new web traffic, or "net neutrality," rules that would prohibit ISPs from blocking content, but suggested allowing some "commercially reasonable" paid prioritization deals.

Other Large ISPs, including Comcast and AT&T, have been asserting that they had no plans for such paid prioritization arrangements and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he would not tolerate anti-competitive or anti-consumer prioritization deals.

Nonetheless, consumer advocates and other critics are concerned that opening the door for paid prioritization could create "fast lanes" for some content and so relegate other websites and applications to "slow lanes."


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Comcast begins notifying customers: Congrats, your home is a Wi-Fi hotspot | Daniel Frankel | FierceCable.com

Comcast begins notifying customers: Congrats, your home is a Wi-Fi hotspot | Daniel Frankel | FierceCable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Amid an aggressive expansion of its Wi-Fi network that aims to have around 8 million hotspots deployed in the U.S. by the end of 2014, Comcast is selling its subscribers on the hospitality angle.

By letting the conglomerate push out an additional, public SSID with their home gateway, Comcast is providing its residential consumers with a means of being hospitable to their guests without giving away their Wi-Fi WEP key.

"Xfinity Wi-Fi will now be available via your existing wireless gateway," reads a bullet-pointed memo sent to Comcast broadband customers.

"The xfinitywifi signal is completely separate from your home Wi-Fi network," it adds. "There will be no impact to the broadband connection to your home, and minimal impact to your home Wi-Fi network."

A Comcast representative has not yet responded to FierceCable's inquiry as to whether the company has notified its customers before about their gateways being used as hotspots.

Comcast had around 4.6 million hotspots deployed in the U.S. as of September.


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Confidential business data at risk at the US border | Lee Dunst & Rachel Brook | NetworkWorld.com

Confidential business data at risk at the US border | Lee Dunst & Rachel Brook | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Several recent court decisions have re­inforced the principle that government agents may examine laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices in the possession of people crossing the border into the U.S.--even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing.

Most border searches appropriately target serious crimes, such as terrorism and child pornography. But in light of the many international white-collar criminal investigations being conducted by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, this broad power to capture electronic data at the border poses a serious privacy risk for business executives and lawyers traveling to the U.S.

In 2009, both the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office issued directives explicitly authorizing the search and seizure of electronic devices at international borders "with or without individualized suspicion." For the most part, federal courts have upheld the orders.

The government search of files and images on a laptop or smartphone could last up to five days under the CBP rule or up to 30 days under the ICE rule.

Consequently, business executives traveling into the U.S. should take precautions. When possible, travelers should fully erase any data (including browser data) that they do not need from their electronic devices before they travel. Companies could also send employees on business trips with forensically clean laptops to limit the amount of proprietary information at risk.


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