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Now that’s “fast” roadside assistance: AT&T’s LTE will power GM’s OnStar | GigaOM Tech News

Now that’s “fast” roadside assistance: AT&T’s LTE will power GM’s OnStar | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

General Motors’ OnStar system is going to get a turbo boost. AT&T and GM revealed at Mobile World Congress that starting in 2015 the automaker would embed LTE chips in millions of vehicles allowing them to connect back to AT&T’s 4G network. The deal would add considerable heft to the typical OnStar connection, which today utilize 2G connections.

 

GM said it would use the increased bandwidth to offer new infotainment features such as audio and video streaming direct to the car in addition to the usual complement of OnStar navigation, security and emergency services.

 

The deal is a bit puzzling because it contradicts the bring-your-connectivity strategy GM has adopted of late. While GM cars are all linked via cellular networks for its low-bandwidth telematics services, GM has relied on it customer’s smartphones to provide the heftier connections necessary to support infotainment services.

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CEA Unveils New Logos For 4K Ultra High-Definition Displays | Deborah McAdams | TVTechnology.com

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced new logos to designate 4K ultra high-definition TVs, monitors and projectors for the home that meet its voluntary core characteristics for 4K Ultra HD display products announced earlier this year.

As devised by CEA’s Ultra HD Communications Working Group and approved without any objections by CEA’s Video Division Board, the logos are specifically designed to assist consumers in identifying these 4K Ultra HD products in the marketplace.

The logos will be made available for voluntary use by manufacturers for product packaging, marketing materials and promotional activities. Two logos will be made available for use—4K Ultra HD and 4K Ultra HD Connected—mirroring CEA’s voluntary characteristics, which were designed to address various attributes of picture quality and help move toward interoperability, while providing clarity for consumers and retailers alike.

CEA also announced today that its Video Division Board approved the use of 4K Ultra HD as terminology to be used by CEA to describe the emerging category of display products with more than eight million pixels—four times the resolution of Full HD. This updates the terminology adopted by CEA in October 2012 to provide more consistency across the market.

“The new logos mark another important milestone as the inevitable evolution to 4K Ultra HD continues,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “These logos and consistent nomenclature will help consumers navigate the 4K Ultra HD marketplace and assist them in having a great experience at retail and at home.”


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OTT Faces Challenges, Consumers Stay With Linear TV | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

OTT Faces Challenges, Consumers Stay With Linear TV | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Although proponents of over-the-top TV -- OTT platforms and services -- are seeing strong growth, there are some near-term impediments.


A new report from IPG Mediabrands’ IPG Media Lab and Magna Global says a major problem is diverse services that don’t work together: “The landscape is cluttered with different, incompatible ecosystems that are difficult to understand.” 


In addition, the report is concerned about limited flexibility for OTT services, given the legacy deals between traditional TV content providers and TV distributors -- especially when it comes to offering channel-by-channel deals in “a la carte” offerings.


Two other problems: Behaviorally, many media consumers -- while experimenting with digital media -- are still stuck on “linear” television consumption. IPG Media Lab says “baby boomers” in particular seem to want to hang on to the ways of the past.


The report also says high-speed communication technology isn’t consistent and/or widespread, especially in rural areas.


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MS: Small Town, Big Story? | Norm Jacknis, Senior Fellow, ICF | LinkedIn.com

MS: Small Town, Big Story? | Norm Jacknis, Senior Fellow, ICF | LinkedIn.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Can a town of 2,300 people in the countryside of Mississippi create a future for itself with broadband?


The answer is yes if you speak to the visionary leader of Quitman – its Mayor, Eddie Fulton – and about two dozen community leaders from business, education, churches, health care and other fields.


Quitman is not what you might think of as the likely star of a broadband story. It has suffered de-population, economic difficulties, community tensions and all the other problems people in many small towns across America have witnessed.


Then along comes the Mississippi-based telecommunications company, C-Spire, who announced it would deploy gigabit Internet connection through fiber to the home in a small number of communities. The key requirement was that a fairly sizable percentage of the community’s residents had to sign up for the service in advance.


Quitman was the smallest town to take on this challenge. It would not normally be considered because of its size, but they had such a strong commitment to building on broadband that the company decided to make the investment. Now, Quitman is ahead of the others in deployment and plans for developing their community.


Anyone who has ever been involved in a big technology project knows that the biggest obstacles to success are not technical issues, but human issues. That’s why the chances that Quitman will succeed are good. They have the necessary leadership, motivation and willingness to innovate.


They’ve also been helped by one of the long forgotten secrets of America’s agricultural and economic success – the extension service. In particular, Professor Roberto Gallardo at Mississippi State University Center For Technology Outreach has helped to educate the community and been their adviser.


And so it was that last week I was in Quitman leading what the Intelligent Community Forum calls a Master Class, as part of its community accelerator program.


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US Senate Judiciary Committee Debates Net Neutrality | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

US Senate Judiciary Committee Debates Net Neutrality | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from both sides of the network neutrality debate Wednesday in a hearing on the implications of the FCC's efforts to restore network neutrality rules — deadline for comment on that effort was Sept. 15).


Sen. Richard Blumenthal raised the specter of ISP's suppressing speech, while Sen. Ted Cruz, suggesting things don't go better with net neutrality, likened FCC regs to nanny-state restrictions on the size of soft drinks.

 

Democrats pushed for Internet rules of the road, while Republicans argued the virtuous cycle of investment and innovation would be threatened.

 

Net neutrality fan Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who is no fan of paid priority, went beyond the economics to argue about speech concerns. He suggested that under such a regime, Comcast could favor its NBC News by making sure subs got it faster than other news sites.

 

Witness Robert McDowell, former Republican FCC chairman and now with Wiley Rein, said that there were already ways to deal with that hypothetical under antitrust and breach of contract laws and terms of service protections. He pointed out that ISPs have made enforceable network management promises against blocking or unreasonably discriminating, something the ISPs have pointed out the FCC can enforce under the FCC's Open Internet transparency rule still on the books.

 

Witness Nuala O'Connor of the Center for Democracy & Technology, who said Blumenthal's point about content discrimination was a central issue, said she thought there were "precious few" antitrust remedies for small artists or startups with network neutrality complaints.

 

Given the debate over whether the FCC should use Title I or Title II authority, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) asked whether Congress should be talking about a new Title.

 

Sen. Hirono: Should we be talking about a new, more flexible, Title, rather than Title I or the relatively heavy hand of Title II? O'Connor said her group would welcome that.


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Yet Another Senate A La Carte TV Effort Dies | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

Yet Another Senate A La Carte TV Effort Dies |  Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While Canada may be going full speed ahead with a possible plan to finally force cable carriers there to offer a la carte TV packages (or even simply more flexible, cost conscious options), consumers here in the States shouldn't hold their breath for such a regulatory requirement anytime soon. A report in The Hill notes that Senate Lawmakers backed away from provisions included in the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act that would have made a la carte TV a reality.

Lawmakers who've supported the push (remember how it used to be a pet issue for John McCain?) have historically run into a wall of cable and TV industry lobbyists, who obviously realize that more tailored bundles will start and end with consumers choosing to pay less for cable. This time around, effort sponsor Jay Rockefeller insists that it's only a matter of time:


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IL: Tech Mecca: Fox Valley becoming home to technology startups and expansions | Beacon News

IL: Tech Mecca: Fox Valley becoming home to technology startups and expansions | Beacon News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The “cloud” cover is thickening over Chicago’s far-west suburbs.


A variety of businesses hanging their hats on the potential of the Internet and its vast virtual vault are putting down roots in the western suburbs — home to many inventors, engineers and other big-picture thinkers — and cultivating an employment base that previously has been an anomaly outside the country’s major urban centers.


Technology-based industry is gaining ground in an assortment of ways in and around the Fox Valley. The business model is establishing an increased presence in Naperville with such undertakings as software development, online marketing, web design and the services those entrepreneurs need to help them thrive. The business community is poised to build its role in the tech sector as well.


Elgin has a vibrant, centralized support network designed specifically for technology professionals, and Aurora has been strategically targeting tech employers for most of the past decade.


Aurora saw the need to work on being ahead of the tech curve several years ago, as it was updating its long-range economic development vision. By 2006, officials in the fast-growing city saw the need to plan for incorporating high-speed broadband connections into processes community wide, 8th Ward Alderman Rick Mervine said.


Not yet a City Council member at that time, Mervine was tapped to draw on his background in the private sector to formulate a strategic plan in preparation for the new electronic age.


The network went live in 2008, connecting all city buildings with a more reliable, more secure system than its predecessor.


In 2011, Mayor Tom Weisner put together a technology roundtable to study other ways Aurora could use and expand the network. The group concluded it would be particularly valuable in facilities that focus on education, health care, social services, and arts and entertainment — as well as its continued application to building business and growing jobs.


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DOJ Proposal Would Let FBI Hack Into Computers Overseas With Little Oversight | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

DOJ Proposal Would Let FBI Hack Into Computers Overseas With Little Oversight | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ahmed Ghappour, over at JustSecurity, alerts us to a rather frightening proposal from the Justice Department that would enable law enforcement to hack into the computers of people who are trying to be anonymous online.


At issue is that current rules basically would extend the powers granted for terrorism investigations to everyday criminal investigations, concerning specifically the DOJ/FBI's ability to hack into computers. In the past, judges could issue warrants for such computer hacking if the target was known to be located in the same district.


But the proposed change would wipe out that limitation, and basically give the DOJ/FBI the power to get approval for hacking into a much broader range of computers. Without the geographical limitation, there's concern about just how broadly this new power would be (ab)used:


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ACA Urges FCC To Embrace Balanced Open Internet Approach | American Cable Association

The American Cable Association (ACA) urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject Title II common carrier regulation of broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) in favor of a less intrusive, "middle ground" Open Internet rules based on its authority under Section 706. The trade group said that if such legally enforceable rules were adopted, they should apply equally to so-called edge content providers that have the incentive and ability to target broadband customers through blocking and discrimination.


ACA explained that ISPs should not be reclassified when the agency could achieve all of its objectives related to the maintenance of an Open Internet by relying on authority delegated to it by Congress in Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Currently, cable modem service is classified as a Title I information service and has been subjected to relatively light-handed FCC oversight.  This "light touch" approach has brought undeniable benefits to the American public in the form of broadband network investment, deployment and service innovation.


"Title II regulation would be particularly burdensome for smaller broadband ISPs, subjecting them to extensive and costly common carrier regulation when they are demonstrably not the source of any alleged Open Internet problems, as Netflix indicated in its comments. To the extent legitimate concerns about broadband ISP handling of Internet traffic have been raised, all are directed at the very largest ISPs and none at smaller and medium-sized providers," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.


In lieu of Title II, the FCC could adopt a balanced set of rules pursuant to its authority under Section 706 to accelerate broadband deployment by removing barriers to entry and competition in telecommunications markets along the lines suggested by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Verizon v. FCC. ACA acknowledged that although the record contained no one perfect solution, it did contain several moderate and thoughtful suggestions for how the FCC can more precisely target, through use of its Section 706 authority, "paid prioritization" -- the specific behavior on the part of broadband ISPs that is of most concern to commenters and the public at large.


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CA: TWC Lights Up WiFi In San Diego | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

CA: TWC Lights Up WiFi In San Diego | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable said it has begun to light up a metro WiFi network in San Diego, CA that encompasses more than 300 hotspots today, and will expand by “hundreds” more by the end of 2014.

 

The initial WiFi build in San Diego is focused on heavily populated areas in Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, La Jolla, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.


With the additions, TWC has installed more than 17,000 hotspots in Southern California, and more than 46,000 nationwide, thanks to deployments in parts of Austin, Texas; Kansas City; Hawaii; Charlotte, N.C.; and New York City.

 

TWC is also a member of a “Cable WiFi” roaming alliance that has deployed  more than 250,000 hotspots, and includes participation from Comcast, Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications.


“We know that being connected to the Internet wherever you are is a hugely important feature, so we’ll continue to invest to bring WiFi to areas where our customers live, work and play,” said Deborah Picciolo, SVP of operations for Time Warner Cable, in a statement. “It’s like taking your home Internet service with you. That’s why WiFi deployment continues to be a top initiative for Time Warner Cable and we are thrilled to be expanding to San Diego.”


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FCC's Wheeler to Testify on Needs of Rural Communities, Small Business | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC's Wheeler to Testify on Needs of Rural Communities, Small Business | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will be testifying on the Hill Wednesday (Sept. 17).


The House Small Business Committee is holding a hearing described as covering how the FCC is responding to the needs of small businesses and rural America, principally the need for broadband. Wheeler is the lone witness and the issues being considered for the hearing include the impact of network neutrality and network management on broadband, availability of spectrum, and whether putting conditions on mergers are in the public interest.


"Communication for American small businesses and rural America is essential. Today, our society revolves around this technology and it currently provides limitless opportunities," said Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.). "For this reason, continued Congressional oversight of the FCC is paramount, so that small firms fostering innovative technologies and small business end-users benefit by the FCC’s policies.”


It will be a busy day for the FCC on the Hill. A House Communications Subcommittee FCC oversight hearing is also scheduled for Sept. 17 and the Senate Commerce Committee is marking up the satellite compulsory license reauthorization bill, which charges the FCC with insuring good faith retransmission consent negotiations.

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Wi-Fi group acts to simplify peer-to-peer video, printing and other tasks | Stephen Lawson | ComputerWorld.com

Wi-Fi group acts to simplify peer-to-peer video, printing and other tasks | Stephen Lawson | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Wi-Fi Direct standard for linking two devices without a LAN is about to get easier to use.


Wi-Fi Direct is the peer-to-peer version of the hugely popular wireless technology that the Wi-Fi Alliance has been promoting and facilitating for 15 years. It lets individual devices, including PCs, printers, TVs and phones, communicate one-to-one without having to get on to a LAN. The group says it has certified more than 6,000 devices, chips and other products for Wi-Fi Direct since 2010.


On Monday, the alliance is announcing four sets of mechanisms for carrying out certain tasks over Wi-Fi Direct. These new features, called services, are optional but can be included in the certification of a device. Each allows the user to "discover, connect and do" a particular function with one click, said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the alliance.


Just about everyone knows how to find and get onto a Wi-Fi LAN: Where you don't have automatic login, you look at the list of networks, click on a name, and either hop right on or enter a password. But starting up Wi-Fi Direct may work in any number of different ways, depending on how the technology is implemented in each participating device, Figueroa said.


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Kentucky Wakes Up: AT&T Dereg Bills Will Not Bring Better Broadband, Will Make Rural Service Worse | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Kentucky Wakes Up: AT&T Dereg Bills Will Not Bring Better Broadband, Will Make Rural Service Worse | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Question: How will ripping out landline infrastructure in Kentucky help improve broadband service for rural areas?

Answer: It won’t.


This is not for a lack of trying though. AT&T has returned to the Kentucky state legislature year after year with a company-written bill loaded with more ornaments than a Christmas tree. In the guise of “modernizing” telecom regulation, AT&T wants to abolish most of it, replaced by a laissez-faire marketplace for telecommunications services not seen in the United States since the 1910s. AT&T claims robust competition will do a better job of keeping providers in check than a century of oversight by state officials. But customers in rural Kentucky have a better chance of sighting Bigfoot than finding a competitive alternative to AT&T’s telephone and DSL service. AT&T retains a monopoly in broadband across much of the state where cable operators like Time Warner don’t tread.


This year, Senate Bill 99, dubbed “The AT&T Bill” received overwhelming support from the Kentucky Senate as well as in the House Economic Development Committee. AT&T made sure the state’s most prominent politicians were well-compensated with generous campaign contributions, which helped move the bill along.


Since 2011, AT&T’s political-action committee has given about $55,000 to state election campaigns in Kentucky, including $5,000 to the Senate Republican majority’s chief fundraising committee and $5,000 more to the House Democratic majority’s chief fundraising committee. The company spent $108,846 last year on its 22 Frankfort lobbyists.


That generosity no doubt helped Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover find his way to AT&T’s talking point that only by “modernizing” Kentucky’s telecom laws would the state receive much-needed broadband improvements.


Hoover is upset that the state’s House Democratic leadership stopped AT&T’s bill dead in its tracks, despite bipartisan begging primarily from AT&T’s check-cashers that the bill see a vote. Speaker Greg Stumbo, whose rural Eastern Kentucky district would have seen AT&T’s landline and DSL service largely wiped out by AT&T’s original proposal, would hear none of it.


He has been to AT&T’s Deregulation Rodeo before.


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Inside the last push for net neutrality | Eric Geller | The Daily Dot

Inside the last push for net neutrality | Eric Geller | The Daily Dot | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Comcast Center, a 974-foot-high monstrosity, dominates the Philadelphia skyline, dwarfing every other building in the city. Resembling a giant USB stick, it is a permanent reminder that the country's least-favorite telecom giant is here to stay, whether the average Philadelphian likes it or not.


On Monday afternoon, however, the tower's doorstep played host to representatives from the Media Mobilizing Project, Common FrequencyFree Press, and concerned citizens, who chanted and held signs directed at the telecommunications giant, as security guards and confused Comcast Center personnel looked on with wary eyes. Their goal: The preservation of net neutrality and the stoppage of Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and other conglomerates from deciding who has access to the Internet.


"We're here to make a statement about the power that companies like Comcast have over our everyday lives," Hannah Jane Sassaman, an activist with the Media Mobilizing Project and one of the rally's leaders, told the Daily Dot. "What they're doing is the gravest threat to free speech as we know it, a threat to the basic human right to communicate."


A hundred miles away, in New York City, Free Press and other groups held a companion “Rally to Save the Internet” in front of City Hall. Among the speakers who addressed the large crowd were Zephyr Teachout, the former New York gubernatorial candidate, and her running mate, the law professor Tim Wu, who, not coincidentally, also coined the phrase “net neutrality.” Activists held signs saying things like “Cable monopoly isn’t the answer,” “Save the Internet for the common people,” and “Equal opportunity: still loading.”


Craig Aaron, the president of Free Press, introduced each speaker. To break up the speeches, he led chants like “What do we want? Net neutrality! When do we want it? Now!” and “L-O-L, O-M-G, we want net neutrality!”


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New Study Confirms: Internet Is Contributing To Massive Profit Levels At Legacy Entertainment Firms | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

New Study Confirms: Internet Is Contributing To Massive Profit Levels At Legacy Entertainment Firms | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Our own research has shown this over the past few years, but contrary to the doom-and-gloom stories from the big entertainment companies about how awful the internet has been for their business, the truth is that it's enabling tremendous growth and profits. A few months ago, a study of the major record labels showed that they remained tremendously profitable.


There's some up and down in there, but there's fairly consistent profitability, with pretty massive profitability from the two biggest ones, Universal Music and Sony. The report also notes a big increase in the profit margins that these companies are making, able to squeeze a lot more money out of existing resources.

A new, much larger, study from Ernst & Young shows that this is true across the media business these days -- and that a lot of the profitability is coming... from the internet. A quote from the report's lead author sums it up:


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New Company Transparency Reports Help Quantify DMCA Abuse | Parker Higgins | EFF.org

t's a sign of the times that online companies’ transparency reports are starting to include a new section: the Hall of Shame. Automattic, the company behind WordPress, is the latest to do so, highlighting examples of copyright and trademark overreach by prominent figures like Janet Jackson, as well as more local businesses, organizations, and individuals attempting to silence criticism and other noninfringing speech.


It even highlighted one example we've written about—and even dedicated a short video to—in which a baked goods company misused trademark to go after bloggers talking about derby pie, a common regional dessert in the Southern U.S. And WordPress is only the latest company to name-and-shame takedown abusers—the Wikimedia Foundation made a major splash last month when it highlighted the copyright sagabehind a notorious monkey selfie.


We've kept up a Takedown Hall of Shame of our own for years. But these cases of egregious abuse tell only part of the story, and transparency reports also help call attention to a more subtle issue: a large percentage of takedown requests that do not result in content removal. That is to say, services routinely receive large numbers of bogus takedown demands.


There's a real trend here. According to the latest numbers, Twitter does not comply with nearly 1 in 4 takedown notices it receives; Wikimedia complies with less than half; and WordPress complies with less than two-thirds. Each organization explains in its report that the notices with which they don't comply are either incomplete or abusive.


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3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands | Elise Hu | KUNC.org

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands | Elise Hu | KUNC.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now, we wait.


The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.


The principle of net neutrality generally means that all Internet traffic is treated equally.


But whether the weight of popular opinion can overcome the significant lobbying heft of Internet service providers fighting against stronger net neutrality rules is a huge question mark. An analysis by San Francisco-based data firm Quid found that Verizon alone spent $100 million to lobby Congress on net neutrality since 2009. (That kind of money could buy you 793 houses or 4 million bottles of Maker's Mark.)


The proposal before the five-member Federal Communications Commission, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, would allow broadband providers such as Time Warner and Verizon to engage in "commercially reasonable" traffic management. That means they could potentially charge content companies (like Netflix) to get their content to you faster — paid prioritization, or "fast lanes."


Internet advocates want equal treatment of all Internet traffic, and some, like advocacy group Free Press, have pushed for a reclassification of the Internet as a public utility under Title II, which could give the FCC more enforcement power to keep the Internet open. A broad coalition of telecom and cable companies has opposed this, arguing it would create unnecessary obstacles to broadband deployment. Reclassification would be "unlawful, unnecessary and profoundly unwise," the National Cable and Telecommunications Association wrote in its filing.


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CA: Airbnb Will Begin Collecting Transient Occupancy Taxes For San Francisco Bookings Next Month | Ryan Lawler | TechCrunch.com

CA: Airbnb Will Begin Collecting Transient Occupancy Taxes For San Francisco Bookings Next Month | Ryan Lawler | TechCrunch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Airbnb announced today that it will soon begin collecting and remitting a 14 percent hotel occupancy fee for guest stays occurring in San Francisco. In a blog post, Airbnb’s regional head of public policy David Owen wrote that the policy will go into effect for all bookings that take place on or after October 1 in its home city.


The introduction of the tax is just the latest step in Airbnb’s efforts to legitimize its peer-to-peer lodgings marketplace in the face of regulators and local government agencies in cities around the world. It’s been working with a number of agencies in cities like San Francisco, Portland, Paris, Berlin, and New York City to ease concerns revolving around public safety, as well as those about Airbnb hosts running illegal hotel operations.


That debate came to a head in New York, where Airbnb ended up capitulating in a legal battle with the state Attorney General over user data related to hosts who were operating multiple listings. Airbnb ended up clearing its listings of so-called “bad actors” in that market when hit with a subpoena, and eventually turned over user data so the AG there could go after those hosts.


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A wireless router may someday charge your mobile devices | Lucas Mearian | NetworkWorld.com

A wireless router may someday charge your mobile devices | Lucas Mearian | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For all intents and purposes, the new Apple Watch is not a mobile device that uses wireless charging. While its charging cable uses magnetic inductive coupling, the wire must still physically attach to the watch in order to work.


In contrast, George Holmes sees a day not so far from now when smartwatches, smartphones, and other small mobile devices will begin wirelessly charging as soon as they enter a home, office or car. There'll be no need to ever remove that smartwatch from your wrist.


Holmes, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Energous, is pitching a wireless  charging technology called WattUp that can send power in a 15-foot radius using  radio frequency transmissions.


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What’s your location | Carol Angrisani | SupermarketNews.com

What’s your location | Carol Angrisani | SupermarketNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There are several location-based technologies on the market today. Among them: Geolocation, Mobile IP Lookup, Mobile GPS, WiFi and Beacon.


Cezar Kolodziej, president, CEO and co-founder of Iris Mobile, a rich media messaging company, will discuss the benefits of using these tools in a presentation at the Shopper Marketing Conference & Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 3 to 3:45 p.m.


There are many advantages to location-based technologies because they can provide context to an individual’s physical location, said Kolodziej.


“When used intelligently, marketers can leverage these technologies to learn about shopping behavior, gather metrics on store visits including time since last visit or duration, or with some solutions collect information on dwell times in store,” he said.


For example, a retailer might send a physical coupon to a customer’s home, an, using a WiFi solution, detect the same customer in store the following day. This suggests that the physical coupon had some influence on the physical store visit.


Understanding this connection is extremely powerful, as it could influence the direction of a lot of marketing dollars as well as strategy going forward, said Kolodziej.


“We can also use location technologies better inform marketer’s objectives because we can deliver more relevant, real-time value, resulting in higher redemption rates and higher engagement from the customer,” he said.


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Seibert: Cablevision Looks At Monetizing WiFi | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Seibert: Cablevision Looks At Monetizing WiFi | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cablevision Systems vice chairman and chief financial officer Gregg Seibert said the Bethpage. N.Y. based cable operator is looking toward eventually monetizing its WiFi network, a data service that at least until now has been free to existing high-speed data customers and used more as a retention tool.

 

While he didn’t say just how Cablevision would go about it, Seibert said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles Tuesday that it a hot topic of conversation among company executives.

 

“Our next leg of growth should be involved in the monetization of the WiFi network we built,” Seibert said. “We were first in WiFi, I believe we have the densest WiFi footprint in the business. The challenge now is making sure our customers are aware of the great value that provides to them and ultimately we can get additional revenue out of that business in addition to just getting the benefit from a customer retention standpoint.”

 

For example, Seibert said Cablevision customers save about $30 per month on their cell phone bills by being able to access data over the Cablevision WiFi network.

 

“That’s very substantial,” Seibert said at the conference.


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Roberts: WiFi Could Be Retention, Revenue Tool | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Roberts: WiFi Could Be Retention, Revenue Tool | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, in keeping with what has been an early theme of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Communications and Entertainment conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, said that WiFi could be used as both a retention tool and revenue generator in the not too distant future.

 

Roberts seemed to echo earlier comments by Cablevision CFO Gregg Seibert. In his presentation – which was beamed for New York via satellite – Roberts said that the explosion in WiFi usage has been a boon for cable high-speed data offerings, which usually offer the service as a free add-on to cable customers.

 

Roberts estimated that about 70% of all data usage goes across WiFi networks. Asked where he envisioned the cable business would be headed in the next three to five years, the Comcast chief said he had no crystal ball, but guessed it would involve products and services built to take advantage of the WiFi network.


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Upcoming Gigaom event: 10 articles to read before coming to Structure Connect | GigaOM Tech News

Upcoming Gigaom event: 10 articles to read before coming to Structure Connect | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With a speaker lineup including Sonos, Jawbone, Facebook, Google, Withings, Lowe’s, Pebble, Indiegogo, IBM and more, you’ll want to be fully prepared for Structure Connect this October 21-22 in San Francisco.


This conference is the evolution of our Mobilize Conference and brings together the best speakers and most comprehensive coverage of IoT in Gigaom’s history. Structure Connect is the place to touch and feel new products, see launches, and hear from industry leaders about what’s next in this fast growing industry.


Catch up on our coverage on IoT and we’ll see you at Structure Connect.


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Apple locks NFC chip to Apple Pay while PayPal fires shot at security | Caitland McGarry | NetworkWorld.com

Apple locks NFC chip to Apple Pay while PayPal fires shot at security | Caitland McGarry | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Apple unveiled Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor that verifies your identity to unlock your phone and confirm purchases and app installs, developers clamored for Apple to open up the feature to third parties. Now that Apple has baked NFC technology into the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, developers want access. But for now, like Touch ID was tied to specific functions in the 5s, NFC is tied to Apple Pay alone.


An Apple spokesperson told Cult of Mac that the new phones’ NFC chip will only work with Apple’s new payment system, at least for the next year. It’s unclear whether Apple will eventually allow developers to adopt the chip for their own purposes with future iPhone releases, like the company did with Touch ID in iOS 8, or keep the chip locked to Apple Pay.


While there are plenty of innovative use cases for Touch ID, the third-party possibilities for NFC-equipped iPhones are even more exciting—it’s no wonder developers are chomping at the bit for access.


But Apple keeps its sensitive features locked down in their infancy, a move that makes sense for NFC given Apple Pay’s access to your most important information: the financial variety. Presumably the year-long lockdown will give Apple time to work out any security kinks. PayPal, which stands to lose customers if Apple Pay succeeds, took aim at Apple’s recent security snafu in a full-page New York Times ad on Monday. The company also tweeted the ad.


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Net neutrality's hollow promise to startups | Geoffrey Manne & Berin Szoka | ComputerWorld.com

Net neutrality's hollow promise to startups | Geoffrey Manne & Berin Szoka | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Meet iHolo. This innovative (though hypothetical) startup sells a tiny cube that hooks into smartphones and projects a holographic image above the screen. Now we can see actual 3D holographic characters and movie explosions, hovering right in front of us! There’s just one problem: “Holovids” require an incredibly fast connection, and tons of bandwidth. The typical smartphone user has neither the speed nor the data capacity to use the new technology: after extended buffering waiting for the holovid to load, a user would exhaust his data plan within minutes.


Worried that users won’t materialize, iHolo offers a deal to the big wireless carriers: To any carrier that will boost the speed of iHolo customers and exempt iHolo material from users’ data caps, iHolo will sell a minority interest in its fledgling company. 


It’s a potential win-win. iHolo gets access to much-needed capital, boosts demand for its product, and gains the stability that comes from having a big backer. That institutional support would mollify investors who would otherwise be wary of betting on an unproven technology. The carrier could differentiate itself in the wireless market, and the two companies could work together to figure out how to stream holovids efficiently.What’s not to love? Well, the business model that could make this innovation possible isn’t “neutral.” It could be banned if Net neutrality hardliners get their way. 


Net neutrality — the idea that all data should be treated the same as it zips over the Internet — sounds appealing in principle. Who wouldn’t want every competitor to have a fair shot, and for the best ideas to rise to the top? But in practice, rigid Net neutrality regulation could cripple the potential business arrangements that help launch new companies. 


To justify its proposed rules, the Federal Communications Commission warns that ISPs may have an “economic incentive to block or disadvantage” websites, and to charge providers for “prioritized access” to end users. Of particular concern, the agency wrote, “are threats to American innovation.” President Obama and The New York Times recently echoed the FCC’s fears, proclaiming that Net neutrality is necessary to enable “the next Google or the next Facebook.” 


But there is simply no benefit to startups for the FCC to scrutinize and regulate every deal made between every ISP and every content provider. Any complaint, no matter how frivolous, could spark a media frenzy, if not a formal investigation. And the threat of either could prevent the partnerships needed to drive innovative technologies.

Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc's insight:

As context for these comments, ICLE and TechFreedom are free-market advocacy groups funded by the Telcos and Cablecos.

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AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger | Chris Morran | Consumerist.com

AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger | Chris Morran | Consumerist.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T has dangled a big carrot out there in its attempt to lead regulators to sign off on the company’s merger with DirecTV. If the deal happens, AT&T says it could bring 15Mbps wireless data service (bundled with satellite TV of course) to rural America in 2015.


(NOTE: The original version of this story quoted AT&T as saying it would deliver 50Mbps. A rep for AT&T confirms to Consumerist that there is no set number yet, but that the figure mentioned at today’s conference was 15Mbps, not 50.)


Variety reports that the Ralph de la Vega, head of the Death Star’s wireless division, made this proclamation earlier today at a Goldman Sachs conference early Friday morning.


He told attendees that AT&T has technology “ready to go” deliver the high-speed wireless broadband over a dedicated section of spectrum. The idea would be to use satellite dishes attached to DirecTV customers’ homes to bring both video and data to the end-user.


The question is: How much would a service like this cost? Additionally, what sort of monthly caps would be put on the use?


Most wireless data plans are capped at 5GB/month, which is barely enough to watch a couple of HD TV shows on Netflix. Satellite broadband has generally offered more generous data caps, but still nothing compared to the soft 250-300GB/month caps that many terrestrial broadband providers have in place.


It doesn’t really help rural America if a wireless broadband service is beyond what most people can afford, or imposes limits that make all those megabits per second pointless. Until we get more details on AT&T’s plan, we’ll have to reserve judgement.


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