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Nationwide Google Fiber is a lofty 'pipe dream' | BetaNews.com

Nationwide Google Fiber is a lofty 'pipe dream' | BetaNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Many people considered this company irrelevant and dead years ago. Yet with nearly three million paying Internet service subscribers still, this provider is anything but dried up -- yet. Internet access, among other subscription services, makes up a clear majority of its continuing sales and its greatest chunk of profits as a whole. Subscriber growth peaked off back in 2002, but for this aging Internet heirloom, at this point they will no doubt take what they can get. Who the heck am I referring to?

 

Don't choke on your coffee, but it's none other than AOL. Namely, their dialup Internet service division. It's hard to believe that in the year 2013 any company has more than a trickle of subscribers left on dial up, but this attests to the sad state of broadband adoption in the United States. Of the estimated 74 percent of Americans who have internet access in their homes (2010 figures), a full 6 percent of those are still on dial-up service. There are a myriad of issues affecting broadband adoption, including things such as lack of access, pricing, reluctance to switch, etc.

 

A full 19 million Americans sadly don't have access to any form of broadband. And in a comparison of adoption rate per capita, our country ranks a miserable 15th globally -- behind United Kingdom and South Korea, to name just a few. Much of the Internet is abuzz about Kansas City's recently completed rollout of Google Fiber, with its near gigabit speeds delivered directly to the home.

 

Even with  slow expansion into other small markets, like the recently announced Olathe, KS, the excitement over Google Fiber is premature by all reasonable measures. One giant (Google) is getting into the fiber game while another (Verizon) is slowly exiting after making similar market promises of "fiber to all" just a half decade ago.

 

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Changes to RUS Broadband Loan Program Include Rural Gigabit Pilot | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor

Changes to RUS Broadband Loan Program Include Rural Gigabit Pilot | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When President Obama spoke last week about reforms to the USDA Rural Utilities Service broadband loan program, he was referencing changes adopted in the 2014 Farm Bill, a USDA official advised in an email to Telecompetitor. Although the changes have received little publicity, they include a new definition of eligible service areas, a new minimum acceptable level of broadband service for projects receiving loan funding and plans for a rural gigabit pilot program.

Obama made his remarks about RUS loan program changes in an address in Cedar Falls, Iowa last week, where he also pledged to address barriers to the deployment of municipal broadband networks.

The USDA official said the agency is still in the process of drafting rules on new RUS broadband provisions under the Farm Bill, but shared a fact sheet outlining the major impacts of the bill provisions on RUS telecom programs. Those programs include the loan program, the distance learning and telemedicine program and the new rural gigabit network pilot program.


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NC: Possible future of broadband internet already in Wilson | Steve Sbraccia | WNCN.com

NC: Possible future of broadband internet already in Wilson | Steve Sbraccia | WNCN.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address brought renewed attention to the importance of broadband internet and how essential it is the economy.

Greenlight, a service provided by the City of Wilson's municipal power company, offers gigabit Internet to the county's residents.

Although Greenlight serves customers in six surrounding counties, state rules prohibit the expansion of high-speed network outside of the county of Wilson.

Debbie Howell gets her broadband from Greenlight.

“My brother lives just outside of Wilson and he would love to have it but it just doesn't reach that far,” she said.

Greenlight has filed a petition with the FCC hoping it will overrule North Carolina state law and allow expansion of the service beyond the county boundary.

Greenlight's broadband has changed Howell's lifestyle.

“I like being at home, staying sat my house and with all the cable and internet services I can do pretty much anything,” she said. “I don't have to go to a mall. I can do it in the safety and privacy of my home.”

Will Aycock, general manager of Greenlight, said new business has some to Wilson thanks to the lightning –fast internet.

One of those businesses is the Los Angeles-based video effects company Exodus FX.


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A tiny Oregon city has already built its own gigabit Internet | Portland Business Journal

A tiny Oregon city has already built its own gigabit Internet | Portland Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week the Gigabit City Summit was held in Kansas City. The cities of Portland, Gresham and Hillsboro sent delegations, as did Independence, Oregon, a town of about 8,500 residents 15 minutes outside of Salem.

Unlike the Portland Metro, which has been selected as one of nine cities nationally being considered for Google Fiber, Independence already has a gigabit-speed municipal broadband network that it built with neighboring Monmouth.

This network, which is called MINET, has been in operation for eight years.

As more cities start to invest in technology infrastructure to foster economic development and address issues of digital access and inclusion, the efforts of Independence are worth watching.

Attendees of the Gigabit City Summit fell into two camps: cities that were looking to attract or develop gigabit-speed fiber networks and cities that already have gigabit-speed networks that are interested in figuring out how to better leverage their networks.

Independence fell squarely in the latter.

"Our cities created MINET because we didn't want to get left behind" said Shawn Irvine, Independence's Economic Development Director. "But it's not enough just to have a gigabit fiber network. We're leveraging it with other resources to enhance the community and bring new ideas and businesses."


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IT'S OVER: FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction ends at record $44.9B in bids | Phil Goldstein | Fierce Wireless

IT'S OVER: FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction ends at record $44.9B in bids | Phil Goldstein | Fierce Wireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC said bidding in the AWS-3 spectrum auction, known as auction 97, is now closed after 341 rounds of bidding. Total provisional winning bids came in at a record $44.899 billion. That's far more money than the FCC raised in its previous spectrum auctions.

The FCC set a reserve price on the auction of around $10 billion. Analysts had predicted that the auction would raise anywhere from $10 billion to $20 billion. But the event has raised far more than anyone in the industry expected.

Indeed, the auction raised far more than all other major FCC auctions, including the $13.7 billion raised during the AWS-1 auction in 2006, and the $18.9 billion raised during the 700 MHz auction in 2008.

The AWS-3 auction closed less than 24 hours after the FCC had said that bidding had ended on the 50 MHz of paired spectrum being auctioned off. The FCC was also auctioning 15 MHz of unpaired uplink spectrum, the 1695-1710 MHz band.


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FCC redefines advanced broadband as 25 Mbps, Republicans blow a gasket | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

FCC redefines advanced broadband as 25 Mbps, Republicans blow a gasket | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has redefined advanced broadband as having 25Mbps download speeds, up from 4Mbps, giving the agency new authority to pass rules to encourage deployment across the country.

The FCC, in a 3-2 party-line vote Thursday, also determined that this newly-defined advanced broadband wasn’t being rolled out in a timely manner across the U.S. The agency released a notice of inquiry asking how it can accelerate broadband deployment, but didn’t offer concrete plans on how it will proceed.

The agency redefined advanced broadband over the objections of its two Republican commissioners and large broadband providers. Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications have all filed comments in recent months questioning the need for the commission to change its broadband definition from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up.

Broadband providers have argued that the FCC should focus instead on removing regulations that inhibit private investment instead of defining broadband speeds and seeking new authority to move toward those speeds. “The commission should conclude that broadband is being deployed throughout the United States in a reasonable and timely fashion,” Verizon’s lawyers wrote in September. “Broadband providers have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in deploying next-generation broadband networks.”

The commission’s vote has widespread implications for future broadband policy including the speed of broadband for deployment subsidies under the agency’s Universal Service Fund. However, the commission voted just last month to subsidize deployment of 10Mbps broadband in parts of the U.S.

The new definition could also figure into the agency’s upcoming net neutrality vote, although it’s unclear how the commission would connect the two issues. The 1996 Telecommunications Act, in its Section 706, authorizes the commission to take immediate steps to encourage broadband deployment if the agency finds it isn’t being rolled out in a timely way, and a U.S. appeals court has pointed to the same section of the law as authority for the commission to pass net neutrality rules.

The commission’s Democrats defended the new definition of advanced broadband. With U.S. households continuing to add connected devices, the demand for high-speed broadband “adds up fast,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. While many broadband providers urged the commission to keep its old definition of advanced broadband speeds, they tell customers they need to buy speeds of 25Mbps or more for common household use, Wheeler said.

“Somebody is telling us one thing and telling customers another,” he said.


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Brazil: White space pilot project to commence in Minas Gerais in 2Q15 | TeleGeography.com

Industry group the WhiteSpace Alliance is leading a pilot project in Santa Rita de Sapucai (Minas Gerais state) to test the use of so-called ‘white space’ spectrum in the 470MHz and 698MHz bands for rural broadband use.


The WhiteSpace Alliance claims that the pilot programme represents the first white space trial in South America.


The tests will begin in 2Q15, in conjunction with Brazilian regulator Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes (Anatel).

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The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS | Nic Denholm | TechCrunch.com

The Net Neutrality Debate Also Affects SMS | Nic Denholm | TechCrunch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Net neutrality was one of last year’s biggest tech stories. The one that went mainstream after John Oliver poked fun at it and beseeched his viewers to flood the FCC’s comments page with tirades against a two-tiered Internet (which caused the site to crash).

So far, the main focus of the debate has been whether ISPs should be allowed to discriminate between the various data they deliver. The main opponents of a tiered Internet are companies like Netflix and YouTube, which deliver high volumes of rich content to their audience and don’t want to have to start charging customers more (in the case of the former) or upping their advertising (in the case of the latter).

Unsurprisingly, audiences are on their side, leaving the broadband providers and a few libertarian politicians in the opposing corner fighting what should be a losing battle. I say “should” because even overwhelming public opposition was not enough to prevent a D.C. Court of Appeals overturning a previous ruling requiring ISPs to treat all traffic equally.

Despite the attention, huge swathes of the American population still have no clue what “net neutrality” refers to. According to a recent Pew poll, some 40 percent of Americans either don’t understand the concept or they’ve flat out never heard of it.

Even fewer understand the relationship between net neutrality and SMS. HeyWire Business, a Cambridge, Mass., tech firm that provides text message services to businesses, learned of that relationship the hard way. Until April 3 of last year, HeyWire was merrily going about their business, giving businesses a way to receive text messages via toll-free 800 numbers. Then everything stopped. No error messages, no warning – just thousands of errant texts failing to reach their destination.

The company contacted Verizon, which informed them of a new set of fees and regulations to adhere to if they were to continue expecting delivery of text messages. HeyWire claim Verizon has unfair control over how they operate – something they view as a breach of net neutrality.


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Verizon Doubles Down On Bogus Claim Title II Will Kill Broadband Investment | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Verizon Doubles Down On Bogus Claim Title II Will Kill Broadband Investment | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've noted repeatedly that the broadband industry's claims that Title II reclassification will hurt broadband network investment just aren't supported by the facts.


Title II, which governs the vocal components of wireless networks, certainly didn't hurt Verizon's effort to become the biggest, most profitable wireless carrier in the country, nor did it stop wireless carriers from spending $45 billion on spectrum at the latest FCC auction.


It also certainly didn't hurt Verizon when it asked to have FiOS classified under Title II to nab tax breaks. Apparently forgetting there were other people around, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo was even quoted last December as stating Title II won't impact investment patterns in the slightest.

However, as anybody knows, when you're proven wrong time and time and time again, the only sensible thing to do is to dig a deeper hole and double down on your bluff. With billions in potential revenue thwarted by real net neutrality rules, Verizon appears to be doing just that.

Shammo apparently got the memo that admitting the truth is a big no no, so the CFO came out firing during the company's latest earnings conference call. Shammo now insists that everything he's said previously before Congress and in the media has been "misquoted," and Title II will most definitely hurt Verizon's network investment strategy:


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Public Broadband in Tennessee As a Free Market Lever | Craig Settles | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

Public Broadband in Tennessee As a Free Market Lever | Craig Settles | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tennessee, along with North Carolina, has become Ground Zero in the Obama Administration’s drive to roll back state laws restricting public-owned broadband networks. But what about on the ground? How do consumers, businesses and state legislators feel about these laws?

Tennessee State Senator Janice Bowling discusses her views on why it’s time to question the value of her state’s restrictions. Sen. Bowling believes in the free market system. But she also believes from first-hand experience that the public-owned fiber network in her hometown of Tullahoma successfully meets a vital economic need that the market can’t or won’t address.

The Senator describes her constituency’s progress in economic advancement, education, healthcare since launching their own network. Some Tennessee townsfolk can look across the bridge and see citizens in cities such as Chattanooga benefitting from gigabit networks. Sen. Bowling feels this is an injustice to communities, and last year led efforts eliminate the restriction on public utilities to expand their broadband services to nearby communities.


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UT: Google Fiber waiting for move into Salt Lake City | Dan Rascon | KUTV.com

UT: Google Fiber waiting for move into Salt Lake City | Dan Rascon | KUTV.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Could Google Fiber finally be making its way to Salt Lake City? A city spokesperson says yes, as long as it can check off a couple of more items on their list.

It was one year ago that Mayor Ralph Becker and other city officials held a press conference to announce the coveted fiber network had put Salt Lake on it's up and coming list. According to Google, the hair thin glass product could make your internet speeds a hundred times faster.

"We are very close," said Mayor Becker's spokesman Art Raymond. "We are very nearly at the end of that check list. One of the few remaining things to do is to move a piece of legislation to help city code to streamline the processes that would be related to this project."

Right now there are only three cities in the entire country where Google Fiber is up and running. One of those is Provo, the other two are Kansas City and Austin, Texas.

On Tuesday Google added Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham to the list of Potential Fiber sites. Salt Lake remains on the upcoming fiber city list.

"I think it's a good short term solution," said Pete Ashdown the president of XMission, Utah's first internet provider that is headquartered in Salt Lake City. But Ashdown doesn't like the idea that google would hold exclusive rights to the fiber network if they came.

"I would like to see more competition in the market. I'm not just looking out for my own business, but I want to compete in a level playing field and I can't compete against Google," said Ashdown.


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Sub Losses Improve At Time Warner Cable | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Sub Losses Improve At Time Warner Cable | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable, in perhaps its last quarterly earnings release before it is acquired by Comcast, reported its best quarterly subscriber results in seven years, losing just 38,000 basic video customers, well ahead of analysts estimates.

In addition, TWC added 168,000 high-speed data customers and 295,000 phone customers in fourth quarter of 2014, its best-ever period performance with the latter segment.

TWC began implementing its TWC Maxx program in several select markets last year, a factor in the subscriber improvements, according to the company. Already TWC completed the all-digital conversion of its New York and Los Angeles markets and plans to complete the roll out in Austin, Texas in early 2015. TWC Maxx will expand to Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego this year.

“Our fourth quarter marked a strong finish to a really positive year for Time Warner Cable,” chairman and CEO Rob Marcus said in a statement. “As a result of record Q4 subscriber net adds and the investments we made all year in our plant, products and customer care, we enter 2015 with tremendous operating momentum.”

Time Warner agreed to be acquired by Comcast in February and continues to move through the regulatory approval process, which it expected to be completed later this year. In a statement, Marcus said he expects the merger to close “soon,” adding “until then, we remain one hundred percent committed to executing our plan."


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Silk Road paid thousands in shake-downs from malicious hackers | Joab Jackson | NetworkWorld.com

Silk Road paid thousands in shake-downs from malicious hackers | Joab Jackson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When operating outside of the law, you can’t exactly rely on the police to protect your illegal enterprise from other criminals.

The Silk Road marketplace founders likely learned this lesson in 2012 and 2013, after paying thousands of dollars to cyber extortionists who threatened to expose serious site vulnerabilities or hit it with denial of service attacks, according to evidence presented in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

The extortion information emerged during testimony from U.S. Internal Revenue Service special agent Gary Alford, who had subpoenaed the emails of defendant Ross Ulbricht as part of his investigation. Ulbricht is on trial at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for narcotics and criminal enterprise charges in relation to Silk Road.

According to prosecutors, Silk Road facilitated the exchange of $1.2 billion in illegal goods, mostly drugs, and generated $80 million in commissions for the operators from 2011 until October 2013, when the site was shuttered by law enforcement. Like an eBay for unlawful goods, Silk Road matched sellers with buyers, who used bitcoins to pay for goods that were delivered through the mail.

On at least two separate occasions, Silk Road operators paid malicious attackers ransoms in exchange for keeping the site up and secure.


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OneCommunity's Middle Way - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 135 | community broadband networks

OneCommunity's Middle Way - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 135 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

OneCommunity is a nonprofit organization in northeastern Ohio that has connected thousands of community anchor institutions with high capacity connections. Created as OneCleveland before expanding, it has remained a rather unique approach to expanding high quality Internet access. This week, CEO Lev Gonick joins us to talk about OneCommunity and its contributions to the region.

As neither a private company nor a local government, Lev believes that OneCommunity offers a third way, something they often call a "community-driven" approach. We discuss how a big city like Cleveland needs to think about solving the problem of expanding Internet access broadly.

OneCommunity has just announced the recipients of its Big Gig Challenge and Lev shares some of the lessons they learned in evaluating proposals and working with the communities that competed for the prize.

Lev and I will be on a panel together again with some other great folks in Austin for Broadband Communities in the middle of April. Great deal to attend here.


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WA: New group pushes for municipal broadband in Seattle | Ted Land | KING5.com

WA: New group pushes for municipal broadband in Seattle | Ted Land | KING5.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

President Obama mentioned during his State of the Union Address Tuesday the need for fast, affordable internet access for all Americans.

Some people think the best way to do that is to set up municipal broadband service run by cities and regulated much like water or electricity.

A group is once again pushing the city of Seattle to do just that.

"Seattle would be the biggest U.S. city to do this," said Sabrina Roach, who is leading the effort.

Her group is still forming and does not yet have a name, but they hope to encourage the city to build a broadband network to expand internet access while improving speeds and lowering prices. They plan to rollout a campaign in the coming year and urge lawmakers to seriously consider the idea.

"We hope to make it an issue in the coming city council races," said Roach.


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Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm | Jason Meyer | Light Reading

Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm | Jason Meyer | Light Reading | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Northwestern Indiana Telephone Company (NITCO) has set its gigabit network sights on a seemingly unlikely target: The first taker of gigabit-level service on the carrier's ultra-high-speed fiber network is a farm.

The farm in question, however, is not quite as rural as it might sound. Fair Oaks Farms seems as much agrarian amusement park as working farm, complete with exhibits like The Pig Adventure, Making Milk and even a Birthing Barn where visitors can watch cows being born [ed. note: ewwww]. According to NITCO, Fair Oaks Farms will use gigabit broadband to remotely monitor milk production and processing, as well as to support video-enabled dairy, pork and crop learning centers to share knowledge and expertise with other farms and educate school children.

"It was a good opportunity for us to grow," says Gary Gray, CO supervisor for NITCO, presumably with no agricultural pun intended. "That's why we decided to go there."


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AL: What we know now about Huntsville's high-speed Internet plans in 2015 | Lee Roop | Al.com

AL: What we know now about Huntsville's high-speed Internet plans in 2015 | Lee Roop | Al.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sometime in the next two weeks, city leaders will ask interested private companies for information on how they would partner with the city to bring high-speed, fiber-optic Internet cable to "every home and business in Huntsville," in the words of the city's broadband consultant.


Here's what we know about where the process stands now, based on conversations with Harrison Diamond, a city administrator, and Joanne Hovis, the president of the city's consultant CTC Technology & Energy.


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Savant on Being the Only High-End Home Automation Co. on the CES 2015 Show Floor | Julie Jacobson | CEPro.com

Savant on Being the Only High-End Home Automation Co. on the CES 2015 Show Floor | Julie Jacobson | CEPro.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At CES 2015, Savant was the sole custom-focused home automation (with multiroom audio/video) company on the main floor.

There were others like Control4 and URC that held intimate meetings in suites, and several that had a small presence in partner booths – Clare Controls and URC with Powerhouse Alliance; Leviton (HAI) and Bitwise with the Z-Wave Alliance; and Elan with Nortek.

But Savant took a chance on the new Smart Home marketplace in the Sands this year with a sizable but simple space. Before CES, Savant’s Tim McInerney said the company would exhibit at because it wanted to expose its new Single App Home to a broad market. (Incidentally, the app won CEA’s TechHome Mark of Excellence honors for Home Technology App of the Year and Disruptor Award.)

The new software, along with relatively affordable Smart controllers, puts Savant into reach of a much wider customer base.

Even so, at about $1,000 per room, Savant would be seen as ridiculously expensive vis-à-vis the rash of new DIY systems starting at $100. Those were the systems that overwhelmed the Sands, especially in the start-up section called Eureka Park. Those also were the ones that seem to suck in the media.

So how did Savant fare? Here’s our CES post-mortem with McInerney:


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Mayors of Boston, Seattle, KC, others: No more muni broadband restrictions, please | Jon Gold | NetworkWorld.com

Mayors of Boston, Seattle, KC, others: No more muni broadband restrictions, please | Jon Gold | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A group of 38 mayors and other elected officials from cities like Boston, Seattle, and Kansas City Thursday urged the FCC to strike down state laws that restrict the development of public high-speed Internet services and allow municipal networks to flourish.

In an open letter to the FCC commissioners, the Next Century Cities group emphasized the importance of universal access to high-speed Internet services.

“It is increasingly clear that ultra-fast, next-generation Internet networks are the key to building and sustaining thriving communities, as essential as good healthcare, great schools, and reliable public safety,” the letter stated. “Providing high-quality Internet is inarguably essential to safeguarding the public interest in the years and decades to come.”

The ability to make that service generally available, according to Next Century Cities, requires that regulators give local governments a free hand in how they approach the problem – which includes, for many, the creation of municipal broadband networks.

The group notes that two communities represented in the signatories to the letter – Wilson, N.C. and Chattanooga, Tenn. – have already asked the FCC to intervene on their behalves, as their public initiatives have been restricted by state laws.

Next Century Cities also appears to have a powerful ally in the form of President Barack Obama, who publicly stated his opposition to state restrictions on municipal broadband in a wide-ranging broadband proposal released earlier this month. The director of the President’s National Economic Council, Jeff Zients, bemoaned the lack of options available to Americans at a press briefing for the announcement.

Unsurprisingly, major cable companies like Comcast and TWC have been full-throated in their opposition to the development of public-sector alternatives to their service, and have spent large sums of money on helping to pass heavy restrictions on their development at every level.


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A river runs through it: Brazil plans underwater fibre network in the Amazon | TeleGeography.com

The Brazilian authorities are reportedly studying an ambitious plan to deploy a 7,784km underwater fibre network in the Amazon basin.


According to BNAmericas, the ‘Conexao Norte’ (Northern Connection) scheme has been developed by Brazilian fibre-optic systems manufacturer Padtec, in conjunction with national research network Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP), state-controlled telco Telebras and state-run power firm Eletrobras, with help from the army’s ICT department.


A 12km pilot project will commence in Amazonas state capital Manaus in March, according to proposal documents. Ultimately, the network will encompass six optical fibre routes, making use of the Amazon basin’s riverbeds.

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The 2015 submarine cable map is here! | TeleGeography.com

TeleGeography is pleased to announce that our 2015 Submarine Cable Map, sponsored by PCCW Global, is now available!

This year’s map pays tribute to the pioneering mapmakers of the Age of Discovery, incorporating elements of medieval and renaissance cartography. In addition to serving as navigational aids, maps from this era were highly sought after works of art, often adorned with fanciful illustrations of real and imagined dangers at sea. Such embellishments largely disappeared in the early 1600s, pushing modern map design in a purely functional direction. TeleGeography’s newest map brings back the lost design aesthetic that vanished along with these whimsical details, to provide a view of the global submarine cable network seen through the lens of a bygone era.

While the design is vintage, the data are fresh: the map depicts 278 in-service and 21 planned submarine cables. TeleGeography’s latest data on submarine cable latency and lit capacity by route appear alongside ornate illustrations depicting common causes of submarine cable faults, steps in the cable laying process, and mythical sea monsters.


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Broadband Linked to Population Growth | Tim Marema | Daily Yonder

Counties with better broadband access are adding population at 10 times the rate of counties that lack good broadband connections, according to a study by an industry magazine.

The study by Broadband Communities found that counties in the bottom half of their states’ broadband-access rankings had a population growth rate of only 0.27% from 2010 to 2013. Counties in the top half of broadband-access rankings increased their population by an average of 2.79% during the same period.

The trend was even more pronounced for counties at the top and bottom of the broadband rankings. Counties in the bottom 10% lost population -- a decline of 0.55% -- while the top 10% of connected counties gained 3.18%.

“Good broadband is even more closely related to economic opportunity than has been realized,” said the study, which was released last month.

The study has special implications for rural areas. From 2010 to 2012, rural counties (defined as counties outside a metropolitan statistical area) lost population for the first time. Rural counties also have lower broadband access rates than metropolitan counties.

“The Broadband Communities study confirms a strong association between these two phenomena,” wrote the study’s author, Steven S. Ross.

The study used data from the Census and the National Broadband Map for all 3,144 U.S. counties plus the District of Columbia. It ranked counties by broadband access on a percentile basis within each state and then calculated population changes for counties grouped into those rankings.

The chart at the top of the story shows the result. Each dot charts a county on two coordinates: 1) the percentage of the population in the county that has access to broadband of 25 megabits per second or more (the horizontal axis) and 2) the percentage change in population size from 2010 to 2013 (vertical access).


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OH: OneCommunity Announces "Big Gig Challenge" Award Recipients | community broadband networks

OH: OneCommunity Announces "Big Gig Challenge" Award Recipients | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last fall, nonprofit ISP OneCommunity created the "Big Gig Challenge" to jump start expansion and promote gigabit applications in northeast Ohio. The organization recently announced the winners and provided some information about their projects.

The West 25th Corridor project, running through Ohio City, Tremont, Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Centre, and Old Brooklyn is a four mile stretch that will affect small business, the Cleveland Clinic, two MetroHealth Systems campuses, and several other large employers. This project also reaches 14 sites that could be developed and over 900 properties. It is a collaborative project that includes four Cleveland Wards.

The Village of Greenwillow plans to expand its existing network and work with private sector business owners and land developers. Likewise, Lorain County Community College will build off its existing network connections to create a community fiber road map. From a press release on the award, as printed in BBC Mag:


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Federal Community Broadband Act proposed to remove state barriers for public networks | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Last week, US Senators Cory Booker, D-NJ, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo introduced the Community Broadband Act to preserve the rights of cities and localities to build municipal broadband networks. It coincides with President Obama’s recent request that the FCC look into removing such barriers.

Here’s what I see as the high level meat of the act

No statute, regulation, or other legal requirement of a State or local government may prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting or substantially inhibiting, any public provider from providing telecommunications service or advanced telecommunications capability or services to any person or any public or private entity.

And there’s a “safeguard” that might in the end serve private providers as well as public. Perhaps digging from both sides of the tunnel, local governments will find better ways to deal with permitting and rights-of-way


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BAM! The FCC just defined broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News

BAM! The FCC just defined broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission just took a bold step and redefined broadband as 25 Mbps for downstream speeds and 3 Mbps for upstream speeds a move FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had hinted at earlier this month in a speech at International CES. The definition is a huge jump from the previous definition of broadband as 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, which was the old standard implemented in 2010.

For a measure of how bold this is, consider that the previous standard was only changed in 2008 to define broadband as 786 kbps down up from dial up speeds of 200 kbps down at a time when people were already using services such as Skype. So until this move, the definition of broadband usually lagged the actual broadband speeds the majority of customers were actually offered in the country. But according to the FCC about 20 percent of the country can’t access speeds that meet the new definition, which is why this is so notable.

The FCC’s definition is important because it determines where and what projects can get funding, especially in rural areas, which are those most likely to have slower outdated broadband. The rules are mostly likely to cause problems for DSL providers, notably AT&T, Verizon and smaller companies such as Windstream, CenturyLink and Fairpoint, which have many miles of old copper wires that will now need some kind of upgrade to provide 25 Mbps services to the home.

The FCC’s efforts to promote faster broadband are clearly troubling the industry. The National Communications and Telecommunications Association posted this statement:


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ACA to FCC: No Enhanced Transparency Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

ACA to FCC: No Enhanced Transparency Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The American Cable Association has told the Federal Communications Commission it should not adopt enhanced transparency rules in the new Open Internet order commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to vote on in February. But if the agency proceeds, it should exempt the medium-sized and smaller cable operators ACA represents, and should apply the rules to edge providers.

Transparency rules are the only ones a federal court didn't tell the FCC it had to change when it threw out the old rules last year, but some have pushed the commission to boost the requirements to better guard against violations and help edge providers develop applications.

The ACA said no one has demonstrated that the current rules don't provide sufficient information to determine whether an ISP is discriminating.

Nonetheless, if the FCC imposes enhanced transparency rules, it must exclude smaller operators for whom they would cause "excessive and costly burdens"; instead, the ACA said, the FCC should rely on its current investigation, complaint and enforcement procedures.

The ACA also argued that while enhanced disclosure should not apply to its members, it should extend to all entities, including edge providers, who can also cause congestion for consumers. The vote is set for Feb. 26.


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