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Indoor positioning market heats up with Apple acquisition of WifiSLAM | Techworld.com

Indoor positioning market heats up with Apple acquisition of WifiSLAM | Techworld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The news this week that Apple has acquired indoor positioning company WifiSLAM is a sign that the war over indoor mobile location services is hotting up.

 

Apple paid around $20 million (£13m) for the Silicon Valley-based company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Typically, Apple played down the purchase, stating that it invests in smaller technology companies “from time to time”, and that it generally does not discuss its plans.

 

However, mapping is something of a sensitive subject for Apple. The company's CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologise to customers in September 2012 after the company replaced Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own mapping application, which was found to be riddled with inaccuracies.

 

“One thing Apple needs to have learned from the Apple Maps fiasco is that you can't come straight to market with a solution that is going to be able to compete with the market leaders,” said Jamie Moss, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. Apple needs to take the time to test new mapping services thoroughly before bringing them to market, he added.

 

Indoor mapping is a very different beast from outdoor mapping, however. Nobody has really cracked indoor mapping yet, so Apple has an opportunity to catch up with Google or Nokia in this space. By bringing on board an indoor-mapping specialist like WifiSLAM, Apple is bolstering its chances considerably.

 

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MPAA's Chris Dodd Tells Each Movie Studio To Donate $40k To Rep. Goodlatte's Election Campaign | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

MPAA's Chris Dodd Tells Each Movie Studio To Donate $40k To Rep. Goodlatte's Election Campaign | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As you may recall, at the height of the SOPA fight fallout, MPAA boss Chris Dodd went on television and threatened to stop funding the politicians who didn't support the MPAA's copyright agenda:

"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Given that statement, this little tidbit from the Sony email archives is interesting. It's Chris Dodd more or less demanding that all of the member studios donate $40,000 to Rep. Bob Goodlatte's re-election campaign. As you may know, Goodlatte is the head of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives, and copyright falls under that committee.


Even more to the point, despite the fact that there's an "Intellectual Property Subcommittee" (headed by Rep. Darrell Issa), Goodlatte has made it clear that copyright reform remains under his own personal mandate. In this email, Dodd notes that Goodlatte is coming to LA and there's a fundraiser -- and he asks each of the member studios to see if they can put together $40,000 for Goodlatte's campaign:


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Kaiser Permanente to put IT campus in Midtown Atlanta; create 900 jobs | Urvaksh Karkaria & Maria Saporta | Atlanta Biz Chronicle

Kaiser Permanente to put IT campus in Midtown Atlanta; create 900 jobs | Urvaksh Karkaria & Maria Saporta | Atlanta Biz Chronicle | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente will plant a $20 million information technology campus in Midtown Atlanta — a project that will create about 900 jobs.

The Invest Atlanta board approved unanimously at its meeting Thursday $300,000 in incentives for “Project Big Chill,” as the expansion project was codenamed.

Eloisa Klementich, managing director of business development for Invest Atlanta, said Atlanta competed with Colorado for the Kaiser Permanente project.


In December 2014, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the health care provider and medical insurer was scouting Atlanta buildings for the 150,000 square-foot project. In March 2105, the Chronicle reported Kaiser had zeroed in on Midtown's Pershing Point Plaza.


Kaiser employs 4,000 in Georgia and has 30 medical facilities in metro Atlanta and Athens, Ga. In 2011, the company announced plans to invest about $100 million in building two new medical specialty centers in the region.


Kaiser's expansion will burnish Atlanta’s reputation as a health-care IT industry cluster. More than 200 health IT companies operate in Georgia, employing about 16,000.


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Free webinar on $400 million Healthcare Connect Fund | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

A great chance to learn more…

The Healthcare Connect Fund provides $400 million in funding for broadband network and access services to be used by rural healthcare facilities and consortiums. Rural broadband service providers are in a unique position to work with community stakeholders to secure this funding and provide broadband network and access services to them.

Join Finley Engineering and Telecompetitor for an upcoming webinar,
Healthcare Connect Fund: A $400M Opportunity, where we will outline this updated Universal Service Fund program and the opportunities it presents to rural broadband service providers and their communities.

Register today at www.bit.ly/1IgfDYn


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USTelecom's McCormick: We Support the Open Internet Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

USTelecom's McCormick: We Support the Open Internet Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

US Telecom President Walter McCormick says his association supports the substance of the FCC's new open Internet rules as outlined by the FCC and President Obama, which is no blocking or throttling or paid prioritization.

He suggested in an interview on C-SPAN's Communicators series that that was not a heavy lift because his industry operates under those standards already.

But USTelecom was among the first to sue to block the FCC rules this week after the final order was published in the Federal Register.

USTelecom's problem, as it is for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), is how those rules were enacted--by regulating information services as a common carrier, or what McCormick calls "19th century railroad regulation."

Christopher Lewis, VP of Title II fans Public Knowledge, was also on the program and stood up for the FCC's approach. He said that after a decade of trying to come up with rules that would hold up in court, Title II was the best way to do that. "Title II was necessary to get us to strong network neutrality rules," he said.


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Sony Pictures condemns WikiLeaks' release of hacked material | Saba Hamedy | LATimes

Sony Pictures condemns WikiLeaks' release of hacked material | Saba Hamedy | LATimes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Months after Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered from a crippling cyberattack, troves of the studio's leaked information has resurfaced on WikiLeaks, potentially reopening one of the darkest chapters in the Culver City studio's history.

The Julian Assange-run website, known for its massive release of classified U.S. military documents and diplomatic records, on Thursday published a searchable database called "The Sony Archives."

The public can now easily peruse the data, which includes 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures and 173,132 emails, to and from, more than 2,200 Sony Pictures email addresses.

"This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation," Assange said in a statement on the website. "It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there."

Sony Pictures condemned the WikiLeaks release in a statement, and tried to shoot down Wikileaks' argument that the documents and emails belong in the public domain, describing the initial cyber attack as "a malicious criminal act."


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MN House adds broadband to budget but only $8M for broadband grants | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

This afternoon, the Minneasota House Ways and Means Committee took up the jobs bill with an updated budget resolution. The amendment proposed $250K per year for the Office and $8M total grants.

I just got word that the amendments are adopted and bill will be moving to the floor. The good news is that broadband is in the budget and that leaves a door open! The bad news is that it’s much less than the Minnesota Broadband Task Force has suggested. To put $8 million in perspective, the ballpark figure for getting ubiquitous broadband in Minnesota is between $900 million and $3 billion.

Here’s a portion of the amendment…

Subd. 9. Broadband Development 8,000,000

$8,000,000 the first year is from the general fund for deposit in the border-to-border broadband fund account created under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396, for the purposes provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until June 30, 2019.


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Cisco router feature open to exploit | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com

Cisco router feature open to exploit | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A default feature in Cisco routers can be exploited to surrender data, according to this post in The Register. The vulnerability was discovered by Brazilian security researchers and Cisco is aware of it.

The feature is embedded packet capture, a troubleshooting tool that allows administrators to capture packets to determine, for example, the cause of an anomaly. The researchers used the EPC feature to collect massive amounts of data that could be exploited, though they and Cisco admit access to EPC would require privileged user access.

But since EPC is a default feature, its potential for abuse still presents a risk, the researchers say. They say hackers could access user credentials, pre-shared keys and other sensitive information.

Cisco advises customers is to ensure that appropriate user access controls are in place to avoid abuse of the EPC feature, according to The Register.


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Google seeks $19.8M tax break in Iowa | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com

Google seeks $19.8M tax break in Iowa | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google needs a tax break like Bill Gates needs food stamps, yet that isn’t stopping the search giant from asking for $19.8 million in “economic development incentives” from Iowa to build a $1-billion expansion of its growing data center facility in Council Bluffs.

And, well, why not ask? The company has already been given $16.8 million in tax breaks to build out the various stages of the existing Council Bluffs facility, which opened in 2007.

According to this Omaha World-Herald report, the latest tax break is expected to be approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Council Bluffs City Council with little or no opposition.

In addition to 2,000 ongoing construction jobs, the finished facility is supposed to carry 70 full-time “qualified” positions, with qualified being a salary level that wasn’t specified in the story. That may not seem like a lot of jobs for $36.6 million in tax breaks, but the local officials speak glowingly of having an employer of Google’s stature in town – who wouldn’t? -- and Google, on its website, isn’t shy about extolling its virtues either:

Since 2009, we've awarded more than $820,000 to local schools and nonprofits. Additionally, in October 2011, we partnered with the City of Council Bluffs to launch a free WiFi network for everyone in and around three Council Bluffs areas: Downtown Council Bluffs, Mid America Center, and the Harvey Recreational Complex. We expanded the network in 2013 to cover River’s Edge Park and City Hall.

But are such tax breaks really necessary? Especially when talking about construction projects of this magnitude and companies as well off as Google, which has some $64 billion in cash burning a hole in its corporate pockets.


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Integra reaches 3,000 building locations with fiber | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Integra reaches 3,000 building locations with fiber | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Integra has extended fiber to more than 3,000 building locations in its 11-state territory that it serves via its Integra Business and Electric Lightwave business units.

Seeing what it says is significant growth in the Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle markets, Integra's expansion is focused on addressing customer demand for high bandwidth service access to cloud services.

Any building location that's connected to Integra's fiber network means that any tenant can connect remote locations, access cloud and off-site data center services and deliver online services to their customers.

"With 3,000 locations now on-net, our infrastructure is more flexible, powerful and enterprise-ready than ever, and we look forward to continuing to lay new fiber connections to businesses whose needs align with our network's unique set of capabilities," said Dan Stoll, president, Electric Lightwave, in a release.

Reaching this milestone comes as Integra continues to look for opportunities to break free of its small business heritage and move into larger mid-sized and large enterprise business accounts.


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Leverett Starts to Light Up in Massachusetts | community broadband networks

Leverett Starts to Light Up in Massachusetts | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The celebrated municipal network in Leverett, Massachusetts, is starting to serve select areas of the community. Customers' properties on the north side of town are now receiving 1 gigabit Internet service from the town's partner Crocker Communications. These early subscribers are considered "beta sites." Telephone service will become available when the network has been fully tested.

According to the press release:

The Town's initial plan was to turn on all subscriber locations at the same time; but interest from pre-subscribers was so strong that the Town's Broadband Committee arranged to offer sequential connections as individual homes are spliced into the network distribution cable.

We learned about Leverett in 2012 as they explored the possibility of a municipal network. Lack of Internet access and problems with traditional phone service drove the community to take the initiative. Since then, they have been heralded as a model for self-reliance by the press, featured in case studies, and included in a white paper from the National Economic Council and Council of Economic Advisors.

LeverettNet subscribers pay a monthly $49.95 fee to the local Municipal Light Plant (MLP), the agency that maintains and operates the infrastructure. As more subscribers sign-up, that fee will decrease.


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San Leandro, CA Municipal Broadband: Signs of Desperation? | Bernie Arnason | Telecompetitor

San Leandro, CA Municipal Broadband: Signs of Desperation? | Bernie Arnason | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There is a spirited debate within the broadband industry regarding the growing number of municipal governments and/or utilities getting into the broadband access business. There are passionate arguments with legitimate concerns on both sides of this debate. To get a better understanding of this issue, I attended this week’s 2015 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas.

One response to this question regarding the need for municipals to enter the broadband business grabbed my attention – desperation. It was voiced by Deborah Acosta, the chief innovation officer for the city of San Leandro, California during the panel discussion “Using Broadband to Drive Economic Development: Successful Local Approaches.”

Acosta, who joined the panel remotely via Skype, responded to a question as to why her city decided to create Lit San Leandro, a public-private partnership that built and operates a municipal broadband fiber network serving the business community of San Leandro. “Desperation,” said Acosta, referring to the fear that businesses would flee the Bay Area locality because of inadequate broadband service. “T-1s simply weren’t going to cut it anymore,” said Acosta.


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Phone Company Refuses to Stop Denouncing ALEC’s Telecom Policy | Dustin Volz | National Journal

Phone Company Refuses to Stop Denouncing ALEC’s Telecom Policy | Dustin Volz | National Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) can't shut up its liberal enemies.

The progressive wireless carrier Credo Mobile told ALEC last week it has no plans to cave to the conservative group's recent demands that it stop publicly denouncing its telecom policy.

Last month, attorneys representing ALEC sent a cease-and-desist letter to Credo threatening legal action if the wireless carrier did not stop making claims suggesting the conservative group opposes the expansion of municipal broadband services.

But Credo, like some of ALEC's other foes, hasn't balked. In its response letter, Credo defends its statements by arguing that they are in fact true and that ALEC, despite the group's assertions, is an organization that lobbies state lawmakers to advance its agenda.

"That ALEC has (arguably) not been required to register as a lobbyist in certain states does not in any way render untrue what ALEC's own actions and statements clearly indicate: ALEC attempts to influence legislative outcomes," Credo wrote in a letter released Wednesday. "Not only does ALEC attempt to influence legislative outcomes; it clearly succeeds in doing so."


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Brian Forde joins the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency | MIT News

Brian Forde joins the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency | MIT News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Brian Forde, former White House senior advisor for mobile and data innovation, has joined the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency. In this newly created position, Forde will work with researchers across the Institute and leading experts at other universities around the world in a new initiative to address some of the most critical challenges to creating a safe, stable, and secure digital currency.

“We are fortunate to have Brian join the Media Lab to help organize an important research agenda to get cryptocurrencies right,” Media Lab Director Joi Ito says. “Brian’s experience mainstreaming emerging technologies from the rural mountains of Nicaragua to the White House will be invaluable as he tackles the challenges of digital currency — one of the most promising emerging technologies for the next 10 years.”

Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology and public policy. At the White House he was responsible for determining how the Obama administration would leverage open data and emerging technologies to address the president's national priorities. In this role, his work included launching initiatives in climate change, natural disasters, and open data, and leading the revitalization of Detroit. He was also key to formulating the White House Tech Inclusion and TechHire initiatives, bringing together leaders from the technology community, large corporations, and advocacy groups to support the hiring and training of more women and minorities in technology. In recognition of this work, Forde was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.


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Special Report: Wheeling 'n Dealing At the California Public Utilities Commission - The Peevey Years | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Special Report: Wheeling 'n Dealing At the California Public Utilities Commission - The Peevey Years | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

California’s Public Utilities Commission seems increasingly unable to escape its reputation for backroom dealing, close personal ties to lobbyists working for the utility companies it regulates, and a growing conclusion it could care less about the interests of ordinary California consumers it is supposed to protect. That’s great news if you are an energy or telecommunications company with business before the commission, but bad news for consumers.

In this first part in a series of reports, Stop the Cap! investigates corruption at the highest levels of the California regulator. Search warrants have been executed, documents seized, and top officials of one of the state’s largest utilities have been fired. But it that enough for Californians to finally get a fair shake?


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Google embraces 'mobile-friendly' sites in search shake-up | Michael Liedtke | AP News

Google embraces 'mobile-friendly' sites in search shake-up | Michael Liedtke | AP News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.

The revised formula, scheduled to be released Tuesday, will favor websites that Google defines as "mobile-friendly." Websites that don't fit the description will be demoted in Google's search results on smartphones and tablets while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings - a prized position that can translate into more visitors and money.

Although Google's new formula won't affect searches on desktop and laptop computers, it will have a huge influence on how and where people spend their money, given that more people are relying on their smartphones to compare products in stores and look for restaurants. That's why Google's new rating system is being billed by some search experts as "Mobile-geddon."

"Some sites are going to be in for a big surprise when they find a drastic change in the amount of people visiting them from mobile devices," said Itai Sadan, CEO of website-building service Duda.

It's probably the most significant change that Google Inc. has ever made to its mobile search rankings, according to Matt McGee, editor-in-chief for Search Engine Land, a trade publication that follows every tweak that the company makes to its closely guarded algorithms.

Here are a few things to know about what's happening and why Google is doing it.


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ACA's Polka continues Local Choice push despite NAB warnings | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

ACA's Polka continues Local Choice push despite NAB warnings | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ignoring warnings from the NAB to back off its quest for a la carte distribution of broadcast channels through pay-TV services, American Cable Association (ACA) president and CEO Matthew Polka took to the blogoshpere to once again plug the cable industry's "Local Choice" initiative.

According to Polka, a la carte services like CBS All Access render rules in the 1992 Cable Act anachronistic, and Congress needs to reform the law.

"Say you want to be a cable subscriber but all you want in terms of broadcasting is the area's CBS station. Your cable company will say it can't do so either because of federal law, or because CBS won't allow it," Polka wrote. "Call back the same cable company in your role as one of its broadband Internet subscribers and ask the same question: Will you sell me CBS a la carte? Answer: Not a problem.

"Obviously, this example highlights that federal law is embarrassingly out of touch and needs to catch up with the market," Polka added.

Proposed by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and former Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va), Local Choice would do away with the mandate that MVPDs must deliver each and every available broadcast network to their subscribers.

Under Local Choice, pay-TV operators would only have to make the channels available to customers, who would choose which ones they'd actually pay for.

This proposal, of course, has been highly unpopular with the National Association of Broadcasters.


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Verizon's New Pay TV Pitch Isn't A La Carte TV. But It's Getting Closer. | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net

Verizon's New Pay TV Pitch Isn't A La Carte TV. But It's Getting Closer. | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

People who say they hate paying for cable TV often say they only want to pay for the networks they want to watch — not the bundles of networks pay TV providers require them to buy.

Bundles aren’t going away anytime soon, since they’re the core of the pay TV business. But they are morphing a bit, because the pay TV guys are worried that people might really cut the cord — or, more likely, just never sign up for pay TV at all.

Here’s the latest: An offer from Verizon that lets its Fios TV customers buy a “skinny bundle” of TV channels, and then augment it with a variety of “channel packs” — groups of networks with similar themes, like a sports pack that includes ESPN and Fox Sports — that they can swap out each month. They can also buy extra ones for $10 each.

In theory, this gives customers much more flexibility than traditional pay TV bundles. Here’s a visual representation of Verizon’s pitch:


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Report: DOJ leaning toward nixing Comcast bid for Time Warner Cable | Roger Yu & Elizabeth Weise | USA Today

Report: DOJ leaning toward nixing Comcast bid for Time Warner Cable | Roger Yu & Elizabeth Weise | USA Today | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Shares of Comcast fell 2.1% Friday after Bloomberg News reported that the Justice Department will likely recommend blocking the cable giant's bid to buy Time Warner Cable and consolidate the nation's two largest cable companies.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg News reported that staff attorneys at the department's antitrust division "are nearing" their decision and could submit their findings by next week.

The Justice Department's no-go recommendation would be a huge setback for the two companies that have bet on the merger to fight of a wide set of challenges facing the industry. In creating a larger cable operator, Comcast is hoping to boost its bargaining leverage against cable networks for content fees, retain higher pricing powers, generate savings to invest more in rapidly evolving technology and control more markets for the Internet pipes that are increasingly used for video consumption.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, fell $1.28 to $58.39. Time Warner Cable shares fell 5.1% to $150.07.

Renata Hesse, a deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust, will decide, along with the division's top officials, whether to file a federal lawsuit to block the deal, the report said.

Another troubling sign for Comcast, the report said, is the fact that the DOJ and officials at the Federal Communications Commission, which also has to approve the deal, aren't negotiating with Comcast about merger conditions that would alleviate some concerns.


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Comcast Announces Additional 2 Gigabit Deployments | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

Comcast Announces Additional 2 Gigabit Deployments | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast today announced that the cable giant will be expanding its two gigabit fiber to the home service to another three million potential homes by the end of July.


According to the Comcast announcement, Comcast plans to offer "Gigabit Pro" service to three million California customers in June. Specifically, Comcast says they'll be targeting the Chico, Fresno, Marysville/Yuba City, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara County, Stockton and Visalia metro areas.

The announcement comes on the heels of Comcast's earlier announcement to offer two gigabit service to 1.5 million customers in parts of Atlanta, with the goal of reaching 18 million potential customers by the end of the year.

While Comcast tells me this 18 million user target is homes served, the target still seems extremely ambitious. Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS installs cost those companies around $500-$900 per install, and Comcast's current entire capex budget is no larger than $7 billion per year. Hitting eighteen million homes with two gigabit fiber to the home without notably bumping this budget (and angering investors) -- all in just eight months -- would be an impressive feat.

There's still no word on pricing for the new two gigabit tier.


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FCC moves toward 'historic' spectrum sharing plan | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

FCC moves toward 'historic' spectrum sharing plan | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved what some commissioners called a "historic" plan to allow private mobile broadband services to share spectrum with incumbent military users.

The FCC voted Friday to approve its so-called Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) plan to open up wireless frequencies from 3550MHz to 3700MHz to new users, including new devices that could use the spectrum like current devices use Wi-Fi.

Commercial access to the spectrum may still be years away, and the FCC has several sticky issues it needs to resolve, including questions about the best ways to limit inference between users in the band. But with little new spectrum available to satisfy skyrocketing demand for mobile data services, some commissioners hailed the spectrum-sharing plan as a new model for dealing with a spectrum shortage.

"Since they don't make spectrum anymore, and since spectrum is the pathway of the 21st century, we have to figure out how we're going to live with a fixed amount," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. "Clearly, sharing is key to that."


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Presidential Hopeful Carly Fiorina Displays Astounding Ignorance In Slamming Net Neutrality | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Presidential Hopeful Carly Fiorina Displays Astounding Ignorance In Slamming Net Neutrality | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Carly Fiorina, whose claim to fame was basically presiding over HP while the company's value dropped in half, has made it clear that she's planning to run for President, despite her sole political experience being losing a Senate race in California against Barbara Boxer. To get ready, Fiorina has been ramping up her public opinion-spewing. She's gotten plenty of attention for blaming environmentalists for California's current water problems and accusing Apple's CEO Tim Cook of hypocrisy in his response to Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Feel free to debate those claims all you want.


The one that interests me is Fiorina's confused and ignorant take on net neutrality -- which seems to involve making a bunch of claims that are flat out false.


I recognize that, as a Republican candidate, she apparently is duty-bound to hate on net neutrality (despite the fact that Republican and Democratic voters alike both overwhelmingly support net neutrality -- and Republicans who actually understand technology support it as well).


It still remains a mystery to me why this is even a partisan issue, but it is. Still, if you're going to attack net neutrality, you should at least do so on a factual basis. Fiorina can't even muster up the effort to do that.


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Wisconsin Interactive Broadband Map Targets Economic Development | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor

Wisconsin Interactive Broadband Map Targets Economic Development | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation have created an interactive map plotting business parks in the state where gigabit broadband connectivity is available, illustrating the importance that high-speed broadband service has become to business site selection.

At its launch, the map plots 130 business parks located in territories served by telcos that are WSTA members, explained WSTA Executive Director Bill Esbeck in an interview. WSTA members primarily are small independent rural telcos but also include TDS Telecom and Frontier. Data from larger companies such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Charter Communications that serve metro and other areas of the state currently aren’t in the database but Esbeck expects them to be added.

“From here on out we will add more sites,” Esbeck said. “A continuing effort will be [ongoing] to get more providers to offer [information about] where their service is available.”


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Oregon Towns Bypass Google Fiber, Plan Own Gigabit Networks | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

Oregon Towns Bypass Google Fiber, Plan Own Gigabit Networks | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we've noted a few times, Google Fiber isn't just about Google putting pressure on ISPs, it's about teaching towns and cities how to apply this pressure themselves. The company has circulated a checklist to help municipalities get out of their own way, but the lure of better, faster service has more towns and cities than ever before considering building their own networks.

The towns of Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Gresham and West Linn in Oregon are only the latest communities tired of waiting for ISPs (or Google Fiber) to come to town, and have started considering building their own networks:


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WA: Restless crowd wants Tacoma to keep control of Click network | Kate Martin | The News Tribune

WA: Restless crowd wants Tacoma to keep control of Click network | Kate Martin | The News Tribune | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The future of Tacoma’s Click cable network is in question. A passionate audience filled the lower tier of seats at Stadium High School’s theater Thursday night to hear a proposal to lease the network and voice their thoughts.

City leaders are mulling a 40-year lease to Wave, a growing company based in Kirkland with more than 430,000 customers in three states. In exchange, Wave would pay Tacoma $2 million per year, and make $1.5 million in annual upgrades to the network’s infrastructure. Click bosses say the value of the 40-year deal is worth $380 million in today’s dollars.

Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Tacoma Public Utilities board member Mark Patterson gave a brief overview of the history of Click, while Click general manager Tenzin Gyaltsen talked about Click’s finances and the specifics of Wave’s proposal.

Right now, TPU bosses say, Tacoma Power’s customers subsidize the cost of the Click network to the tune of around $9 million per year.

Thursday’s public meeting was meant to hear what residents thought of a possible Wave deal. TPU planned to ask questions of the audience with “instant polling” using card-sized devices, called clickers in education circles.

But the restless crowd was in no mood for order.

As the poll was about to begin, several people shouted from the crowd that they wanted to speak before the poll was conducted.


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More for O’Neill: broadband, quality of life | Jessica Weston | RidgecrestCA.com

More for O’Neill: broadband, quality of life | Jessica Weston | RidgecrestCA.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The city’s Special Projects Consultant, Justin O’Neill, will be taking on more tasks.

The Ridgecrest, CA City Council at its meeting April 1 approved two agreements to fund projects to be carried out by O’Neill, one to work on a Broadband Action Team and one to form a Quality of Life Cooperative with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. The agreements were both approved with the amendment that O’Neill make regular progress reports to the city Organization and Services Committee.

The projects will each pay O’Neill a different hourly rate. He will receive $28.50 an hour for working on the Broadband Action Team and $30.00 an hour for working on the Quality of Life Cooperative. Funding will be deducted from his $26,000 yearly contract, which was approved after some controversy last year. Funding for O’Neill’s contract does not carry over from year to year, but the contract renews automatically and needs to be cancelled by council, according to information at the meeting.

O’Neill, who also works for the Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium, called the Broadband Action Team Proposal “a catch-all for some of the work that we know needs to be done.”

He said that the ESCRBC works regionally to enhance broadband resources. “There’s a lot of work that gets done on that side that has to be caught by a municipality or a county or an organization.”

Council at an earlier meeting approved a letter supporting AB 1262, which proposes to allocate additional funding to the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account, which in turn will benefit the efforts of this community through Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortia to enhance the connectivity and reliability of internet capability for local businesses, according to a staff report. That item was brought to council by O’Neill.


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