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Grant-Funded Broadband Enabled Health Care Online Course Released For California Nurses | The Sacramento Bee

Grant-Funded Broadband Enabled Health Care Online Course Released For California Nurses | The Sacramento Bee | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to the White House, the U.S. spends $2.2 trillion each year in health care, and Americans spend more on health care than on food or housing.  An upward trend in health care cost is projected over the period of 2015-2021 at an average rate of 6.2 percent annually, reflecting the net result of the aging of the population, several provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and generally improving economic conditions reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

 

Many experts believe that broadband enabled health may be a critical answer to controlling costs, while enhancing quality health care, and is being considered by many to be the next great frontier of American medicine. A recent study by U.S. Telecom suggests that health care expenditures could be cut by $200 billion over the next 25 years using broadband.  High-speed transmission capability has generated efficiencies such as faster patient diagnoses, reduced medical errors, and additional control over skyrocketing patient care costs. Successful broadband adoption requires implementation of broadband-dependent applications that add value to health care organizations, businesses and consumers. This requires that clinicians and consumers are broadband technology-literate.

 

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Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/04/5316200/grant-funded-broadband-enabled.html#storylink=cpy
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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Comcast Used This 'Spooky' Propaganda to Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor | Motherboard.vice.com

Comcast Used This 'Spooky' Propaganda to Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor | Motherboard.vice.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the days leading up to Halloween back in 2004, residents of the small town of Batavia, Illinois received a flier in the mail, from Comcast. Here's what it said: "Having Halloween Nightmares? Ghosts? Goblins? Witches?… A Municipal Broadband Utility?" 


The city (and two others nearby) were getting ready to vote on a referendum measure that would have created a locally owned fiber network, set to be both faster and cheaper than the services offered by Comcast and SBC Communications, which is now owned by AT&T. 


Municipally owned broadband networks have taken off in cities around the country and have won rave reviews from citizens lucky enough to get it—muni fiber, as it's often called, is often tens of times faster than services offered by Comcast or other broadband providers and is usually cheaper than big telecom options. But its rollout has been slow nationwide, partly because of political and legal roadblocks put up by whatever cable company is already servicing the area.


If there's any doubt that the competition-killing practices of the "incumbents" is nothing new, look no further than what happened in Batavia and the neighboring towns of Geneva and St. Charles.


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The FTC is expanding the war on bogus cell phone charges | WashPost.com

The FTC is expanding the war on bogus cell phone charges | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Not content with suing T-Mobile over its earlier practice of allegedly charging consumers for third-party services they didn't ask for, the Federal Trade Commission is broadening its campaign against "mobile cramming."


In a new report Monday, the FTC said that wireless carriers should give consumers the right to block third-party charges and to make sure customers have given their explicit consent before applying any fees associated with third-party services.


"In six recent enforcement actions," the FTC wrote in its report, "the Commission has alleged that such practices have cost consumers many millions of dollars, and in just three of these actions, defendants have agreed to orders imposing judgments totaling more than $160 million."


Twenty million people are affected by mobile cramming every year, according to a federal study, but only 1 in 20 people ever realize it. Many people get hit with mystery fees after doing something as innocuous as typing in their phone number into a Web form. Those numbers then get served text messages by spammy horoscope providers or other unwanted services — messages that then translate into charges on consumers' bills.


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TWC's Marcus: Busy FCC may be delayed in finishing Comcast purchase approval | FierceCable.com

TWC's Marcus: Busy FCC may be delayed in finishing Comcast purchase approval | FierceCable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With the FCC oversubscribed to various other corporate mergers, not to mention reimagining its net neutrality rules, it could very well be delayed in reviewing Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, TWC CEO Rob Marcus said.


Marcus made this statement last week in a memo sent to TWC employees and obtained by Capital New York. In this missive, he indicated concern that the FCC's workload could push the merger's approval/rejection beyond the end of 2014. Marcus also pondered the cumulative impact of the other events on the Comcast/TWC deal.


"As you know, since we announced our deal, AT&T and DirecTV announced their plan to merge and rumors continue to circulate about the possibility that Sprint and T-Mobile will attempt to combine," Marcus wrote. "At a minimum, these other deals in the telecom space may put a strain on the resources of the FCC, which is already busy with its proceedings on 'net neutrality' and the auction of additional wireless spectrum. In the meantime, recent speculation about mergers and acquisitions in the content world are adding more fuel to the public debate about whether consolidation is good or bad for consumers. While it's possible that all this noise could impact the review of our deal, we continue to work closely with Comcast on planning for a closing around year-end, understanding that it could take longer."


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UltraFlix adds 4K concerts, sports videos | Advanced Television

NanoTech Entertainment has entered into a distribution agreement to add 45 concerts, music and sports videos as well as horror films to NanoTech’s UltraFlix all Ultra-HD OTT network.


4K Studios, a NanoTech subsidiary, will be creating 4K digital masters from the films. With the addition of a total of 11 concerts, 13 music & performing arts films and 19 sports videos as well as 2 horror films, UltraFlix subscribers will be able to choose from nearly 350 hours of sci-fi, action/thriller, comedy, drama and family movies as well as sports videos, concerts, TV shows, special events and Moving Murals in addition to 100 hours of free content.


NanoTech’s Nuvola NP-1, which comes preloaded with UltraFlix and several video, gaming and social media applications pre-installed, is a multifunction device that can stream videos in 4K Ultra HD as well as HD, SD and 3D formats.


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Time Warner Shares Flat As Fox Push Continues | Multichannel.com

Time Warner Shares Flat As Fox Push Continues | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Inc., shares were relatively stable Monday even as reports surfaced that 21st Century Fox is continuing its pursuit of the company, this time making it known that it would give up board seats in the combined company.

 

A report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal stated that Fox executives is prepared to offer an unspecified number of board seats to Time Warner iln the combined company, to alleviate any fears about corporate governance.  Time Warner was unmoved because board seats aren’t why the company rejected Fox’s earlier bid for the company. Time Warner has said publicly that it believed that  Fox’s $80 billion unsolicited offer was too low.


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Comcast Confessions: when every call is a sales call | TheVerge.com

Comcast Confessions: when every call is a sales call | TheVerge.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Internet not working? Confusing charges on your bill? Moving, and need to cancel your service? It doesn’t matter why you’re calling Comcast — get ready for a sales pitch.


Dozens of current and former Comcast employees told The Verge they had to constantly push products, even if they worked in tech support, billing, and general customer service.


Mark Pavlic was hired as a customer account executive at Comcast in October 2010 after graduating from a technical institute. He figured he’d be troubleshooting TV, phone, and internet service, but most of his month-long training focused on sales. Every day when he walked into the call center, he’d see a whiteboard with employee names and their RGUs, or revenue generating units.


"I didn’t know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what’s wrong, and you’re looking for ways to sell them service."


The longer he was there, the more the company emphasized sales. "They pushed it as a way for us to earn more money," he says. "[But] if you were low on sales, you got put on probation." He quit after 10 months.


Pavlic’s call center in Pittsburgh is operated by Comcast, but the company also uses third-party and international call centers. Exact training and incentive structures vary by call center, and on whether employees are working on business services or residential services. Our interviews revealed a common thread across facilities: what often started out as a carrot — bonuses for frontline employees who made sales — turned into a stick, as employees who failed to pitch hard enough or meet their quotas were chastised, or worse.


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Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower | Techdirt.com

Former CIA/NSA Boss Michael Hayden Admits Ed Snowden Was A Whistleblower | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ever since Snowden first leaked the documents he took from the NSA, there's been a (somewhat ridiculous) debate over whether or not he was a "whistleblower" or "a traitor" (or potentially somewhere in between). However, it seems like many fall into one of those somewhat polar opposite positions. To many of us, it's been quite clear that he's a whistleblower. However, to folks like former NSA and CIA boss Michael Hayden, the view has been somewhat different. After all, Hayden has directly called Snowden a traitor, claimed that he was worse than a variety of spies (including the Rosenbergs, Klaus Fuchs, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen), and publicly fantasized about killing Snowden.

So it seems at least somewhat noteworthy that, in a moment of what appears to be accidental honesty, Hayden admitted that Snowden was really a whistleblower (spotted by Snowden legal advisor Jesselyn Radack).


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HBO Pushes Web Expansion as Bewkes Battles Murdoch Bid | Bloomberg.com

HBO Pushes Web Expansion as Bewkes Battles Murdoch Bid | Bloomberg.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Jeff Bewkes is looking to the Internet to accelerate growth at his prized TV network, HBO, as he seeks to demonstrate to investors that Time Warner Inc. is worth more on its own than with Rupert Murdoch.


HBO, home to “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire,” may expand a $49-a-month trial introduced last year with Comcast Corp., people with knowledge of the plan said last week. The pilot, and a similar one from AT&T Inc., offers Web access paired with HBO and limited basic TV.


HBO and its growth prospects are a big part of why New York-based Time Warner rejected a $75 billion buyout offer from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc., saying it will be better off independent. HBO was already developing ways to reach more consumers. The plan relies on more aggressive marketing, an upgraded HBO Go app and expanded access to the network for broadband-only customers of companies like Comcast who don’t want to buy a full cable-TV package.


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Bose sues Beats over noise-cancelling headphones | NetworkWorld.com

Bose sues Beats over noise-cancelling headphones | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats won't be finalized until later this quarter, but the company should already feel right at home under the Apple umbrella. Apple is of course no stranger to big-time patent litigation, and now comes word via Bloomberg that Beats has its own patent problem to deal with.


Late last week, Bose filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Beats alleging that the noise-cancelling headphones sold by the Dr. Dre-backed company infringe upon their own patents.


"The Beats Studio and Beats Studio Wireless headphones use technology covered by five patents, Bose said in a complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington July 24. A mirror lawsuit, filed the next day in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, makes the same allegations and is likely to be put on hold while the ITC case is pending.


Bose, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, said it began developing its noise-canceling technology almost four decades ago and started selling its QuietComfort headphones in 2000. The technology in the latest patents, used in more recent models of Bose headphones, involves the use of sound waves to cancel out unwanted noise."


As for the damages Bose is seeking, the complaint didn't specify a precise amount, but it did note that infringing Beats products have caused Bose to suffer tremendously in the marketplace due to lost sales and lost profits.


Bose's complaint reads in part:


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California sees IT shifting to IBM-built cloud | ComputerWorld.com

California sees IT shifting to IBM-built cloud | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

California is moving its IT services to a cloud, on-demand, subscription-based service that state officials believe may meet as much as 80% of its computing needs.


IBM has created the cloud-based service, operating in state-run data centers, under a five-year contract. The system went online July 10.


Operating a statewide cloud is new for California, and something they have no experience with, said Ron Hughes, the state's chief deputy CIO of operations. But as part of the contract, IBM is also obligated to train state workers to operate the cloud service, "so by the end of the contract, we can do it," Hughes said.


That doesn't necessarily mean that vendors will ultimately be out of the picture at the end of five years, but that California wants the ability to run its cloud service on its own, Hughes said.


California's move to cloud-based delivery and centralized IT with shared services is mainstream among the state and the federal government. But the approaches differ.


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LTE network for US public safety taking it one step at a time | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com

LTE network for US public safety taking it one step at a time | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The organizers of the FirstNet LTE public safety network have the frequencies and standards they need to build the system, and they know where the money’s coming from. They know how to get there from here, but it won’t be a quick trip.


FirstNet will realize a vision that emerged in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, using technology that didn’t exist until years later. It will be a single network linking all federal, state and local public-safety agencies in the U.S., based on the same radio spectrum and technology throughout. Though it won’t replace every public-safety radio system in use today, FirstNet will help to eliminate the crazy quilt of incompatible radio systems and frequencies that makes it hard for different teams to coordinate their efforts.


That’s no small matter when the news is bad enough to send first responders from multiple cities, counties or states converging on one area. For example, the many firefighting forces that battle summer blazes around the West often can’t communicate directly with each other because they use different types of radios and different frequency bands, said TJ Kennedy, acting general manager of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is in charge of making the network a reality.


The systems that first responders use now, including more than 10,000 separate LMRS (land mobile radio system) networks, also fall short of many users’ needs. Some public-safety employees have to use their own smartphones in order to use apps, send photos and make calls in the field, according to Kennedy.


Once FirstNet’s built, all agencies will be able to sign up for the same national service, built on modern mobile broadband technology. It will span not just the 50 states but also U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, and is intended to cover as much land as possible. In some cases that will probably require satellite, but most wireless will go over land-based LTE.


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Live from Chattanooga! Gigabit Nation 3rd Anniversary Broadcast | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

Live from Chattanooga! Gigabit Nation 3rd Anniversary Broadcast | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Three years ago, July 27, 2011, Gigabit Nation launched to help public, private and nonprofit organizations get better broadband everywhere it needs to be. Chattanooga's gig network was my first feature.


Join the show's 3rd Anniversary broadcast live from EPB, Chattanooga's public utility and operator of the first U.S. citywide gigabit network.


Chattanooga is one of the rock stars of U.S. broadband. Meet key players from center stage and behind the scenes driving innovation, economic development and a better quality of life for the city's diverse constituents. An all-star cast of stakeholders are stopping by to help Gigabit Nation celebrate, and also share some of the inside scoop on three years of network milestones, marketing wins and plans for future successes. Learn about Chattanooga's fight against states' intrusion on communities' broadband decisions, and other ways in which the gig city is influence national discussion on broadband.


Joining the show are:


  • Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke
  • EPB CEO Harold DePriest
  • Jim Ingraham, EPB VP Strategic Research, Gigabit Nation's first guest
  • Katie Espeseth, EPB VP New Products
  • J.Ed Marston, VP Marketing & Communications, Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Steve Angle, Chancellor, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
  • Jack Studer, LampPost, Chattanooga Venture Capitalist
  • Bentley Cook, Senvery, GigTANK graduate
  • Sheldon Grizzle, Managing Partner, Spartan Partners
  • Mike Bradshaw, Executive Director, The Company Lab


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C-SPAN Moving To Authenticated TV Streaming | Multichannel.com

C-SPAN Moving To Authenticated TV Streaming | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

C-SPAN is launching a beta test of its migration of live online feeds of its TV channels -- C-SPANs 1, 2 and 3 -- to an authentication model starting today (July 28), employing the TV Everywhere model of the multichannel video programming distributors that support the public-affairs programmer.

 

C-SPAN added a note on its Web site that "Online access to these three TV channels will soon require registration. Learn more." Authentication, or verification, won't be required right away, but will be an option so folks can start getting used to the idea and be signed-up and ready for the switch.

 

The "soon" is sometime in late summer. The "more" is that "online, live access to C-SPAN's three television channels will be available only to verified customers of C-SPAN's cable and satellite TV affiliates," says Susan Swain, C-SPAN co-CEO in a video explaining the change. (http://www.c-span.org/about/TVeverywhere/).

 

C-SPAN will continue to provide on the Web site live coverage, free, ad-free, and in the clear of House and Senate floor proceedings, committee meetings, White House press conferences, the courts, elections, and coverage of agency proceedings -- FCC meetings, for example -- and other government activities.


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The Civil Rights Fight of the Information Age | Laura Murphy Blog | HuffPost.com

The Civil Rights Fight of the Information Age | Laura Murphy Blog | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Net neutrality is a civil rights issue. While we often stress the important First Amendment and free speech issues tied to strong "open internet" or "net neutrality" protections, we have spent less time discussing how crucial these protections are to minority and low income communities.


Very soon the Federal Communications Commission will either empower minority voices on the Internet and help close the digital divide, or it will make it easier for communications giants to silence and exclude those communities from the free or low-priced content now on the web.


As technology advances, our First Amendment rights -- especially speech and the right to petition the government -- are increasingly reliant on the open internet. The access to a global megaphone provided by the internet is particularly crucial to minority groups, which have long faced higher barriers to having their voices heard in the mainstream media due to systemic discrimination and a lack of media ownership. The open internet that we now enjoy helped to break down those boundaries, allowing minority groups and dissenting voices to engage in the political process and tell their stories like never before, bypassing traditional big-media gatekeepers.


In recent comments to the FCC, a long list of civil rights groups highlighted the story of Ruth Livier, the first writer to join the Writers Guild of America through work on digital content:


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Now that it's almost officially legal, here's how to unlock your phone on all four U.S. carriers | GigaOM Tech News

Now that it's almost officially legal, here's how to unlock your phone on all four U.S. carriers | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After you’ve finished up with a two-year smartphone contract, one of the easiest ways to save money is to keep your old device and bring it to a compatible carrier with a lower monthly cost. But if your device is carrier locked — and if you bought it on contract from one of the big four carriers, it probably is — you’ll need to unlock it first.


Last week Congress passed a bill that requires carriers to unlock eligible devices, although the carriers were already doing that voluntarily in some situations. President Obama still has to sign the bill, but he’s widely expected to do just that.


So once it becomes officially legal, how do you go about unlocking your smartphone?


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The Six Companies Taking on YouTube | TheVideoInk.com

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube | TheVideoInk.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Everyone is building a YouTube competitor. Right?

Not exactly — though it’s easy to see why a well-resourced company would want to.


Why? Because, quite frankly, there is nothing else quite like YouTube. Sure, there are some competitors in the video space that are open platforms with video embed functionality like Dailymotion and Vimeo. But neither have the competitive scale.


But as we’ve learned repeatedly over the past year, YouTube is not exactly the best for building a profitable business if you rely solely on it for revenue. And where there’s weakness, there’s opportunity.


And there’s a handful of companies gunning to take a bite out of YouTube’s business.


While various companies are not building “direct” YouTube competitors, there are six companies starting to build syndication plays for subscriber-dominant YouTube creators looking for additional revenue ops.


In a way, it’s windowing in the YouTube economy, where the commodity is the creator and the relationship with his or her fans, instead of any particular piece of content he or she creates.


Six companies are strategically making moves to swoop in on YouTube’s business.


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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out | TheRegister.co.uk

Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out | TheRegister.co.uk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A pioneering American community ISP is telling customers that Netflix should spend more time improving its technology, more money on its network – and less energy on lobbying in Washington DC.


BSD developer and author Brett Glass founded Lariat.net in Wyoming in 1992, making it one of the first ISPs in the world. He told The Register that he's fed up with Netflix hiding behind the "net neutrality" lobbying movement, and says it should invest in better infrastructure and better technology instead.


Glass said he believes the net neutrality debate is fundamentally misleading - with large corporations using deceptive language (does anyone actually want a “closed internet”?) and squabbling about lowering their costs.  Netflix is an “over the top” (OTT) video service that generates enormous costs - but does demand that tiny community ISPs pay a hefty upfront fee, says Glass.


Glass told us:


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GAO: Consumers Concerned About Usage-Based Pricing | Multichannel.com

GAO: Consumers Concerned About Usage-Based Pricing | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Based on what it says are preliminary observations, the Government Accountability Office has found that focus groups were generally OK with wireless usage-based pricing (UBP), while expressing "strong negative reactions" to wireline UBP.

 

And while wireline UPB may not affect many consumers now, that could change. Of the wireline ISPs with data allowance tiers interviewed for the report, most said that less than 10%, and usually more like 1%-2%, exceed their allowance. But those that appear to be using the net to replace traditional subscription TV consume on average 212GB per month, close to many current allowances.

 

That is according to the preliminary findings of a GAO report, which was resquested by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D.-Calif). The final report won't be ready until November. 

 

GAO says that wireline ISPs told it that, at least for now, UBP is not about managing congestion.


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Petitions for Preemption of State Restrictions on Broadband Deployment | FCC.gov

On July 24, 2014, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the City of Wilson, North Carolina (collectively, Petitioners), filed separate petitions asking that the Commission act pursuant to section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 19961 to preempt portions of Tennessee and North Carolina state statutes that restrict their ability to provide broadband services. 


The Electric Power Board is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga that provides electric and broadband service in the Chattanooga area. The City of Wilson provides electric service in

six counties in eastern North Carolina and broadband service in Wilson County. Both Petitioners allege that state laws restrict their ability to expand their broadband service offerings to surrounding areas where

customers have expressed interest in these services, and they request that the Commission preempt such laws. 


Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments on or before August 29, 2014 and reply comments on or before September 29, 2014.


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CA: FCC should help reach deal to end Dodgers TV standoff, lawmakers say | LATimes.com

CA: FCC should help reach deal to end Dodgers TV standoff, lawmakers say | LATimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A group of Southern California lawmakers wants the Federal Communications Commission to broker a deal to end the bitter standoff between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV providers over distribution of SportsNet LA, the new channel that is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Launched this year, SportsNet LA is not available in the majority of pay-TV homes in the Los Angeles market. Time Warner Cable secured rights to distribute the Dodgers-owned channel in a 25-year deal worth $8.35 billion, according to a valuation by the Dodgers and Major League Baseball.


Time Warner Cable has been unable to land carriage agreements with other distributors serving the market including DirecTV, Cox Communications, Charter Communications and Verizon FiOS. Only Time Warner Cable subscribers have access to the channel which means about 70% of the market has been unable to see Dodger games on TV except for the handful that have been nationally televised on Fox and ESPN.


At issue is the price Time Warner Cable is seeking to carry the channel. According to people familiar with the talks, Time Warner Cable wants more than $4 a month per subscriber in the first year with the price rising steadily through the life of the deal. Distributors including DirecTV have said they want flexibility to offer the channel only to subscribers who want it and not all subscribers.


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Killing The Golden Goose: Copyright Holders Demand More Cash Even As Streaming Music Services Struggle To Be Profitable | Techdirt.com

Killing The Golden Goose: Copyright Holders Demand More Cash Even As Streaming Music Services Struggle To Be Profitable | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For years, we've pointed to the legacy entertainment industry's history of trying to kill the golden goose any time a new and successful service has come along that actually helped drive them into the modern era. These services never actually come out of the industry itself, and thus are almost always hated (often with a passion) by the legacy players who failed to innovate, and now fear the potential alternative power in their industry. It's no secret that the legacy record labels and studios maintain their position by trying to control every aspect of their market, rather than by innovating to what the public wants.

In the music space, there have been a growing number of complaints from industry insiders about just how unfair it is that companies like Pandora and Spotify are successful. You see complaints that these services don't pay enough and a search for regulatory changes to demand more cash from these companies. And yet, Pandora and Spotify are both having tremendous difficulty reaching anything approximating profitability -- in large part because the existing costs of the music they stream is so ridiculously high.

John McDuling at Quartz has a good overview of the state of the streaming music space, which (among many other points) highlights this problem:


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The only way legalizing cellphone unlocking will make a difference | NetworkWorld.com

The only way legalizing cellphone unlocking will make a difference | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last last week, President Obama said he would sign a new bill (s.517) that would once again make it legal to unlock mobile phones, ending a year and half of uncertainty following a Library of Congress ruling in January 2013 that removed cellphone unlocking’s exemption from the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).


Unlocking is the process that allows a mobile device owner to use their device on any compatible carrier, not just the carrier that provided the phone. In theory, unlocking is clearly a “good thing,” as it makes it easier for owners to use their devices on the network they choose (as long as they have no ongoing business service agreement or other deal with the original carrier).


The question, though, is whether this decision will make a big difference in the real world. Removing restrictions on unlocking should save a few dollars for the relatively few individuals who want to reuse an existing phone or buy a cheap device to use on a more expensive carrier. And because the bill that passed Congress allows “bulk unlocking,” it will likely revitalize the cottage industry in unlocking phones. But it’s unlikely to have a big, immediate effect on corporate phone buyers.


Sure, there are a couple of scenarios where unlocked phones might save some businesses some money. When organizations switch carriers, they wouldn’t have to buy all new phones, for example. And when workers travel or move to areas best served by carriers different than the company’s prime carrier, unlocking the phones would make it easier for them to keep their existing devices. 


But those situations don’t seem very common. For one thing, high switching costs (and hassles) make changing carriers a big deal for most organizations, whether unlocking is legal or not.


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Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com

Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we’ve seen in the past, there’s nothing reasonable about supposedly suspicious activities as numerous you-might-be-a-terrorist-if lists are often filled with harmless behaviors. You know there are “hot” keywords monitored by government agencies and that anything you might say on social media could come back and bite you at a later date; those facts were again highlighted in the 166-page document issued by the National Counterterrorism Center to give “watchlisting guidance.”


Although this guidance includes advice on determining whether or not there is reasonable suspicion that someone is a terrorist and should be nominated to watchlists, the more worrying aspects involve getting around reasonable suspicion. According to “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance” published by The Intercept:


"In determining whether a reasonable suspicion exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a nominator is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit."


Americans are protected by the First Amendment; the guidelines do say that constitutionally-protected activities cannot be the basis for nominating a person to be added to watchlists, yet how many times has that proven to be untrue? Way before Snowden spilled the beans on NSA surveillance, back in 2010, the ACLU reported that FBI spying on free speech was nearly at Cold War levels.


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States, stand down! Let community broadband innovate. | Craig Settles | GigaOM Tech News

States, stand down! Let community broadband innovate. | Craig Settles | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In 2010, Chattanooga, Tennesee public utility EPB sent ripples through the broadband world when it announced the first U.S. citywide network to deliver gigabit internet access speed.


This week EPB, along with Wilson, North Carolina, sent waves through the broadband and political worlds when they petitioned the FCC to intercede against state intrusion into their ability to deliver gigabit services to other communities.


Tennessee, along with 18 other states, has a telco/cableco-influenced law prohibiting public utilities from offering broadband services outside of the area covered by their utility service. However, EPB is besieged with requests from surrounding communities for their gigabit and other high-end services that the same large providers can’t or won’t offer. It wants to provide services and has now asked the FCC to overrule state laws so it may do so.


Chattanooga’s and Wilson’s actions moved what have been individual battles into a national showdown as Congress now jumps in to intercept the FCC’s intersession. While incumbents’ legislative allies paint the FCC as stepping on states’ rights, community broadband advocates seek protection from anti-competition laws that stifle economic development and local innovation.


One main motivation that drives communities nationwide to cheer on Chattanooga and Wilson is the economic development impact these networks deliver, as proven by many of the 400 communities with public networks. “At EPB, we believe that high-speed Internet is critical infrastructure [that] gives citizens and businesses the opportunity to fully participate in – and to lead – our emerging knowledge economy,” said Harold DePriest, EPB’s President and CEO. Equally compelling is the ability of these networks to transform communities into innovation centers.


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New Yor City's free WiFi plan knocked offline after contractor goes belly up | NYPost.com

New Yor City's free WiFi plan knocked offline after contractor goes belly up | NYPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A city push to establish free Wi-Fi hotspots in business districts across all five boroughs was knocked offline by the abrupt insolvency of the program’s contractor.


Madrid-based Gowex went bust early this month after Wall Street analysts reported that CEO Jenaro Garcia had cooked its books.


Gowex had a $245,000 contract with the New York City Economic Development Corp. to establish Wi-Fi corridors in Harlem; Long Island City, Queens; Brownsville, Brooklyn; Roosevelt Island; St. George, Staten Island; and on East Fordham Road in The Bronx.


The EDC has paid $185,000 on the contract, said agency spokesman Ian Fried.


Since Gowex’s sudden collapse, “about a dozen” of the 60 hotspots have gone down, the EDC says. They include parts of the system in The Bronx and Long Island City and the entire Staten Island system.


“We are working on finding a ­solution,” said Fried.


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