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MA: Mass Broadband Institute's network Does 40G With Ciena | Light Reading

MA: Mass Broadband Institute's network Does 40G With Ciena | Light Reading | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ciena® Corporation, the network specialist, today announced that the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) is deploying Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, equipped with WaveLogic Coherent Optical Processors, to provide high-speed, high-capacity 40G connectivity—with the potential to reach 100G speeds— across 120 communities in western and central Massachusetts, as part of a planned state-wide optical network.


Funded by a combination of federal and state investment, the new network will provide direct connections to schools, hospitals, libraries and public safety facilities that currently lack reliable, affordable Internet services.


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Comcast’s Internet for the poor too hard to sign up for, advocates say | Ars Technica

Comcast’s Internet for the poor too hard to sign up for, advocates say | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A California nonprofit says that a Comcast Internet service program for poor people is too difficult to sign up for, resulting in just 11 percent of eligible households in the state getting service.


Comcast had to create the $10-per-month Internet Essentials program in order to secure approval of its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011. About 300,000 households containing 1.2 million people nationwide have gotten cheap Internet service as a result, but the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) complains that the signup process is riddled with problems, a charge Comcast denies.


CETF itself was created by the California Public Utilities Commission when approving the mergers of SBC-AT&T and Verizon-MCI, and its purpose was to accelerate broadband deployment for unserved or underserved populations. The group says additional requirements should be imposed on Comcast as part of its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable.


In comments filed with the FCC, CETF said Comcast has signed up 35,205 households out of more than 313,000 eligible ones in California. Nationwide, 300,000 families out of 2.6 million eligible have signed up, Comcast said in March. The service offers 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds and a computer for $150, of which 23,000 have been sold.


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CO: The Past and Future of Muni Fiber in Boulder - Community Broadband Bits Episode 108 | community broadband networks

CO: The Past and Future of Muni Fiber in Boulder - Community Broadband Bits Episode 108 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Boulder is the latest Colorado community to recognize the benefits of using city-owned fiber to spur job growth and improve quality of life. Boulder Director of Information Technology Don Ingle joins us for episode 108 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.


We discuss the many ways in which Boulder has benefited from community owned fiber over the past 15 years and the smart policies they have used to expand conduit throughout the community.


We finish with a discussion about the upcoming referendum that Boulder will likely place on the November ballot to regain local authority to use and expand its fiber assets to encourage job growth and increase residential options.


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UT: Utopia at a Crossroads: Part 3 | community broadband networks

UT: Utopia at a Crossroads: Part 3 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This is the final installment of a three part series, in which we examine the current state of the UTOPIA network, how it got there, and the choices it faces going forward. Part I can be read here and Part II here


In Part I of this story, we laid out the difficult situation the open access UTOPIA network finds itself in and how it got there. Part II gave the broad outlines of Macquarie’s preliminary proposal for a public-private partnership to complete and operate the network. The numbers we deal with here are mostly from the Milestone One report, and assumed the participation of all 11 cities. It should be noted that since five of eleven UTOPIA cities opted out of proceeding to Milestone Two negotiations, the scope and scale of the project is subject to change. The basic structure of the potential deal is mostly set, however, allowing us to draw some reasonable conclusions about whether or not this deal is good for the citizens of the UTOPIA cities.


Let’s first turn to why Macquarie wants to make this investment.  This would be the firm’s first large scale broadband network investment in the U.S., allowing it to get a foothold in a massive market that has a relatively underdeveloped fiber infrastructure. To offset network build and operation costs, it will also be guaranteed the revenue from the monthly utility fee, which my very rough calculations put between $18 and $20 million for the six cities opting in to Milestone Two (or between $30 and $33 million per year for all 11 cities) depending on whether the final fee ends up closer to $18 or $20 per month.


Jesse Harris of FreeUTOPIA puts Macquarie’s base rate of return between 3.7% and 4.7%, which is slim enough that they should have the incentive to make the network successful and truly universal, boosting their share of the revenue from transport fees in the process.


The monthly utility fee is a difficult pill for UTOPIA cities to swallow politically, and has allowed opponents to paint it as a massive new tax.  But this claim ignores the costs of the existing $500 million debt (including interest), which will have to be paid regardless of whether the network is ever completed or any more revenue is generated.


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The Future According to CenturyLink | POTs and PANs

The Future According to CenturyLink | POTs and PANs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Recently the CFO of CenturyLink, Stewart Ewing, spoke at the Bank of America / Merrill Lynch 2014 Global Telecom and Media Conference.


He had some interesting things to say about the future of CenturyLink that contrasts with some of the things that other large carriers like AT&T and Verizon have been saying.


The most interesting thing he had to say is that CenturyLink sees the future of broadband in the landline link to a home. He cannot foresee 4G wireless as a substitute for a landline wireless connection. He doesn’t see wireless delivering enough bandwidth in coming years as demand at homes keeps growing.


Already today the average CenturyLink residence uses slightly less than 50 Gigabits of data per month and that is far above the data caps for 4G plans. He doesn’t think cellular can deliver the needed speeds, and unless the cellular model is drastically changed, it’s too expensive and capped at really low levels.


So CenturyLink plans to continue to upgrade its rural plant. About two thirds of CenturyLink’s customers can get 10 Mbps or higher today and the company is working to make that available everywhere. Contrast this to AT&T and Verizon. They have both told the FCC that they have plans to convert millions of rural lines to 4G LTE.


I have written about this many times and see it as one of the biggest threats on the horizon to rural broadband. LTE is a great product when you want a burst of fast data to your cell phone. But the LTE network is not designed to serve multiple video streams to large numbers of households. 4G is also capable of some fairly impressive speeds that are significantly in excess of 10 Mbps, but those speeds drop quickly as you move away from a cell site.


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WISPA Asks FCC to Exempt Small Broadband Providers from New Net Neutrality Requirements | ConsumerEletronicsNet.com

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), a membership organization that promotes the development, advancement and unity of the wireless Internet service provider (WISP) industry, today filed Comments with the FCC seeking exemptions for small broadband providers and WISPs from any new open Internet rules the FCC may adopt.


WISPAs Comments demonstrate that imposing new disclosure and reporting obligations on small businesses would increase costs that would be passed on to consumers, would delay expansion of broadband to unserved and underserved areas and would chill entry by new companies that would face increased barriers. WISPA explained that imposing new regulatory burdens on small broadband providers would contravene Commission precedent in which small businesses were given relief from regulations and undermine Congressional and FCC policies intended to promote the expansion of broadband.


Much of the dialogue about net neutrality has focused on the big broadband providers and the big content providers, said Alex Phillips, WISPAs FCC Committee chair. We wanted to be sure that the voices of small broadband providers, WISPs and consumers in rural areas are heard, because the market conditions are different for them. We look forward to a productive dialogue with the FCC and other stakeholders as the process moves forward.


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"Air waveguides" used to send optical data through the air | GizMag.com

"Air waveguides" used to send optical data through the air | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Efficient as fiber optic cables are at transmitting data in the form of light pulses, they do need to be physically supported, and they can only handle a finite amount of power. Still, what's the alternative ... just send those focused pulses through the air? Actually, that's just what scientists at the University of Maryland have already demonstrated in their lab.


In a traditional optical fiber, light travels along a transparent glass core. That core is surrounded by a cladding material with a lower refractive index than the glass. As a result, when the light tries to spread out (as it would if it were traveling through the air), the cladding reflects it back into the core, thus retaining its focus and intensity.


A team led by Prof. Howard Milchberg has created "air waveguides" that work on the same principle.


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There are many paths to a smart home. And that's the problem. | GigaOM Tech News

There are many paths to a smart home. And that's the problem. | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

How many companies does it take to connect a light bulb?
Why connect the light when you can connect the switch? Or outlet? Or socket?


How many companies does it take to turn on a connected light?
One to make the light and 40 or 50 to access the API.


Okay, these aren’t funny jokes. But they offer an essential truth about the connected home situation we’re faced with at the moment — and right now I can’t tell if this is the awesomeness I was hoping for, or a big mistake that will condemn connected homes as the playthings for the tech savvy and inspired.


So far this summer we’ve seen a giant expansion from huge players in the tech and retail worlds with regard to the smart home. Apple launched HomeKit, a program to get devices to work together via an iOS device. Nest launched its developer program. Quirky spun off Wink and said it would offer a hub and in-store products at Home Depot. Staples expanded its Connect program to include more devices and support more radios. Microsoft joined the AllSeen Alliance and created a partnership with Insteon. Google and Samsung teamed up to create a new radio protocol called Thread.


And more is coming. I expect Best Buy to launch its connected home platform that will be supported by iControl and include a hub and devices. Meanwhile Amazon is also investigating products that will tie its interests to the smart home. Faced with this plethora of platforms what’s a consumer to do? And more importantly, where can he or she shop? I’ve broken it out by the current distribution channels with a bit about the pros and cons of each.


The bottom line is that it’s complicated, but it’s likely to get less so if the smart home is your thing.


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The next big front for cloud competition: Location, location, location | GigaOM Tech News

The next big front for cloud competition: Location, location, location | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that we’re seeing intense competition in the cloud infrastructure market, each of the vendors is looking for as many ways to differentiate itself as possible.


Big wallets are required to build the infrastructure and picking the right locations to deploy that capital is becoming an important choice.


Cloud vendors can be innovative on a product or technical level, but location is just as important — which geographies does your cloud vendor have data centers in and why does that matter?


There are a number of reasons why a diverse range of locations is important:


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8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid | Tech News | HuffPost.com

8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid | Tech News | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

People assume that iPhones, laptops and Netflix are evidence of progress. In some ways, that's true. A moderate amount of Googling, for instance, can be good for your brain, and there are apps that can boost brain function and activity.


Yet tech advancements also come with some unintended consequences. Our brains being "massively rewired" by tech, says neuroscientist Michael Merzenich in The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, a Pulitzer-nominated 2011 book by Nicholas Carr. Merzenich warns that the effect of technology on human intelligence could be “deadly.”


That got us thinking. How exactly is technology messing up our brains?


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Canadian court forces Google to remove search results worldwide, as fears of "memory hole" grow | GigaOM Tech News

Canadian court forces Google to remove search results worldwide, as fears of "memory hole" grow | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Canadian court took the unprecedented step this week of maintaining  global jurisdiction over Google and forcing it to delete search results not just for “google.ca” but for “google.com” as well. The move comes as lawmakers in Europe pressure Google to censor more pages under a controversial “right-to-be-forgotten” law, and could accelerate a recent trend of disappearing online information.


In the Canadian case, Google had urged a judge in Vancouver to suspend an earlier ruling that required it to remove any search links related to an e-commerce vendor accused of selling knock-off internet equipment. That ruling, which came out in June and gave Google 14 days to remove the results, is now in force after the judge concluded that applying the worldwide ruling would not create “irreparable harm.”


The ruling already appears to be rippling beyond Canada’s borders. For instance, when I searched in the U.S. for a product called “GW-1000,” Google shows that it has censored at least four webpages:


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Broadband Industry To American Public: Who Needs Open Internet Rules When You Can Just Take Our Word For It? | Techdirt.com

Broadband Industry To American Public: Who Needs Open Internet Rules When You Can Just Take Our Word For It? | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens recently asked the FCC to protect the open Internet, but broadband providers filed comments that are the hundreds of pages equivalent of "take our word for it, everything will be fine" or "move along, nothing to see here." In preparing our reply comments to the FCC's open Internet proceeding, we've been examining the most recent comments of the big fixed and mobile broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.

What we found could be striking or completely obvious, but is probably both at the same time. Broadband providers primarily occupy themselves with aggressive posturing and finger-pointing aimed at content providers like Netflix and backbone providers like Cogent and Level 3. The big industry players' comments also make clear that the big broadband providers apparently do live in an alternate universe to most Americans. In this universe, the vast majority of Americans can easily switch between an ample number of broadband providers on a whim, and where any real rules to protect the open Internet as we know it are unnecessary because... well, because... just take our word for it.

Here are some of the lowlights:


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Comcasts Invests in Theme Parks Rather than Better Broadband | community broadband networks

Comcasts Invests in Theme Parks Rather than Better Broadband | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While its network continues to offer last generation speeds at high prices and their customer service reps go viral harassing customers who try to leave their grasp, Comcast executives have decided it is time to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade... their theme parks. That's right, as they shift call centers to the Philippines to save money, they are reinvesting it into roller coasters.


Having acquired Universal Orlando Resorts as part of their 2011 merger with NBC Universal, Comcast has decided to step outside its core business of providing Internet access, cable TV, and phone service in noncompetitive markets.


According to a March CED Magazine article, Comcast plans to invest hundreds of millions in theme parks in both Florida and California in an effort to challenge Disney’s traditional dominance of the field. Attractions in Orlando will include an 1,800 room beach resort and a new Harry Potter ride.


This investment in rides occurs against the backdrop of falling infrastructure investment in the broadband industry, despite rapidly increasing bandwidth demands and claims by ISPs that services such as Netflix are straining their networks and must pay extra for “fast lane” service.


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Global Project Looks At Takedown Notices Across The Internet | Intellectual Property Watch

The Takedown Project is a recent initiative bringing the research community together to explore how the notice-and-takedown procedure in cases of alleged online copyright infringement are handled by internet service providers around the world. The project aims to create greater transparency in order to improve the quality of this global regulatory system.


The project was launched in 2013 by Joe Karaganis, vice-president of the American Assembly at Columbia University and Jennifer M. Urban, assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law.


Presently, the project comprises more than 35 affiliated researchers from US, Europe, Middle East and Australia and seven partner organisations, including the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Its first meeting took place in Amsterdam in June 2013.


A takedown notice is defined by Urban as “a notification sent to an online service provider, requesting that content or links to content be removed,” in case of infringement of copyright and related rights.

In the US, under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), this procedure is one of the requirements for internet service providers (ISPs) to benefit from an exemption from liability. But in the European Union, there is no consensus on this point.


However, this Section 512 model has been increasingly replicated in other jurisdictions and followed formally or informally for other – non-copyright – claims, like privacy or trademarks, Urban told Intellectual Property Watch.


Over the years, the practice has also dramatically changed. Search takedown requests to Google, for instance, have increased from hundreds per year to millions per week, she said.


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Virginia Counties May Withdraw From Open-Access Broadband Initiative | GovExec.com

Virginia Counties May Withdraw From Open-Access Broadband Initiative | GovExec.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Southwest Virginia’s Roanoke Valley likes to promote itself as a good environment for business. Anchored by the city of Roanoke, Virginia Tech is nearby and the cost of living is low compared to other Virginia and U.S. cities. Industrial electricity rates are below the national average. So too are construction and labor costs.


But approximately three years ago, some influential members of the area’s business community asked local officials to examine where the Roanoke Valley stood in terms of its Internet connectivity and whether the area was losing any competitive edge in attracting new business and supporting existing tech companies or other broadband-dependent businesses.


Smaller Virginia towns were garnering national attention for their local broadband infrastructure efforts. Galax, near the North Carolina border, joined forces with neighboring small communities to create the Wired Road Authority, a public-private partnership, which in 2009 led to an open-access, integrated regional broadband network with 100-megabit connections and, later, gigabit connections in 2013.


In 2007, Danville, an economically languishing tobacco and textiles town also near the North Carolina border, created a high-speed municipal open-access fiber network, nDanville, that first connected schools and later, businesses. It’s since been touted for its local economic development efforts.


In the Roanoke Valley, local leaders hired a consultant to figure out whether the area was falling behind.


Salem City Manager Kevin Boggess, whose city adjoins the city of Roanoke, told GovExec State & Local on Monday that when you examine the area’s digital connectivity, one thing is clear: “We don’t think we have what we need to attract new technology businesses to the Roanoke Valley.”


That led to the creation of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority, a coalition of two independent cities, Roanoke and Salem, plus Roanoke County and Botetourt County. The group, formed in 2013, has been in the early stages of creating its own open-access fiber network, which is slated to cost $8.2 million.


The aim is to add five rings of fiber throughout the Roanoke area, creating a local network approximately 60 miles in length. That would tap directly into two existing high-speed fiber networks nearby — Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative’s network, which connects to a long-distance line between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and Citizens Telephone Cooperative’s BTOP network in Southwest Virginia, which has connections to Blacksburg, home to Virginia Tech.


But on Friday, broadband authority representatives from the two counties, including Roanoke County Administrator B. Clayton Goodman III, indicated that they may soon back away from their support of the initiative, citing not just budgetary constraints but also, as The Roanoke Times reported Friday, “a more philosophical debate about the the role government should play in society.”


And that might leave the two cities, which already have pledged their support, to pursue a scaled-back project without the help of the counties.


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Jefferson County, KY: 3 companies angling to provide faster Internet lines | Courier-Journal.com

Jefferson County, KY: 3 companies angling to provide faster Internet lines | Courier-Journal.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Businesses and residents in Jefferson County could see faster Internet service in coming years with the Louisville Metro Council expected to approve agreements with three companies that plan to install more fiber optic cable to upgrade service to coveted gigabit levels.


The council will likely vote Thursday night to approve agreements with three companies that plan to expand high-speed Internet service. Some of the new service would replace slower copper wires.


Officials with Sifi Networks, BGN Networks and Fiber Technologies appeared Tuesday before the council’s public works committee, which unanimously recommended franchise agreements with the three to the full council. The three are considering running fiber optic cable into different areas of the city for both residential and commercial customers. The agreements would be in line with Mayor Greg Fischer’s effort to boost access to ultra-high-speed gigabit Internet, which he argues is critical to economic development.


If any of the three go ahead with the service, they could represent new competition for existing Internet providers such as Time Warner Cable and AT&T. The franchise agreements allow the companies to lay the cable in public rights of way and last for 20 years.


Currently, Louisville has a combination of fiber optics and slower copper lines, Metro Councilman Kevin Kramer said. “That is going to be the key is having this fiber optic more completely across the community,” he said.


Fischer has said having access to a high-speed broadband network “has quickly become viewed as critical urban infrastructure, similar to electricity, water and roadways.”


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Why You Can't Take the FCC's ISP Transparency Pledge Seriously - They've Let ISPs Abuse Below-The-Line Fees for a Decade | DSLReports.com

Why You Can't Take the FCC's ISP Transparency Pledge Seriously - They've Let ISPs Abuse Below-The-Line Fees for a Decade | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While Verizon's legal victory over the FCC did gut the agency's net neutrality rules, it kept some of the FCC's authority over ISPs intact -- specifically the agency's transparency rules -- which require that ISPs be straightforward about the "network management practices, performance, and commercial terms" of their broadband services.


In a statement issued today, the FCC "reminded" wireline and wireless ISPs alike that those rules are still intact and need to be adhered to, lest the agency lightly slap a wrist or two -- maybe.

"Consumers deserve to get the broadband service they pay for," FCC boss Tom Wheeler said in a statement. "After today, no broadband provider can claim they didn’t know we were watching to see that they disclose accurate information about the services they provide."

"We expect providers to be fully transparent about the details of their services, and we will hold them accountable if they fall down on this obligation to consumers," continues Wheeler.

Will they? The transparency rules Wheeler mentions are also supposed to govern pricing, requiring that ISPs are transparent about monthly pricing and various fees tacked on to user broadband bills.

Yet as I've noted numerous times over the last decade, ISPs consistently are allowed to bury all manner of nonsensical fees below the line, allowing them to covertly jack up consumer broadband bills while leaving the advertised price the same. This is technically false advertising, but I've never seen the FCC (or any other regulator) seriously address the practice.


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Plans Made to Connect 911 Centers Nationwide, Officials Say | GovTech.com

Plans Made to Connect 911 Centers Nationwide, Officials Say | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Plans are in the works to connect 911 dispatch centers across the state of Kentucky and nationwide, in an effort to help dispatchers in other regions share information more effectively.


Paul Nave, director of Owensboro-Daviess County, Ky.'s 911 dispatch center, said the plan is to connect dispatchers via the Internet, which would allow centers to transfer calls, 911 text messages, photos and videos of accident scenes and other information quickly. The ability to transfer data such as text messages already exists and is part of "Next Generation 911" technology that is being installed in dispatch centers around the country, including Daviess County.


In an emergency where a dispatch center's equipment is damaged, calls could be routed back to the local dispatchers from another 911 call center, Nave said.


"It's interesting to think we can still do the job and (use) a server 100 miles away, and it will be seamless," Nave said.


Joe Barrows, executive director of the Kentucky Commercial Radio Service Board, said 911 dispatch centers are phasing out old analog technology. The board was created in 1996 to comply with federal requirements that cell phone carriers connect their services to 911 systems. The board is also working to expand new 911 technology; one of the board's goals, according to its "Next Generation 911" plan, is to create an "IP (Internet protocol)-based network to receive, process, route and deliver all 911 calls within a State of Kentucky Managed Network."


"What's happening in the 911 world is a modernization of the 911 system that has been in place and operating on technology that is 30 years old," Barrows said. "911 is the last holdout ... for analog.


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Broadband bullies: Cable companies, lawmakers gang up on local providers | InfoWorld.com

Broadband bullies: Cable companies, lawmakers gang up on local providers | InfoWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You love your broadband provider, don't you? Right down to the Netflix slowdowns and inscrutable surcharges. You'd never, ever consider switching to faster, cheaper public broadband run by your local municipality.


If Washington gets its way, you’ll never have the chance to make that choice.


But don't point the finger at the FCC. The agency that was slammed with a torrent of comments on its hands-off approach to Net neutrality has indicated its willingness to intervene and preempt state laws that block broadband competition.


So the House of Representatives responded by tacking an amendment onto H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, that would prohibit the FCC from acting on behalf of local communities. Last week's vote broke largely along party lines: 221 Republicans, along with two Democrats, voted in favor of the proposal; 196 Democrats and four Republicans opposed it.


Confused that supposedly local government-oriented Republicans are squashing local initiatives aimed at bringing choice and competition to the monopolistic telecom market? The Internet may bring people closer together, but Internet lobbying dollars make for some interesting political bedfellows, and big telecom companies spend millions pushing their agendas in state and federal legislatures.


The amendment was proposed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, which is another irony, seeing as Chattanooga, in Blackburn's own state of Tennessee, has become a poster child for local government successfully selling high-speed broadband directly to consumers. EPB, the city-owned electric company, offers one of the fastest and least expensive Internet services in the country. Its 1Gbps Internet -- 50 times the average speed for homes in the United States -- costs less than $70 per month.


Meanwhile, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that "constituents back in Hickman County in the center of Blackburn's Tennessee district struggle to get fast and affordable Internet services (as) only 38 percent of Hickman residents have access to broadband services, far below the Tennessee statewide average of 58 percent."


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Deeper Dive into EFF's Motion on Backbone Surveillance | EFF.org

Deeper Dive into EFF's Motion on Backbone Surveillance | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Yesterday we filed a motion for partial summary judgment in our long running Jewel v. NSA case, focusing on the government's admitted seizure and search of communications from the Internet backbone, also called "upstream." We've asked the judge to rule that there are two ways in which this is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment:


  1. The admitted seizure of communications from the Internet backbone, for which we have government admissions plus the evidence we received long ago from Mark Klein.
  2. The government's admitted search of the entire communications stream, including the content of communications.


We're very proud of this motion (especially the infographic), and we're hoping that this shifts the conversation around the world to how the surveillance actually happens, rather than the U.S. government's self-serving word games about it. 


As this motion progresses, here are a few points to keep in mind:


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NC: Moogfest's return is good news for Asheville's future | Citizen-Times.com

NC: Moogfest's return is good news for Asheville's future | Citizen-Times.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

New ideas don't always get a warm welcome in Asheville, where more than a few people always worry about our town losing its authenticity. Asheville can be as ambivalent as it is adventuresome.


You can see it played out in the downtown architecture. After the city fathers raised their Art Deco city hall, the county counterparts made sure they built a courthouse militantly opposed to any new style.


Still, it was surprising the reception that Moogfest had in some corners of Asheville after wrapping a successful relaunch in April. Twitter had more than its share of twits and trolls who seemed to actively want Moogfest to fail. Meanwhile, the rumor mill was busy speculating about Moogfest's doubtful return, and some local media followed those rumors rather than do any solid reporting.


Mike Adams, president of Moog Music, which stages the festival, put all rumors to rest this week. Moogfest will be back as a biennial event, starting in 2016. That should come as little surprise, since it took Moog staffers about two years to stage the revamped festival. They need time to wrangle the right talent and corral the contributions from corporate sponsors who can make this a sustainable venture far into the future.


Adams knew going into it that the revamped Moogfest in its first year was never going to be a money maker. He repeatedly said he expected to lose hundred of thousands of dollars. Still, the extent of the red ink raised some eyebrows in the community when the five-day festival showed a $1.5 million shortfall.


But that was largely Moog Music's money to spend. There aren't that many companies willing to stake $1.5 million of their capital on a bet to attract more technologists to town, not just more short-term tourists.


Moogfest offers a different way of thinking about economic development. Communities can no longer depend on going out with a bunch of taxpayer incentives to recruit a huge factory that will provide paychecks. The days of those 1,000-worker-strong mills and factory floors are long gone. Cheaper labor is too readily available overseas. What survives here in industry is a highly skilled work force in advanced manufacturing.


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The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers | NetworkWorld.com

The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The largest single users of H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, many of which are based in India, or, if U.S. based, have most employees located overseas, according to government data obtained and analyzed by Computerworld.


Search the 2012 H-1B database by employer to see how many new H-1B visas were granted to a company.


The analysis comes as supporters of the skilled-worker visa program are trying to hike the H-1B cap to 300,000. Supporters of the raised cap, though, face opposition from critics who contend that H-1B visas undermine American tech workers and shouldn't be expanded.


Based on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analyzed, the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms.


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Wikipedia Blocks U.S. House Computers Over 'Disruptive Editing' | TPM Livewire

Wikipedia Blocks U.S. House Computers Over 'Disruptive Editing' | TPM Livewire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Wikipedia administrators on Thursday temporarily blocked computers at the U.S. House of Representatives from making changes to pages because of “disruptive editing,” according to the Washington Post.


The 10-day block came after the Twitter feed @congressedits began automatically tweeting the edits to Wikipedia pages made from IP addresses in Congress, according to BBC News.


The edits included changes to pages about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and moon landing conspiracy theories. BBC News reported that the biography of former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was also revised to describe him as an “alien lizard who eats Mexican babies.”


However it was a change to the Wikipedia page for the media news site Mediaite that finally prompted the ban, according to BBC News. The page was reportedly edited to describe the site as a “sexist transphobic” publication “that automatically assumes that someone is male without evidence.”


Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told BBC News that the editing did not surprise him, and that vandalism “always goes on and it always will.”

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AWS in fight of its life as customers like Dropbox ponder hybrid clouds and Google pricing | GigaOM Tech News

AWS in fight of its life as customers like Dropbox ponder hybrid clouds and Google pricing | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For many years Amazon Web Services was the only public cloud in town. That is no longer true as Microsoft and Google are now aggressively selling their infrastructure to startups and enterprises alike. In that superheated battle, they are wooing even Amazon’s biggest and best customers; companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and, yes, Netflix.


That could be one reason AWS sales dipped this quarter. Amazon announced Thursday that for its second quarter, which ended June 30, the category that includes AWS saw a 3 percent sequential revenue slip. That “other” category — which also includes advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements — also logged 38 percent growth year over year. That sounds great until you realize year-over-year growth in the first quarter was 60 percent. There have been other slight quarterly dips in the category’s otherwise relentless rise over the past few years, but they’ve mostly happened between fourth and first quarters.


The other thread in this narrative is that many big companies — including startups that were nurtured on AWS and then grew — are finding the hybrid cloud model attractive. This involves keeping some workloads on public clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform and others in-house on a company’s own servers. And for workloads that will remain in public cloud, companies would be fiscal dopes if they did not spec out AWS competitors; if only to wring pricing advantages from AWS. Starting a few years ago, this is exactly how big Microsoft Office shops wielded Google Apps to wrangle concessions on their Microsoft enterprise licenses. What’s old is new again.


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Omitted from AT&T’s GigaPower Fiber to the Press Release: 1Gbps for 1%, <100Mbps for 99% | Stop the Cap!

Omitted from AT&T’s GigaPower Fiber to the Press Release: 1Gbps for 1%, <100Mbps for 99% | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Holding your breath waiting for AT&T’s GigaPower 1Gbps U-verse upgrade to arrive in a town near you is hazardous to your health.


Despite a blizzard of press releases promoting the forthcoming arrival of gigabit Internet access from AT&T, the fine print reveals as little as one percent of some communities will actually get the upgrades.

In Winston-Salem, N.C., city officials cannot even get a firm commitment from AT&T that it will deliver the faster service to the 63 businesses the city chose as early candidates for the fiber upgrade.


In June, the city and AT&T signed an agreement for gigabit broadband expansion using AT&T’s GigaPower U-verse platform. But AT&T largely gets to decide where, when and even if it will invest in upgraded service. The city did not impose many conditions beyond a requirement that AT&T provide up to 20 free Internet connections to community sites with a one-time installation cost of $300 to $500. Another 20 connections would be provided to small to mid-size businesses, with no obligation to buy services.


In response, AT&T said it would only commit to reviewing the city’s list and “make an effort to serve the proposed locations if they are in the vicinity of where service will be available.”


If those locations fall outside of AT&T’s plans, no gigabit fiber.


A significant indicator of the true extent of AT&T’s expansion plans is whether the company is allocating capital spending commensurate with the costs of running fiber optic cable to individual homes and businesses. So far, AT&T has not. With no obligation to deliver the service AT&T is implying it will offer, the company is free to wire a handful of technology parks, businesses, and new housing developments and claim to have met its commitment, despite the fact 99 percent of area residents have no access to the faster speeds.


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MA: Falmouth EDIC Awarded $80,000 To Study Connecting Residents To OpenCape | CapeNews.com

MA: Falmouth EDIC Awarded $80,000 To Study Connecting Residents To OpenCape | CapeNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Most of Falmouth remains unconnected to the high speed fiber optic network called OpenCape that was completed last year, but a local economic group wants to see that the final stretch of broadband is built.


“We could use high speed connection to draw more businesses into the community,” said Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) chairman Michael B. Galasso.


State Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth) has asked for $80,000 from the state that the EDIC would use to hire a consultant to prepare a “last mile” study. The organization wants to gauge demand for broadband by local residents and businesses, how connecting the “last mile” can be done, and if the EDIC is the appropriate agency to spearhead the project.


The OpenCape network is a framework of broadband Internet connectivity across the Cape and to Providence and Boston. The $40 million project was paid for with federal and state funds and will allow municipalities, hospitals, scientific facilities, schools and libraries access to an Internet superhighway through fiber optic cable at no cost.


It is up to private companies to provide the “last mile” services to deliver the high speed connections to homes and businesses. 


“Right now there is no mechanism for individual businesses to hook up to the service,” Kevin E. Murphy said at a recent meeting selectmen’s meeting. In many cases, he said, companies want a financial incentive to make the “last mile” connection.


The EDIC sees high speed connectivity as a way to lure businesses to Falmouth’s Technology Park.


“Right now businesses there are just now getting access to standard business speed. The difference between that connection and OpenCape is like driving the back roads of Falmouth versus on an open highway,” said Mr. Galasso.


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