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Minnesota Broadband Task Force May 2013 - Full Notes | Blandin on Broadband

Minnesota Broadband Task Force May 2013 - Full Notes | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

The Task Force this month was all about healthcare. It was interesting to hear about the impact of moving healthcare online – both in terms of improved health and reduced costs. And it made the point that Minnesota residents and Minnesota tax payers need broadband to take avail the state of these benefits.

 

We also got a quick Legislative update – and while the balls are still in the air – as of Tuesday – the Office of Broadband Development is slated for $1 million (although that is expected to be reduced in Senate) and the Office has been moved to DEED.

 

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Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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UK parliamentary committee undertaking inquiry on rural delivery of superfast broadband | TeleGeography.com

A House of Commons Select Committee for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced an inquiry into coverage, delivery and performance of superfast broadband in the UK, and into progress being made in extending and improving mobile coverage and services.

With the government having set out its stall to ensure that superfast broadband is available to 95% of UK premises by the end of 2017, earlier this year the National Audit Office reported that the Government’s programme was on track to meet the revised targets, with superfast broadband likely to reach 90% coverage of premises ahead of December 2016.


However, with regards to the challenge of extending coverage to the nation’s hardest-to-reach rural areas and pockets of poor connectivity in inner cities, the Committee noted that the remaining 5% (approximately 1.5 million of premises) is dispersed across 70% of the UK’s landmass.


With it noting that there is ‘marked concern’ both in Parliament and among the general public that many people in such areas may never have access to adequate broadband and mobile services, it suggested that this is already having a serious impact on them and the communities around them.


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Opponents focus on defeating CISA cyberthreat info sharing bill | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

Opponents focus on defeating CISA cyberthreat info sharing bill | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Opponents of a U.S. Senate bill intended to encourage businesses to share information about cyberthreats may have stalled a vote on the legislation.

Recent news reports had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushing for a vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) before a four-week summer recess starting Aug. 10, but a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican said Thursday there were no immediate plans for a vote.

CISA is “one of the bills we want to get done,” however, the spokesman said by email.


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Report: Google is distributing a business version of Glass that attaches to different glasses | Lauren Hockenson | The Next Web

Report: Google is distributing a business version of Glass that attaches to different glasses | Lauren Hockenson | The Next Web | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It seems that Google hasn’t given up on Google Glass — it’s just taken it to a practical direction. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google is distributing a new version of Glass for business use, in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing.

According to the report, Google won’t be heralding this new hardware in an official launch — instead opting to distribute the hardware to software developers directly.


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Is the smartphone market saturated? | Jon Gold | NetworkWorld.com

Is the smartphone market saturated? | Jon Gold | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Smartphone sales increased substantially in the second quarter of 2015, but the rate of growth continued to slow, fueling concerns that the market has started to become saturated, according to a study released today by Juniper Research.

A total of 338 million smartphones were sold in the quarter, the report said, representing a 16% increase over the same period a year ago. But that’s a substantial decrease from the 26% growth rate of the year before that, as quarterly shipments reached a total of 290 million.


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Columbus, OH - Transforming Local Government Into an Agent of Change | Craig Settles | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

Columbus, OH - Transforming Local Government Into an Agent of Change | Craig Settles | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A sure bet for recouping you broadband investment? Follow Columbus, Ohio’s game plan of marrying wired and wireless broadband so your local government’s Internet of Things and their Internet of People to form a truly smart city.

Columbus uses broadband and information technology to innovate, collaborate, attract investment, improve government services delivery and raise the quality of life for its citizens, winning it the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year award. The Intelligent Community Forum (IFC) gives this award to highlight communities’ best practices for adapting to the demands of the broadband economy.

Gary Cavin, City of Columbia, decribe some of the projects that contributed to his city’s winning its prestigious honor. Researchers at Ohio State University won a two-year $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a safe and resilient network architecture dubbed the “Science DMZ.”

New gigabit networking and application support tools are being developed that will foster broadband adoption. High-definition video supporting public safety, law enforcement and first responders. The city’s Comprehensive Traffic Signaling System (CTSS) program is building a backbone of fiber optic cable and wireless communications technologies.

Cavin informs listeners how other cities can use the power of the gigabit to transform government services and create new applications. Several of Columbus’ best practices will be included in the new version Craig Settles’ book, Building the Gigabit City.


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Symantec: Well-heeled hacking group Black Vine behind Anthem breach | Fred O'Connor | NetworkWorld.com

Symantec: Well-heeled hacking group Black Vine behind Anthem breach | Fred O'Connor | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A group has been singled out as the attacker behind the recently disclosed hack against Anthem, believed to be the largest waged against a health care company.

It was Black Vine that broke into the health insurer's systems and stole more than 80 million patients records, Symantec said Tuesday in a report.

For Black Vine, it was the latest in a long line of hacks that began in 2012. Black Vine has gone after other businesses that deal with sensitive and critical data, including organizations in the aerospace, technology and finance industries, according to Symantec. The majority of the attacks (82 percent) were waged against U.S. businesses.


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MN: County to back Federated’s broadband grant application | Swift County Monitor News

MN: County to back Federated’s broadband grant application | Swift County Monitor News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Swift County, MN again has pledged bond funds to help Federated Telephone expand broadband fiber optic cable to unerved areas in the eastern half of the county. However, the costs have gone up substantially.


Last October, the county approved bonding for up to $5 million with the funds going to Federated as part of a $10 million project. Federated had agreed to make the bond payments over a 20-year period. It also agreed to pay the bonding issuing costs.


County backing was essential to the broadband grant application Federated was submitting to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for a $5 million grant.


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CISA: the dirty deal between Google and the NSA that no one is talking about | Evan Greer & Donny Shaw | The Hill

CISA: the dirty deal between Google and the NSA that no one is talking about | Evan Greer & Donny Shaw | The Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.

The reality is that both types of abuse are dangerous, and they work hand in hand.

It’s hard to find a more perfect example of this collusion than in a bill that’s headed for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA.

CISA is an out and out surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill. It won’t stop hackers. Instead, it essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying.

Here’s how it works.


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Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach | Doug Schoen | Forbes.com

Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach | Doug Schoen | Forbes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You wouldn’t know it from all the media coverage focused on streaming video and streaming music, but recent Nielsen data shows radio actually has the most reach among American media consumers. 93% of adults listen to the radio each week as compared to 87% who watch TV, a substantive difference.


In terms of the American population, this means that 243 million people over the age of 12 are listening to old-fashioned broadcast AM/FM radio every week. It may all come down to the fact that as long as we have cars, we’ll be listening to the radio. And since I can’t see a time coming when that won’t be the case, it’s quite clear that radio – and its tremendous reach – is here to stay.


In this sense, radio is the true “mobile” medium despite what technology companies will have you believe. Recent research shows that most of our time spent on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) actually takes place at home or in the office – not when we’re mobile at all! But radio listening occurs when we’re out and about in our cars.


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Hill Hones In on Wireless Spectrum Policy | John Eggerton | Multichannel

Hill Hones In on Wireless Spectrum Policy |  John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Wireless spectrum issues took center stage on Capitol Hill and elsewhere Wednesday (July 29), led by a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing looking at long-range planning for freeing up spectrum, particularly from the government.

Commerce chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said that the committee needed to look beyond the upcoming incentive auction to future spectrum needs.

He said the focus of long-range plan should be on (1) improving how government manages, shares, and relinquishes spectrum; (2) identifying specific bands to open up for private, commercial use; and (3) reducing the cost of deployment.

There was general consensus that the effort needed to balance licensed and unlicensed.


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USDA Announces First Private Sector Investments through U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund | USDA.gov

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. Through the Fund and its expanded public-private partnerships, USDA has facilitated the investment of nearly $161 million in private capital 22 critical water and community facilities projects in 14 states, maximizing the impact of USDA's own investments in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country.

"The Fund and USDA's other public-private partnership efforts help to facilitate private investment in rural businesses and infrastructure projects and maximize USDA's own record investments in rural America," said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary and Chair of the White House Rural Council. "USDA and other agencies invest in infrastructure through a variety of federal initiatives, but our resources are finite and there are backlogs of projects in many parts of the economy. Efforts like the Fund help encourage substantial private investment in even more projects that help to grow the rural economy and support rural communities where people want to live, work and raise their families."

Strong, secure infrastructure-roads and bridges, but also internet access and community facilities like hospitals and schools-improves connectivity and access to information, moves products to market, and makes communities competitive and attractive to new businesses and investments.


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FCC Suspends Comment Deadline on Vacant-Channel Proposal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Suspends Comment Deadline on Vacant-Channel Proposal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has suspended the comment deadlines on its proposal to allocate the last vacant channel in a market to unlicensed use as part of its incentive auction framework.

The comments had been due Aug. 3, with replies due Aug. 31.

Broadcasters have expressed concerns that would prioritize unlicensed devices over licensed low-power TV stations in the post-incentive auction repack.

The National Association of Broadcasters last week asked the FCC for a limited extension of those deadlines given that the FCC is not scheduled to vote on its incentive auction procedures public notice—it had originally been scheduled for a July 16 vote.


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Dem: FCC 'really screwed' by GOP appropriators | Mario Trujillo | The Hill

Dem: FCC 'really screwed' by GOP appropriators | Mario Trujillo | The Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Republican appropriators "really screwed" the Federal Communications Commission in the appropriations process, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said during an oversight hearing Tuesday.

Eshoo, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology, lamented the proposed $25 million cuts to the FCC's budget in the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, as well as the policy riders that would temporarily block enforcement of net neutrality rules.

"I want to talk about your budget," she told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who testified Tuesday. "House appropriators have really screwed the FCC in my view, And I don't think it is funny. I think it's serious."

"There are so many things that are reliant on dollars, and I'm not talking about adding a load of extra dough, I'm talking about the agency being able to carry out its responsibilities," she added.

The Appropriations Committee approved the budget last month, but floor action on spending bills is largely stalled in the House over a back-and-forth between the parties about the Confederate flag. Senate appropriations are also stalled due to Democratic concerns about funding levels.


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Sri Lanka signs Project Loon MoU with Google to deploy 3G balloons | TeleGeography.com

The Sri Lankan government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with US search engine giant Google to deploy the latter’s ‘Project Loon’ balloons in order to increase 3G coverage across the country.


According to Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva, the deal, which was signed on 28 July, will enable operators to enter into agreements with the floating tower cells, bringing down transmission costs and leading to reductions in the cost of service provision.


‘Hopefully in a few months every person and every device on the island will be covered by 3G,’ commented de Silva, adding that the move will ‘provide a huge boost to our game plan to create a knowledge-based economy.’


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FCC's Clyburn: Cost at Root of Digital DIvide | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC's Clyburn: Cost at Root of Digital DIvide | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn says lowering the price, not raising the relevance, of broadband for low-income Americans is the key to bridging the ongoing digital divide.

That came in a speech to the National Urban League Thursday, according to a copy of her remarks.

"Broadband is breaking down barriers to achievement for minorities, people with disabilities, and the poor," she said, but added that for too many affordability continues to be the great un-equalizer.


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Time Warner Cable Continues Commitment to Keep Unlimited Data, Expand Maxx Upgrades | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Time Warner Cable Continues Commitment to Keep Unlimited Data, Expand Maxx Upgrades | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable will continue to offer customers unlimited data plans and further expand its Maxx upgrade program until it reaches the company’s entire service area or the merger with Charter Communications is approved by regulators.

CEO Robert Marcus told investors on a morning conference call the company has been “completely committed to delivering an unlimited broadband offering in connection with whatever else we do, because we know customers do place a value on the peace of mind that comes with unlimited plans.”

Marcus continued to admit his company’s experiments with voluntary usage pricing have largely failed, noting the “vast majority” of customers choose unlimited plans, and Time Warner “never had any intention of substituting the availability of unlimited with exclusively usage-based programs.”


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National League of Cities and Next Century Cities Partner with Google Fiber to Recognize Cities Helping to Close the Digital Divide | NCL.org

Today the National League of Cities (NLC) and Next Century Cities (NCC), in partnership with Google Fiber, announced a new program to celebrate city-led efforts to bridge the digital divide.


The first-ever "Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards" will recognize city governments who are leading successful approaches to tackle barriers to internet adoption.


Winners will be announced November 6 at NLC's Congress of Cities and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn. NLC and NCC will host a free webinar August 6 at 1 p.m. EDT to share digital inclusion best practices and provide details of the application process.


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CO: Longmont Gig Finds Many Takers - Community Broadband Bits Episode 161 | community broadband networks

CO: Longmont Gig Finds Many Takers - Community Broadband Bits Episode 161 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The community reaction to Longmont's NextLight gigabit municipal fiber network in Colorado has been dramatic. They are seeing major take rates in the initial neighborhoods, driven in part by the opportunity for a $50/month gigabit connection if you take service within three months of it becoming available in the neighborhood.

This week, Longmont Power & Communications General Manager Tom Roiniotis joins us to tell us more about their approach and how the community has responded, including a block party celebrating freedom from a well-known monopoly.

We discuss how they have connect the schools, the history of the network, and how incumbent providers are reacting. Along the way, I make a case for why what Longmont is doing is substantially different from the upgrades that CenturyLink and Comcast are making in some areas. See our other stories about Longmont here.


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Changing the Landscape of Low-Cost Broadband: NDIA's Lifeline Comments to the FCC | Angela Siefer | NDIA.org

Changing the Landscape of Low-Cost Broadband: NDIA's Lifeline Comments to the FCC | Angela Siefer | NDIA.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) exists to support local broadband adoption efforts. Since the modernization of Lifeline was the original impetus for forming NDIA, we are very carefully considering our comments to the FCC regarding the modernization of Lifeline. NDIA is crafting comments that respond to multiple sections in the NPRM but we wanted to give you a heads up on particular recommendations we are crafting. We will keep our affiliates informed via the NDIA listserv regarding drafts of NDIA comments.

The FCC's Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register. The deadline for comments is August 17, 2015. The notice in the Federal Register includes instructions on how to submit comments. We encourage all our affiliates and partners to do so. You are also welcome to reference our comments and/or use language we are distributing.

Two issues we will be including in our comments:


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Why I ditched my Fitbit and what this means for analytics | Andy Cotgreave | ComputerWorld.com

Why I ditched my Fitbit and what this means for analytics | Andy Cotgreave | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When I got a Fitbit 18 months ago, it was amazing.

My daily dashboard, focusing mostly on a 10,000-step target, was incredibly motivating. Was I hitting the target? Answer: sometimes. Connecting with friends added great gamification. I began making different choices in my daily routine to take more steps. When I lost my first tracker, Fitbit sent me a free replacement. Wow! What more could I ask from this dream company?

Over time, however, I stopped going back to the dashboard as often.

After a year, my Fitbit strap broke. I decided not to buy a replacement. Why? Because Fitbit’s analytics was a dead-end dashboard.


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Obama rolls out initiative to boost US supercomputer capability | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com

Obama rolls out initiative to boost US supercomputer capability | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

US President Barack Obama has signed an executive order setting up the National Strategic Computing Initiative that will adopt a coordinated strategy involving multiple government agencies, academia and the private sector for the development of high-performance computing systems.

Adopting a “whole-of-government” approach, involving all departments and agencies with expertise and interests in HPC, one of the objectives of the NSCI will be to speed up the delivery of “a capable exascale computing system that integrates hardware and software capability to deliver approximately 100 times the performance of current 10 petaflop systems across a range of applications representing government needs.”


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Despite H-1B lottery, offshore firms dominate visa use | Patrick Thibodeau & Sharon Machlis | NetworkWorld.com

Despite H-1B lottery, offshore firms dominate visa use | Patrick Thibodeau & Sharon Machlis | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Offshore outsourcing firms that do most of their work in India remain the largest users of the H-1B visa for computer-related jobs, seemingly unaffected by the odds of the visa lottery, according to new data.

With the exception of a few tech firms -- notably Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Oracle -- the top 25 H-1B-using firms are either based in India or are U.S. firms running large offshore operations.


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Holyoke Case Study from Berkman Center Explores Massachusetts Muni Fiber | community broadband networks

Holyoke Case Study from Berkman Center Explores Massachusetts Muni Fiber | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A few weeks ago, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society released a report that documents the achievements of Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) Telecom, a municipal electric utility that now provides fiber-optic broadband Internet to local businesses in several western Massachusetts towns. The utility’s move into fiber-optics has led to municipal savings for the City of Holyoke, as well as increased high-speed access in neighboring cities, and driven economic development. We interviewed Holyoke's Senior Network Engineer, Tim Haas, in a previous episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

Because the state of Massachusetts has no barriers that prevent the creation of municipal Internet networks, HG&E has been able to compete on a level playing field with incumbent ISPs Comcast and Charter. HG&E is among 12 MLPs (Municipal Light Plants) out of 41 in the state to offer fiber Internet services. Researchers at the Berkman Center believe that MLPs could play a large role in expanding Internet access and business opportunities throughout the state as electricity revenues experience diminishing returns and data needs grow. For example, HG&E’s fiber connection was a factor in the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center’s decision to open a $90 million data center in Holyoke.


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A damning indictment of U.S. telecom infrastructure policy failure | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

A damning indictment of U.S. telecom infrastructure policy failure | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Wired to fail - Tony Romm - POLITICO:


In response to this article Fred Pilot writes:


A damning indictment of the United States' policy failure to properly fund, plan and build Internet telecommunications infrastructure to serve all Americans. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) funding for Internet telecommunications infrastructure construction could have helped create a new generation of consumer cooperatives to build modern fiber optic telecom infrastructure just as the Rural Utilities Service did starting in the 1930s to support the deployment of electrical service.

But the ARRA allocated no technical assistance funding to help new cooperatives and local governments plan for the necessary fiber infrastructure to replace outdated copper cable, leaving the RUS and the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Agency unable to offer much in the way of real assistance. These agencies themselves erected roadblocks by adopting rules allowing legacy telephone and cable companies to block progress and veto proposed ARRA projects that could have constructed modern fiber to the premise infrastructure. Consequently, 55 million Americans (17 percent of the population) live in areas of the nation without Internet service as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission reported in early 2015.


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

As far as I'm concerned Tony Romm's POLITICO piece was a 'HIT JOB' on behalf of the Incumbent telcos and cablecos that did everything possible to block/stop the buildout this these competitive networks. There is plenty of blame to go around but also lots to celebrate since the US now has many more miles of Middle Mile infrastructure and now the challenge is to build out the Last Mile to residences and businesses. Are folks up to it?

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Five Reasons to Care About Verizon Contract Negotiations | Diana Rosen | Jobs with Justice

Five Reasons to Care About Verizon Contract Negotiations | Diana Rosen | Jobs with Justice | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A crowd of thousands rallied outside of Verizon headquarters in New York City on Saturday, creating a sea of red t-shirts and picket signs that flooded the streets of lower Manhattan. Their cause: Making sure Verizon agrees to fair contracts with its 39,000 employees, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

During the last round of contract negotiations in 2011, Verizon came to the table with a long list of demands that would have undone decades of hard-won progress – from freezing pensions and increasing employee contributions toward health coverage to ending all job security provisions and allowing the company to outsource as many jobs as it wanted. Ultimately, after a two-week strike and 16 months of sustained, escalating mobilization by union members and allies like Jobs With Justice, Verizon employees successfully negotiated eight percent raises and fought back the worst of the corporation’s demands.


When Verizon came to the table this summer with an eerily similar opening proposal, it was clear that the telecom giant has a long-term agenda to cut good union jobs, decrease its menu of services they offer to many of our communities, and offshore and outsource work overseas and to contractors.


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