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A Framework For Copyright Reform | Techdirt

A Framework For Copyright Reform | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I watched a large part of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property's first hearing on copyright reform, and came away somewhat disappointed. While the panelists presented a variety of interesting viewpoints and worked hard to highlight areas of agreement, many of the Congressional Representatives were clearly confused about the law, the Constitution and the nature of the debate itself.

 

I came away with a few key concerns, but also with some ideas for a framework that any debate on copyright should necessarily take. First up, the concerns:

 

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DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

DARPA wants you to verify software flaws by playing games | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Can online gamers perform the sometimes tedious software verification work typically done by professional coding experts?

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) think so and were so impressed with their first crowdsourced flaw-detecting games, they announced an new round of five games this week designed for improved playability as well as increased software verification effectiveness.

DARPA began the program known as Crowd Sourced Formal Verification (CSFV) in December 2013 and opened the Verigames web portal (http://www.verigames.com/home), which offered five free online formal verification games.

“These games translated players’ actions into program annotations and assisted formal verification experts in generating mathematical proofs to verify the absence of important classes of flaws in software written in the “C” and “Java” programming languages. An initial analysis indicates that non-experts playing CSFV games generated hundreds of thousands of annotations,” DARPA stated.


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Noncoms: FCC Obliged to Reserve Noncom spectrum | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Noncoms: FCC Obliged to Reserve Noncom spectrum | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Representatives of the Big Three noncommercial broadcasting groups met with FCC officials earlier this week to argue for reserving at least one channel for public broadcasting in each market after the spectrum auction.

The groups had petitioned the FCC for that change after its original proposal did not set aside those channels. According to sources, the proposed resolution of that and other petitions to reconsider its spectrum auction framework also does not include granting that request, which prompted the noncoms to take their case directly to the commission. The item is being circulated among the other commissioners and changes are still at least possible.

In the meetings, Lonna Thompson, executive VP, COO, APTS; Cindy Campbell, VP, Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and Eric Wolf, VP, and Thomas Rosen, senior counsel, at PBS, argued that the FCC "has both the authority to reserve a portion of the public airwaves for noncommercial educational service and the obligation to continue doing so."

Without that set-aside, they warned, it could adversely impact minority communities and others reliant on over-the-air TV.


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MN: Mille Lacs County visioning meeting | Mille Lacs Messanger

As a Blandin Broadband Alumni Community, Mille Lacs County, MN will be holding a community visioning session from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, in the Council Room at the Milaca City Hall, 255 First Street East, Milaca.


The meeting will allow businesses and residents an opportunity to provide input into the current state of broadband in the county and also to suggest short-term solutions to increasing access and usage of broadband in Mille Lacs County. The meeting will be co-facilitated by both Blandin consultant, Bill Coleman and also Doug Dawson, president of CCG Consulting, whom Mille Lacs County has contracted with to conduct a broadband feasibility study.


Mille Lacs County has held similar community visioning meetings in the past years to solicit ideas for projects for applying for Blandin broadband grants. Some of the successes have been the addition of Wi-Fi in several locations around the county, the addition of Wi-Fi on area school buses, eCommerce seminars for local business owners, and the distribution of computers through PCs for People to low income families in the county.

CCG Consulting will be looking for feedback from the public about their broadband experiences. Dawson is looking to hear stories about availability, pricing, and how the lack of broadband, or slow broadband is affecting people’s lives.


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House Republicans Pan Lifeline Proposals | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

House Republicans Pan Lifeline Proposals | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Republican chairs of the House committees overseeing communications issues said the just-announced FCC Lifeline program reforms are a lost opportunity, specifically to keep the fund in check.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler circulated proposals to migrate the phone subsidy for low-income Americans by allowing the $9.25 per month subsidy to be used for either phone or broadband. He did not propose capping the fund, but he did propose seeking comment on whether this was the right time to do it.

In a joint statement, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) were already making their input clear, which was that this was the time.

"The time is ripe for reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) to meet the communications and technology environment of the 21st century – unfortunately, this proposal misses the mark on the reforms we need,” they said. “We have long called for the need to cap the USF, and each fund within it [Lifeline is one of those], to ensure that ratepayer dollars are spent wisely. Simply expanding the program without ensuring its effectiveness or longevity is the wrong approach if we're going to do right by those who pay for the program, and those who depend on it.”


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FCC Yet to Restart AT&T/DirecTV Shot Clock | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Yet to Restart AT&T/DirecTV Shot Clock | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The cable and broadband deals will soon be lining up at the FCC—Charter/TWC and now Avago/Broadcom—with the shot clock yet to restart on the FCC’s vetting of the AT&T/DirecTV deal, though that does not mean the merger-review team is not vetting the deal.

The clock has been stopped since March—on day 170 of the informal 180 deadline—at the time ostensibly to let a federal court decide the issue of access to third-party contracts. That was decided a month ago.

An FCC source speaking on background points out that the clock is a guideline and can be stopped for other reasons outside the FCC's control, like still needing more documents.

An AT&T source speaking on background said the holdup was unclear, but that the company submitted some more documents this week and hopefully that might get the clock moving again.


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College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com

College kids to the rescue with IT support startup HelloTech | Bob Brown | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Not that Baby Boomers or Gen X homeowners are clueless about technology, but startup HelloTech is banking on people of a certain age needing a bit of assistance to live the Internet of Things dream.

The West Los Angeles startup this week announced it has added $2 million in venture funding to the $2.5 million it attracted last fall to expand the on-demand, in-home tech support service that it officially rolled out this week in LA.

CEO Richard Wolpert, a 4-time startup founder whose background includes stints as president of Disney Online and chief strategy officer at RealNetworks, says the need for HelloTech has been borne out of the explosion of new and useful home technologies and the decline in retail tech outlets (aside from Best Buy and its Geek Squad) that offer tech installation/support.

HelloTech is vetting and hiring mainly college students to make house calls to help clients hook up everything from wireless stereo systems to video surveillance systems to wireless computer networks. The startup is partnering with product vendors like Sonos, Nest and Linksys, though insists it doesn’t do any hard selling: Tech support is its emphasis.

The top calls so far relate to newfangled wireless issues (speeding up networks, addressing dead spots, connecting printers) and old-fashioned computer issues (slow machines, virus identification).


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All the personal data that Verizon FiOS uses to keep you from canceling | Shelly Banjo | Quartz.com

All the personal data that Verizon FiOS uses to keep you from canceling | Shelly Banjo | Quartz.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When you call Verizon FiOS, the customer service representative on the other end of the line already knows quite a lot about you.

The American television and internet provider is now closely tracking exactly what you watch, what devices you use, and how much data you consume. It knows whether your household spars over DVR conflicts and how many hours your kids spend binge-watching shows on HBO.

What’s more, the company is listening in on phone calls to customer service in real-time, with supervisors poised to jump at the moment they sense a fight brewing or hear trigger words from an unhappy customer, such as “switching to Time Warner Cable.”

In a presentation at a meetup of data enthusiasts in New York City, Verizon executive Mahmoud El Assir detailed what happens behind the scenes when customers call into the Verizon FiOS help line. It’s part of the company’s efforts to stay ahead of competitors in the increasingly fierce battle over TV and internet service.

El Assir explained how Verizon monitors billions of data points a day from 7 million Verizon FiOS customers to make sure its customer service representatives know pretty much everything about their customers’ TV consumption habits before they start trying to talk someone out of canceling a bundle of channels or getting rid of that extra DVR.

“Customers are four times more likely to upgrade their DVR boxes to newer versions that record more shows when we bring up the data on recording conflicts,” El Assir told Quartz.


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CBS Might Partner With Apple For Internet TV Deal | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

CBS Might Partner With Apple For Internet TV Deal | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CBS Corp. is closing in on a deal with Apple to be part of its new Internet-based, stand-alone TV service, which could garner higher TV network fees than with other traditional TV providers.

Speaking at the Code Conference event in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Les Moonves, president/chief executive officer of CBS Corp. said CBS would “probably” make a deal with Apple.

He met recently with Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services for Apple.

Speaking later with CNBC, Moonves said: “Apple [isn’t talking] about a 200-channel universe; it’ll be less than that. It will be a different offering that is digital. We will do better in a 15- to 17-channels universe. You’ll always need CBS.”

Moonves told CNBC that he believes CBS will get paid more for Apple than from traditional pay TV providers.


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MN: Norman County Broadband 2014 Update: Have and have nots | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Norman County Broadband 2014 Update: Have and have nots | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Norman County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 3.3
  • Number of Households: 2,863
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 59.15%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 61.92%


Norman is a county of haves and have-nots. In 2010, the FCC listed Norman County as one of the least served counties in Minnesota. Thanks to an ARRA-funded project awarded in 2011, part of the county is now well served. So they are no longer one of the least served, but at 61 percent they are still in need.

That being said, one of my favorite stories of business use of broadband comes from Norman County: Weave Got Maile…


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Monopoly power tightens grip on US economy | Al Jazeera America | David Cay Johnston Opinion | Al Jazeera America

Monopoly power tightens grip on US economy | Al Jazeera America | David Cay Johnston Opinion | Al Jazeera America | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This week, Charter Communications announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable as well as the much smaller Bright House Networks. These actions illustrate the increasingly sclerotic condition of the American economy.

Instead of enjoying the benefits of competition, America suffers from ever more concentrated ownership of vital, privately owned infrastructure. This deal, if approved by regulators, would make this problem even worse.

In 1980 we had 37 large railroads; we now have seven. Rules that once limited broadcast chains to a handful of stations now allow massive concentration of ownership with a predictable narrowing of perspectives. At the same time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission turns a blind eye to records in its own files showing egregious price gouging by monopoly oil and gas pipelines.

There is nothing business owners hate more than competition because profits are harder to earn and margins are thinner. But competition is essential to well-functioning markets. As Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” taught us 239 years ago, “the freer and more general the competition” the greater the public benefits, while “to widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers.”

Less competition means higher prices and vastly greater wealth for those who can exert oligopoly or monopoly control over an industry. These companies then use their enhanced economic power to lobby and donate their way to government rules that ease their already modest tax burdens, drive down wages and further reduce consumer rights.

If the Federal Communications Commission lets the cable deal go through, then Charter will control almost 30 percent of broadband Internet service. The company would enjoy the benefits of operating as a monopoly or part of a duopoly, free to charge much higher prices than a competitive market would allow.

For Charter shareholders this is a great deal. It is especially good for John Malone, the controlling shareholder whose wealth has allowed him to become the largest private landowner in the United States.


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Is Internet access necessary for economic well-being? FCC chairman thinks so. | Cristina Maza | CSMonitor.com

Is Internet access necessary for economic well-being? FCC chairman thinks so. | Cristina Maza | CSMonitor.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This year, the Federal Communications Commission decided that broadband Internet should be treated as a public utility, similar to the telephone network. Now, the FCC’s chairman says that, like the phone network, the Internet should be subsidized for the poor.

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided qualifying, low-income consumers with discounted telephone services. Supporters of the program argue that access to phone services is essential for calling for medical help, searching for employment, and, ultimately, for attaining overall economic well-being.

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told his colleagues that Internet access is just as important as telephone access for people trying to climb out of poverty. His $1.7 billion proposal would give recipients the option to choose between phone service, Internet access, or a combination of both, The New York Times reported.
Recommended: How much do you know about US entitlement programs? Take our quiz.

“People increasingly depend on the Internet for access to jobs, education, news, services, communications, and everything else under the sun,” says Kristine DeBry, vice president of the Policy Strategy Center at Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group in Washington.


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The latest Time Warner Cable merger isn’t Comcast all over again, execs argue | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

The latest Time Warner Cable merger isn’t Comcast all over again, execs argue | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications said Tuesday it's buying Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion mega deal that would give Charter some 24 million customers in parts of the country ranging from Washington state to South Carolina.

Hanging over the announcement, though, is Comcast. You can't talk about an acquisition of Time Warner Cable without discussing Comcast's failed bid for the nation's second-largest cable company, which collapsed last month.

[Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm]

It's clearly something Charter has thought about, too — and the company addressed the issue head-on in response to the first question on an investor call Tuesday morning.

"We're a very different company than Comcast, and this is a very different transaction," Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge said on the call.

Just like the Comcast-TWC deal, the Charter-TWC merger has to be approved by federal regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission.

Charter is already moving to counter some of the arguments that helped sink the Comcast merger. For instance, what executives are calling the "New Charter" will be much smaller than a Comcast-Time Warner Cable mash-up would have looked like, company officials say, which could help limit regulators concerns about potentially anticompetitive behavior.

While a Comcast deal would have controlled more than half the country's high-speed Internet subscribers and roughly one-third of the nation's cable TV market, the latest deal would give Charter only about 30 percent market share in broadband and 17 percent in cable video, according to the company.


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Charter Communications Starts Advertising Blitz: Its Internet Service Has "No Data Caps," AT&T U-verse Does | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Charter Communications Starts Advertising Blitz: Its Internet Service Has "No Data Caps," AT&T U-verse Does | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications is now heavily advertising the fact its Internet service “has no data caps,” in an attempt to leverage customers away from AT&T DSL (150GB cap) and AT&T U-verse (250GB cap).

Charter quietly shelved its softly enforced usage caps several months ago and is now using its cap-free experience as a marketing tool to convince customers to switch from AT&T and other phone company broadband options that often include usage limits.

“They used it with me to convince me to drop U-verse for Charter,” writes Stop the Cap! reader Jennifer in Tennessee. “I hate usage caps.”

Charter is also using its cap-free broadband as a key argument in favor of its merger deal with Time Warner Cable and Bright House (which have no usage caps either).


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FCC Cracking Down on Wireless Robotexts, Calls | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC Cracking Down on Wireless Robotexts, Calls | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated to the other commissioners a proposal for a June vote on preventing unwanted robocalls and "robotexts," spam and telemarketing calls to wireless phones that makes it clear that carriers can help their subs block those unwanted communications.

That is according to FCC officials speaking on background.

Wheeler is trying to close what he sees as "loopholes" in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by issuing declaratory rulings on more than 20 petitions for clarity on how it interprets the TCPA regarding wireless phones, though some of the changes will apply to wired phones as well. Some of those questions had come from carriers and others wondering if they were allowed to provide blocking technology given their common-carrier requirement for completing calls.

Complaints about violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are the FCC's most numerous. More than 215,000 complaints came in last year alone, according to an FCC official.

App developers and others have sought input on just what consumer protections square with the law.


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ISPs Say Title II Decision Is Ripe for Stay | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

ISPs Say Title II Decision Is Ripe for Stay | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable and Telco ISPs have outlined the ABCs (and Ds and Es) of why a federal court should uphold their requests and stay the June 12 enforcement date of the FCC's Title II reclassification of Internet access service.

That came in a joint reply to the FCC's opposition to the stay.

The lead line was this: "The FCC’s reclassification of broadband Internet access as a Title II common carriage service is a seismic departure from the status quo that has prevailed for more than two decades. It will expose Petitioners and their members to a host of new, ill-defined requirements, and it immediately threatens them with class action litigation and enforcement actions."

The chorus making that point included USTelecom, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association, AT&T, CenturyLink and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association.

Their response was divided into arguments for why they will prevail in their underlying legal challenges, and why it is in the public's and ISP's interest to grant a stay in the interim.


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CT: Frontier Communications opens New London call center | Lee Howard | TheDay.com

CT: Frontier Communications opens New London call center | Lee Howard | TheDay.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Frontier Communications officially opened its 20,000-square-foot State Street call center on Wednesday in the same building where generations of operators helped connect customers to the outside world.

"It's good to be home," said Paul Quick, a senior vice president and general manager of Frontier's Connecticut operations, to enthusiastic applause during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by about 100 people.

AT&T had closed the longtime downtown call center more than a year ago, forcing local employees to drive an extra hour to a centralized operation in New Haven. But shortly after Frontier bought AT&T's landline and U-verse businesses in Connecticut for $2 billion, the company announced that it would be returning operations here and restoring about 100 jobs to the economically struggling city.

"This is the best news that has hit New London in many many months, if not years," said Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. "This is good news for the region."

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, called the move a "brilliant decision" by Frontier.

"The bones of this city are still good," he said. "New London is just an outstanding city with great people."

"What a great day for the city of New London," said Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio. "Thank God they are back and hopefully here to stay."


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Wheeler Circulates Lifeline Migration 2.0 Proposals | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Wheeler Circulates Lifeline Migration 2.0 Proposals | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a number of proposals—primarily a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—to restructure the Universal Service Fund's lifeline subsidy as it is migrated from traditional phone to broadband service. The plan is to vote on those proposals at the June public meeting.

Lifeline provides subsidies, paid by telecoms and, ultimately, their subs, for essential communications services for low-income Americans. The proposals do not deal with the contribution side—whether broadband operators will have to pay into the subsidy, too. That is the subject of a separate proceeding, with the FCC awaiting input from the USF Joint Board.

The Lifeline "reboot" includes adding broadband service to the subsidy, establishing minimum services standards for both phone voice and broadband that are sufficiently robust for modern demands—the FCC is seeking input on what those should be, but has not offered any tentative conclusions.

Wheeler has signaled that 25 Mbps on the broadband side should be table stakes for speeds in the digital age, although in the USF Connect America Fund, part of the migration of USF subsidies to rural, hard-to-reach areas, the FCC in April set 10 Mbps as a baseline.

The FCC is expecting to keep the subsidy at $9.25 per month, for either phone or broadband, but seeks comment on whether that is the right price.

The chairman is also proposing not to allow Lifeline providers to verify the eligibility of their customers, which the FCC says invites waste and is both a potential conflict and a burden on providers. Instead, the FCC is looking for an independent third party to do the verification.


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Google launches free, 'unlimited' photo, video storage service | Blair Hanley Frank | NetworkWorld.com

Google launches free, 'unlimited' photo, video storage service | Blair Hanley Frank | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is offering a major bump in photo and video storage with a new service that lets users store an unlimited number of images and clips for free.

The new service, called Google Photos, is supposed to simplify how people manage the massive amount of media they’re generating from their smartphones, according to Anil Sabharwal, a Google lead project manager, who announced the service at the company’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Starting Thursday, users can upload images up to 16 megapixels in size, and 1080p high-definition video from Android and iOS devices, and via desktop web browsers.

It works with a new Photos app that organizes users’ images by date and lets them pinch to move between viewing their photos by the day, month or year they were shot. They’re also organized intelligently based on who’s in the photo, or where they were shot.

Google Photos also uses the company’s search technology to let people find particular situations, like images taken during a “snowstorm in Toronto.”

The app also includes an Assistant feature that uses machine learning to suggest new ways to pull together images from a user’s photo library. The feature will pull together video clips and images from events into slideshows and video montages automatically that users can then edit and share.


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CBS's Moonves 'Broadcasters' Comment Draws Fire from ATVA | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

CBS's Moonves 'Broadcasters' Comment Draws Fire from ATVA | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable operators in a pitched battle with broadcasters over retrans fees latched on to a comment attributed to CBS president Les Moonves at the Code Conference Wednesday.

“We're programmers. The term 'broadcasting' doesn't mean anything anymore," Moonves said, which was immediately used by the American Television Alliance to hammer the company, which has aggressively sought more retrans compensation as what Moonves considers fair value for TV stations that still provide the most popular programming viewed on cable.

"If CBS wants to be treated like every other channel, then by all means, they should surrender their spectrum back to the government and give up all their special government handouts like “must carry” and other regulatory advantages,” said ATVA spokesman Trent Duffy.

ATVA members include Charter, Time Warner Cable, Dish, DirecTV, telcos and many others.

"A foundational principle of federal communications law is that in exchange for free use of the public airwaves broadcasters agree to take actions that benefit the public. These principles are enshrined in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934, which mandate that broadcasters serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. Apparently, that’s news to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves."

But Duffy was just getting started.


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New satellites give major boost to DirecTV HD, 4KTV capacity | Joseph O'Halloran | Rapid TV News

New satellites give major boost to DirecTV HD, 4KTV capacity | Joseph O'Halloran | Rapid TV News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After notable failed satellite missions elsewhere, DirecTV is reporting the successful launch of two spacecraft that it says will significantly increase HD capacity, secure the future of 4K/Ultra HD and back up its existing fleet.

Launched on a single ARIANE 5 launch vehicle operated by Arianespace from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the two new craft comprise DIRECTV-15 (D-15), an all-CONUS (Continental United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico) beam satellite, and SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1), SKY MEXICO's first owned-and-operated satellite.


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NM: Taos broadband mainline almost done, final steps still buffering | Katharine Egli | taosnews.com

NM: Taos broadband mainline almost done, final steps still buffering | Katharine Egli | taosnews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The backbone of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s fiber-optic network is expected to be finished by June 30, but it’s not clear when every home and business that wants access will be connected and online.

The delay, according to Kit Carson spokesman Andrew Gonzales, is because of the enormous number of people who signed up to have fiber-optic cable brought to their buildings. These so-called “drops” are the last leg of the network installation, but are necessary to offer connectivity, Gonzales said.

“We have 10,000 requests for drops,” Gonzales said Wednesday (May 27). “That’s quite a bit.”

According to a project update posted on Kit Carson’s website and dated May 25, the “mainline” of the network is 94 percent complete.

Gonzales explained the mainline is the trunk line that carries data long distances; it also is tied in directly to major buildings and institutions like the hospital, government buildings and schools.

Once finished, Gonzales said all of those “anchor institutions” will have access to the network. The target completion date for that phase is June 30, Gonzales said.

But for everyday business owners and residents, the wait will probably be longer.

Gonzales explained splicing individual drops from the electric meter to the home itself is currently 68 percent complete. Communities on the periphery of Kit Carson’s service territory — places like Amalia and Eagle Nest where work first started — are almost completely done. In other communities, that phase has barely begun.

Kit Carson is reporting 332 customers on the network, according to the update.


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Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger | Aran Khanna | Medium.com

Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger | Aran Khanna | Medium.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

(Full Disclosure: I will be starting an internship at Facebook on an unrelated team in June of 2015)

Edit: At Facebook’s request I have again deactivated the *official* version of the extension. For the tech savvy: to get your own unofficial version running (or fix your now deactivated extension) there are instructions on the Github page.

When I came to college Facebook Messenger became an integral part of my digital life. I quickly found that it was the easiest way to keep in touch with old high school friends, contact people I had just met, organize impromptu poker games with people I hardly knew, and everything in between. However, I didn't realize how much data about me Messenger was revealing to the people I chatted with until last week when I began tinkering with my message history.

As you may know, when you send a message from the Messenger app there is an option to send your location with it. What I realized was that almost every other message in my chats had a location attached to it, so I decided to have some fun with this data. I wrote a Chrome extension for the Facebook Messenger page (https://www.facebook.com/messages/) that scrapes all this location data and plots it on a map. You can get this extension here and play around with it on your message data.


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Suddenlink becomes the latest MSO to integrate Hulu | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

Suddenlink becomes the latest MSO to integrate Hulu | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

St. Louis-based mid-sized cable operator Suddenlink Communications has become the latest MSO to integrate Hulu into its program guide.

Later this year, Suddenlink will begin offering the subscription video-on-demand service through the TiVo set-top boxes it deploys to its more than 1.1 million subscribers.

The announcement follows similar revenue sharing agreements made by Hulu with Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom Communications, Midcontinent Communications and WideOpenWest.

"We have complementary catalogs with MVPDs," said Hulu distribution chief Tim Connolly at INTX earlier this month. "They're focused on the most recent episodes, and our content is mostly back catalog and archival seasons. And presenting a holistic environment is something an operator like Cablevision wants."


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WA: Seattle Energy Committee Meets to Discuss Muni Fiber Possibilities: Video Available | community broadband networks

WA: Seattle Energy Committee Meets to Discuss Muni Fiber Possibilities: Video Available | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the talk of municipal broadband grows louder in Seattle, city leaders are gathering to learn more about what deploying at a fiber network may entail. On May 13th, the Seattle Energy Committee and leaders from citizen group Upgrade Seattle met to discuss the needs, challenges, and possibilities. Chris joined them via Skype to provide general information and answer questions. He was in Atlanta at the time of the meeting. Video of the entire meeting is now available via the Seattle Channel and embedded below.


King5 also covered the meeting (video below).

"We're starting from a different place in terms of the infrastructure," said Karen Toering with Upgrade Seattle. "The city already has in place hundreds of miles of dark fiber that we're not even using right now that were already laid in the years previous to now."

Upgrade Seattle sees that dark fiber as the key to competition which will lead to better consumer prices and service from private providers.

Businesses are also interested in reliability, argues Upgrade Seattle. Devin Glaser told the committee:


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Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com

Charter strikes deal with Time Warner Cable to create mega cable and Internet firm | Cecilia Kang | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications said Tuesday that it has struck a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for $55 billion, creating a new giant in an industry racing to hook up homes to high-speed Internet as cable television declines.


The merger of the fourth- and second-largest cable providers will create a new contender in an industry long lacking competition and will face strong scrutiny from federal regulators who have complained of too much power in the hands of a few firms, particularly Comcast.


Charter will pay Time Warner Cable $195.71 a share, a significant premium over Time Warner Cable's closing stock price Friday. The company also announced the purchase of small cable operator Bright House Networks, which will be combined with the two companies.

The merged company will serve 23.9 million cable, broadband Internet and phone customers in 41 states including in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

The deal comes just one month after Comcast's surprising decision to drop its own bid for Time Warner Cable, a deal regulators later said would harm consumers. Federal officials said the combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would put more than half of all U.S. broadband subscribers under the control of one company, giving it the potential to thwart competition from streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.


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