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Missoula, MT council OKs $13K for 'extreme broadband' Internet study | Missoulian.com

Missoula, MT council OKs $13K for 'extreme broadband' Internet study | Missoulian.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

The Missoula City Council wants to give a shot in the arm to businesses in need of faster and cheaper Internet speeds.

 

On Monday, the council voted 9-1 to spend $13,125 toward a feasibility study “outlining the demand for and options to improve access to extreme broadband at an affordable cost for businesses in Missoula.”

 

“We did a survey around that and identified that one of the needs that folks have is for high-speed, high-capacity connections at an affordable price,” said Councilwoman Caitlin Copple.

 

Copple chairs the Economic Development Subcommittee of the council, a group that formed to research the way municipal government can best support technology infrastructure to bolster local businesses – and recruit more technology startups.

 

“We felt like the time is now to bring on a consultant and really get a professional assessment on what we have, what the demand is and what the potential partnerships are,” Copple said.

 

Earlier this month, the Board of County Commissioners guaranteed $13,125 toward the study. The city and county funds together meet a matching grant requirement for a $26,250 award the Bitter Root Economic Development District secured from the Big Sky Trust Fund, a program of the Montana Department of Commerce.

 

“The city of Missoula recognizes affordable, high-capacity and high-speed Internet service across the city is vital to Missoula’s economic growth,” reads the city’s resolution authorizing the expenditure.

 

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Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C. | Steve Ragan | NetworkWorld.com

Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C. | Steve Ragan | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Towards the end of July, ESD America, the makers of the ultra-secure CryptoPhone, said that their engineers and customers had discovered more than a dozen rogue cell towers (also known as interceptors or IMSI catchers) around the U.S.


New information shows that the discovered towers might only represent a small fraction of the whole, and what's been discovered doesn't account for the mobile base stations that are only active on a limited basis.


Interceptors are a huge risk if used by a malicious actor. That's because once a device connects to them, the interceptor's operator can perform a number of tasks, including eavesdrop on calls or text messages, or in some cases push data (spyware for example) to the device. This is why they're only supposed to be used by law enforcement or the government.


However, that doesn't mean that the government or law enforcement haven't found themselves in the hot seat for abusing an interceptor's functionality. The potential for abuse and wide availability of the technology, including home-grown versions that work just as well as their commercial counterparts, means that the existence of unknown interceptors are a major concern.


In an interview with Popular Science last month, Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, said that it's suspicious many of the interceptors discovered in July were "on top of U.S. military bases."


"So we begin to wonder – are some of them U.S. government interceptors? Or are some of them Chinese interceptors? Whose interceptor is it? Who are they, that's listening to calls around military bases? Is it just the U.S. military, or are they foreign governments doing it? The point is: we don't really know whose they are."


The unknown is what prompted questions from Congress, who grilled the FCC on their plans to address the interceptor issue.


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Community Broadband Media Roundup - September 19, 2014 | community broadband networks

Community Broadband Media Roundup - September 19, 2014 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The media is picking up on Chairman Wheeler’s notice to big telecom: 4Mbps is not going to cut it anymore. Wheeler said speeds closer to 10Mbps should be classified as high speed. A good step, but by the end of this Media Roundup, you’ll be questioning what that paltry 10 Mbps can do for communities…

Michael Nielsen with Motley Fool pointed out reasons that big telecom should be scared: competition, competition, competition. Meanwhile, AT&T patted itself on the back because they say 98% of its customers have download speeds of 6 Mbps or higher (so they claim). So yes, congratulations are in order, in the most minor way possible.

Want another reason big telecom should be scared? Free Marketeers are on board with Net Neutrality. From James J. Heaney:

“… it seems odd for a conservative – whether an old-guard big-business Bush-era conservative or a new-guard Paulite libertarian conservative – to support Net Neutrality.

Except I do Internet for a living, and I am one of the lucky ones who actually knows what Net Neutrality means and what it’s responding to. And, folks, I’m afraid that, while L. Gordon Crovitz and Rich Lowry are great pundits with a clear understanding of how Washington and the economy work, they don’t seem to understand how the Internet works, which has led them to some wrong conclusions.”


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CWA's support of AT&T/DIRECTV merger based on fallacious logic | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

CWA's support of AT&T/DIRECTV merger based on fallacious logic | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CWA says AT&T-DIRECTV merger will advance broadband buildout, help consumers, Workers | Speed Matters - Internet Speed Test: The AT&T/DIRECTV merger will improve the economics for AT&T’s investment in high-speed broadband, the critical infrastructure for the 21st century, CWA said. Video is the major driver of broadband expansion, producing the revenue stream to support investment in high-speed networks. As a stronger video competitor, a merged AT&T/DIRECTV will have the economic incentives to increase investment in the high-capacity networks that are so essential to drive economic growth, jobs, and the social benefits enabled by high-speed digital technology.

So asserts the Communications Workers of America in comments filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in support of AT&T's acquisition of DIRECTV.

The problem is the logic does not hold up. AT&T's deriving additional revenues from DIRECTV video services does not necessarily mean those additional funds will be invested in landline Internet infrastructure and thus CWA jobs that builds and maintains that infrastructure.

And why should that be the case, AT&T will likely ask itself once the deal goes through, when satellite does the job of delivering video content to residential premises? Instead, any video revenue bump from the deal will likely be plowed into earnings and dividends, not CAPex for infrastructure.

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CA: Business, Education Call on Culver City to Invest in Muni Fiber in L.A. County | community broadband networks

CA: Business, Education Call on Culver City to Invest in Muni Fiber in L.A. County | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last fall, Culver City, CA hired a consultant to develop a design and business plan for a possible fiber network project. Recently, prominent business leaders and parents of local school children have publicly expressed their support for a municipal network.

Culver City, also known as "The Heart of Screenland" is situated in west L.A. County, surrounded primarily by the City of Los Angeles. Approximately 39,000 people live in this community that is beginning to draw in the tech industry. In addition to Disney's Maker Studios, Apple owns Culver City's Beats Electronic, known for high-tech headphones. Culver City wants to stay current to compete with Santa Monica, home to a number of tech businesses that connect to its publicly owned City Net.

The L.A. Weekly reports billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of NantWorks, has encouraged city leaders to move forward with the project. His specific request is that five business districts be included in the network deployment. NantWorks, located in one of those districts, provides cloud-based operating systems to support telehealth. According to the article, Soon-Shiong is rallying other business leaders:


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How 3D Printing Will Impact Your Future | Rudy de Waele | The Next Web

How 3D Printing Will Impact Your Future | Rudy de Waele | The Next Web | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The first time I saw a 3D-printer in action was when I participated to the Singularity University Executive Program in the spring of 2011. It was a place that offered corporate executives and entrepreneurs the tools to predict and evaluate how emerging technologies will disrupt and transform their industries, companies, careers and lives.

Since then, I have been following the explosion of 3D-printing products and services closely and it’s an integral part in most of my talks for clients and at conferences.

During the program we visited TechShop; there, we experimented with miniature 3D modeling, as well as the Autodesk offices in San Francisco. Those visits really blew my mind as I realized the broad possibilities of use and the impact 3D printing could have in many different sectors. It was incredible to see last week at the 3D-printshow in London how this industry has grown in just three years’ time.

Everyday, more people have access to 3D-printing technology thanks to the open-source hardware DIY clubs, hacker and maker spaces and Maker Faires that popping up in cities around the globe. Good international examples are Wevolver in London and Amsterdam, the FabLabs, and the more recently, the 3D Hubs network, which grew from connecting a couple of hundred 3D-printers to more than 7,000 in less than a year’s time.

Easy access to top class 3D modeling and design apps and software like 123D Design (available for PC or Mac, iPhone and iPad or through a Web application) makes it accessible for many people to start printing in 3D in their own neighborhood.

More 3D-printing marketplaces and Service Centers are being opened everywhere by entrepreneurs betting on a lucrative market to explode the next years. Shapeways and Maker6 are pioneers in this area in the US, while iMaterialise is well-known in Europe (Belgium).

Some of the big players are already positioning towards a 3D-printing consumer boom as well, such as the recently launched Amazon’s 3D-printing Store or the UPS Store’s in the US.


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Mobile industry makes the pro-goodies case for non-neutral networks | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

Mobile industry makes the pro-goodies case for non-neutral networks | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Meredith Attwell Baker is the president and CEO of the wireless industry group CTIA. And in prepared remarks at Monday's GSMA Mobile 360 event in Atlanta, she declared that mobile Internet service providers aren't backing away from the idea that key to surviving in the wireless marketplace is, increasingly, the digital bonuses they offer -- goodies that could be prohibited under strong net neutrality rules.

Such "differentiation," said Baker in the remarks, is "an issue that isn't getting enough attention."

"Given the clear, competitive import of network management to retain and attract subscribers," the former Federal Communications Commissioner was slated to say, "I will never understand why the government would intervene now, and even contemplate hamstringing disruptive competitors or reducing the competitive energy around delivering the best network experience."

In the mobile realm, such goodies are known in the developing world as zero-rated apps. In the United States, they are offered under the banner of "sponsored data" and under names like T-Mobile's Music Freedom. Those apps raise questions about whether they favor some providers of digital at the expense of others, but Baker is hinting here at the idea that they'll only become more prevalent as cell phone service companies compete.

Sponsored data hasn't been a high-profile part of the open Internet debate now taking place before the FCC, where Baker was a commissioner from 2009 to 2011 before jumping over to the cable and content company Comcast; she joined CTIA earlier this year. But the concept does challenge the expectation held by some when it comes to the wired Internet that networks are meant to serve as "dumb" pipes, or largely content-agnostic conduits for digital packets.

In the wireless world, argued Baker, "we should want competitors fighting to see who can manage the best network, and optimize the most services for the most subscribers. No one wants a one-size-fits-all mobile Internet experience."


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Fast Lane, Slow Lane -- "No Lane" -- End Game in Telecommunications | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost.com

Fast Lane, Slow Lane -- "No Lane" -- End Game in Telecommunications | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Forget about Net Neutrality's fast lane vs slow lane. We are at the end game in telecommunications and we should all be talking about the "No Lane."

Net Neutrality is like one of those Rorschach Tests used in psychological examinations where everyone sees something different in the same picture. With a record 3.7 million comments filed at the FCC in the Open Internet proceeding, as of September 15th, 2014, one thing is clear -- America is angst-ridden about something.

The most common theme in the last round of comments filed is now the-easy-to-remember chant -- "fast lane vs slow lane," while over the last decade it has referred to the blocking or degrading of service.

But the truth is -- the angst is not only from 'Net Neutrality'. According to an ACSI survey, in 2014, Comcast and Time Warner are leading the list as the "most hated companies in America," while "ISPs," (actually the phone and cable companies, including AT&T and Centurylink) were also at the bottom of customer satisfaction.

While Net Neutrality focuses on important issues, it doesn't address or cure anything to do with stopping the "No Lane"-- the end game if AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner continue on their path. These companies are the incumbent wireline and cable companies that control most of the wires in the US and that also means that they control all wireless services. Control of the wires also gives them control over all services, including competitor services, but more importantly it gives them the ability to control who gets upgraded and who doesn't, or what prices customers' pay, or worse, who will be 'shut off' and end up in a 'Digital Dead Zone'.

How bad is the broadband 'landscape'?

A recent speech by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler brings the "No Lane," filed with the "have nots," into focus.


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Lyft Buys Carpooling Startup Hitch To Grow Lyft Line | Ellen Huet | Forbes.com

Lyft Buys Carpooling Startup Hitch To Grow Lyft Line | Ellen Huet | Forbes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In early August, Uber and Lyft tripped over each other to be the first to announce they were debuting a carpooling option. Hours before Lyft was set to announce Lyft Line, Uber jumped in front and shouted they were beginning UberPool, both of which offer riders the chance to pay lower fares and pair with other riders.

The announcements struck a one-two punch on fledgling carpooling startup Hitch, whose launch I covered in June. Its cofounders, Snir Kodesh and Noam Szpiro, had built Hitch around a dream of shared rides with strangers — but suddenly, the backseat was a lot more crowded.

“There was a feeling of, ‘Oh boy, we have a lot of scary competition if we want to continue on this track,’” said Kodesh. “We knew it was going to be a real uphill battle to go face to face.”

But no battles will be waged. Instead, Lyft will buy Hitch, the companies said Monday.


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Iridium's next-gen satellite network will search for missing planes at no charge | Kevin Fitchard | GigaOM Tech News

Iridium's next-gen satellite network will search for missing planes at no charge | Kevin Fitchard | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Iridium’s new satellites will start blasting into orbit next year on top of SpaceX and Dnepr rockets, they’ll be carrying a special payload: an aircraft tracking system that will be able to locate a plane anywhere in the world once Iridium’s 66-satellite constellation is fully operational in 2017.


The service is run by Aireon, a joint venture between Iridium and government aviation agencies in Canada and Europe, and it plans on charging airline for its core flight monitoring services. But Aireon said it would open the network up gratis to international rescue agencies during emergencies, allowing them to home in on missing aircraft.


In the case of Malaysia Airlines 370, which disappeared in March, the emergency service could have helped in locating and the possible rescue of the still missing flight by plotting its exact GPS coordinates every few seconds. The technology behind it is called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), and transponders using it are being installed in new and old commercial aircraft.


Iridium birds won’t be the only ones listening for ADS-B signals either, both Inmarsat and Globalstar are putting the locator tech on their aircraft and will be offering competing flight monitoring services. Iridium, however, has the slight advantage of offering pole-to-pole coverage, which given the artic great circle routes taken by many transcontinental flights would be very handy.

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Canada: CRTC orders Netflix to hand over confidential data | Toronto Sun

Canada: CRTC orders Netflix to hand over confidential data | Toronto Sun | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On the final day of its television hearings, the CRTC demanded online giant Netflix release subscriber information, Canadian content numbers and project spending and set a strict Monday deadline to hand it over.

Corie Wright, Netflix's director of global public policy, sparred with those chairing the hearings in Gatineau, Que., Friday over whether the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) would keep such information confidential.

Wright said Netflix is concerned data would be submitted to the commission, but could later be released publicly, which would put the streaming service at a business disadvantage.

Tom Pentefountas, the CRTC's vice-chairman who headed the hearings, said Netflix makes millions of dollars off Canadian consumers and shouldn't have to be ordered to disclose the data.

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais ordered Netflix to hand over data by 5 p.m. Monday.

"We need the evidence," Blais said, noting the CRTC goes through hundreds of proceedings each year and confidentiality hasn't been an issue.


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Watchdog – AT&T deal would harm consumers | Dave Seyler | Radio & Television Business Report

Watchdog – AT&T deal would harm consumers | Dave Seyler | Radio & Television Business Report | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Free Press has filed a petition to deny the merger of AT&T and DirecTV, saying that it would reduce subscription television competition in many markets and put upward pressure on pricing. It sees no mitigating factor to counterbalance that negative.

The watchdog argued that the pay television aspect of the merger was clearly a violation of antitrust guidelines. It believes that price increases would be in the future for all subscribers in a market where both are now operating in competition with one another, not just to subscribers of DirecTV and AT&T’s U-verse service.

As to claims that the merger will increase access to broadband, Free Press isn’t buying it.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner said, “AT&T’s attempt to dangle regulatory candy in front of the FCC — in the form of broadband deployment — echoes promises it made during its failed takeover of T-Mobile. Here AT&T is again making the case that eliminating a competitor in a near $70 billion transaction is the only way it can make what amounts to small deployment increases. These supposed benefits are actions AT&T would take in the absence of the merger and they don’t come close to offsetting the harms of this transaction.

Turner concluded, “AT&T and DIRECTV are much more likely to innovate, invest and compete if the FCC doesn’t sign off on their merger.”

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, some ninety companies with special knowledge of AT&T – they are said to have been former business partners – are calling for blockage of the merger. They believe that AT&T engages in anti-competitive behavior and that it violates its fiduciary duty. One, the Minority Cellular Partners Coalition, says AT&T engages in “squelching competition.”

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Turning Hotspots Into Dollars | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Turning Hotspots Into Dollars | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable operators are beginning to look to their WiFi networks as a source of future revenue growth, with two top executives in the space recently saying that monetizing those assets will be a key focus over the next three to five years.

WiFi, the cheap-to-build wireless data conduit that most cable operators deploy as a free add-on to their wired broadband service, has been a key retention tool for many cable operators over the past several years.

 

But as those networks are built out more extensively, operators are beginning to see them as a potential profit center.

 

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts recently compared the WiFi space to cable telephone service in its infancy. Comcast, he said, faced stiff criticism for not immediately deploying a circuit-switched telephone product as did some of its peers. It held back, he said, waiting for better economics and technology.

 

The same might hold true for WiFi, he said. The economics might be coming soon, in the form of a dual-use phone (which utilizes both WiFi and cellular networks) or a standalone product.


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NM: Albuquerque looks to create broadband network | Mike Springer | KOAT.com

NM: Albuquerque looks to create broadband network | Mike Springer | KOAT.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The city of Albuquerque is looking to create a community broadband network downtown.


The city would partner with a private company to create the system, which would provide Internet access to those around Central Avenue between 98th Street and Tramway Boulevard.

Eventually, the city wants to expand the system’s availability to the rest of the city. It says it could provide the service at a lower cost than some private companies.

“We really see this as a catalyst to really start to push the envelope on broadband and high-speed broadband in Albuquerque,” said Peter Ambs, the city’s chief information officer.

The city has a $1 million in bonds it can use for the project but won't know the real cost until it takes a look underground and sees the infrastructure it already has in place. Ambs said Albuquerque is below average for a city when it comes to broadband access and speed.

Ambs sees this as a necessary move to help Albuquerque catch up with other cities and help key projects that depend on Internet access.

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FCC questions how to enforce net neutrality rules | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

FCC questions how to enforce net neutrality rules | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission needs to create explicit rules that tell broadband providers what traffic management techniques they can and cannot use if the agency has any hope of enforcing its proposed net neutrality rules, some advocates told the agency Friday.


The FCC needs to reclassify broadband as a common-carrier, public utility service in order to have a firm regulatory foundation to take net neutrality enforcement actions, representatives of Kickstarter and Mozilla said during an agency forum on net neutrality enforcement.


The FCC needs strong prohibitions against broadband providers selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic, said Susan Crawford, a visiting intellectual property professor at Harvard Law School. She called on the FCC to pass net neutrality rules pegged to Title II of the Communications Act, a section of the law that has focused on requirements for common-carrier telephone companies.


“Consumers are really collateral damage in some Titanic battles between these terminating [broadband] monopolies at the interconnection points and edge providers,” said Crawford, a longtime net neutrality advocate. “The government is the only entity that can take on these companies.”


The FCC’s mission is to protect the public trust, and that focus trumps the profit motive of a handful of large broadband carriers “every time,” Crawford added. “The only reason to water down very strong net neutrality rules under Title II would be to serve the commercial interests of the carriers,” she added.


Earlier this year, after a U.S. appeals court threw out parts of the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality rules, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules that would allow broadband providers to engage in what he called “commercially reasonable” network management. Advocates of strong rules have criticized Wheeler’s proposal, saying it would allow broadband providers to selectively slow Internet traffic and charge Web content providers for priority traffic handling.


Representatives of two broadband trade groups opposed calls for the FCC to adopt public utility-style rules, saying the dozens of regulations in Title II would create a long and expensive process for net neutrality complaints.


The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, a trade group representing cable broadband providers, supports “reasonable” net neutrality rules at the FCC, but the agency should focus on adopting overarching principles and enforcing violations on a case-by-case basis, said Rick Chessen, the NCTA’s senior vice president for law and regulatory policy.


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How airlines explain net neutrality or not | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

How airlines explain net neutrality or not | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The debate about whether Internet providers should be able to deliver some Web sites faster than others for an extra fee generated some strong rhetoric Friday. In an interview with The Washington Post, Tim Berners-Lee — credited with inventing the World Wide Web — lashed out at that plan, calling the concept a form of bribery.

The term "bribery" provoked pushback among some readers. In our weekly livechat (which you should join sometime), one of our readers asked a rhetorical question: How are Internet fast lanes any different from paying more to "sit up front in the big seats on an airline"? If you want better service, maybe you should pay for it.

The fact that folks are naturally turning to airlines to understand net neutrality suggests the air travel industry may have something to teach us. So let's unpack this analogy a bit. I'll tackle this in two parts: One will address how describing it as "paying for the big seats" doesn't adequately capture the net neutrality problem, and the second will tweak that analogy to try to help put the net neutrality issue in more concrete terms.

To return to our reader's question — one that's likely shared by a lot of folks — paying extra for a service is a quintessentially American idea. That's just a basic market principle: Making a service more valuable comes at a cost. That cost should not only be borne by the consumer, but the creator of the service should be expected to reap a profit for offering that extra value.

In that respect, the airline analogy is internally consistent. If you want more legroom, better food and high-quality cocktails, you can have them — for a price. It's up to you whether you want to pay that price, and some people do.

But let's be clear: Paying Internet service providers for the right to serve consumers faster and more smoothly — a concept known as "paid prioritization" — is not like being a customer on an airline.


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Netflix CEO Asks: Why Aren't Cable Companies Paying Us? | Chris Morran | The Consumerist

Netflix CEO Asks: Why Aren't Cable Companies Paying Us? | Chris Morran | The Consumerist | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For years, as cable companies and other Internet Service Providers have tried to round up support for their desire to charge a toll to bandwidth-heavy content providers like Netflix, they have repeatedly said that they deserve to be paid for carrying all that data to subscribers… even though they are already being paid by their own customers, and even though they are only carrying that content for a small fraction of its journey. Now the CEO of Netflix wants to know why that argument doesn’t swing both ways?

Last week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings appeared at CTAM EuroSummit in Copenhagen, where he spoke about the ISPs’ claims that they deserve to be paid for all their hard work.

“There’s a legitimate argument, which is: ‘Hey Netflix, you’re using 30% of the internet, you ought to pay some of the cost,'” said Hastings. “It’s a good sound bite.”

But Hastings questions exactly what it is that ISPs are doing that merit this additional money. After all, if Netflix does account for such a huge amount of traffic, couldn’t you argue that one of the reasons that consumers even have a broadband account in the first place is to stream Netflix?

“Consumers are choosing Netflix and if we’re supposed to pay some of the cost of the network, maybe we should get some of the broadband revenue,” explained Hastings, who then jokingly offered to fellow panelist Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries, “[W]e’ll pay 10% of your network costs if we get 10% of broadband revenue. Or we’ll pay 10% of your network costs if you want to pay 10% of our content costs.”

Cable companies advertise “blazing fast” downloads and their commercials show all the awesome things you can do at home with their broadband service — and streaming video is always in the forefront of that marketing.

But when customers actually try to use their broadband service as advertised, the ISPs — many of which are also pay-TV operators who stand to lose money from cord-cutters — don’t want to actually deliver it, at least not once they realize they can charge Netflix for access to the customers are paying both the ISPs and Netflix.


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Internal Emails Show Harris Corp. Misled The FCC On Stingray Device Usage In Order To Receive Approval | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com

Internal Emails Show Harris Corp. Misled The FCC On Stingray Device Usage In Order To Receive Approval | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Harris Corporation's Stingray cell tower spoofers are swiftly becoming synonymous with government lying. The FBI has specifically instructed law enforcement agencies to lie about the use of these products, which basically puts the agencies in the position of lying to courts when producing evidence or securing warrants.

Law enforcement agencies would probably lie anyway, even without the federal government's nudge. Many chose to read the restrictive non-disclosure agreements Harris includes as meaning they should withhold this information from local courts -- rather than simply seal the documents or redact them.

So, it comes as no surprise that the web of lies also includes lying to other federal agencies. The lies originate from Harris itself.


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Should the FCC define broadband? Yes! | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Pots and Pans posted an interesting article yesterday on Comments received by the FCC regarding the definition of broadband. They remark…

I’ve been reading through the comments in FCC Docket 14-126 that asks the question if the FCC should increase the definition of broadband. The comments are sticking mostly to the expected script. It seems that all of the large incumbents think the current definition of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload are just fine. And just about everybody else thinks broadband should be something faster. In the Docket the FCC suggested that a low-use home today needs 4 Mbps download, a moderate-use home needs 7.9 Mbps and a high-use home needs 10 Mbps.

The big players seem to be saying that there is no need for definition or regulation because providers are already moving to fiber. That’s true in areas where there is a market case to develop a fiber network. And that covers a whole heck of a lot of the US — but for areas where a market case is difficult to make the definition and the regulation are imperative.

In Minnesota we can see that very directly in the Minnesota Broadband Fund. The official applications and requirements aren’t out yet – but what the Office of Broadband Development has been saying in that priority will go to unserved and underserved areas (probably in that order). Unserved is a community that doesn’t meet the federal definition of broadband at 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Underserved is a community that doesn’t meet the state definition of broadband at 10-20 Mbps down and 5-10 Mbps up.

These numbers weren’t pulled from a hat — they were pulled from governmental definitions of broadband. The definition sets a standard and once a standard is set it becomes a no-brainer benchmark for funding and regulations.


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CTIA's Baker To FCC: Don't Hamstring Disruptive Competitors | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

CTIA's Baker To FCC: Don't Hamstring Disruptive Competitors | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CTIA president Meredith Baker says an open Internet is nonnegotiable, but that doesn't mean applying the same Open Internet rules to wired and wireless broadband. That comes after the FCC has been signaling it is considering that move.

According to the text of a speech prepared for a mobile summit in Atlanta today (Sept. 22), Baker said wireless was different any any attempt to regulate it the same as wired, which the FCC is at least considering as part of its revamp of the Open Internet order, could "greatly inhibit, if not jeopardize, the United States’ global leadership."

"We hear a lot about the need for platform parity. Treating wireless the same as wired broadband. Our objective should be to preserve an Open Internet, not artificially impose the same set of rules on all platforms," she says. "Forcing all platforms under a single set of rules was rejected in 2010, and should be rejected again now."

She says those who push for that model fail to provide a definition of reasonable network management broad enough to cover her industry.

Baker was on the commission in 2010 when the FCC voted not to extend the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules to wireless given the different network management challenges of its cellular architecture.

Baker pointed to the network neutrality comments of Sprint and T-Mobile that they would not be the disruptive forces they want to be--and the FCC has signaled it wants them to be--under stricter network neutrality rules, as well as the comments of Paypal founder Peter Thiel on network neutrality that "the cure will be worse than the disease."

"I will never understand why the government would intervene now, and even contemplate hamstringing disruptive competitors or reducing the competitive energy around delivering the best network experience," she said.


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Deloitte Report (Retracted) U.S. Wireless Deep Decline After Mergers | Dave Burstein | Fast Net News

Deloitte Report (Retracted) U.S. Wireless Deep Decline After Mergers | Dave Burstein | Fast Net News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Going from 6 carriers to 4 apparently a huge mistake. The Deloitte Mobile Communications National Achievement Index, a mix of 15 indicators, plummeted from 2006 to 2009 a dramatic 25-30%, after the Sprint/Nextel and Cingular/AT&T Wireless mergers http://bit.ly/Deldrop. Pretty dramatic, as you can see in the chart.

Update Sept 13: I made a bad mistake assuming that Deloitte, one of the world's largest accounting firms, wasn't fudging the data. But I can't think of any other reason Deloitte refuses to answer my questions about the index itself or to supply the data for countries comparable to the U.S. such as Britain or Germany. This is extremely poor behavior that devalues their work. No one wanting to be taken seriously in a policy discussion would make important claims without providing a way to confirm their data.

If they actually believe we face "a direct loss of USD 67 billion in GDP and 344,000 jobs in less than a decade. Furthermore, an unavailability of spectrum puts at risk the heavily mobile-dependent Internet of Things, and with it a potential USD 1.2 trillion of new economic growth," I don't see how anyone who knows the industry would consider hiring them as consultants. Craig Wigginton is the Telecom lead at Deloitte; Phil Wilson, Dwight Allen and Kevin Thompson are the listed authors. It's possible that Deloitte chose to deliberately put out something misleading to support the lobbying efforts of some big clients.

End update.

Ad hoc ergo propter hoc, of course, but no other explanation I can imagine would explain such a severe drop.

The latest index is still substantially below 2006 despite a modest recovery starting 2009. Verizon's LTE build started in 2009, now followed by AT&T, but that wasn't enough to make up the ground. Note that the index went down in boom times but rose during the Great Recession.

I was reluctant at first to write this story because I cannot find what went into their index. There were some modest anomalies in what they did explain. Deloitte is a giant accounting firm for whom the Bells are major clients so I'd normally look more closely before reporting. Since their natural bias is towards the U.S. carriers, I don't think they would skew the data against them. With 4 to 3 mergers actively under consideration across Europe I wanted to publish this.

While there were 6 carriers, prices went down every year. After the consolidation, prices remained essentially flat for several years while continuing improvement in the efficiency of wireless networks rapidly brought down the carriers' costs. Profits were low in 2006. Cingular CEO Stan Sigman told a wall street crowd. "Wireless carriers aren't even earning their cost of capital." Broadband was booming so the carriers that had landlines as well as mobile maintained profits. AT&T raised their dividend every year.

In Europe, a massive campaign by the carriers convinced Neelie Kroes that fewer companies would invest more. She allowed mergers, including the recent one that reduced Germany from 4 to 3 main wireless players. Brazil looks to do similar although the U.S. blocked AT&T/T-Mobile and Sprint/T-Mobile. When France and Canada went from 3 to 4 carriers, prices went down 10-25% depending on how you measure. 6 to 4 I always thought had a similar effect but I never had good data.

The rest of the Deloitte work is uninteresting because it's based on the thoroughly discredited 2010 FCC spectrum needs projections, much too high for political reasons.


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Global City Teams Challenge Workshop | NIST.gov

Global City Teams Challenge Workshop | NIST.gov | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Purpose:


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several partners will kick off a year-long Global City Teams Challenge to help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination. NIST invites communities and innovators to create teams that will foster the spread of “smart cities” that take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve quality of life.

The challenge will kick off September 29-30, 2014 with a two-day workshop that will bring together city planners and representatives from technology companies, academic institutions and non-profits. The challenge is open to participants around the world, and international representatives will be able to participate in the kick-off meeting via webcast.

This new challenge will leverage the success of the SmartAmerica Challenge, which from Dec. 2013 through June 2014 brought together more than 100 companies, universities and other organizations to form teams that developed and applied networked technologies. That challenge demonstrated that these technologies have the potential to create jobs and business opportunities and provide socio-economic benefits.

Smart cities rely on effective networking of computer systems and physical devices. These Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems (CPS) currently account for more than $32 trillion in global economic activity, a number that is projected to grow as they bring improvements to health care, advanced manufacturing and a host of other industries.

To support the challenge, NIST has teamed with US Ignite, a nonprofit focused on the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit. US Ignite will host the website where communities and technology innovators can sign up to create teams that will focus on particular smart city goals and challenges. Partners in the challenge will include the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services, and, from the private sector, Intel, IBM and ARM Holdings, which work in these technology areas.

Examples of current smart city projects include the following:


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Extortion As a Business Model: Copyright Enforcer Wants to Lock Your Web Browser Until You Pay | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Extortion As a Business Model: Copyright Enforcer Wants to Lock Your Web Browser Until You Pay | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A for-profit company that believes it can earn billions from web users who illegally download music, movies and television shows wants the power to lock your web browser until you provide a credit card number to settle allegations you illegally download copyrighted content.

Rightscorp strongly believes in its business plan, which demands nuisance settlements from web users caught sharing or downloading copyrighted content. The company believes it has struck gold scaring Bittorrent users with service suspension and the threat of a costly lawsuit unless they agree to pay a $20 “fine” to “settle” the alleged copyright infringement. The fine amounts are seen as low enough to guarantee a quick settlement without involving an attorney.

“Based on the fact that 22% of all Internet traffic is used to distribute copyrighted content without permission or compensation to the creators, Rightscorp is pursuing an estimated $2.3 billion opportunity and has monetized major media titles through relationships with industry leaders,” the company recently told investors.

Using “unique and proprietary patented technology,” Rightscorp says it can identify the infringement of digital content such as music, movies, software, books and games. Rightscorp’s success getting paid depends heavily on the added weight Internet Service Providers can bring when they send on notices that claim those who don’t settle risk having their Internet service shut off. Rightscorp calls their settlement offers “reasonable,” especially when compared with the possible financial consequences of a verdict in favor of the copyright holder as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA), which can be as high as $150,000.

Rightscorp splits any proceeds 50/50 with itself and copyright holders. ISPs get nothing for cooperating.

The company has successfully extracted settlements from more than 100,000 Americans so far as cooperating ISP’s like Charter Communications forward Rightscorp’s legal threats to their broadband customers:


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Verizon Wants You to Pay Less for Cable | Jamal Carnette | The Motley Fool

Verizon Wants You to Pay Less for Cable | Jamal Carnette | The Motley Fool | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In possibly the best example of how cable's pending demise, Verizon's CEO Lowell McAdam acknowledged the business model is flawed at the recent Goldman Sachs investor conference. Specifically, the company is planning to disrupt the current model by launching an Internet-based TV service in early 2015.

On the surface, that sounds rather innocuous, but the kicker is the company is planning to offer "a la carte" subscriptions over the current bundled channel model. Although the company appears to be positioning the service as a wireless device format, make no mistake -- this has the potential to disrupt the entire business model of cable. By paying lower costs for only what you want, the company is adjusting to consumers' preferences.

In a nod to the success of streaming-juggernaut Netflix, Verizon acknowledged the path forward would share many similarities with Netflix but avoids a big flaw in Netflix's value proposition: live events. Of particular interest was Mr. McAdam's comments on live sporting events; he stated the service would carry those events through multicasting – a technology that avoids congesting the network.

And that's important; sporting events and news are very important to cable companies because they provide a barrier of sorts to the so-called "cord-cutting" trend where consumers abandon cable for streaming services or nothing at all. Estimates vary, but a new study from Experian by way of USA Today pegs the number of cord cutters at 7.6 million households; good for 6.5% of households, up from 4.5% in 2010.


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ABI Research: LTE "reinvigorates broadband wireless access marketplace" | Gulli Arnason | FinancialNews.co.uk

New York-based ABI Research said that LTE has turbocharged the mobile Internet experience for end-users which has reflected in rapid adoption of LTE-capable smartphones along with other mobile devices, but it has also reinvigorated the broadband wireless marketplace.

According to ABI Research, 1.26bn households do not have DSL, cable, or fiber-optic broadband. Fixed and mobile telcos are looking to LTE to make the connection. “By the end of 2014, ABI Research anticipates there will be 14.5m residential and commercial premises with fixed LTE broadband access.

By 2019, that figure should grow to 123m,” said Jake Saunders, VP and 4G practice director at ABI Research.

Chipset and CPE vendors are stepping up efforts to prime the market by manufacturing lower cost devices for both the consumer and enterprise segments.


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AT&T Offers $40 HBO, Broadband Bundle With Amazon Prime | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

AT&T Offers $40 HBO, Broadband Bundle With Amazon Prime | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

DSLReports regular Darknessfall See Profile directs our attention to the fact that AT&T is running a new promotion for U-Verse customers that offers users broadband, HBO, and a year of Amazon Prime for $40 for one year. Like Comcast, Verizon and others, AT&T has been offering a $40 broadband, HBO and limited TV bundle the hopes of appealing to (almost) cord cutters.

AT&T started offering that bundle back in April, though the monthly price jumped to a far-less-sexy $70-$80 a month after the promotional period ended.

AT&T's latest promotion adds a year of Amazon Prime to that mix, and comes on the heels of AT&T's exclusive partnership with Amazon for the Amazon Fire Phone. Here's the specifics from the promotion e-mail AT&T is sending to customers:


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