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The 3 big U.S. Internet infrastructure policy choices | EldoTelecom.com

The 3 big U.S. Internet infrastructure policy choices | EldoTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The United States now has three major policy options on the build out of Internet infrastructure to serve all American homes, businesses and institutions:

 

1. Continuation of the status quo of investor-owned Internet infrastructure and associated private market failure that will leave significant numbers of premises lacking affordable Internet access over the long term and potentially permanently.


2. A well funded federal aid program including technical assistance grants for community fiber to the premise network construction projects, funded by existing programs such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service, a program jointly administered by multiple agencies or by a newly created, dedicated agency.  In addition, federal preemption of state laws barring local governments from constructing, owning or operating Internet infrastructure.

 

3. De-privatization of all Internet infrastructure (either immediately or over a period of years) combined with a fast track federal construction project to build out fiber to serve all U.S. premises, similar to the 1950s interstate highway project.

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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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MN: Crow Wing County Broadband 2014 Update: Part of the Resilient Region striving for better broadband | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Crow Wing County Broadband 2014 Update: Part of the Resilient Region striving for better broadband | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For the upcoming weeks 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 Crow Wing County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 22.5
  • Number of Households: 26,033
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 36.66%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 59.76%


Part of Crow Wing County got an upgrade last summer when TDS finished their ARRA-funded project, which mostly served Michigan. And there was concern with another ARRA-funded project that also brought some middle fiber to Crow Wing County about the network competing with existing commercial efforts. (CNS has issues with Eventis building infrastructure in the area as they already had fiber in areas.)

The disconnect I suspect is that Brainerd is well served, the outskirts of the county are not. There’s clearly some service, but regardless of which number you look at (36% or 60%) there are lots of people without services. Crow Wing County is one of the few counties were there’s a drastic difference between the wired and wireless coverage. And while the wireless service meets the state goal speeds one issue is the potential cost of data caps.

Crow Wing County is part of Region Five (the Resilient Region), which was just named a Blandin Broadband Community last November. They have a long-standing (yet renewed) focus…


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You can now store Docker container images in Google Cloud | Jonathan Vanian | GigaOM Tech News

You can now store Docker container images in Google Cloud | Jonathan Vanian | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Cloud users can now load up their private Docker container images into the search giant’s new Google Container Registry, which Google said Friday is now available in beta and the company noted “is not covered by any SLA or deprecation policy and may be subject to backward-incompatible changes.”

If you are a Google Cloud customer, your Docker container images — which contain all the necessary components for spinning up containers, like the source code and binary files — will be “automatically encrypted before they are written to disk,” according to the Google blog post detailing the registry.

From the blog post:


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What we want to hear from the State of the Union address, according to Google and Facebook | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

What we want to hear from the State of the Union address, according to Google and Facebook | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Despite anticipation that this could be the most tech-heavy State of the Union speech of President Obama's time in the Oval Office, it doesn't seem like tech issues are very top of mind for those searching for the speech online. Instead, bread-and-butter issues such as national security, health care, immigration and jobs dominate the searches on Facebook ahead of Tuesday night's speech, followed by concern about "Israel and Palestine."

Here's the top 10 most-talked about topics on Facebook — collected between Jan. 11 and Jan. 17 — headed into the speech:

1. Terrorism

2. Obamacare

3. Immigration

4. Jobs and the Economy

5. Israel and Palestine

6. Taxes

7. Community College Funding

8. The NSA

9. ISIS

10. Paid Sick Leave

Google, meanwhile, took a regional view at what its users are looking for ahead of the speech.


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Luisa navarro's curator insight, Today, 5:29 AM

The tecnologhy arrives at 'white house'

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MN: Hennepin County Geo:Code - Two upcoming open data/open gov/civic tech events | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I’m sharing this on hope that some folks can make it and so others might get some ideas to replicate…

Hennepin County and Open Twin Cities are proud to present Geo:Code; an open data code-a-thon hosted at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central on Saturday, February 21st and Sunday February 22nd! This event is free and meals will be provided.

  • Share Project Ideas and Open Data Requests
  • RSVP for Geo:Code Code-a-thon
  • RSVP for January 31st Geo:Code Accessibility Jam


Transparency & Accessibility

Hennepin County is celebrating the first year of its Open GIS policy by taking part in International Open Data Day and Code for America’s CodeAcross. Residents are invited to explore government data, experiment with civic technologies, and collaborate with Hennepin County on solutions for problems facing your community. Inspired by civic technology principals, we’re excited to support the creation of a more transparent Hennepin County and information and services that are accessible to all residents.


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Why data science matters and how technology makes it possible | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Tech News

Why data science matters and how technology makes it possible | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Hilary Mason talks about data, it’s a good idea to listen.

She was chief data scientist at Bit.ly, data scientist in residence at venture capital firm Accel Partners, and is now founder and CEO of research company Fast Forward Labs. More than that, she has been a leading voice of the data science movement over the past several years, highlighting what’s possible when you mix the right skills with a little bit of creativity.

Mason came on the Structure Show podcast this week to discuss what she’s excited about and why data science is a legitimate field. Here are some highlights from the interview, but it’s worth listening to the whole thing for her thoughts on everything from the state of the art in natural language processing to the state of data science within corporate America.

And if you want to see Mason, and a lot of other really smart folks, talk about the future of data in person, come to our Structure Data conference that takes place March 18-19 in New York.


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Google Fiber’s next construction spot is reportedly in North Carolina | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

Google Fiber’s next construction spot is reportedly in North Carolina | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is holding events in Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte, North Carolina, next week and is reportedly planning to begin Google Fiber construction in the state as early as April.
Further Reading
Fed up, US cities take steps to build better broadband

Increasingly, cities control their broadband future—with both low- and high-tech methods.

There's no official announcement, but WRAL TechWire quoted "industry sources" as saying that Google Fiber is coming to the Research Triangle area in Raleigh and Durham.

"A formal announcement might come as early as next week at Google events in Raleigh and Durham, but the company won't say what those events are about," WRAL reported today. "Speaking to WRAL TechWire, a source who asked to remain anonymous said Google is seeking bids to begin building a fiber network as early as April. 'Drill crews' have been sought for the fiber-laying process."

Raleigh and Durham events are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. Vague invitations were received:

Looks like Google Fiber has chosen Raleigh and Durham as its next expansion cities pic.twitter.com/FUMQ3GnP7S

— New Raleigh (@NewRaleigh) January 23, 2015

Google also sent out a Save the Date invitation for an event in Charlotte on Wednesday, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Google declined comment when contacted by Ars.


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Free Press Action Fund Welcomes the Community Broadband Act | Tim Karr | FreePress.net

Free Press Action Fund Welcomes the Community Broadband Act | Tim Karr | FreePress.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On Thursday, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced the Community Broadband Act to put an end to protectionist state laws that prohibit cities and towns from creating homegrown broadband facilities.

A growing number of communities are looking to build their own networks as an alternative to the pricey and inadequate Internet services offered by communications giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. But these companies have convinced legislators to pass 19 state-level laws that restrict communities from building such networks. The Community Broadband Act would nullify existing laws and make it illegal for states to prohibit municipal networks in the future.

Free Press Action Fund President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"We welcome this legislation and urge other members of Congress to support communities' right to build their own networks. By removing these protectionist state laws, Congress will enable cities to create local alternatives in a broadband marketplace that has far too few options.

"The industry's monopoly-minded campaign to regulate away local competition is one of the worst examples of its undue influence in policymaking. Internet innovation happens at the local level, when you let cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Cedar Falls, Iowa, experiment with their own high-speed networks. Innovation stalls when you let cable companies control access and lock out competition.

"Offering choice in the high-speed Internet marketplace has been a boon for local economies. Every American home should be connected to high-speed fiber; every person should be able to use that infrastructure to access a diverse range of affordable high-quality communications services. This legislation gives communities much more control over their communications and should become the law."

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Obama just lumped the Internet in with trains, bridges and Keystone XL. Here’s why that’s a big deal. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Obama just lumped the Internet in with trains, bridges and Keystone XL. Here’s why that’s a big deal. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

President Obama is tossing out a few tech tidbits in his State of the Union speech. There aren't many surprises, but in one part of his address he mentions the Internet in the same breath as other forms of U.S. infrastructure. This is a bigger deal than you might think.

"21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet," Obama said Tuesday. "Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come."

Lumping the country's Internet onramps in with roads and bridges is a significant rhetorical move, laying a kind of governmental claim over these types of commercial conduits. It helps justify Obama's recent calls for new rules on Internet providers and his proposal that federal regulators have a role to play in helping cities build and sell their own Internet service.

Republicans in Congress are likely to agree with Obama on the Internet's importance, but expect them to reject his framing. Where Obama favors greater public investments in Internet infrastructure, the GOP is angling to restrict the government's authority to oversee broadband.


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Hearings Highlight Congressional Efforts to Undermine Net Neutrality | Sandra Fulton | FreePress.net

Hearings Highlight Congressional Efforts to Undermine Net Neutrality | Sandra Fulton | FreePress.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

These are treacherous days for Net Neutrality. Though the FCC has scheduled a vote on new rules for Feb. 26 — and is signaling it will go our way — opponents in Congress are scrambling to derail the process.

This week both the House and Senate held hearings to debate whether Congress should take up legislation — drafted by some of the Internet’s worst enemies — that would undermine the FCC’s ability to protect Internet users.

The right choice was as clear after the hearings as it was before: Congress should back off and let the FCC do its job.

Recently we’ve discussed our concerns about the rumored “Title X” and other legislative efforts aimed at sidestepping Title II reclassification, and these hearings were Congress’ first step down this dangerous path. The hearings focused on companion bills from House Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.).

Until recently, both chairmen opposed Net Neutrality, calling such protections “unjustified” and a “solution in search of a problem.” Yet just when the FCC is on the verge of reclassifying, they’ve had a change of heart.

Although the bills would prohibit some of the worst Net Neutrality violations — blocking, throttling and paid prioritization — the protections are brittle and narrow, with too many loopholes. The bill would also prohibit the FCC from reclassifying and strip the agency of its power to adopt and enforce new rules. The agency needs this kind of flexibility to protect consumers in a rapidly changing ecosystem.


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Analysts: AT&T could spend $20-22B in AWS-3 auction, more than Verizon | Phil Goldstein | Fierce Wireless

Analysts: AT&T could spend $20-22B in AWS-3 auction, more than Verizon | Phil Goldstein | Fierce Wireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T's disclosure that it entered into credit agreements worth more than $11 billion has prompted some financial analysts to think that the company may wind up buying more airwaves at the AWS-3 spectrum auction than Verizon Wireless, spending anywhere from $20 billion to $22 billion at the auction.

On Thursday AT&T disclosed via a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had struck two credit agreements with Mizuho Bank, including one worth a total of $9.2 billion and another for $2 billion.

New Street Research analysts Jonathan Chaplin, Spencer Kurn, Zach Monsma and Vivek Stalam wrote in a research note that following the agreements AT&T will have $21.8 billion of liquidity and it will likely spend the "vast majority" of it on spectrum in the AWS-3 auction.


"We believe AT&T is raising capital to fund spectrum purchases; however, they will also need $15BN to close the DirecTV transaction, which they expect to do in May," the analysts wrote. "We expect the company will need to come to the market again to raise funds for the DTV transaction."


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GOP Leaders Ask FCC To Publicize Draft Net Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel

GOP Leaders Ask FCC To Publicize Draft Net Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In network neutrality hearings in the House and Senate this week, those same leaders suggested one advantage of congressional action--they have proposed a bill to clarify FCC authority over Internet access, is that it was on the table for everyone to check out.

The request to see the draft, which the chairman has said will circulate to the other commissioners Feb. 5 per custom, came in a letter Thursday (Jan. 22) to the chairman (http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.g...) from House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), and Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-S.D.).

"“Given the significance of the matter and the strong public participation in the commission’s proceeding to date, we believe the public and industry stakeholders alike should have the opportunity to review the text of any proposed order or rules prior to commission action," they wrote. "Accordingly, we urge you to publicly release the draft text of the Open Internet Order when you circulate it to your fellow commissioners."

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Thunder Bay, Ontario: Tbaytel needs to find new ways to get money, consultant says | CBC News

Thunder Bay, Ontario: Tbaytel needs to find new ways to get money, consultant says | CBC News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A telecommunications consultant cautions Thunder Bay city council to hang on to Tbaytel, after the mayor said the question of keeping the asset might come up in the future.

But for now council appears to be resisting any temptation, as they start budget deliberations in just a few weeks.

Mayor Keith Hobbs said, at this time, Tbaytel is profitable, and the city should hold onto the money-making utility.

But, the competitive market could always change the company's balance sheet.

"I've always said you've always got to watch that asset because that's such an important one for the city,” he said.

“But right now, they keep delivering us that $17 million dividend and, at some point, if we see that that's not happening, then we have to seriously take a look at it."

The chief innovation officer with Fox Group Technology Consulting said council would be wise to keep Tbaytel.

"Other cities ... are looking to start to get into the game,” Roberta Fox said.

“If other towns are looking at getting into it, why should we get out of it?"


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Mexico: Telcel extends 4G to Oaxaca | TeleGeography.com

Mexican mobile operator Telcel has extended its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to Oaxaca, in south-west Mexico.


The cellco, which is owned by America Movil (AM), notes that the deployment gives it coverage of 53 cities across the country.


The network, which supports downlink transmission speeds of up to 20Mbps, spans from Tijuana on the Baja California Peninsula to Cancun, on the north-east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

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The promise of big data still looms, but execution lags | Barb Darrow | GigaOM Tech News

The promise of big data still looms, but execution lags | Barb Darrow | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When something is hyped as much as the notion of big data, there’s bound to be disappointment when results don’t meet expectations right this second.

That realization — that implementation of big data analytics and related technologies hasn’t matched expectations — is a common thread across a recent spate research reports. While corporate execs now “get” the possible impact of aggregating and analyzing all the data their companies generate, very few companies have realized that potential.

A new McKinsey Quarterly report acknowledged that earlier predictions that retailers would parlay big data analytics to boost operating margins by more than 60 percent, and that the healthcare sector could likewise use the technology to slice costs 8 percent, haven’t played out.

While massively scaled companies like Amazon and Google use data analytics to wring out significant costs, data analytics success at most legacy companies is limited to a few test projects or narrow pieces of the overall business. Very few of those accounts “have achieved what we would call ‘big impact through big data,’ or impact at scale,” according to McKinsey.

The cognitive dissonance between big data hype and actual production adoption will be a topic for speakers at Gigaom’s Structure Data event in March.


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Allow highly skilled immigration and boost the economy | Alex Howrasteh, Cato Institute | The Hill

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) just introduced the bipartisan Immigration Innovation Act (I-Squared), which aims to liberalize and expand the immigration system for highly skilled workers.

As virtually all the research shows, attracting more high-skilled immigrants will stimulate economic growth and job creation by boosting innovation and productivity.

Hatch touted I-Squared by writing that even “[t]he president recognizes we face a high-skilled worker shortage that has become a national crisis.” Although there are tight labor markets for some high-tech occupations, the information sector is not one of them, and it’s by no means a national crisis. Wages for computer scientists, many engineers, and scientists are growing more quickly than for other occupations, but wage increases and a tight labor market are not the same as a shortage.

The real benefits of I-Squared wouldn’t come from filling jobs in “shortage” occupations, which don’t exist for most technology occupations, but from increasing the productivity of the American economy.

Economists at Rutgers and Princeton found that a 1-percentage-point increase in college-educated immigrants as a share of the population increased patents per capita by 9 percent to 18 percent. Economists from Harvard and the University of Michigan also found a 10 percent increase in the number of workers with H-1B visas in a city boosts the entire city’s patent output by almost 1 percent, a huge increase given the small numbers of H-1Bs relative to the workforce. They concluded that H-1B workers boost patents and innovation so much that they have a significant effect on long-term economic growth while also creating more jobs for Americans with similar skills.


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What We Learned About Network Neutrality This Week | Kevin Taglang | Benton Foundation

What We Learned About Network Neutrality This Week | Kevin Taglang | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

“I intend to protect a free and open Internet,” President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20.


For many that was a clear, albeit truncated, reiteration of his statement in November 2014 calling on the Federal Communications Commission to “create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online.”


In November, the President asked the FCC to “reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.”

On Tuesday, the White House released Middle Class Economics for the 21st Century - Helping Working Families Get Ahead, summarizing the proposals introduced by the President over the past few weeks. It includes:

Building on Net Neutrality to Increase Access and Reduce Cost for Broadband: Affordable, fast broadband is crucial to the future of our economy and nation. That’s why in November, the President outlined his plan to ensure the Internet economy remains open to new competition and innovation by safeguarding net neutrality — which, at its core, will help ensure no one company can act as a gatekeeper to digital content.


To that end, communities around the country are refusing to settle for subpar service that can make it hard to keep business local and attract new entrepreneurs. As a result, communities like Lafayette, LA, Chattanooga, TN, and Kansas City, MO have broadband almost one hundred times faster than the national average.


To help more communities do the same, and ensure a level playing field for all competitors, in the lead-up to the State of the Union, the President called to end laws that harm competition, expand the national movement of local leadership for better broadband, unveil new loan opportunities for rural providers, remove regulatory barriers, and improve investment incentives.

The broadband access industry believes Title II would saddle them with a litany of regulations on matters such as pricing and how they manage their networks.


Seemingly to slow the momentum of the President’s proposal and the call of millions of commenters at the FCC, Republicans in Congress late last week started circulating a discussion draft of legislation that would carve out new authority for the FCC to enforce net neutrality.


The Republican legislation is aimed at avoiding common-carrier regulation but would prevent broadband providers from blocking, slowing down or accepting money to speed up delivery of certain websites. The authors say the legislation:


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How the CIA made Google | Nafeez Ahmed | Medium.com

How the CIA made Google | Nafeez Ahmed | Medium.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’

The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world. The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet.


In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, western governments are moving fast to legitimize expanded powers of mass surveillance and controls on the internet, all in the name of fighting terrorism.


US and European politicians have called to protect NSA-style snooping, and to advance the capacity to intrude on internet privacy by outlawing encryption. One idea is to establish a telecoms partnership that would unilaterally delete content deemed to “fuel hatred and violence” in situations considered “appropriate.” Heated discussions are going on at government and parliamentary level to explore cracking down on lawyer-client confidentiality.


What any of this would have done to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks remains a mystery, especially given that we already know the terrorists were on the radar of French intelligence for up to a decade.


There is little new in this story. The 9/11 atrocity was the first of many terrorist attacks, each succeeded by the dramatic extension of draconian state powers at the expense of civil liberties, backed up with the projection of military force in regions identified as hotspots harbouring terrorists. Yet there is little indication that this tried and tested formula has done anything to reduce the danger. If anything, we appear to be locked into a deepening cycle of violence with no clear end in sight.


As our governments push to increase their powers, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE can now reveal the vast extent to which the US intelligence community is implicated in nurturing the web platforms we know today, for the precise purpose of utilizing the technology as a mechanism to fight global ‘information war’ — a war to legitimize the power of the few over the rest of us. The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google.


Google styles itself as a friendly, funky, user-friendly tech firm that rose to prominence through a combination of skill, luck, and genuine innovation. This is true. But it is a mere fragment of the story. In reality, Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex.


The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation.


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Community Broadband Pioneer, Sascha Meinrath, to join Freedom2Connect Foundation Board of Directors | Freedom2Connect Foundation

Sascha Meinrath, cyber-technology visionary and renowned advocate for unfettered Internet access, joins the board of the Freedom2Connect Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to Internet freedom.

“The Freedom2Connect Foundation is fortunate to have someone with Sascha Meinrath’s experience on our board to help us achieve our vision of universal, uncensored Internet access,” said Craig Newman, the Foundation’s chief executive officer and a managing partner of Richards Kibbe & Orbe, LLP. “At a time when repressive regimes across the globe are stepping up surveillance of online communications, the Freedom2Connect Foundation’s mission of supporting technologies that circumvent censorship has never been more important,” he added.

“I’m honored and delighted to be joining the stellar team at the Freedom2Connect Foundation,” stated Sascha Meinrath. “I can’t think of a more pressing issue facing our society than the growing threats to free speech, a free press, and freedom of expression that we currently face. Providing safe, ubiquitous communications for everyone on the planet is a grand, but surmountable, challenge.”

Mr. Meinrath currently serves as the director of X-Lab, a newly launched effort to rethink the ways in which technological advances help or hinder individual freedoms. Previously, he founded and directed the Open Technology Institute, which quickly became a leader in the development of “mesh” networks that provide communities with local communications, free of outside interference.


He also previously held the position of Vice President of the New America Foundation. Mr. Meinrath partnered with Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet, in the creation of Measurement Lab, a platform that allows researchers to use Internet measurement tools to give people useful information about the efficacy and security of their broadband connections.


He also serves on the board of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and is an advisory committee member of the Anti-Hate Speech Initiative at the Berkman Center at Harvard University and a co-founder and advisory council member of the Alliance for Affordable Internet.

In 2013, TIME magazine named Mr. Meinrath to the “TIME Tech 40” as one of the most influential figures in technology. He was also named among Newsweek Magazine’s “Top 100” in their Digital Power Index in 2012.

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Verizon nears “the end” of FiOS builds | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

Verizon nears “the end” of FiOS builds | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It's been nearly five years since Verizon decided to stop expanding its FiOS fiber network into new cities and towns, so this week's news won't come as a huge surprise: Verizon is nearing "the end" of its fiber construction and is reducing wireline capital expenditures while spending more on wireless.

"I have been pretty consistent with this in the fact that we will spend more CapEx in the Wireless side and we will continue to curtail CapEx on the Wireline side. Some of that is because we are getting to the end of our committed build around FiOS, penetration is getting higher," Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said yesterday in the Q4 2014 call with investors.

Wireline capital spending totaled $1.6 billion in the most recent quarter and $5.8 billion for 2014, down 7.7 percent from 2013, Verizon said.

Verizon posted a net loss of $2.23 billion in Q4 2014, despite making a profit of $9.63 billion for the full year. The loss included "significant non-operational items... primarily related to the annual actuarial valuation of benefit plans and mark-to-market pension adjustments," Verizon said.

The numbers look better when examining individual divisions.


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U.S. Senator Cory Booker Introduces Community Broadband Act | community broadband networks

U.S. Senator Cory Booker Introduces Community Broadband Act | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Senator Booker has taken the lead in introducing the Community Broadband Act to the U.S. Senate along with Senators McCaskill and Markey. We are thankful for their leadership on the issue. As part of their announcement, they included the following statements:

“As Mayor of Newark, I saw firsthand the value of empowering local communities to invest and innovate. The Community Broadband Act provides cities the flexibility they need to meet the needs of their residents,” Sen. Booker said. “This legislation will enhance economic development, improve access to education and health care services, and provide increased opportunity to individuals in underserved areas. At a time when local governments are looking for ways to ensure their communities are connected and have access to advanced and reliable networks, the Community Broadband Act empowers local governments to respond to this ever-increasing demand.”

"Barriers at the state level are preventing communities from developing local solutions when there is little or no choice in their Internet service provider,” Sen. Markey said. “This legislation will support the ability of cities to decide for themselves whether or not they would like to build their own broadband networks and provide community members with high speed Internet service. I thank Senator Booker for his leadership introducing the Community Broadband Act, which will support more options in the broadband market and greater local choice. I also continue to urge the FCC to act now to use its authority to end any restrictions placed upon local communities to make these decisions for themselves.”

“Folks in small towns and rural communities should have the same access as everyone else to the Internet, and the jobs and business opportunities it brings,” Sen. McCaskill said. “Large Internet providers too often aren’t willing to offer service in rural America, so this bill ensures local communities can come together to provide their residents with access to the opportunities high-speed broadband offers.”

And we included this statement:

We believe these decisions about how best to expand Internet access are best made by local governments, who are most informed of the need and challenges. We applaud Senator Booker for this bill to ensure communities can decide for themselves if a partnership or an investment in network infrastructure is the right choice.

The Coalition for Local Net Choice was also included, saying:

Senator Booker has been a great champion of local communities, both as a longtime mayor and now as a member of Congress. As a former mayor, he clearly understands the importance of local decision-making regarding critical economic development infrastructure. CLIC applauds Senator Booker for his affirmation of local Internet choice and his support for the authority of local governments to work on next generation broadband networks with their private sector partners and local communities.

This bill (read it here) is effectively the same language from previous, bipartisan bills in 2005 and 2007. However, in the years since, many elected Republicans have changed their mind and others no longer want to be associated with an issue that President Obama supports.


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What is fog computing? | Ahmed Banafa | Thoughts on Cloud

What is fog computing? | Ahmed Banafa | Thoughts on Cloud | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The term “fog computing” or “edge computing” means that rather than hosting and working from a centralized cloud, fog systems operate on network ends. It is a term for placing some processes and resources at the edge of the cloud, instead of establishing channels for cloud storage and utilization.

Fog computing tackles an important problem in cloud computing, namely, reducing the need for bandwidth by not sending every bit of information over cloud channels, and instead aggregating it at certain access points. This type of distributed strategy lowers costs and improves efficiencies. More interestingly, it’s one approach to dealing with the emerging concept of Internet of Things (IoT).

Fog computing extends the cloud computing paradigm to the edge of the network to address applications and services that do not fit the paradigm of the cloud due to technical and infrastructure limitation including:


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VT: Local Network Responds To Obama's Community Broadband Proposals | Alex Keefe & Lynne McCrea | VPR.net

VT: Local Network Responds To Obama's Community Broadband Proposals | Alex Keefe & Lynne McCrea | VPR.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s a big focus on the middle class and the economy ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening.


But there’s another issue Obama is expected to talk about that’s particularly relevant to Vermont: expanding high-speed Internet access, especially to rural areas that don’t attract big telecom companies.

The White House says more than 30 percent of Vermonters did not have access to high download speeds in 2013 – that’s one of the highest percentages of any state in the nation. The president says one way to close that so-called “digital divide” is through community broadband.

Irv Thomae chairs ECFiber, a community broadband network operating in central Vermont, and he spoke to VPR about the president’s proposals on how to improve access here.


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Will HBO on the Web Pull the Plug on Pay TV? Survey Says: Yep! | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net

Will HBO on the Web Pull the Plug on Pay TV? Survey Says: Yep! | Peter Kafka | Re/Code.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sometime this spring — likely in April — HBO will start selling Web-only subscriptions.

And when it does, it will take a huge chunk out of the pay-TV business.

So says research firm Parks Associates, via a new survey of Internet users.

To be clear: Parks doesn’t come out and use the words “take a huge chunk out of the pay-TV business” in the summary of its research.

But if Parks’ research is accurate — and, crucially, if the people who respond to Parks’ survey actually follow through on their plans — then HBO’s new “over the top” service will end up costing the pay-TV business around 7 million subscribers. That’s 7 percent of the industry’s base, vaporized.

Here’s how that (theoretically) works:


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Commissioner Pai: FCC Should Defer to Congress on Net Neutrality | John Eggerton | Multichannel

Commissioner Pai: FCC Should Defer to Congress on Net Neutrality | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told C-SPAN this week that the network neutrality debate has turned into a political football and says the FCC should pass that ball to Congress.

Pai was being interviewed for C-SPAN's Communicators series.

The commissioner, the senior Republican on the panel, has historically called for Congress to step in and clarify the FCC's authority and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have just done so, circulating a draft bill late last week and holding hearings on it this week.

So far, there are no Democrats on the draft, but Republicans have signaled their willingness to work on the many problems those Dems raised in net neutrality Hill hearings this week.

Pai praised that effort, and said the FCC should "take a pause" from the planned Feb. 26 vote on the chairman's proposed new Open Internet order and "let the legislative process play out." Pai would not comment on whether there would be a pause, but he said he had seen no signals and an FCC source said Thursday that that a Feb. 26 vote was still on.


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US cableco Comcast bankrolls IXPs in Paraguay, Bolivia | TeleGeography.com

International, non-profit organisation The Internet Society has announced that it received funding from US cable giant Comcast to extend its Internet Exchange Point (IXP) initiatives in Latin America.


The funding will augment the Internet Society’s ongoing efforts to develop a more robust internet infrastructure in several countries in Latin America.


As such, the Comcast funding will be used to launch an IXP in Paraguay and support the recently launched IXP in Bolivia, as well as providing technical training to improve existing IXP operations in the region.

Local IXP’s are viewed as crucial in developing countries, as otherwise local internet traffic is exchanged beyond their borders, which adds significant service costs and increases latency because of a lack of connectivity between domestic networks.


IXPs enable local internet service providers (ISPs) and network operators to exchange traffic locally and more cost effectively, which can help lower end-user costs and speed-up transmissions.

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