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Stop Verizon's Voice Link Wireless | New Networks

Stop Verizon's Voice Link Wireless | New Networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Starting in 2010, The Wall Street Reported that Verizon was going to stop their upgrading of FiOS, And in 2011, DSL Reports reported that AT&T was not going to be expanding it’s U-Verse broadband/TV service. By 2012  Lowell Mc Adams, CEO of Vreizon  : Verizon would  “kill the copper.” and in rural areas the customers would be given wireless  and “so we  are going to cut the copper off there.” AT&T announced in 2012, that they, too had no plans to upgrade 50% of their territories to be able to use cable TV and they too, would turn off the copper and put customers onto wireless.

 

At the same time, AT&T and Verizon been pursuing a massive state and federal campaign to close down all regulations and obligations, like ‘carrier of last resort’ which would eliminate any requirements to fix services if they break – or even provide service. With a group called ALEC, they have gotten 25 states to rewrite basic protections, and have got the FCC to create a group to ‘senset the netwrks  and more recently  a ‘Transition Task Force” to ‘close down the PSTN, the copper utility networks.

Sandy and Voice Link

In 2012, a storm named Sandy hit along the East Coast and true to their word, Verizon, instead of putting customers back into service after an emergency simply said — tough. Areas of New York City, including Manhattan, the Rockaways, had customers without service for over 6 months.

 

Verizon filed a wavier to fix Sandy damaged locations and after some wangling, signed an agreement with the New York State Department of Public Service it would do a limited test  in the Western part of Fire Island, of Voice Link, a wireless box that is based on pre-smart phone cell service and can’t do basic data applications.

 

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U.S. FCC asks if broadband should mean faster Internet speeds | Reuters.com

U.S. FCC asks if broadband should mean faster Internet speeds | Reuters.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday proposed changing how it measures high-speed Internet to potentially require download speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or higher for a service to qualify as broadband.


The FCC currently defines broadband, or high-speed Internet, as 4 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. The agency will seek public comment on whether those bandwidth thresholds should be increased and whether different ones should be set for wired and wireless connections.


In a "notice of inquiry" released on Tuesday, the FCC asked whether download speeds of 10 Mbps or higher should qualify as broadband and whether the minimum upload speed rate should also be higher to adequately address consumers' needs.


"As more people adopt faster broadband speeds, we are asking if all consumers, even in the most rural regions, should have greater access to better broadband," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement.


U.S. consumers are increasingly using the Internet to stream music and videos, make calls or use other services that continue to demand faster speeds. For instance, Netflix recommends a 5 Mbps Internet connection speed to stream video in high definition.


The FCC's recent assessments suggested a 10 Mbps download bandwidth benchmark could satisfy moderate but not high Internet use by a household of three.


U.S. telecommunications law gives the FCC the authority to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp and AT&T Inc as it oversees the roll-out of broadband services to all Americans "in a reasonable and timely fashion."


A higher speed threshold for broadband, could influence the U.S. government's perspective on competition among ISPs.


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Free State Foundation on FCC Deal Vetting: Stick To Consumer Welfare | Multichannel.com

Free State Foundation on FCC Deal Vetting: Stick To Consumer Welfare | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC should stick with a consumer cost-benefit analysis when deciding on the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, and that analysis will show that no consumer will lose a choice among providers since the two companies do not compete head to head in providing broadband or traditional video programming.

 

That was the message from free market think tank The Free State Foundation in comments to the FCC, whose initial comment deadline on the proposed deal is Monday (Aug. 25).

 

Free State says it is neither endorsing nor opposing the deal — though it finds a lot to like in the deal and not much arguing against it. Rather, it advises the FCC to stick to an economic impact analysis of whether the deal will hurt or harm consumers.

 

That, says the group, means the FCC "must disregard pleas for it to reject Comcast/TWC out of hand based on appeals to emotional incredulity or irrelevant "big is bad" sloganeering."

 

It also means "'[standing] firm against calls made - under the guise of protecting competition - to impose conditions on the merger in order to protect market rivals from the competitive process."


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Your Phone Is Key To The Future Of Concerts | FastCoLabs.com

Your Phone Is Key To The Future Of Concerts | FastCoLabs.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Imagining the future can be tricky, but one thing’s awesomely clear about the future of concert-going: It won’t include paying a “convenience” charge to print your own ticket at home.


More and more, seeing your favorite band play live revolves around your mobile phone. Now Ticketfly, a venue and promoter ticketing platform, is announcing the acquisition of WillCall, a point-of-sale platform and consumer app that aims to define the new concert experience.


Ticketfly currently provides the backend services for venues and promoters, but WillCall gives it an instant and direct reach to fans. The company is hoping it’ll be able to further modernize the concert experience even more.


“The combination of the two companies is sort of the reimagining of live events,” says CEO of Ticketfly Andrew Dreskin. “We have a very rich roadmap in front of us with technologies around really changing how people experience events, reducing friction, and it’s a very mobile first experience.”


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Verizon's EVP Silliman: Consensus on Need for '96 Act Rewrite | Multichannel.com

Verizon's EVP Silliman: Consensus on Need for '96 Act Rewrite | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon EVP for public policy and government affairs Craig Silliman says he doesn't think there is the same kind of alignment of interests among cable, phone companies and others for communications regulation reform this time around as there was in 1996, but says there is a general consensus that change is needed.

 

Silliman was speaking on a panel at the Tech Policy Institute annual Aspen Forum.

 

He said that there are currently "a lot of companies pushing for reform from different directions," and consumer advocates and edge providers looking at the current structure and saying it is outmoded.

 

He said there is no disputing the benefits that have flowed to consumers thanks to the Internet, but what is less clear is the consumer benefit that could be happening if the laws were modernized.

 

He did say he thought there was a consensus around the need for reform, and that that could drive consensus around a new approach. "The need to modernize based on an Internet culture instead of the culture based of the 1934 act or the 1996 Act is ultimately what is going to bring these disparate entities together to push for reform."

 

He suggests one of the factors that could drive consensus is the threat of Title II regulation and "realizing that before they invest their money in building out those kinds of structures, certainty on the regulatory front would be a good thing." This is something for Congress to tackle, he said.


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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: ‘Don’t Give In To Big ISPs’ | Multichannel.com

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: ‘Don’t Give In To Big ISPs’ | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Perhaps the timing could have been better, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings penned a letter on Wired this week insisting that the best way to “save the net” is to not “give in to big ISPs.”

 

The letter, posted on Tuesday (August 19), appeared coincidentally on the same day that Netflix and Time Warner Cable confirmed that they had signed a paid interconnection deal, an agreement that followed similar ones that Netflix has signed with three other big ISPs – Comcast, Verizon Communications, and AT&T.

 

In the missive, Hastings replayed much of Netflix’s position on the matter – that it reluctantly agreed to sign those paid peering deals because ISPs have allowed their peering points degrade.

 

Netflix, which is now offering access to a small but growing library of 4K content, also wants the FCC to factor such “pay-to-play” agreements into the discussion as the Commission pursues new Open Internet rules. The ISPs have argued that interconnection deals are common and represent how the Internet has done business for years.

 

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NAB’s Incentive Auction Lawsuit – A Detour not a Road Block | AT&T Public Policy Blog

Earlier this week, NAB filed suit in Federal Court challenging aspects of the Commission’s May Incentive Auction Order.  NAB’s lawsuit was not a surprise – NAB had made pretty clear that it was unhappy with how the Commission was proposing to implement elements of the Spectrum Act, particularly as related to statutory protections provided to broadcasters subject to repacking.  NAB lobbied hard in the legislative process for protections on repacking so it is also not a surprise that it is continuing to vigorously pursue these issues on behalf of its members.


While the issues raised by NAB are significant and deserve careful consideration, we do not think this lawsuit will become a road block to further progress on the auction.  An incentive auction, by definition, requires the FCC to bring together competing interests and strike a delicate balance between protecting incumbent rights and freeing up new spectrum allocations sufficient to attract bidder interest.  This exercise raises complexities never before seen in an FCC auction and it is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion and occasional detours of process as we move forward.


NAB has now stated its case in a Petition that was filed on the first day of the appellate period and has sought expedited review.  Even more significantly, NAB indicated in a blog  that it was looking for a “mid-course correction” that addresses its concerns, surely a signal that NAB is willing to consider a reasonable compromise.


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Moving toward smart and secure continuous software delivery | George Hulme | NetworkWorld.com

Moving toward smart and secure continuous software delivery | George Hulme | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s no surprise that security and application development teams often find themselves locking horns. One wants applications and new features to roll out – and swiftly – and the other is often more concerned with keeping systems and data snug. At some organizations, as they embrace more agile development and continuous integration/delivery methods, the tension runs even higher.


In continuous integration and deployment environments, teams integrate their development work continuously. Automated tests help to identify errors as work is completed, and these automated tests often include code analysts and functional testing – all occurring on a deployment pipeline.


The problem is that these teams move rapidly and if their processes are not well established and proven to work, they end up automating bad processes. This, in turn, creates more mistakes, racks up more technical debt, and even introduces security vulnerabilities in the process.


The challenge for organizations develops as they move to swifter and more agile development programs. Then, the demands increase on the security, engineering, and quality assurance teams. “Developers expect much more self-service [when it comes to testing], and they expect to be able to operate with a much tighter feedback loop. They don't want to have to commit code and wait till the next day until a 12-hour set of tests has finished running before they find out whether it's any good or not,” says Nigel Kersten, the CIO at Puppet Labs.


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US Ignite Invitation for the Global City Teams Challenge | US-Ignite.org

US Ignite and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have teamed-up with the Department of Transportation (DoT), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Health and Human Services (HHS) to create the Global City Teams Challenge, an initiative designed to advance the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within a smart city / smart community environment.


The Challenge is an opportunity for forward-looking communities to partner with public and private organizations to accelerate the deployment of IoT technologies designed to address some of the most pressing challenges facing cities. The Global City Teams Challenge also benefits innovative companies and non-profits by giving them a chance to implement and/or assess their solutions in valuable municipal testbeds, and provides them with exposure to scores of potential new customers.


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How AT&T's Own Legal Fights Show It's Lying In Claiming Broadband Reclassification Would Create Collateral Damage | Techdirt.com

How AT&T's Own Legal Fights Show It's Lying In Claiming Broadband Reclassification Would Create Collateral Damage | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year, we shared our own comments to the FCC on the issue of net neutrality and keeping the internet open. The key, as we noted, is that if this issue is left to the FCC (as appears to be the case), it should use Title II reclassification in combination with forbearance to narrowly tailor rules for broadband access providers that maintain an open internet. As with so many things related to net neutrality, this gets a bit down in the weeds, and is a bit wonkish, but it's important to understand. Even the EFF -- a longtime critic of Title II reclassification -- changed its position in light of other factors, but made sure to emphasize forbearanceas a key part of this. Forbearance, in short, is effectively a statement from the FCC that it's using certain rules, but has committed to not enforcing parts of what it's allowed to do under those rules. As the EFF explains:


Forbearance is crucial to net neutrality because it helps to limit FCC regulation. If the FCC reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service, which it must if it is going to do its part to protect an open and neutral Internet, then many folks fear it will be obligated to impose on the Internet a whole set of rules that were developed for telephone service. That would be a disaster, because most of those rules just don’t make sense when we’re talking about Internet infrastructure. For example, there are rules about obscene phone calls, rate schedules, telephone operator services, carrier reporting requirements, etc., that could lead to a host of new problems if misapplied to our Internet.

Forbearance is how we help ensure the FCC does what is necessary – and no more. It isn’t an iron-clad limit; the FCC must choose to do it, and it can change course if need be. But having made the choice to forbear, the FCC can’t change its mind willy-nilly, or in secret. Instead, it has to invite public comment, and respond to public concerns. If Internet users stay vigilant, forbearance would give us some lasting confidence that the FCC couldn’t use "net neutrality" as an excuse to interfere with free expression and innovation.


In fact, under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC is required to use forbearance when enforcing rules that would be against the public interest. And, it seems rather obvious that obsolete parts of Title II that might limit the free and open internet would clearly be against the public interest, and thus rather easy to forbear.

But, to hear the big broadband guys talk about it, forbearance is a messy process that is almost impossible to do right, with all sorts of complicated facets that will create problems. AT&T sent a letter to the FCC earlier this year decrying forbearance and repeatedly suggesting that it was a difficult process, likely to create uncertainty and lawsuits. AT&T further posted a blog post talking about all of the parade of horribles that other parts of Title II would dump on the rest of the internet:


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Heartbleed to blame for Community Health Systems breach | Steve Ragan | NetworkWorld.com

Heartbleed to blame for Community Health Systems breach | Steve Ragan | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to a blog post from TrustedSec, the breach at Community Health Systems is the result of attackers targeting a flaw OpenSSL, CVE-2014-0160, better known as Heartbleed.


The incident marks the first case Heartbleed has been linked to an attack of this size and type.


On Monday, CHS disclosed a data breach in an 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing itself was brief, offering few details on the actual attack and its root cause.


The regulatory notice stated that CHS believes the network compromise itself happened in April and June of 2014. Once discovered, they hired Mandiant to perform an investigation, which speculated that the attacker was part of a group in China.


"The attacker was able to bypass [CHS'] security measures and successfully copy and transfer certain data outside [CHS]," the 8-K explained.


"However, in this instance the data transferred was non-medical patient identification data related to [CHS'] physician practice operations and affected approximately 4.5 million individuals who, in the last five years, were referred for or received services from physicians affiliated with [CHS]."


As mentioned, the 8-K filing itself didn't disclose any of the details behind the attack. However, TrustedSec, has released additional information on the incident, including the root cause, thanks to "a trusted and anonymous source close to the CHS investigation."


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Sprint's cut in data prices won't help its network woes | Matt Hamblen | ComputerWorld.com

Sprint's cut in data prices won't help its network woes | Matt Hamblen | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sprint's new lower-priced shared data plan sounds ambitious, but analysts say it doesn't go far enough and won't address the carrier's network performance sore spot.


On top of that, some analysts say that carrier-revenues overall could drop in the current price war, cutting into network technology advancements for all the major carriers over the long run.


The new Sprint Family Share Pack, which was announced Monday and goes into effect Friday, offers four lines and 20 GB of data for $160 a month. It is open to current subscribers, and Sprint confirmed Tuesday that its current "Framily" plan will still be available, although it is not considered competitive by many analysts.


By comparison, both Verizon Wireless and AT&T charge $160 for 10 GB of data, while T-Mobile has a deal through September charging $100 a month for four lines and 10 GB of data, with each line restricted to 2.5 GB.


Also, until Sept. 30, Sprint will offer new subscribers in a family 10 lines to get 20 GB of data to share plus unlimited talk and text for $100 a month, good through 2015. That promotion also adds another 2GB of data per line (with the emphasis here on per line, which is distinguished from the 20GB shared).


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Cable TV Bills Outpace Inflation And Cablevision Is Nation's Highest | Michael Learmonth | IBTimes.com

Cable TV Bills Outpace Inflation And Cablevision Is Nation's Highest | Michael Learmonth | IBTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When it comes to the cable bill, how high is too high? How about $152.72 a month, the average bill for customers of Cablevision, the company that owns cable systems in and around New York City and Long Island, along with News 12 Networks and Newsday Media Group?


Cablevision has the dubious distinction of extracting the most money from its customers on a monthly basis, an analysis by SNL Kagan indicates. What’s more, Cablevision managed to increase the price of its service 5.5 percent since last year, more than twice the rate of inflation.


Positioned in the mostly affluent suburbs of New York City, Cablevision is an outlier, but not by much. Comcast, which is looking to gobble up Time Warner Cable, isn’t too far behind at $137.24 on average (up 4.5 percent). Verizon FiOS, Cablevision's direct competitor in TV and broadband, earns $122.57 per household, according to Verizon's latest filing.


Cable overall rates went up an average 4 percent in the past year. 

When the subject is rising cable rates, cable operators point the finger at rising content costs.


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The Next New Media: Typewriters and Handwritten Letters | Paul Budd | CircleID

The Next New Media: Typewriters and Handwritten Letters | Paul Budd | CircleID | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Who would have thought that typewriters and handwritten letters would ever be back in fashion? But back in 2013 it was reported that Russia was buying large quantities of typewriters. When this was further investigated the country denied that this was for security reasons.


Since the Snowden revelations there has been a further rush on typewriters, both by government officials and by a range of, mainly corporate, businesses. In general they are used for confidential information — rather than being sent electronically it is posted, couriered or hand delivered.


Those with reasonable handwriting have also gone back to this form of communication; American Presidents have been among the most prolific users of handwritten letters and notes — obviously restricted to the group of contacts that they trust. That is not to say, of course, that those letters and notes won't pop up in the intriguing world of political and big business.


But certainly handwritten communications very significantly reduce the potential for snooping by others, such as the various national spy agents.


But even in these senior government and corporate circles this can only be used for communications that are classified as being of the highest level of confidentiality, as it is impractical to deploy typewriters and hand written communication at any larger scale within organisations.


At the same time, as we reported shortly after the Snowden revelations, billions of dollars have been spent on internal security audits, and on further security improvements, mainly with encryption technologies (cryptography). But not just technologies are scrutinised, internal security systems — or the lack of them — have also been audited.


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AT&T, DirecTV: FCC Should Not Extend Comment Deadline | Multichannel.com

AT&T, DirecTV: FCC Should Not Extend Comment Deadline | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Some critics of the proposed AT&T-DirecTV merger have asked the Federal Communications Commission for more time to comment on -- or attempt to block -- the deal, but the companies say no way.

 

Telco AT&T and satellite-TV provider DirecTV countered that the FCC should not grant Public Knowledge and the Community Broadband Networks Initiative extra time to file comments and petitions on the proposed merger, which would yield a company with some 26 million pay TV subscribers. They said the FCC has an obligation to review the deal "as expeditiously as possible,"and that nothing offered up by those groups warrants any delay.

 

In a joint opposition to the motion for an extension, AT&T and DirecTV said that none of the reasons offered -- the need for more time to provide "meaningful input" and the confluence of the deadline with other pleading cycle deadlines -- justify a 30-day extension. They said such an extension would result in a "significant and unjustified" delay -- and would have the effect of extending the reply and final comment deadlines as well.


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Facebook says most outbound email is encrypted now | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

Facebook says most outbound email is encrypted now | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nearly all of Facebook’s outbound notification emails are now encrypted while traveling the Internet, a collaborative feat that comes from the technology industry’s push to thwart the NSA’s spying programs.


In May, only 58 percent of the social networking site’s email was encrypted when it was sent since the receiving entity must have the technology, called STARTTLS, enabled, wrote Michael Adkins, a messaging integrity engineer at Facebook, on a company blog.


Since that time, Microsoft, Yahoo and other email providers have enabled STARTTLS, which has pushed the percentage of Facebook’s encrypted messages to 95 percent, he wrote.


Many major technology companies vowed to put stronger defenses in place to protect data after documents leaked by Edward Snowden detailed the depth of the NSA’s surveillance programs.


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Fixing Net Neutrality’s Branding Problem? Lawmaker Asks for Ideas. | Re/Code.net

Fixing Net Neutrality’s Branding Problem? Lawmaker Asks for Ideas. | Re/Code.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Net neutrality has always been a difficult issue to discuss, mostly because a majority of Americans still don’t know what the heck “net neutrality” is.


California Rep. Anna Eshoo wants to fix that problem. Eleven years after New York Lt. Governor candidate (and law professor) Tim Wu coined the phrase, the Democratic congresswoman has launched a rebranding contest on Reddit in the hope that people can come up with a better name.


“If Internet users care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet, this is their opportunity to have an impact on the process, to help put the advantage back in the hands of the Internet user and to ensure that the free and open Internet prevails,” Eshoo said in a video message  Thursday.


(Note: “Participants are reminded to refrain from using vulgar or otherwise inappropriate language.”)


Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against any legal Internet traffic and block or slow applications. The FCC is currently considering new rules that could allow Internet providers to buy fast-lane, last-mile access to subscriber homes.


That idea hasn’t been received particularly well by many startups or Internet activists, who worry that Internet providers already have too much market power.


Have a brilliant name idea? You can enter the contest here.

No prizes other than bragging rights. Entries are due September 8.

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CA: Cupertino To Get AT&T’s ‘GigaPower’ Treatment | Multichannel.com

CA: Cupertino To Get AT&T’s ‘GigaPower’ Treatment | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T said Wednesday that it will bring its fiber-based, 1-Gbps-capable “GigaPower” platform to parts of Cupertino, Calif., where the telco tangles with Comcast, the area’s incumbent cable operator.

 

Cupertino, the tech-savvy area that is also the corporate home of Apple, is the first California city to be named as a target for GigaPower, which is already deployed in parts of Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin, Texas.

 

As has been the case with other markets that will get GigaPower, specific locations of availability and pricing for services in Cupertino will be announced at a later date, AT&T said.


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Commissioner Pai's Chief of Staff Berry: FCC Lacks Authority to Preempt State Laws On Muni Broadband | Multichannel

Commissioner Pai's Chief of Staff Berry: FCC Lacks Authority to Preempt State Laws On Muni Broadband | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Matthew Berry, chief of staff to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says the FCC definitely doesn't have the legal authority to preempt state broadband laws.

 

Matthew, who is former FCC general counsel and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was speaking Wednesday morning to the National Conference of State Legislatures' legislative summit in Minneapolis.

 

Those are the legislators who would up passing those laws the FCC is eyeing for preemption.

 

“The real debate is not about whether it is a good idea for cities to get into the broadband business, nor is it about whether states should restrict localities from getting into the broadband business," he planned to tell the crowd, according excerpts from his prepared remarks. "Rather, the debate at the Commission is going be about a relatively narrow but critical question:  Does the FCC have the legal authority to preempt state laws regulating municipal broadband?  And the answer to that question is a resounding no.”‎

 

The FCC is eyeing Sec. 706 authority to support preemption, which allows it to regulate to insure that advanced telecommunications is being provided in a reasonable and timely fashion — the same authority proposed to support net neutrality rules — but Berry suggests that is a reach that would exceed its legal grasp.


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How to create Multiple Whatsapp accounts on Android Smartphone | TechStorms.in

How to create Multiple Whatsapp accounts on Android Smartphone | TechStorms.in | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
We know that the messaging service WhatsApp is more common among phones. It allows users to share pictures, videos, music and so on. Even the latest version of Android also supports audio messaging. At the moment there are more than 200 million active users on WhatsApp that delivers more than 20 billion messages worldwide. Although other messaging chat available, users prefer WhatsApp  due to its simplicity and the instant messaging service.

But you might have faced the problem can not use more than one account on the mobile WhatsApp. Users of Dual SIM always want to use two different accounts on their mobile phone. At first it was very difficult, but now you can with the help of multiple accounts SwitchMe App. Single SIM users can also use this application to use multiple accounts.

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CA: Fiber Infrastructure Helping Turn San Leandro into Tech Hub | community broadband networks

CA: Fiber Infrastructure Helping Turn San Leandro into Tech Hub | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

San Leandro, a Bay Area city of about 85,000 bordering Oakland, is in the news for its fiber optic infrastructure policies. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News describes how this post-industrial city is turning itself into a center for tech jobs and investment through cheap rents, streamlined permitting, and the ease and low cost of fiber connectivity for businesses in some areas of town. 


We featured San Leandro in an episode of our Broadband Bits podcast last year, when Christopher spoke with San Leandro Chief Innovation Officer Deborah Acosta and a Lit San Leandro consultant Judi Clark. Acosta and Clark gave the details on San Leandro’s innovative public-private partnership, which combines smart public investments in conduits and “dig once” concepts with private investment in the actual fiber optic strands themselves. The city has been able to access fiber for it’s own needs at minimal cost, while some businesses have access to up to 10Gbps connectivity, either through privately provided lit fiber or leasing their own dark fiber. 


As the Mercury News article notes, the fiber assets have begun to pay off. Several technology parks have taken up residence in the area, including a hub of 3-D printing companies, sharing space and ideas while taking advantage of incredible data transfer speeds. One entrepreneur quoted in the article describes the office park, located in a former car factory, as “the world's largest cluster of 3-D desktop printer companies.”


The article also notes the growing awareness of San Leandro’s economic comeback, and the role played by fiber optic infrastructure:


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UT: Second company shows interest in Utopia | Standard.net

UT: Second company shows interest in Utopia | Standard.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A second telecommunications company is expressing interest in a possible takeover of UTOPIA.


FirstDigital, a communications carrier based in Salt Lake City touting quality broadband connections for voice, video and data services, has expressed interest in the financially troubled Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency.


Details of the company’s interest were made public Tuesday night during a work session of the Centerville City Council by Mayor Paul Cutler, a member of the UTOPIA board. The company has been pursuing discussions of a UTOPIA bid for over two months, however. FirstDigital representatives have already met with city councils in both Orem and Brigham City.


Specifics of what the takeover bid would include have not been made public. Wesley Mcdougal, CEO of FirstDigital, told the Standard-Examiner Wednesday his company would not require a utility fee to finish the buildout of the fiber network. He said FirstDigital would also eliminate UTOPIA’s operating losses and help defray some of the long-term expenses communities have from existing bond commitments.


Pressed on what financial commitment the takeover would have for residents in the 11 UTOPIA cities, Mcdougal simply said the costs would be competitive with the marketplace.


The interest comes even as six of UTOPIA’s 11 city members continue to pursue a possible takeover from Australian-based Macquarie, an investment company that is exploring a possible deal with the fiber-to-the home network. Macquarie’s deal would allow final buildout of UTOPIA, but would come with a projected $18-$20 monthly utility fee to citizens in the participating communities. Final details on Macquarie’s next proposal are due by Aug. 27.


Centerville, which is almost completely built out, was one of five cities that opted out of further discussions with Macquarie earlier this year.


News of a possible second suitor has not necessarily been well-received in some circles. The UTOPIA board voted Wednesday morning to deny resolutions to open negotiations with FirstDigital or use of staff resources and time to pursue that bid, for the time being. It is the second time in a month’s time a resolution to consider competitive offers at the board level at the same time has been denied.


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Workers at U.S. nuclear regulator fooled by phishers | Antone Gonsalves | NetworkWorld.com

Workers at U.S. nuclear regulator fooled by phishers | Antone Gonsalves | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nuclear Regulatory Commission employees were tricked into disclosing passwords and downloading malware in three phishing attacks that occurred over a three-year period.


The incidents were described in an inspector general report obtained by the publication Nextgov through an open-records request.


In one incident, the attackers sent email to 215 NRC employees, asking them to verify their accounts by clicking on a link and logging in with their user name and password.


A dozen employees clicked on the link, which actually connected to a spreadsheet on Google Docs. After the incident was reported, the NRC cleaned the workers' systems and changed their credentials, a commission spokesman told Nextgov.


In another incident, attackers tricked an employee into clicking on an email link that downloaded malware from Skydrive, Microsoft's file hosting service that is now called OneDrive. The employee was one of a number of workers who received email in the spearphishing attack, the report said.


Both of the attacks originated from foreign countries that were not identified.


In the third incident, the attacker hacked an employee's email account and used the contact list to send email carrying a malicious attachment to 16 other employees, according to Nextgov. One employee opened the attachment, which infected the NRC computer.


Whether the attack was from a foreign country was not known.


The inspector general report listed 17 compromises or attempted compromises that occurred from 2010 to November 2013, Nextgov said.


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IT outages are an ongoing problem for the U.S government | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com

IT outages are an ongoing problem for the U.S government | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Healthcare.gov was launched last October, it gave millions of Americans direct experience with a government IT failure on a massive scale. But the overall reliability of federal IT operations is being called into question by a survey that finds outages aren't uncommon in government.


Specifically, the survey found that 70% of federal agencies have experienced downtime of 30 minutes or more in a recent one-month period. Of that number, 42% of the outages were blamed on network or server problems and 29% on Internet connectivity loss.


This rate of outage isn't anywhere near as severe or dramatic as what Healthcare.gov faced until it was fixed. But the report by MeriTalk, which provides a network for government IT professionals, suggest that downtime is a systemic issue. The research was sponsored by Symantec.


The report is interesting because it surveys two distinct government groups, 152 federal "field workers," or people who work outside the office, and 150 IT professionals.


Because the field workers are outside the office, some of the outages may be result of local connectivity problems at either a hotel, home or other remote site. But, overall, the main reason for loss of access to data was a government outage.


When outages occur, 48% of the workers said they do what they can via telephone, while 33% use personal devices and another 24% try to find a workaround, such a Google Apps.


When asked to grade their IT department, only 15% of the field workers gave it an "A"; 49% gave it a "B"; and 27% gave it a "C."


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FCC Vetting TWC Docs On Dodgers Stand-off | Multichannel.com

FCC Vetting TWC Docs On Dodgers Stand-off | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has received, and the FCC is vetting, info from Time Warner Cable on its carriage impasse with various MVPDS over SportsNet LA and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

An FCC source speaking on background said the commission had received some of the requested information from TWC, and was currently reviewing it, but added that it was expecting to receive additional information from the cable operator.

 

Time Warner Cable launched SportsNet LA in February, but a number of distributors complained about the price — some reports put it as high as $4 per sub per month — especially when combined with three other RSNs in the market (Prime Ticket, Fox Sports LA and Time Warner Cable SportsNet) and aren't taking the network or the games of its streaking 71-56 Dodgers. That has not sat well with legislators whose constituents are getting shut out of the games.

 

After getting input from some of those unhappy legislators, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asked TWC for info — term sheets, contracts — saying the FCC would monitor the stand-off and intervene if necessary to help consumers.

 

In his letter, Wheeler told Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus in no uncertain terms he has "strong concern" that TWC's actions "have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers."


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Netflix ends one of its oldest disputes, agrees to pay Time Warner Cable | Ars Technica

Netflix ends one of its oldest disputes, agrees to pay Time Warner Cable | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix has agreed to a paid interconnection deal with Time Warner Cable (TWC), one of the first ISPs to cry foul over Netflix's attempt to gain direct access to broadband networks without payment.


TWC complained about Netflix's Open Connect content delivery network (CDN) back in January 2013, saying the online video company was "seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs."


Netflix at the time was making its highest-quality streams available only to ISPs who agreed to connect directly to the Netflix CDN. Netflix later stopped its policy of withholding "Super HD" and 3D video from ISPs who didn't cooperate, but was able to get free connections from the likes of Cablevision, Virgin Media, British Telecom, RCN, and Google Fiber.


By building its own CDN, Netflix was able to avoid paying third-party CDN providers to distribute its traffic, but some ISPs demanded payment. Failed negotiations resulted in traffic being sent through congested links and poor quality for customers for months on end.


GigaOm reported on the Netflix/TWC deal today, publishing traceroutes showing that Netflix and TWC are exchanging traffic directly. The companies confirmed the deal.


"Time Warner Cable reached an agreement with Netflix in June, and we began the interconnection between our networks this month," a TWC spokesperson told Ars.


TWC joins Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon in successfully gaining interconnection payments from Netflix.


Netflix indicated that this may be the last deal it will have to make in the US.


"Just a handful of US ISPs have required these access tolls, with Time Warner being the last of the four," a Netflix spokesperson told Ars.

Netflix has asked the FCC to ban such payments. The commission is examining the paid peering deals but hasn't promised any action.

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