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Possible tech, health & economic development grants for rural communities | Blandin on Broadband

I’m in Lac qui Parle, MN this week doing social media training. I’ll post more on how that’s going next week. I’ll start by saying they keep a person hopping here, in a good but tiring way. People are really interested in learning how to better use the great infrastructure they have deployed here.


In the meantime, I figure most folks are interested in potential funding sources. I learned about these through GrantStation


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Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Cellphones Replacing Landlines? Not Exactly | Christopher Baker | AARP.org

Cellphones Replacing Landlines? Not Exactly | Christopher Baker | AARP.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Is the landline “good as dead”? That’s what some media outlets would have you believe from their coverage earlier this year of a report on cellphone-only households. This sensational message makes for eye-catching headlines — but a closer look reveals a different story.

Many U.S. households have ditched their landlines and now rely solely on cellphones, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Indeed, the data show that 4 out of 10 adults age 18 or older live in households with only wireless telephones.

But that means that 6 out of 10 adults — roughly 140 million people — continue to live in households with landline phones.

Nothing in the CDC data suggests that the end of the landline phone is imminent. However, it does provide insights on the needs of older Americans:


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Google Fiber puts 1-Gig network expansion decision on hold | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Google Fiber puts 1-Gig network expansion decision on hold | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Fiber has delayed an announcement about where it will extend its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) data and video services until "early next year," according to various reports.

The service provider announced in February that it was examining how to expand its service into nine metro markets and up to 34 cities. It originally set a goal to reveal those locations by the end of this year.

At this point, Google Fiber is working with each of its target cities to get a better handle on the specific rules and regulations.

"This year gigabit Internet has moved from idea to reality, as mayors and city leaders across America have stepped up and made high-speed broadband access a priority for their community," a Google Fiber official said in a statement. "We've been working closely with cities around the U.S. to figure out how we could bring them Google Fiber, and we're grateful for their vision, commitment, and plain old hard work. While we were hoping to have an update for cities before the holidays, we have a bit more work to wrap up; we'll be back in touch sometime early next year."

Among some of Google Fiber's targets is Portland, Ore., a market where it was granted a franchise in June. In crafting a deal with the city, Portland city commissioners had to agree to tone down some of their restrictions on the placement of utility cabinets along rights of way.

Similar to other markets like Austin, Texas, where Google Fiber has announced its intention to deliver service, Portland's incumbent telco is already responding to the Internet search giant's move. According to a report in The Oregonian, incumbent telco CenturyLink has begun installing fiber to various Portland neighborhoods with the possibility of delivering its Prism IPTV service in the city sometime in 2015.


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Mississippi Attorney General Dares Reporters To Find Any Evidence Of Hollywood Funding... So We Did | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Mississippi Attorney General Dares Reporters To Find Any Evidence Of Hollywood Funding... So We Did | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The saga of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and his cozy ties to Hollywood continue to come out. He's been claiming that, sure, he met with Hollywood's top lawyer, Tom Perrelli, had him prep Hood for a meeting with Google, and even took a ~4,000 word angry letter that Perrelli wrote for him, signed it as his own and sent it to Google -- but he did all that without knowing that Perrelli worked for Hollywood's top lobbying arm, the MPAA. Uh huh.

And then in a press conference, he insisted that he was doing this out of his own interest in protecting the children -- but also admitted that his office didn't have any intellectual property experts and didn't have a million dollars to do an investigation (approximately the amount the MPAA's leaked emails show them discussing to fund this investigation) and that he needed to rely on such help from "victims" to make his case. It's fairly rare, though, that "victims" of a crime run the actual law enforcement investigation and fund it as well.

Still, in that last post, we also mentioned how Hood implied that anyone suggesting he was "paid off" might be defaming him, and apparently also stated that he wasn't getting any money from Hollywood, encouraging reporters to "check records."

Hood: Not getting any money from Hollywood as far as he knows. Encouraged us to check records.


— Therese Apel (@TRex21) December 18, 2014

Okay then. Let's... check the records. Here, for example, is the MPAA's Political Action Committee apparently giving $2,500 to an operation called "The Friends of Jim Hood."


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TN: Erwin FTTH Pilot Project Moving Forward | community broadband networks

TN: Erwin FTTH Pilot Project Moving Forward | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Erwin, Tennessee announced last summer that it was planning an FTTH pilot project to connect 1,200 customers. After receiving the necessary approval from the state comptroller this summer, Erwin Utilities began construction in October, reported the Erwin Record.

The pilot project focuses in and around downtown and leadership at Erwin Utilities plan to use the network for the town's electric system, water system, and wastewater system in addition to high-speed connectivity. Lee Brown, General Manager of the municipal utilities, reported that the network will provide services up to a gig.

From an August Johnson City Press article:


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Title II And The Return of the “Gore Tax.” Or, The Debate We Should Be Having | Harold Feld | Wetmachine.com

Hal Singer and Robert Litan over at Progressive Policy Institute caused some stir recently with this paper claiming that if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassifies broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, it will tack on over $15 billion in new state taxes, fees and federal universal service charges.


As Free Press already pointed out, (a) Congress extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) in the recent “CRomnibus” funding bill” takes the state tax issue off the table; and (b) even without ITFA, the PPI Report made a lot of questionable assumptions to reach their high number.

Update: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), one of the drafters of the IFTA extension, has this short but forceful statement about the claims that reclassifying broadband as Title II will allow states to tax broadband access despite IFTA. “Baloney.”

Happily, the ITFA extension lets us blow past the debate about whether states even use the FCC definition of “telecommunications” for revenue services (many don’t, see, e.g., this tax letter from Tennessee as an example). We can cut right to the chase on the big thing ITFA doesn’t cover — Universal Service Fund (USF). Here again, I want to blow past the question of the numbers used by PPI (which rely on a set of assumptions that amount to what we call in the trade a SWAG (“scientific wild ass guess”)) and focus on the debate we should be having — do we still believe in Universal Service or not?

If we no longer believe in Universal Service as a fundamental principle, fine. Lets own that and end the program. If we do believe in the principle of universal service, and we agree that broadband is the critical communications medium of the 21st Century, it makes no sense to play tax arbitrage games with definitions.


The FCC continues to play silly, complicated games with the Connect America Fund (CAF) because everyone wants to redirect USF support to broadband but nobody wants to include broadband in the contribution base. As a result, an increasingly smaller base of voice services is supporting an increasingly larger set of overall services. This makes no sense and is inherently unsustainable.

As I explain below, this isn’t the first time we’ve debated the importance of universal service and whether we care enough about it to pay for it. Nor will reclassification trigger some sort of “sticker shock,” as the PPI paper suggests. Instead, as I explain below, reclassification is the prelude to the real debate we need to have on whether we still believe in the fundamental principle of service to all Americans, or not.


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As more viewers cut cable, what will happen to sports? | Jon Wertheim | Sports Illustrated

As more viewers cut cable, what will happen to sports? | Jon Wertheim | Sports Illustrated | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If your cable package were a sports team, it would invariably be described as “close-knit,” all those individual channels bound and bundled together. Unlike most of commerce today—we purchase individual songs rather than entire albums; we customize everything from cars to phone cases to basketball shoes—cable comes to us as one robust, unbreakable whole. Don’t have kids? Too bad, you’re still paying monthly for Nickelodeon. You’re a socialist? Sorry, you’re buying a slate of financial news networks. You can’t spell inextricable without c-a-b-l-e.

But even with the most harmonious team, bonds eventually unravel and connections erode. A growing number of subscribers are cutting the cord, replacing cable with broadband. Networks such as HBO and CBS are going straight to the consumer with content that can be streamed on mobile devices. As the president of Fox, Chase Carey, put it on a recent earnings call, the cable bundle is “fraying at the edge.” The received wisdom: Inevitably a day will come—perhaps soon—when we will consume media à la carte, picking and choosing and paying for only the programming we desire.

For years sports have been an essential ingredient in the cable-driven model, providing “appointment television,” the rare fare that is all-but-DVR-proof. “The power of sports is the leading reason the bundle exists today and [why] the bundle is as big as it is,” says Rich Greenfield, media and tech analyst at BTIG in New York City. “Sports support the whole business.” At the same time bundling has been a boon to sports, increasing exposure on new tiers of channels and, more important, creating wealthy cable networks that have used those riches to pay record rights fees.

How will the new, unbundled model affect this synergy? Here’s what the sports viewing landscape could look like in the future:


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Chile: Cellcos predict 500,000 4G users by year-end | TeleGeography.com

Chilean cellcos Claro, Movistar and Entel expect to end the year with a combined total of more than 500,000 4G subscribers, blaming delays in the allocation of 700MHz spectrum for that number not being higher.


Diario Financiero writes that Claro is predicting 4G subscriptions to reach 250,000 by 31 December 2014, whilst Movistar and Entel are expected to have signed up 200,000 and 170,000 respectively.


The trio attributed a delay in the ‘massification’ of the 4G market to legal action brought by mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Telestar, which has delayed the allocation of 700MHz frequcies.

Telestar claims that the auction process and rollout obligations prevented smaller operators from bidding for the frequencies.


Movistar, Entel and Claro were named as the winners of the 700MHz spectrum blocks in March this year, but due to the legal challenge the frequencies have yet to be handed to the operators.


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The four things Republicans in Congress could do to stymie net neutrality | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

The four things Republicans in Congress could do to stymie net neutrality | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This winter, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to pass its much-anticipated rules telling Internet service providers what, exactly, it means to treat everything that moves across the Internet fairly.

If those "net neutrality" rules go as far as President Obama has called for them to go -- more or less, treating broadband Internet less like any other consumer product and more like a core part of the United States' public infrastructure -- Internet service providers are likely to take them to court. And so, many savvy observers of the net neutrality debate will tell you to keep a close eye on the judicial branch next.

But here's where your other eye should be firmly focused: over on Congress. Capitol Hill has largely been ignored in the public debate over net neutrality. The reality, though, is that House and Senate Republican opponents of net neutrality have the ability to make life very difficult for Obama and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on the net neutrality front.


Here's how.


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The FCC's Plate is Full | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs

The FCC's Plate is Full | Doug Dawson | POTs and PANs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I don’t think I can remember a time when the FCC had more major open dockets that could impact small carriers.


Let’s look at some of the things that are still hanging open:


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T-Mobile will pay $90M over bogus charges on customer bills | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News

T-Mobile will pay $90M over bogus charges on customer bills | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC on Friday announced a $90 million settlement with T-Mobile, making it the latest phone carrier to pay a penalty for “cramming,” which involves adding unauthorized charges to customers’ bills for subscriptions or “premium” text message services.

Under the terms of the settlement, T-Mobile will pay at least $67.5 million to fund a program for consumer refunds, plus another $18 million to state governments and $4.5 million to the U.S. Treasury.

“Yet again we are faced with a phone company that profited while its customers were fleeced by third parties who placed unauthorized charges on their phone bills,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “And once again the FCC is standing up for those customers. Today’s settlement holds T-Mobile responsible for its billing practices and puts money directly back into the pockets of American consumers.”

The FCC’s press release says current and former T-Mobile customers can apply for refunds at http://www.tmobilerefund.com, though the website doesn’t appear to be working yet. Once it is up and running, it is likely to mirror a similar site where consumers who were bilked by AT&T over cramming can fill out a claim.


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What Big-City Museums Could Learn From This “Company Town” for Art | Greg Scruggs | Next City.org

What Big-City Museums Could Learn From This “Company Town” for Art | Greg Scruggs | Next City.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The transition from industrial to post-industrial to knowledge economy is a familiar, but that doesn’t mean smaller cities have figured out all the answers. North Adams, in western Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains, however, got some vindication last month that their strategy to become an art hub is working.


On November 17th, outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick announced a $25.4 million state grant that, matched with upwards of $30 million in private funds, will allow the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) to renovate another 140,000 square feet into gallery space on its 13-acre campus.


While this expansion will make it the largest contemporary art museum in the U.S., MASS MoCA has also been pioneering new economic models, civic engagement strategies and urban design interventions that are relevant for museums in much larger cities.

The confluence of two branches of the Hoosic River in North Adams has attracted manufacturing since colonial times. From 1860 to 1942, the Arnold Print Works (now home to MASS MoCA) was a leading textile facility.


Later, Sprague Electric Company produced parts there for projects as significant as the atomic bomb and later the Gemini moon missions.


Over the years, the two employers made North Adams a consummate company town, with nearly one-quarter of residents working for Sprague at its peak before it closed in 1985.

Three of Mackenzie Greer’s relatives worked at Sprague. She is now the city planner for the North Adams Office of Community Development. “You can’t expect a museum to employ the entire city,” she cautions, “but MASS MoCA was the idea that died a thousand deaths and kept going.”


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Congress wants to legislate net neutrality. Here’s what that might look like. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

Congress wants to legislate net neutrality. Here’s what that might look like. | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Republicans in Congress appear likely to introduce legislation next month aimed at preventing Internet providers from speeding up some Web sites over others, in hopes of changing the tone of a critical debate over the future of the Web, according to industry officials familiar with the plans.

The industry-backed proposal would preempt efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to draw up new rules for Internet providers. While key details of the proposed bill are still being hammered out, the legislation would attempt to end a debate over the FCC's power to regulate net neutrality, or the idea that broadband companies should treat all Internet traffic equally, said the people familiar with the plan who declined to be named because the talks were private.

The industry officials said they are discussing details of the proposal with several Republican lawmakers, whom they declined to name. The officials also said the proposal is being backed by several large telecommunications companies, which they also declined to name.

One important piece of the proposed legislation would establish a new way for the FCC to regulate broadband providers by creating a separate provision of the Communications Act known as "Title X," the people said. Title X would enshrine elements of the tough net neutrality principles called for by President Obama last month. For example, it would give FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler the authority to prevent broadband companies from blocking or slowing traffic to Web sites, or charging content companies such as Netflix for faster access to their subscribers — a tactic known as "paid prioritization."

But those new powers would come with a trade-off, the people said. In exchange for Title X, the FCC would refrain from regulating net neutrality using Title II of the Communications Act — a step favored by many advocates of aggressive regulation, including the president, they said.

FCC officials declined to comment for this story.

Broadband providers have strongly opposed aggressive net neutrality rules, arguing it would stymie the industry's growth. But in recent months some industry officials have said they were open to the same net neutrality principles advocated by Obama, highlighting a sliver of potential common ground between Internet providers and net neutrality advocates. In a blog post last month, Comcast said it opposed blocking or slowing traffic to Web sites, along with paid prioritization. AT&T made similar arguments in June.


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Google Files Legal Challenge To Attorney General Jim Hood's Subpoenas | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Google Files Legal Challenge To Attorney General Jim  Hood's Subpoenas | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This story sure escalated in a hurry. Following all the news of the MPAA's tight relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, Google has made a filing in a Mississippi federal court seeking seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction against Hood's investigation. As the filing notes:

For the last eighteen months, the Mississippi Attorney General has threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General deems objectionable. When Google did not agree to his demands, the Attorney General retaliated, issuing an enormously burdensome subpoena and asserting that he now has “reasonable grounds to believe” that Google has engaged in “deceptive” or “unfair” trade practice under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), which allows for both civil and criminal sanctions. The Attorney General did so despite having publicly acknowledged in a letter to Congressional leaders that “federal law prevents State and local law enforcement agencies from prosecuting” Internet platforms. The Attorney General took these actions following a sustained lobbying effort from the Motion Picture Association of America.

As Google explains, there is no legal basis for this investigation:


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German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls| Craig Timberg | WashPost.com

German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls| Craig Timberg | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

German researchers have discovered security flaws that could let hackers, spies and criminals listen to private phone calls and intercept text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available.

The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are the latest evidence of widespread insecurity on SS7, the global network that allows the world’s cellular carriers to route calls, texts and other services to each other. Experts say it’s increasingly clear that SS7, first designed in the 1980s, is riddled with serious vulnerabilities that undermine the privacy of the world’s billions of cellular customers.

The flaws discovered by the German researchers are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes – such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower – that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network.


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Hackers are going after the Internet’s very infrastructure. Here’s why that matters. | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

Hackers are going after the Internet’s very infrastructure. Here’s why that matters. | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that acts as something of the air traffic-controller of the global Internet has announced that it was the victim of a hacking attack last month. That's raising concerns because, while little-known to most Internet users, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- better known as ICANN -- quietly helps to keep the Internet up and running.

ICANN was the target of what's known as a "spear phishing" attack, the group says, where an e-mail is sent to employees that looks to have come from inside the organization. By appearing as if they come from a trusted source, those e-mail trick targets into handing over passwords and other credentials.

Those details were used to access several ICANN computer systems of varying degrees of sensitivity. Those systems include WhoIs, the database that identifies who owns which Web site; the ICANN blog; an internal wiki; and what's known as the Centralized Zone Data Service, which contains the maps laying out the Internet's global addressing scheme.

But perhaps the most mission-critical system, says ICANN, wasn't breached. That's the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Known as IANA, that system keeps track of which Web sites and other digital assets are located where on the Internet.

"At this point, we have confirmed that the attack has not affected the IANA-related systems," says ICANN spokesperson Brad White. "They are separate systems with additional layers of security that were not breached." The source of the attack isn't yet clear.

Why is even the possibility of an IANA breach raising eyebrows?


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Conflicts Of Interest, Lack Of Transparency Mar Our Attempt To Build A Nationwide Emergency Wireless Network | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Conflicts Of Interest, Lack Of Transparency Mar Our Attempt To Build A Nationwide Emergency Wireless Network | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Prompted by the communications network failures during 9/11, roughly fourteen years ago the government began exploring the building of a nationwide emergency communications network specifically for first responders and emergency personnel.


While it took a decade of Congressional bickering, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 finally created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). FirstNet was given $7 billion and tasked with building a nationwide LTE network that largely piggybacks on the networks of existing carriers, delivering what the project's website declares will be a "a force multiplier, increasing collaboration to help emergency responders save more lives, solve more crimes and keep our communities safer."

Except as we previously noted, allegations emerged early on that the project had been stocked with executives from the nation's biggest wireless carriers, who were criticized for giving closed-door preference to AT&T and Verizon friends, and elbowing out folks with actual emergency, first responder or emergency backgrounds.


The result was a project that has seen little actual progress, gridlocked by a raise by the carriers to corner the billions in project funds. To ease concerns, the organization investigated itself late last year and unsurprisingly found no indications of wrong doing or conflict of interest.

Fast forward a year, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Commerce has released a report (pdf) that's nowhere near as forgiving. According to the study, there were numerous conflicts of interest, and FirstNet board members were pretty fast and loose when it came to adhering to disclosure rules, either filing late, or when they did file -- not actually bothering to disclose conflicts of interest that did exist:


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Longtime Domain Registrar Tucows Buys A Small ISP, Wants To Refocus Broadband Industry On Giving A Damn About The Consumer | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Longtime Domain Registrar Tucows Buys A Small ISP, Wants To Refocus Broadband Industry On Giving A Damn About The Consumer | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we've been noting, Google's arrival into the broadband space has resulted in a flood of other companies proclaiming that they too will soon be offering 1 Gbps services over fiber.


While some of these announcements (particularly from sluggish, larger companies like AT&T and CenturyLink) are little more than fiber to the press release (development community deployments dressed up to appear more substantive than they are), some of them are genuine, grassroots efforts to rescue the U.S. broadband industry from the clutches of our beloved cable and phone duopoly.

As a hopeful example of the latter, longtime domain registrar Tucows has announced it's jumping into the 1 Gbps fiber game under its wireless MVNO brand name, Ting.


In a blog post, Ting notes it has purchased a small Charlottesville, Virginia, ISP called Blue Ridge InternetWorks (BRI). BRI, Ting claims, will be the company's beachhead in an attempt to disrupt the U.S. broadband market one small bite at a time. Ting didn't release pricing details, but told me in an e-mail it will offer symmetrical 1 Gbps speeds at a "sub-$100 price point." It also promises to make respecting consumers and net neutrality a priority:

"Tucows believes very strongly in the open Internet. Up until now, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do but educate, agitate and contribute. Getting into fixed access, owning our own pipe, is an opportunity for us to practice what we preach when it comes to the open Internet and net neutrality."

Ting says it was inspired by Google Fiber, but claims that as a smaller company Ting can deliver a more personal, human touch:


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Global 4K UHD TV Shipments Up 700% | Greg Tarr | TWICE.com

Global 4K UHD TV Shipments Up 700% | Greg Tarr | TWICE.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Global 4K Ultra HD TV shipments are expected to exceed 11.6 million units in 2014, on the way to topping 100 million units by 2018, according to new research issued by Futuresource Consulting.

The firm said 4K UHD sets are expected to grow nearly 700 percent year on year in 2014, with China accounting for over 70 percent of global demand.

In Western Europe and North America, share of 4K demand for 2014 will represent 10 percent and 8 percent respectively, with demand expected to grow at 72 percent CAGR until 2018.

“4K adoption is forecast to grow quickly from 2015 onwards with over 100 million shipments projected in 2018, representing 38 percent of the total TV market,” said David Tett, Futuresource research analyst. “An indication that 4K is quickly becoming mainstream was the availability of many sets at discounted prices during last month's Black Friday.”

Sales of 4K TVs are expected to be concentrated on the larger screen sizes, generally 50 inches, but screens smaller than 40 inches will become more widely available with 4K in the coming years, Tett said. Native 4K content remains scarce, and many consumers are currently buying sets on the basis that they can up-scale HD content and will be future-proof, in preparation for when native 4K content is more widely available.


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CableVision Bermuda hunting high and low with fibre upgrade | TeleGeography.com

Bermudan digital cable TV and broadband access provider CableVision has upgraded its fibre-optic infrastructure in the country to allow ultra-high broadband internet speeds, The Royal Gazette reports.


The cableco is using fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology to boost infrastructure capacity by a factor of 50, allow for peak data speeds of up to 900Mbps/200Mbps (download/upload) and enable the launch of new products and services.


CableVision CEO Terry Roberson is quoted as saying that fibre upgrades will also be carried out in the West End (i.e. Royal Naval Dockyard) – in time for the massively increased demand for data services during the global America’s Cup. ‘We feel it’s an appropriate time for us to position our company for the future where we can deliver exceptional services with technology that will be relevant over the next ten to 15 years,’ he said.


‘We also believe that this will assist in selling Bermuda as a sophisticated technological centre to the international business community,’ Roberson added.

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EOBC: FCC Auction Lowball Could Hit 1,100 stations | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

EOBC: FCC Auction Lowball Could Hit 1,100 stations | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition says that the FCC's proposed formula for pricing initial offers in the broadcast incentive auction undervalues 1,000 stations and, unless it is changed, will "snatch auction failure from the jaws of success."

The EOBC represents over 80 stations potentially willing to give up spectrum for the auction at the right price, but EOBC executive director Preston Padden has been trying to convince the FCC that the price will not be right if the commission diverts from valuing a station based on its impact on repacking.

In the recently released public notice on implementing the auction framework Report and Order released last May, the FCC provided detailed proposals including basing part of the station valuation on population served, which Padden says is irrelevant to a station's interference profile and was only included to drive down the price.

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OTT, Online Video, and the Arguments for and Against Cable | Adam Flomenbaum | Lost Remote

OTT, Online Video, and the Arguments for and Against Cable | Adam Flomenbaum | Lost Remote | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

2014 has been the year of unbundling and TV Everywhere. Content is king and networks, advertisers, and cable service providers are adapting quickly. Networks are finding better ways to monetize content online and on OTT platforms than they have been in the recent past, advertisers are reaching more targeted audiences, and cable service providers are also internet service providers.

Millenials are large drivers of this sea change – they spend 48% more time viewing online video than the average user and some (“cord nevers”) do not have cable and do not consider purchasing it.

Brightcove, a leading provider of video publishing and monetizing solutions, has 5,500+ customers (essentially every major player in the TV, OTT, and video content space) that rely on the company to guide it through the changing digital video landscape.


For more on how the landscape is evolving, the argument for and against remaining a paying cable customer, and how networks can capitalize on OTT engagement and monetization heading in 2015, we spoke with Josh Normand, Brightcove’s VP of Sales:


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CenturyLink's Christmas Present: Rate Hikes For the New Year | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

CenturyLink's Christmas Present: Rate Hikes For the New Year | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Several CenturyLink customers have e-mailed me to note that the company is reaching out to users with a not-so-welcome holiday gift: rate hikes in the new year.


According to the notification being sent out to users, standalone broadband customers can expect to start paying $2 more per month in the new year, while bundled phone and broadband customers will see a $1 increase.

The hikes come on the heels of the addition of several nonsensical fees -- such as the company's $1 "Internet cost recovery fee", or its $1.55 "non telecom surcharge". It's unclear if next year will see an increase in these fees in addition to the vanilla rate hike for users.


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Municipalities deliver broadband via partnerships | Kathleen Hickey | GCN.com

Municipalities deliver broadband via partnerships | Kathleen Hickey | GCN.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Municipal governments are developing creative partnerships to bring broadband and faster Internet access to citizens and businesses in their communities, including building their own infrastructure and partnering with Google to install Google Fiber.

“Hundreds [of cities and towns] have done something already, and hundreds more are evaluating it now and are likely to take action,” said Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, according to a report on Ars Technica.

One of the latest efforts: Next Century Cities, a coalition of 32 cities trying to upgrade to gigabit service. The project officially launched Oct. 20, and now 50 cities from Idaho, Indiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Washington, California, Oregon, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota are involved.

A similar joint venture is Gig. U, or the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project. A coalition of over 30 leading research universities from across the United States, Gig.U seeks to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to U.S. universities and their surrounding communities.

“As we have seen in city after city, truly high-speed broadband can impact all facets of a citizen’s quality of life,” noted an announcement of the project by Next Century Cities.

“The caliber of Internet networks required for cities to compete, grow and thrive in the 21st century will largely not be achieved through the copper wire networks of the 20th century. Cities and their leaders recognize that the present and the future will be based on fiber-optic, gigabit networks that can deliver speeds at hundreds of times the current national average.”

Other cities have partnered with local power companies to provide high-speed service.


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The Ridiculousness Of Turning The Sony Hack Into The 9/11 Of Computer Security | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com

The Ridiculousness Of Turning The Sony Hack Into The 9/11 Of Computer Security | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Once again, our government is stepping up to help a beleaguered industry giant. Usually the MPAA would be involved (and maybe it is), along with some terrible legislation, but this time it's Sony Pictures getting an assist from The Man.

Sony, which has no one to blame but itself for being nearly completely compromised, apparently has enough pull that the White House itself is ready to step up, publicly denounce and possibly punish the group behind the hacking. (via Boing Boing)

U.S. investigators have evidence that hackers stole the computer credentials of a system administrator to get access to Sony's computer system, allowing them broad access, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation tell CNN. The finding is one reason why U.S. investigators do not believe the attack on Sony was aided by someone on the inside, the officials tell CNN.

These unnamed investigators and officials believe North Korea is behind Sony's hacking. It will be interesting to see what they present to back up this claim, considering there seems to be evidence indicating otherwise. The furor over The Interview, the film that portrays the assassination of Kim Jong-un, wasn't originally named as a motivation for Sony's hacking. The media seized on this possibility first, and the hackers followed suit.

Even if the US government turns out to be correct, there are plenty of reasons why it shouldn't react this way to the hacking of a private company. This is evidenced in White House press secretary Josh Earnest's statement, which indicates the White House is willing to play right into the hackers' hands.


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Whether Or Not Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Is In Hollywood's Pocket, He Sure Doesn't Understand Free Speech Or The Internet | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Whether Or Not Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Is In Hollywood's Pocket, He Sure Doesn't Understand Free Speech Or The Internet | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We already discussed the rather unbelievable (in that they are, literally, unbelievable) claims from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood that he didn't know he was working with the MPAA's top outside lawyer when he had that same lawyer, Tom Perrelli of Jenner & Block, spend time prepping him for a meeting with Google in which he attacked Google's practices, and further when he signed his name to a ~4,000 word letter to Google that Perrelli wrote, attacking Google's practices.


He just assumed that Perrelli -- who probably charges more per hour than you can possibly imagine -- was doing it to help Hood out, rather than for a client. And he expects everyone to believe that, even though at the same time Hood himself had called one of the MPAA's top lobbyists to discuss Google.


And, further, he doesn't appear to think there's anything wrong that his political mentor, Mike Moore, who helped get him his job as Attorney General (Moore was in that job before Hood), just happened to take a cushy lobbying job paid for by Hollywood companies right around the same time. It's all a giant coincidence.

But if Hood is going to take a step back and reflect on just how bad this looks, he sure isn't showing it.


Instead, he's coming out swinging, holding a press conference in which he appears focused on revealing his own ignorance of the law and technology (with a special focus on his vast desire to censor the internet -- and anyone who criticizes him).


This was held yesterday, prior to Google's filing this morning challenging Hood's subpoena (the one the MPAA knew was coming).


While the Google filing discussed in that previous post detailed many of the problems with Hood's legal theories, the press conference displayed an astounding lack of understanding of the law, of search engines and of basic technology.


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