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ATLANTA: BitPay Adds 10 Languages and 150 Currencies to its Bitcoin Checkout | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online

ATLANTA: BitPay Adds 10 Languages and 150 Currencies to its Bitcoin Checkout | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

BitPay, the world’s largest payment processor for virtual currencies, announces that it now offers translations into 10 languages plus English for their entire checkout experience. Merchants servicing international customers can now present bitcoin payment instructions in the buyer’s native language, allowing merchants to more easily conduct business in emerging markets.


Recently at the European Bitcoin Conference in Amsterdam, BitPay co-founder and CEO Tony Gallippi announced that the company is actively hiring sales engineers, a director of marketing, and software developers for its new offices in Amsterdam and Montreal.


“The European market for bitcoin adoption is very large, perhaps larger than in the United States,” says Gallippi. “Nearly every European business can already deal in multiple currencies, a prerequisite which is rarely seen in the U.S. Many small businesses in Europe have frequent cross-border transactions to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa where a borderless payment system like bitcoin has great potential.”


In addition to the translations, the company has expanded its list of currencies in which merchants can set prices for their sales. The new additions include the Argentine Peso (ARS), and Gold and Silver troy ounce (XAU and XAG). For example, if a gold dealer wants to sell one ounce of gold at 5% over spot, they can set the price to 1.05 XAU and BitPay will calculate the checkout in bitcoins at the up-to-the-minute rate.


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FirstNet deems 'Industry Day' a success as financial challenges loom | Monica Alleven | Fierce Wireless Tech

FirstNet deems 'Industry Day' a success as financial challenges loom | Monica Alleven | Fierce Wireless Tech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than 425 representatives from federal, state and local jurisdictions, as well as vendor community participants, showed up either in person or via webcast for the First Responder Network Authority's (FirstNet) first "Industry Day."

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss FirstNet's Special Notice and draft Request for Proposals (RFP) documents. It was held at FirstNet's headquarters in Reston, Va., on May 14. FirstNet began accepting requests for one-on-one meetings with vendors on May 15.

The event was a key next step in FirstNet's ongoing efforts to consult with interested parties on acquisition matters regarding the development of a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), according to the organization. It included interactive conversations and an overview of the Special Notice and draft RFP documents by FirstNet officials, as well as questions and feedback from participants.


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Comcast Blames Victim's Family, Not Its Alarm System, for Failure to Alert Police Their Son Was Being Tortured | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Blames Victim's Family, Not Its Alarm System, for Failure to Alert Police Their Son Was Being Tortured | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast has blamed its customer for the failure of its home security system to detect a break in and alert police before intruders terrorized and tortured their son.

Last fall, Stop the Cap! told readers about the plight of the Rawat family, in Kirkland, Wash., who depended on home security services provided by Comcast and now wished they didn’t.

In November 2013, police say Vincent Sisounong and Blessing Gainey planned a home invasion to steal vehicles, electronics, and money from the family. To achieve their plan, the 21 and 19-year old had to defeat Comcast’s Xfinity Home security system. According to a lawsuit now being heard in a bench trial this week, the two men didn’t have to do anything because the system never worked properly.


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FCC Chairman Gives Green Light for More Cable Mergers; Calls and Reassures Cable Execs Some Deals Are Okay | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

FCC Chairman Gives Green Light for More Cable Mergers; Calls and Reassures Cable Execs Some Deals Are Okay | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler personally called the chief executives of some of America’s largest cable operators, including Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable, to reassure them that the agency does not object to future cable industry consolidation.

Wheeler said any new merger deal would be assessed on its own merits, and cable executives should not assume the agency is against future cable mergers just because it objected to the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal.

The Wall Street Journal reports Wheeler sought to “clear the air” in response to industry hand-wringing over whether future buyouts and acquisitions could get passed the FCC. Wheeler reassured executives they were over-reading the commission’s intent.


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Deregulation: New Jersey Regulators Unanimously Vote to Let Verizon Do Pretty Much Anything It Wants | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Deregulation: New Jersey Regulators Unanimously Vote to Let Verizon Do Pretty Much Anything It Wants | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) unanimously approved an agreement this week exempting Verizon from most basic landline service regulations, prompting immediate outrage from consumer, senior and labor groups who predict it will lead to rate increases and deteriorating service.

The agreement removes pricing oversight regulations for residential basic telephone service, single-line business telephone service, nonrecurring charges for residential service connection and installation, and residential directory assistance services. That will allow Verizon to charge whatever the market will bear after a transition period. While that may not be a big problem for cell phone users and those who have dropped Verizon for cable company phone service or a broadband-powered Voice over IP alternative, it will leave rural New Jersey residents vulnerable if Verizon abuses its pricing privileges in areas where there are no alternatives.

“Today’s back room deal is bad for seniors, bad for workers at Verizon, and bad for the millions of businesses and homes that rely on affordable, reliable phone service,” said Seth Hahn, the CWA’s New Jersey legislative and political director. “In fact, it’s bad for everyone in New Jersey except Verizon. Something changed between 2011 when Governor Christie said seniors need protections and now I fear it’s the hundreds of thousands of dollars Verizon has funneled to various entities to help Christie’s political ambitions.”

Under the new deal, Verizon will cap its current basic residential rate of $16.45 for what it calls a five-year transition period. Verizon can increase the cost by only $6 during the first five years. After that, the sky is the limit.


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Verizon FiOS launches global triple-play bundle | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Verizon FiOS launches global triple-play bundle | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon has launched a new global FiOS triple-play bundle as a way to appeal to customers that want custom international programming.

With the ability to customize their international TV programming, customers can choose from seven different languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi or Punjabi Programming.

In addition to the programming, customers can get 300 minutes of international calling per month from their home to landline and wireless phones in more than 100 countries worldwide at no additional cost.

For customers that are willing to sign up for a two-year agreement for a new FiOS triple-play bundle that includes Internet, TV (including Custom TV, Extreme HD and other bundles) and telephony, the offer includes either a $300 Visa gift card, 24 months of the Spanish Language TV Package, or both the World Plan 300 international calling plan for 12 months and one of the TV programing packages free of charge for 12 or six months depending on the package selected.


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President Obama to nominate FCC's Rosenworcel for a second term | Kathryn Bachman | Katy on the Hill

President Obama to nominate FCC's Rosenworcel for a second term | Kathryn Bachman | Katy on the Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

President Obama plans to nominate Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for another term, the White House said Wednesday night.

Rosenworcel is one of three Democrats on the commission, including Mignon Clyburn and chairman Tom Wheeler. She was first nominated in 2011 and joined the commission in May 2012.

One of Rosenworcel’s top priorities on the commission has been making sure students have access to the digital tools they need to succeed. She often talks about the “homework gap” (#homeworkgap) between students and families that have access to broadband and those that do not.


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FCC Releases Data on Spectrum-Clearing Simulations | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Releases Data on Spectrum-Clearing Simulations | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has released some data from incentive auction simulations — based on three separate spectrum clearing targets — of how it would "optimize" its reclamation and divvying up of the 600 MHz spectrum band between wireless carriers and broadcasters in the incentive auction. Optimizing means getting the most spectrum while creating the least post-auction interference [impairment] in the repacked spectrum bands.

That data came in a public notice released late Wednesday.

The scenarios it ran were for freeing up 85 MHz of broadcast spectrum (if 40%-50% of broadcasters participated), 114 MHz (50%-60% participation), and 126 MHz (60%-70%) participation--Fox, Ion, Univision And Tribune have told the FCC it should shoot for 126 MHZ. “Participation” doesn’t mean that is what percentage of stations need to give up spectrum. That is the percentage who participate in the auction, win or lose.

The FCC has not set any of those target scenarios as policy, but simply set up the parameters and ran the numbers. It has given the public two weeks to comment on the data.

Preston Padden, who heads the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition (EOBC), said the simulations looked like progress.


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South Korea: KT and Alca-Lu ink collaboration deal aimed at advancing 5G development | TeleGeography.com

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Korea’s KT Corp under which the pair will collaborate to test technologies for the eventual introduction of 5G mobile networks and infrastructure ‘capable of meeting the huge connectivity demands expected in the future’.


With the collaboration reportedly expected to initially focus on Alca-Lu’s virtualised Radio Access Network (vRAN) technology, the scope of the agreement also includes the development and testing of mobile ultra-broadband access, network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies for 5G network architectures and interfaces, as well as the driving of interworking and 3GPP standardisation activities.


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Zombie Merger: Charter Communications Still Pursuing Bright House Networks Merger Originally Left for Dead | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Zombie Merger: Charter Communications Still Pursuing Bright House Networks Merger Originally Left for Dead | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bright House Networks customers in central Florida are not excited by the news Charter Communications is still pursuing Bright House Networks, and both companies recently agreed to extend the deadline by 30 days for a final deal to be placed on the table.

Charter had bid $10.4 billion to acquire Bright House, which serves customers mostly in the south, including the cities of Tampa and Orlando.

“We look forward to completing the transaction as planned, and our teams are working together to make that happen,” Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge said. Reuters had recently reported Bright House was preparing to “abandon” the Charter deal, believing it was better off with sn existing cooperation agreement with Time Warner Cable.

One reason the merger talks are moving forward could be a sense Bright House’s owners have received that Time Warner Cable is still ready to sell itself to a new buyer after its merger with Comcast collapsed. One of those potential buyers remains Charter itself.


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Net Neutrality Rules Are Already Forcing Companies To Play Fair, And The Giant ISPs Absolutely Hate It | Karl Bode | Techdirt

Net Neutrality Rules Are Already Forcing Companies To Play Fair, And The Giant ISPs Absolutely Hate It | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC's net neutrality rules don't even go into effect until June 12, but they're already benefiting consumers. You'll recall that the last year or so has been filled with ugly squabbling over interconnection issues, with Level 3 accusing ISPs like Verizon of letting peering points congest to kill settlement-free peering and drive Netflix toward paying for direct interconnection.


But with Level 3 and Cogent hinting they'd be using the FCC's new complaint process to file grievances about anti-competitive behavior, magically Verizon has now quickly struck deals with Level 3 and Cogent that everybody on board appears to be happy with.

And it's not just Verizon; Level 3 also quickly managed to strike a new interconnection deal with AT&T, and Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer recently proclaimed Comcast has also become suddenly more amicable of late, turning on ports for capacity quickly and when needed. Comcast, like AT&T and Verizon, has also suddenly announced a new interconnection deal with Level 3 Comcast says it was "delighted" to sign.

That players in the transit and ISP space are suddenly getting along so wonderfully when ISPs insisted net neutrality rules would result in the destruction of the Internet is nothing short of miraculous. It's almost as if the FCC's new net neutrality rules are already benefiting consumers, companies and a healthy internet alike!


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Comcast Opens Access to Fire TV, Fire TV Stick | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Comcast Opens Access to Fire TV, Fire TV Stick | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast said its customers can use their TV Everywhere credentials to access two TV Everywhere apps -- HBO Go and Showtime Anytime – on the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick (pictured).

Comcast also allows customers to access those TVE apps on a set of other TV-connected platforms, including Roku (support for Roku was added late last year), the Apple TV, Xbox One and via the Google Chromecast streaming adapters.


Comcast, which also supports most of the HBO and Showtime catalogs via its set-top VOD platform and on-demand and live streams via its Xfinity TV Go app and website, said it now authenticates more than 90 networks across 18 devices, numbers that “will continue to grow as new technologies and platforms emerge.”

“Our customers have access to one of the largest content libraries in the world and we’ll continue to make opportunities available for them to watch when and where they want,” Matt Strauss, Comcast Cable’s EVP and GM, video services, said in this blog post.


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Cyberattack on CareFirst exposes data on 1.1 million customers in D.C., Md. and Va. | Andrea Peterson

Cyberattack on CareFirst exposes data on 1.1 million customers in D.C., Md. and Va. | Andrea Peterson | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield was the victim of a cyberattack that compromised information on about 1.1 million current and former customers, the health insurer that covers residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia announced Wednesday.

Several major health insurers have disclosed significant breaches this year, including Anthem, the nation's second largest health insurers, which revealed that data on nearly 80 million customers was compromised.

The CareFirst attack occurred in June 2014, according to a Web site set up by the insurer. The company said its cyber-security team thought it had fended off the attack at the time, but a recent review discovered that the attackers had gained access to the usernames that customers created on its Web site as well as their real names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and subscriber identification numbers.

The database the hackers accessed did not contain members' Social Security numbers, medical claims, employment, credit card or financial information, the company said.

"We deeply regret the concern this attack may cause," CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell said in a statement. "We are making sure those affected understand the extent of the attack – and what information was and was not affected."

The company said it first learned that data on customers was accessed nearly a month ago, on April 21, during the course of a review of its systems by cybersecurity firm Mandiant. CareFirst said it did not disclose the discovery until now so it could complete its investigation of the incident.

CareFirst is offering affected customers two years of free credit monitoring and identity-theft protection services. The FBI said it is investigating the intrusion.


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FCC Issues Guidance on Broadband Privacy | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Issues Guidance on Broadband Privacy | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has signaled ISPs that if they have any doubts about how they should protect broadband consumer privacy under new Title II regs, it would be a good idea to run it by the FCC.

Amid calls from ISPs for more clarity about how the FCC will enforce customer privacy under its new Title II authority, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau has provided some guidance in the form of an advisory.

The bureau said that it would be looking for "good faith" efforts to comply with privacy protections, and that seeking bureau input would tend to show such "good faith."

The FCC's reclassification of ISPs under Title II common carrier is scheduled to take effect June 12 absent a court stay, and will give the FCC oversight of broadband customer proprietary network information (CPNI) once the purview of the Federal Trade Commission.

But while the FCC said it would not forbear from applying Title II privacy regs under Sec. 222, it said it would not simply transfer the phone rules to ISPs, but instead likely launch a rulemakingto come up with new rules.

"The Commission has found that absent privacy protections, a broadband provider’s use of personal and proprietary information could be at odds with its customers’ interests and that if consumers have concerns about the protection of their privacy, their demand for broadband may decrease," the bureau pointed out in its enforcement advisory.

During the gap between when the rules go into effect and the FCC takes further action or guidance, the bureau said it intends to focus on "on whether broadband providers are taking reasonable, good-faith steps to comply with Section 222, rather than focusing on technical details."


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Community Broadband Media Roundup - May 15 | community broadband networks

Community Broadband Media Roundup - May 15 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Community Broadband Stories, by State:

California

A Disconnected Valley: SCV's high-speed technology crawls by Jana Adkins, Signal Santa Clarita Valley

Why Santa Monica Built its Own Internet Service: It all comes down to how well you connect, and when you do - word travels quickly by Jana Adkins, Signal Santa Clarita Valley

Massachussetts

Hyper-fast Internet coming to parts of Westfield, but it's not from a company you'd guess by Dan Glaun, MassLive.com

Minnesota

How the Legislature is cheating Greater Minnesota on broadband by Brian Lambert, MinnPost

North Carolina

North Carolina sues FCC over Wilson community broadband decision by Rick Smith, WRAL TechWire

"Rural areas in North Carolina already suffer from some of the slowest speeds in the nation because the big telecom giants see no financial reason to connect them," the Institute said. "The FCC ruling will help communities that will never be covered by these corporations to finally have Internet access beyond dial-up service."

NC Attorney General appeals FCC municipal broadband ruling, Associated Press


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New Leak Shows NSA's Plans To Hijack App Store Traffic To Implant Malware And Spyware | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

New Leak Shows NSA's Plans To Hijack App Store Traffic To Implant Malware And Spyware | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Proving there's nowhere spy agencies won't go to achieve their aims, a new Snowden leak published jointly by The Intercept and Canada's CBC News shows the NSA, GCHQ and other Five Eyes allies looking for ways to insert themselves between Google's app store and end users' phones.

The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals…

The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google.


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WSJ Editorial Board So Clueless It Thinks That We're Now 'Rushing' Through A Surveillance Debate That's Been Going On For Two Years | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

WSJ Editorial Board So Clueless It Thinks That We're Now 'Rushing' Through A Surveillance Debate That's Been Going On For Two Years | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the Senate does its little song and dance today over surveillance reform, kudos to the Wall Street Journal's editorial board for producing what has to be one of the most ridiculous opinion pieces on this debate to date. It's called The Anti-Surveillance Rush, and its main argument is that the Senate shouldn't be "rushing" through this debate, and that it should instead simply do a clean extension of section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to allow for further debate. This is wrong and it's clueless. The WSJ editorial board can be nutty at times, but the level of cluelenssness displayed here really takes it to another level. Let's dig in.

The Senate is supposed to be the cooling saucer for political passions, but surveillance opponents want it to be a slip ’n slide instead: They want the Senate to accept wholesale revisions to counterterrorism programs with little if any debate before Congress skips town for vacation at the end of the week. We hope Senators show more respect for their institutional dignity.

Little if any debate? Are they serious? This round of debate started almost exactly two years ago when Ed Snowden revealed the extent of the phone metadata collection program under Section 215. There have been numerous hearings, tons of public debate, articles, books, movies and more discussing this very topic. To pretend that this is a last minute debate is simply ridiculous. As for the claim that these are "wholesale revisions," most everyone admits that the changes are really not that major, but rather a small step towards actually respecting the 4th Amendment, but without any real changes to overall capabilities.


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Strong prospects court will stay FCC Internet order says legal expert | Kathryn Bachman | Katy on the Hill

Strong prospects court will stay FCC Internet order says legal expert | Kathryn Bachman | Katy on the Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Getting a court to issue a stay is always an uphill legal battle, but the chances that the D.C. circuit court of appeals will grant a stay of the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet order are strong.

“[A stay] has a good chance for success,” said Constitutional expert Kathleen Sullivan, a partner with Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan and former dean of Standford Law School. She is also serving as the attorney for USTelecom, which has filed a motion to stay the order along with other cable and telecom groups.

Sullivan, speaking on a press call hosted by the Internet Innovation Alliance, explained that the court will look at two things in making its decision to stay the order: whether the order will cause irreparable harm and whether the challengers’ case is likely to succeed on the merits.

Telecom and cable companies filed a motion to stay the order with the D.C. circuit court of appeals, days after the FCC denied to stay the agency’s own order. The court has ordered the FCC to rebut the petitioners’ motion Friday. Petitioners will have a week to reply, due next Thursday. Without a stay, the order goes into effect June 12.

The petitioners, said Sullivan have a strong case. “The order will require small providers to suddenly face regulatory burdens face by large companies. That is an existential threat. Even for large telecoms, it’s a threat,” Sullivan said.


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FCC Chairman Wheeler Circulates Effective Competition Order | John Eggerton| Multichannel

FCC Chairman Wheeler Circulates Effective Competition Order | John Eggerton| Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated the agency's order on effective competition, and it still proposes reversing the presumption that local markets are not competitive when it comes to traditional video, according to a source familiar with the item.

The FCC has a June 2 congressional deadline to produce an order streamlining the effective-competition process for smaller, particularly rural-serving cable operators, but broadened that into the proposal to reverse the presumption given that it has not denied an effective competition request in a couple of years -- due largely to the presence of satellite-TV service nationwide.

A ruling of effective competition means a cable system is no longer subject to basic-tier rate regulation and the requirement to carry retrans stations in that tier.

Broadcasters have been pushing back hard on the proposal, as have a number of high-profile Democratic senators and public interest groups, as well as the local franchising authorities that will lose rate-regulation authority.

But not all Democratic legislators oppose the move. Ranking House Communications Subcommittee member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) joined with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) to support the FCC's proposal to "update" the effective-competition provision. They pointed to legacy regulation as an impediment to enhanced flexibility and choice — the presumption dates from the 1992 Cable Act, which dates from a time when cable ops had a 95% MVPD market share, which is now a tad more than 50%.


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Google Fiber Sends Automated Piracy 'Fines' to Subscribers | TorrentFreak

Google Fiber Sends Automated Piracy 'Fines' to Subscribers | TorrentFreak | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Every month Google receives dozens of millions of DMCA takedown requests from copyright holders, most of which are directed at its search engine.

However, with Google Fiber being rolled out in more cities, notices targeting allegedly pirating Internet subscribers are becoming more common as well.

These include regular takedown notices but also the more controversial settlement demands sent by companies such as Rightscorp and CEG TEK.

Instead of merely alerting subscribers that their connections have been used to share copyright infringing material, these notices serve as automated fines, offering subscribers settlements ranging from $20 to $300.

The scheme uses the standard DMCA takedown process which means that the copyright holder doesn’t have to go to court or even know who the recipient is. In fact, the affected subscriber is often not the person who shared the pirated file.

To protect customers against these practices many ISPs including Comcast, Verizon and AT&T have chosen not to forward settlement demands. However, information received by TF shows that Google does take part.


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Costa Rica: Jasec to officially open FTTH network | TeleGeography.com

Carthage-based energy provider Junta Administrativa del Servicio Electrico Municipal de Cartago (Jasec) is set to officially launch its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network today, El Financiero reports.


The operator began providing services over the network in January this year, offering downlink speeds of 5Mbps-100Mbps. Although no details have yet been made public, the operator is understood to be planning partnerships with other operators.


Alongside Jasec, utility cooperative Cooperativa de Electrificacion Rural de Guanacaste (Coopeguanacaste) and state-backed operator Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), which provides telecom services under the Kolbi banner, are also rolling out FTTH infrastructure, with plans to launch in June and September respectively.

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Canada: Cellcos’ appeal against wireless code of conduct rejected | TeleGeography.com

The Federal Court of Appeal has rejected a bid by Canada’s main mobile operators to delay the full implementation of the country’s ‘wireless code of conduct’, the Financial Post reports.


The code was introduced by regulator CRTC in June 2013 to provide better consumer protection against high mobile roaming charges and wireless contract cancellation fees.


A group of cellcos including the three nationwide network operators Rogers, Telus and Bell (BCE Inc) launched legal action last July after raising concerns that some provisions of the code would apply retroactively to all of their customers once fully implemented.


However, Justice Denis Pelletier ruled the CRTC ‘has the right to make the wireless code applicable to contracts concluded before the code came into effect.’

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US proposes tighter export rules for computer security tools | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

US proposes tighter export rules for computer security tools | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Commerce Department has proposed tighter export rules for computer security tools, a potentially controversial revision to an international agreement aimed at controlling weapons technology.

On Wednesday, the department published a proposal in the Federal Register and opened a two-month comment period.

The changes are proposed to the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international agreement reached in 1995, aimed at limiting the spread of “dual use” technologies that could be used for harm.

Forty-one countries participate in the Wassenaar Arrangement, and lists of controlled items are revised annually.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is proposing requiring a license in order to export certain cybersecurity tools used for penetrating systems and analyzing network communications.

If asked by the BIS, those applying for a license “must include a copy of the sections of source code and other software (e.g., libraries and header files) that implement or invoke the controlled cybersecurity functionality.”

Items destined for export to government users in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the U.K.—the so-called “Five Eyes” nations which the U.S. belongs to—would be subject to looser restrictions. Those nations’ intelligence agencies collaborate closely.

The proposal would modify rules added to the Wassenaar Arrangement in 2013 that limit the export of technologies related to intrusion and traffic inspection.

The definition of intrusion software would also encompass “proprietary research on the vulnerabilities and exploitation of computers and network-capable devices,” the proposal said.

Tools that would not be considered intrusion software include hypervisors, debuggers and ones used for reverse engineering software.


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Verizon: Upgrading COs to Fiber Reduces Costs by 60% | Karl Bode | DSL Reports

Verizon: Upgrading COs to Fiber Reduces Costs by 60% | Karl Bode | DSL Reports | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon may be done expanding FiOS service to consumers, but the company's become rather bullish on upgrading its central offices from copper to fiber. Speaking at an investment conference this week, Verizon SVP of transformation Sowmyanarayan Sampath said that Verizon has realized it can save around 60% on CO costs by replacing copper with fiber.

The realization was first made after it needed extensive repairs to New York City CO's after hurricane Sandy, as the photo of the company's Broad Street infrastructure (left) illustrates.

Only seven of the company's two thousand COs have been converted so far, but Verizon says the company intends to upgrade most of them.

The upgrades result in a more efficient CO, and the telco has found fiber to be around 70 to 80% more reliable than copper. But the upgrades also dramatically reduce the real estate needed to operate a central office, according to Sampath:


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Patrick Drahi's Altice Buys Suddenlink in Surprise $9.1 Billion Deal That Is Likely Bad News for Customers, Employees | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Patrick Drahi's Altice Buys Suddenlink in Surprise $9.1 Billion Deal That Is Likely Bad News for Customers, Employees | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The billionaire owner of France’s largest cable operator has acquired St. Louis-based Suddenlink in a surprise $9.1 billion deal, and it is likely only the first move for the Altice Group in the U.S. cable business. But it may not be a welcome one for customers, employees, and suppliers of America’s seventh largest cable company about to be introduced to the notorious “Drahi Method” of conducting business that French newspaper La Parisien calls “brutal.”

The acquisition of Suddenlink represents a modest first step for a company that hopes to divide its business half in Europe and half in the United States. Incorporated in Luxembourg for tax-savings purposes, most of Altice’s interests in the cable business are in France and its overseas territories. Numericable is Altice’s cable brand in Luxembourg, France, and parts of Portugal and recently acquired SFR is Altice’s fiber broadband and mobile brand in French-speaking Europe.


Moroccan-born billionaire businessman Patrick Drahi sees investing in cable as a great opportunity to build needed cash flow from America’s pervasive broadband duopoly. Altice is heavily in debt, financing a whirlwind of acquisitions including Israeli cable and mobile providers, Portugal’s largest telecom company, a mobile carrier in the Dominican Republic, in addition to SFR, France’s second largest wireless company, all mostly paid for with debt and junk bonds. That’s a long way from Drahi’s early days in cable, when he sold service door to door for his small regional Internet and cable-TV company in France’s Alsace region.


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EOBC Battles 'Devaluing' Broadcast Auction Spectrum | | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

EOBC Battles 'Devaluing' Broadcast Auction Spectrum | | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition (EOBC) is pushing back on efforts by Sprint to insure the FCC reserves reclaimed broadcast 600 MHz low-band spectrum for nondominant carriers, like Sprint.

The FCC is already planning to set aside at least 30 MHz of that spectrum for competitive carriers — Verizon and AT&T have the majority of it already.

Sprint supports requests by others to increase the reserve of to 40 MHz (which would allow for two new competitive 20 MHz national wireless offerings. But it says particularly problematic is the FCC proposal to delay the reserve block until later in the auction and after certain financial targets are met, which it says could mean the FCC having to pay broadcasters more in the reverse auction.

Sprint is suggesting setting the reserve at the beginning of the auction.

Doing that, as well as reducing the spectrum the two largest carriers can bid on will devalue the broadcast spectrum, something EOBC does not want to see happen.


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