Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
104.0K views | +25 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

Intelligence contractors donate millions to intelligence watchdogs in Congress | PublicIntegrity.org

Intelligence contractors donate millions to intelligence watchdogs in Congress | PublicIntegrity.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Most intelligence-related spending by the U.S. government is subject to independent scrutiny and monitoring by a small number of people — primarily, the 40 lawmakers assigned to the House and Senate intelligence committees, plus the roughly 100-member staffs of those two committees.


The lawmakers are meant to provide a key check on waste, fraud, abuse, and potential illegalities, since intelligence-related spending and activities are ordinarily well outside the public’s view.


According to a new report, however, every single one of those lawmakers has received campaign funds from twenty of the largest contractors providing intelligence services to the Defense Department, which accounted for a signficant portion of the nation’s overall $75.4 billion intelligence budget in 2012.


The total, election-related benefits for current intelligence committee members, including ex-officio members, provided by companies in the industry they directly oversee amount to at least $3.7 million from the companies' PACs and employees since 2005, according to the report released Dec. 9 by Maplight.org, a nonpartisan group that investigates campaign finance issues.


Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the House committee’s highest-ranking Democrat, received the most from the contractors: $363,600, including $124,350 from Northrop Grumman, mostly from the company’s PAC, top executives and lobbyists. Ruppersberger is one of the “Gang of Eight” top legislators who routinely receive the most-detailed reports on intelligence among congressional members.


His Maryland district includes the National Security Agency, now routinely in the news due to Edward Snowden’s disclosures about the distant and controversial reach of its surveillance. Ruppersberger has called Snowden a traitor. In an interview with a Maryland paper last month, he said about the NSA’s PRISM data-mining effort that “we can’t afford to lose this program.” He did not respond to several requests for comment about the contributions.


Another Maryland legislator on the intelligence committee, Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski, received $210,150 from the companies, the second-highest total among intelligence committee members. Mikulski is also the chairwoman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds most government programs, including those related to intelligence.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

As Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar count patents, warning signs ahead | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News

As Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar count patents, warning signs ahead | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Government regulators and the taxi industry can’t stop Uber — but maybe a patent can. At least that’s the hope of Sidecar, a small rival of Uber whose founder obtained a patent related to mobile ride hailing way in 2002, and who claims he thought up today’s version of the industry way back in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Uber itself has been busy on the intellectual property front. The company has filed more than a dozen patent applications that seek a monopoly on not just Uber’s hated “surge pricing,” but also on other basic aspects of the car hire business such as dispatching and calculating tolls.

All this raises the question of whether a patent battle, like the epic one between Apple and Google that roiled the smartphone industry, could break out among the car companies.


Click headline to read more and view patent claim drawings--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Most Young People Say They Have Stopped Watching TV | Lara O'Reilly | BizInsider.com

Most Young People Say They Have Stopped Watching TV | Lara O'Reilly | BizInsider.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Regular, "linear" TV viewing — watching scheduled TV as it is broadcast, in other words — is dying.

The trend is evident not just among millennials — even older people are switching off their TV sets in favor of online video alternatives, according to a new report from Forrester.

Anecdotally, most people tend to say they are watching less TV, favoring on-demand services and streaming.

But Forrester has just provided us with evidence that not only is linear TV viewing falling — linear TV just isn't the dominant option anymore.

Forrester polled a panel of 4,709 individuals in the US and found just 46% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 88 years old watched linear TV in a typical month. It's worth bearing in mind this research shows the results of a survey, rather than actual consumption data, but the shift is interesting nonetheless.

A small majority of Generation X and Baby Boomers said they watched linear TV, but that average was dragged down by millennials.

As many millennials said they watched linear TV as used paid or free online streaming services.


Click headline to read more, view charts and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Canadian agency reported to be monitoring millions of downloads | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

Canadian agency reported to be monitoring millions of downloads | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Canadian surveillance agency is tapping into Internet cables and analyzing up to 15 million downloads from popular file-sharing websites each day, in an effort to identify political extremists, according to a news report by The Intercept and CBC News.

The Canadian Communications Security Establishment [CSE] program allows the agency to monitor downloads in several countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, according to the news reports, published Wednesday morning. The reports are based on leaks from Edward Snowden, the former contractor at the U.S. National Security Agency.

The CSE program, called Levitation, allows the agency to monitor downloads from popular websites used to share videos, photographs, music and other files, according to the reports. The goal of the program is to identify people downloading or uploading content connected to terrorism, such as bomb-making guides or hostage videos, the news reports said.

In the effort to identify people connected to terrorism, the CSE shifts through records of millions of downloads and uploads from Internet users not suspected of criminal activity, the reports said.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Regulators Crack Down on Marketers of 'Unlimited' Data Plans | Natasha Singer | NYTimes.com

Regulators Crack Down on Marketers of 'Unlimited' Data Plans | Natasha Singer | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal regulators are cracking down on mobile service providers that advertise “unlimited” data plans only to reduce the speed of data transmission if customers reach a certain limit on their data use. Slowed data speeds can make it difficult for mobile device users to browse the web or watch streaming videos.

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that TracFone Wireless, the largest prepaid mobile provider in the United States, had agreed to pay $40 million to settle agency charges that it deceived consumers by unfairly engaging in the practice, known as “throttling.”

The agency charged that TracFone Wireless advertised different brands of unlimited data plans for about $45 a month via television, radio and print ads, sometimes aiming at narrowly targeted audiences. For instance, one brand, called Telcel America, was marketed to Spanish-speaking consumers, the agency said.

Contrary to the marketing claims, however, the company “drastically slowed or cut off consumers’ mobile data” after their data use exceeded certain limits in a 30-day period, the agency said in a news release. Consumers who paid for the plans can now file claims for refunds. TracFone did not immediately answer an email seeking comment.

“The issue here is simple: When you promise consumers ‘unlimited,’ that means unlimited,” Jessica L. Rich, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Verizon adds 24 live Viacom channels to FiOS Mobile App | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable

Verizon adds 24 live Viacom channels to FiOS Mobile App | Daniel Frankel | Fierce Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Culminating a broad-reaching licensing deal signed in October, Verizon announced Wednesday that it has added access to 24 live Viacom channels through its FiOS Mobile App.

The addition of the Viacom networks brings the total number of channels viewable out of home on mobile devices for FiOS TV subscribers to 88.

Click heaedline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Cable Companies are Making Things Up Again | Kate Forscey | Public Knowledge

Cable Companies are Making Things Up Again  | Kate Forscey | Public Knowledge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Right now, the Federal Communications Commission is considering bumping the definition of “highspeed broadband” from 4 Mbps down/1 Mbps up to 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. This change is significant, particularly because of its implications for how the Commission evaluates “timely broadband deployment” in our country, an area in which we already lag behind other developed nations significantly.

Changing the definition of broadband to reflect modern usage does not sit particularly well with the cable and broadband industry. So last Thursday, NCTA, the cable industry trade association, rushed a letter over to the Commission to explain why they think redefining highspeed would be a drastic and unnecessary move.

NCTA argues that 25Mbps/3Mbps simply isn't necessary to meet the legal definition of "high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.”

They go on to peculiarly question what they call a “conclusory assertion,” made by many groups boosting the benchmark speedbase, that more than one person in a household might use a device at the same time, “without providing any evidence indicating that such usage is at all 'average.'...These hypotheticals dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user.”

It’s strange to see NCTA claim that 4/1 is totally adequate, because those same companies spend an awful lot of time every single day telling consumers that the kind of speeds they want and need far surpass a mere 4/1 threshold.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Huawei's elusive founder tries to dispel spying concerns and air of mystery | Michael Kan | ComputerWorld.com

Huawei's elusive founder tries to dispel spying concerns and air of mystery | Michael Kan | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

U.S. security concerns may still haunt the reputation of Huawei Technologies, but the Chinese company's elusive founder brushed off any involvement in state-sponsored cyber espionage in a rare interview on Thursday.

"We are a Chinese company, but we will never hurt another country," said Ren Zhengfei, in an webcast interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Appearing relaxed and smiling at times, Huawei's founder tried to dispel misconceptions surrounding the Chinese company, which over the years has found itself embroiled in cyber security concerns coming from the U.S. government.

In October 2012, a U.S. congressional committee declared Huawei a security threat because of its alleged ties to the Chinese government. Not helping the matter was Ren, who rarely gives interviews and has earned a reputation as a mysterious individual.

Since then, however, Ren has been making himself a little more available, and on Thursday he answered questions from journalists on the company's business, and his stance on cyber espionage.

Huawei, which has risen to become a major provider of networking gear, simply builds "the pipes" to power the Internet, Ren said.

"Why would I want to take someone's data? Who would give me money for it?" he asked. "We just do the iron coating to the pipes. What else can this iron coating do? This iron coating is simple-minded. Huawei is also simple-minded."

Ren added that Huawei had never received a request from the Chinese government asking it to spy on the U.S.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Oracle and Samsung said to be teaming up for mobile cloud delivery | Katherine Noyes | ComputerWorld.com

Oracle and Samsung said to be teaming up for mobile cloud delivery | Katherine Noyes | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Oracle and Samsung Electronics have reportedly forged a new partnership through which they will work together to deliver mobile cloud services.

In a meeting last Thursday, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd and Shin Jong-kyun, head of Samsung Electronics' mobile division, met in Seoul to discuss the details of the union, which will aim to help Oracle boost its database cloud solutions while enriching Samsung's enterprise client opportunities, according to a report Monday in The Korea Times.

Samsung has already partnered with Microsoft and SAP. Recently, it denied reports that it had offered to buy BlackBerry Ltd., even as it admitted that it would like to deepen its relationship with the Canadian handset maker.

Oracle declined to comment for this story. Samsung did not respond to requests for comment.

In its fiscal 2015 second-quarter earnings report in December, Oracle said software and cloud revenues in general were up 5 percent to $7.3 billion, while cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) revenue were up 45 percent to $516 million.

A relationship between Oracle and Samsung could have strategic similarities to IBM's recently created partnership with Apple, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

"That could be especially important for Oracle if the rumors about Samsung pursuing Blackberry prove to be correct," King said. "Though Blackberry is a shadow of what it once was, the company still has a presence in large private and public-sector organizations where Oracle and Samsung would love to do mobile business.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Old arguments may bog down US data breach notification legislation | Grant Gross | CSO Online

Old arguments may bog down US data breach notification legislation | Grant Gross | CSO Online | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A drive in the U.S. Congress to pass a law requiring companies with data breaches to notify affected customers may get bogged down in old arguments.

Lawmakers and witnesses at a Tuesday hearing argued about whether a national data breach notification law should preempt 47 existing state laws and whether breached companies should be required to notify customers even when they determine their breaches are unlikely to cause harm.

Disagreements over those two issues have been part of the reason why Congress hasn't passed a national data breach notification law over the past decade. But the time has come for Congress to pass a national law, members of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee's commerce subcommittee said.

U.S. consumers want Congress to pass such a law, said Representative Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican and subcommittee chairman. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama called for a national law, and the committee intends to move a bipartisan bill forward, Burgess said.

Still, lawmakers will have to iron out major conflicts about the scope of a new law. Representatives of trade groups TechAmerica and the Retail Industry Leaders Association [RILA], as well as database marketing firm Acxiom, called on Congress to preempt the 47 state breach notification laws -- plus those from the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico -- that are already on the books.

Complying with dozens of frequently changing state laws creates a "burdensome and complex compliance regime," said Elizabeth Hyman, executive vice president for public policy at TechAmerica. "A strong, single standard that applies throughout the country will ensure our consumers are safer and ensure our companies are well-informed about how to respond to the growing threat of data breaches."

A "carefully crafted federal data breach law can clear up regulatory confusion" while protecting consumers, added Brian Dodge, RILA's executive vice president for communications and strategic initiatives. Preempting state laws would "allow consumers to have a clear set of expectations" about notifications, he said.

A new national standard should not be a "48th data breach law with which retailers must comply," Dodge added.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Iowa: Broadband committee helping Branstad still sorting issues | Barbara Rodriguez | NewsObserver.com

Iowa: Broadband committee helping Branstad still sorting issues | Barbara Rodriguez | NewsObserver.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As Gov. Terry Branstad prepares to introduce legislation aimed at expanding broadband Internet in Iowa, members of a committee tasked with giving him key recommendations for a bill say it's a complex issue that they're still sorting out.

Members of a broadband committee within the governor's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Advisory Council said they're still deciding what the state's overall goal should be with expanding high-speed Internet, also known as broadband. There are several factors to consider, including whether to focus on Iowa's roughly 20,000 households with no broadband or increasing current broadband speeds in already-connected communities.

Part of the challenge is the shifting national definition on what constitutes high-speed Internet, said John Carver, superintendent of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District in northeast Iowa and co-chair of the committee.

"We're in the infancy of all this stuff," he said.

The committee, which is scheduled to meet in early February to finalize its draft, doesn't have a budget recommendation, said Carver.

That concerns committee member Dave Duncan, also CEO of Iowa Communications Alliance. He noted neighboring states like Nebraska and Minnesota have more defined broadband budgets and time tables. In Nebraska, state officials released a plan last year designed to bring faster broadband to more areas by 2020; a Minnesota law signed last year sets aside $20 million for broadband expansion.

"I'm hopeful that our broadband committee will come together with a recommendation of a goal something like what some of those other states are doing," he said.

Carver said group members have different ideas.

"There will be a consensus on what goes forward, but I don't know if it'll be 100 percent supported by everybody," he said.

Committee members say they will recommend a robust fiber-optic network — a system of cables best placed underground — because it's the best option for a broadband infrastructure with room for higher speeds, said Sen. Steven Sodders, a Democrat from State Center who is also on the committee. He introduced legislation Friday aimed at general expansion plans for the state's fiber-optic network.

Sodders' bill is separate from Branstad's work. He said his bill is aimed at getting the conversation going, but he expects to amend it once the governor's bill is introduced.

Roughly 28 percent of Iowa residents have access to a fiber-optic network, according to 2013 data from the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Sodders expects his proposal on fiber-optic network expansion to take at least three to four years to accomplish.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

The '90s Startup That Terrified Microsoft and Got Americans to Go Online | W. Joseph Campbell | WIRED.com

The '90s Startup That Terrified Microsoft and Got Americans to Go Online | W. Joseph Campbell | WIRED.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nineteen ninety-five was the inaugural year of the 21st century, a clear starting point for contemporary life. It was, proclaimed an exuberant newspaper columnist at the time, “the year the Web started changing lives.”

It was the year when the Internet and the World Wide Web moved from the obscure realm of technophiles and academic researchers to become a household word, the year when the Web went from vague and distant curiosity to a phenomenon that would change the way people work, shop, learn, communicate, and interact.

By 1995, a majority of Americans were using computers at home, at work, or at school, the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press reported. The organization figured that 18 million American homes in 1995 had computers equipped with modems, an increase of 64 percent from 1994. The popularity of the computer and the prevalence of modems helped ignite dramatic growth in internet use in the years following 1995.


Click headline to read more

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FCC Says No Blocking of Wi-Fi Hot Spots, Period | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC Says No Blocking of Wi-Fi Hot Spots, Period | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If the Federal Communications Commission's recent fine of Marriott for blocking guests' use of WiFi hot spots was not enough of a signal, the agency's Enforcement Bureau has put an exclamation point on it: No blocking, period!

That came in an Enforcement Advisory issued by the bureau: "WARNING: WiFi Blocking Is Prohibited: Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hot spots are subject to enforcement action," the advisory said.

The bureau pointed to its consent decree with Marriott, which admitted it had deliberately blocked consumers trying to use their on WiFi hot spots. Marriott said it was for security reasons, but the FCC saw it as trying to force those consumers to pay for the hotel's Wi-Fi service.

"No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner’s Wi-Fi network," the enforcement bureau said. "Such action is illegal, and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties."


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Microsoft throws down the gauntlet in business intelligence | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Tech News

Microsoft throws down the gauntlet in business intelligence | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Microsoft is not content to let Excel define the company’s reputation among the world’s data analysts. That’s the message the company sent on Tuesday when it announced that its PowerBI product is now free. According to a company executive, the move could expand Microsoft’s reach in the business intelligence space by 10 times.

If you’re familiar with PowerBI, you might understand why Microsoft is pitching this as such a big deal. It’s a self-service data analysis tool that’s based on natural language queries and advanced visualization options. It already offers live connections to a handful of popular cloud services, such as Salesforce.com, Marketo and GitHub. It’s delivered as a cloud service, although there’s a downloadable tool that lets users work with data on their laptops and publish the reports to a cloud dashboard.

James Phillips, Microsoft’s general manager for business intelligence, said the company has already had tens of thousands of organizations sign up for PowerBI since it became available in February 2014, and that CEO Satya Nadella opens up a PowerBI dashboard every morning to track certain metrics.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Liberty CEO: Big media deals will get done, but ... | Matthew Belvedere | CNBC.com

Liberty CEO: Big media deals will get done, but ... | Matthew Belvedere | CNBC.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei told CNBC on Wednesday that two proposed megamergers in telecommunications will probably be approved by the government but the concessions the companies may have to make will be the real test.

Maffei was referring to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and the planned AT&T-DirecTV deal. (Comcast owns NBC and CNBC.) Liberty certainly has a stake in how the television and broadband landscape shakes out because of its interest in Charter Communications, which provides video, Internet and telephone services.

"My bet would be that all those deals get done," Maffei said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "What is the set of regulations or restrictions surrounding them and what the acquiring companies have to agree to, that'll be the rub."


Click headline to read more and watch video of CNBC's Squawk Box interview--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

IBM to offer research tech that protects user privacy, security | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com

IBM to offer research tech that protects user privacy, security | Michael Cooney | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

IBM this week said it will offer a technology it says uses a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt the certified identity attributes of a user, protecting privacy and enhancing security.

Known as Identity Mixer the technology basically prevents third parties or those looking to steal personal information from ever accessing such data in the first place by revealing only selected data to service providers.

IBM offers this example: Consider a web-based video streaming service is offering several films that have age restrictions. To stream the 12+ movie, Alice needs to prove that she is at least 12 years of age and that she lives within the appropriate region. The typical way to do this would require Alice to enter her full date of birth and address, but this actually reveals more than is necessary. Identity Mixer can simply confirm that Alice is at least 12 without disclosing the month, date and year of her birth and reveal that she lives in the correct region, i.e. region 1, instead of her full address. This ensures that even if the video streaming service is hacked Alice’s personal data remains safe.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

CenturyLink's much-hyped Twin Cities 1-gig broadband rollout is slow in coming | Julio Ojeda-Zapata | TwinCities.com

CenturyLink's much-hyped Twin Cities 1-gig broadband rollout is slow in coming | Julio Ojeda-Zapata | TwinCities.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Phone company and broadband provider CenturyLink has made much of a new and much-faster home-Internet service, which it said last summer would roll out across portions of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the following months.

Nearly six months later, as CenturyLink bombards local TV viewers with ads that promote the offering -- "What will you do with your gig?" -- the 1-gigabit-per-second service is not yet widely available.

CenturyLink has provided few details about its deployment plans, but does note that pockets of the metro area are now able to order 1-gigabit-service. Sleuthing by tech-savvy locals and address checks on the CenturyLink website appear to confirm this.

But in most of St. Paul, CenturyLink's broadband tops out at about 40 megabits per second -- a fraction of 1 gigabit, or 1,000 megabits, per second. And some residences only qualify for a much-slower service.

The 1-gigabit service would blow away market leader Comcast and most other Twin Cities competitors.

CenturyLink said Tuesday that it expects to be providing the 1-gigabit service to tens of thousands of Twin Cities residents later this year.

Spokeswoman Joanna Hjelmeland said she could not be specific about where this would happen "for proprietary reasons," but added, "we're excited about our progress."

CenturyLink's new service relies on fiber-optic cables, which have to be installed onto telephone poles block by block, and not the older copper-wire conduits already on the poles. CenturyLink is the metro area's primary landline telephone-service provider.

"The process of rolling out 1-gig service is a significant undertaking with network planning and engineering," Hjelmeland said.


Click headline to read more, access hot links and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

The Internet of Things requires the Internet of Everywhere | Zeus Kerravala | NetworkWorld.com

The Internet of Things requires the Internet of Everywhere | Zeus Kerravala | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This week, Cisco Live Europe kicks off in Milan, Italy. The City of Milan is not only the host city for Cisco Live, but also for the World Expo in 2015 when the city will show off its evolution to a smart city. Milan is just the latest city to leverage the power of IoT to transform itself. We've clearly entered the era of IoT, as examples can now be found in any region or any vertical – in other words, everywhere.

However, the rapid acceleration of IoT does raise the question – is the infrastructure, most notably the cloud, really ready for IoT? There's no question that the cloud will play a key role in the success or failure of IoT, but is the cloud ready for IoT? Most cloud computing solutions are single points of computing resources. These are meant to have data backhauled to them so the information can be parsed or analyzed and then sent back to the source.

The existing cloud model was sufficient, although not optimal, when corporate computing was largely centralized, as the cloud was primarily augmentative to on-premises computing. However, with IoT, the cloud isn't the backup or the secondary location, it's the primary compute resource.

Consider a large, distributed enterprise. The business collects data all across the country. If the goal is to gather data locally, analyze the information and make a local decision, does it make sense to backhaul all the data across the country and have it processed thousands of miles away? Centralized computing, like legacy models, can benefit from a centralized cloud. Conversely, a distributed compute environment like IoT requires a distributed cloud.

I actually wrote about the concept of a distributed cloud model from a company called EdgeConneX in this blog last month, although I talked about the value of EdgeConneX being primarily to make the performance or real-time applications better. While IoT isn't really thought of as a "real-time" application like voice and video, the decisions need to be made in real time, so the value proposition still holds true.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Sen. Thune Warns FCC Against 'Desperate' Title II Path | John Eggerton | Multichannel

Sen. Thune Warns FCC Against 'Desperate' Title II Path | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, warns that reclassifying Internet access under Title II regs is a "desperate path" being pushed by a determined FCC chairman and "increasingly imperious" President that would upset the "light-touch" regulatory framework put in place during the Clinton Administration.


That came in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute Wednesday (Jen. 28) outlining tech policy priorities in the year ahead, according to a copy of the prepared text obtained by Multichannel News.

Thune also signaled he would launch an effort to revamp the Communications Act, just as the House has under Republican leadership.

In his speech, Sen. Thune says that Title II would give the FCC unlimited ability to regulate the Internet: "The legal and regulatory uncertainty about what the FCC can and will do, however, has become a major problem for people both at the edge of the Internet and at its core. Congress, however, is the only entity that can settle this uncertainty, and I believe we can do so in a way that will empower the FCC with the strong tools many believe are needed to protect the Internet while simultaneously ensuring the agency is appropriately limited in its reach and authority."


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

MN: 1-gig Internet? Really fast. CenturyLink 1-gig rollout? Really slow | Mark Reilly | Minneapolis / St. Paul Biz Journal

MN: 1-gig Internet? Really fast. CenturyLink 1-gig rollout? Really slow | Mark Reilly | Minneapolis / St. Paul Biz Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The telecom provider has been breathlessly promising super-fast broadband access to Twin Cities homes and small businesses since last fall. But if you're waiting for service in your neighborhood? Don't hold your breath.

That's because Louisiana-based CenturyLink (CTL), the biggest phone provider in the Twin Cities, has wired only a relative handful of areas with the fiber-optic cable that carries the high-speed data, reports the Pioneer Press.

There's no mystery why. Rolling out new cable is really expensive. Wiring the entire market could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and CenturyLink is expanding service in several other cities, too. But for local residents who just want fast Internet, the company's slow pace, and the lack of details on exactly where it will build, make for frustration.

Since the company won't give details, some have taken to building their own maps of 1-gig coverage areas, using data from CenturyLink's website.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

States threaten lawsuit over Obama's municipal broadband plan | Grant Gross | ComputerWorld.com

States threaten lawsuit over Obama's municipal broadband plan | Grant Gross | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission moves to preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband projects, as President Barack Obama recently asked the agency to do, it will likely end up in court.

States affected by an FCC preemption of municipal broadband laws will almost certainly file a lawsuit if the agency moves to invalidate the 20 state laws that limit municipal broadband projects in some way, said legislators from three states and from three group representing state officials.

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving states all power not delegated to the federal government, should make the states' case against the FCC "slam dunk," said Brad Ramsay, general counsel of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners [NARUC]. If a case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, "the FCC will lose," he said during a press conference Monday.

In addition to Obama's request to the FCC, announced this month, cities in North Carolina and Tennessee filed petitions in mid-2014 asking the FCC to overturn laws there limiting municipal broadband projects.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, last June, called on the agency to preempt the state laws "in the best interests of consumers and competition." The FCC is still considering the petitions by the two cities in Tennessee and North Carolina.

An FCC spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comments on a possible lawsuit.

Just last week, three Democratic U.S. senators, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, introduced the Community Broadband Act, which would prevent states from "prohibiting or substantially inhibiting" cities from financing their own broadband networks.

But states have good reasons to put limits on city broadband projects, said state Senator Thomas Alexander, a South Carolina Republican. State legislators want to protect residents from overspending on projects and want to ensure broadband "continuity" across their states, he said.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

MN: Dakota County Broadband 2014 Update: Top marks for anchor tenant access | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Dakota County Broadband 2014 Update: Top marks for anchor tenant access | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For the upcoming weeks I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Dakota County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 258.9
  • Number of Households: 152,060
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 64.18%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 99.9%


I was surprised at the low coverage in Dakota County when mobile is out of the equation. Dakota County has been a standout in terms of building networks to anchor tenants and to other counties. (David Asp has been instrumental in that effort!) Building a county-wide network has saved Dakota County a ton of money in telecom fees alone; they went from $700,000 to $15,000. Dakota County has received awards for its digital efforts.

But at residential level they are still at only 64 percent coverage without wireless. I know they have had plans to work with third party providers in an open access model to provide broadband to local businesses – perhaps that is an option for residential too.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

HealthCare.gov sends personal data to Twitter, Yahoo and Google | Jeremy Kirk | ComputerWorld.com

HealthCare.gov sends personal data to Twitter, Yahoo and Google | Jeremy Kirk | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Information entered into the U.S. government's health insurance website is being passed to companies such as Twitter, Yahoo and Google, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The data includes zip codes, income levels and information about whether people smoke or are pregnant, which users share on HealthCare.gov to get an estimate on the cost of an insurance plan.

The AP's findings were confirmed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which conducted its own tests on Tuesday, said Cooper Quintin, an EFF staff technologist, in a phone interview.

The EFF found that personal health information was sent to 14 third-party domains whose tracking programs are embedded in HealthCare.gov. The domains include those for social media and web analytics companies.

The health data is transmitted in two ways. All 14 domains receive the health data in a referrer, Quintin said. A referrer is information sent from a Web browser that lets another website know what site a person last visited.

In some other cases, the data is embedded in a request string that is sent to the tracking programs, Quintin said. For instance, Google's DoubleClick advertising service receives the data in that way, according to a blog post he wrote.

The worry is that those 14 third-party domains could collect the information and use it to identify users across the Internet for purposes such as targeted advertisements.

"This information, I would say, would be gold for any online advertising company," Quintin said.

There is no evidence that the companies that have trackers are misusing the information, however, and it's unclear if the data is being transmitted intentionally or as the result of an oversight by developers.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Sen. Commerce Committee to Vet Internet of Things | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Sen. Commerce Committee to Vet Internet of Things | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing on the Internet of Things (IoT), a hot topic in Washington, particularly after it was such a hot topic at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

“The Connected World: Examining the Internet of Things" is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 10 a.m.

The Federal Trade Commission Monday released a staff report with recommendations on how to insure the safety and security of personal information in that interconnected Web of communicating devices.

Those included legislative solutions, which the Commerce Committee signaled in announcing the hearing that might not be the best approach.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Alaska: GCI Tries New Twist On Usage-Based Broadband | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel

Alaska: GCI Tries New Twist On Usage-Based Broadband | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

GCI of Alaska has booted up a new set of “No Worries” broadband plans that’s designed to eliminate surprise charges by enabling customers to manage their data consumption through a set of options that become available when they exceed their monthly allotments -- buy buckets of extra data for $10 based on their speed plans, upgrade to a faster tier, or temporarily move to a sub-broadband level of service.

While operators such as Comcast, Suddenlink Communiations and Mediacom Communications are testing or have rolled out usage-based policies that let subs buy a fixed amount of data when they surpass their monthly consumption thresholds (typically $10 for a bucket of 50 Gigabytes), GCI’s new plan lets customers purchase additional gobs of data that are adjusted (in the range of 5 Gigabytes to 30 GB) based on the speed of their current level of service.

By tier, here’s how GCI’s new plans stack up:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FTC's Wright: IoT Report Lacks Cost-Benefit Analysis | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FTC's Wright: IoT Report Lacks Cost-Benefit Analysis | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Trade Commission got plenty of input on its just-released staff report on the Internet of Things (IoT), starting off with Commissioner Joshua Wright; the vote was 4-1 to issue the report, with Wright issuing a dissenting statement..

Wright said his issue was that the staff report included a lengthy discussion of broad-based privacy legislation "without analytical support to establish the likelihood that those practices and recommendations, if adopted, would improve consumer welfare." He also wanted to see more cost-benefit analysis of the legislative recommendations, or best practices recommendations for that matter.

Cost-benefit analysis has been a theme in Washington when it comes to Republicans and proposals for new regulations. "Acknowledging in passing, as the Workshop Report does, that various courses of actions related to the Internet of Things may well have some potential costs and benefits does not come close to passing muster as cost-benefit analysis," Wright said.

The report recommended broad privacy and data security and breach notification legislation, but no specific Internet of Things bills, the latter of which was among the things that pleased the Future of Privacy Forum, though that group had issues with the report's recommendation on data minimization.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.