Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
99.3K views | +100 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

Wheeler 'Optimistic' Both Channel-Sharers Will Be Able to Broadcast in HD | Multichannel.com

Wheeler 'Optimistic' Both Channel-Sharers Will Be Able to Broadcast in HD | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Tuesday he is optimistic that broadcasters who choose to share channels will both be able to broadcast a high-definition signal simultaneously, which he calls a potential game-changer.


Wheeler provided that upbeat assessment in a blog late Tuesday following a visit to noncommercial KLCS Los Angeles, one of two stations --commercial KLJA is the other -- testing channel sharing per a recently granted authorization from the FCC.


Wheeler did not witness that feat, instead seeing the demonstration of one HD stream and seven standard-definition multicast channels. "What’s really exciting," he said, "is that as part of the pilot program with KJLA, KLCS will be test broadcasting two full HD streams of programming over the same channel. If the pilot works as engineers expect it will, this could be a game changer for the concept of channel sharing."


Wheeler was on the West Coast as part of a trip that included speaking at the Silicon Flatirons Center in Boulder. He has been evangelizing the sharing concept with increasing frequency, and made the same points in his blog about the incentive auctions being a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those broadcasters who want to capture the value of their spectrum."


"Channel sharing can allow broadcasters to bolster their balance sheets, reduce capital expenses, and continue their traditional business," he blogged.


Broadcasters have argued that sharing means giving up important spectrum real estate, not only for HD but multicasting and mobile DTV and possibly data offload services.


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!

Comcast hands out "priority assistance" cards to Washington elite | Micha Singleton | The Verge

The controversial Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger hinges on regulatory approval from the FCC and the Department of Justice, both of which are based in Washington, DC. It will come as no surprise that Comcast is trying to ingratiate itself to the DC elite by passing out cards with "priority assistance" codes to select staffers, journalists, and other influential citizens of the nation's capital, which can help expedite service for the select few who posses the cards.

In an excellent report by Luke Mullins of the Washingtonian detailing how former Meet The Press moderator David Gregory lost his job, Mullins notes how Comcast is a much more hands-on corporate parent for NBC than GE ever was. Comcast executives show up to Washington events — something that GE executives rarely did — including the White House Correspondents' Dinner, where Comcast execs "mingled with lawmakers, Capitol Hill aides, and media muckety-mucks."

Comcast also had an even more personal way of sucking up to Washington. Its government-affairs team carried around "We’ll make it right" cards stamped with "priority assistance" codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service.

A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn’t exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable.

As The Verge reported back in August, Comcast has been passing out these cards for years, and the company is using them to target Washington power players, perhaps in the hopes that it will shift negative opinions of the company and its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable that will create an even larger conglomerate which will supply internet access to more than a third of US broadband subscribers.


Click headline to read more--

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

46 Connecticut Cities And Towns Join Ultra-High-Speed Internet Project | Gregory Hladky | Hartford Courant

46 Connecticut Cities And Towns Join Ultra-High-Speed Internet Project | Gregory Hladky | Hartford Courant | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A total of 46 Connecticut cities and towns have now signed on to a project to bring ultra-high-speed Internet service to their communities, according to state Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz.

The goal is to provide Internet service connections that are as much as 100 times faster than what Connecticut Internet users now have. Advocates of the project say ultra-speedy World Wide Web service has triggered dramatic economic growth in several of the U.S. cities already.

New Haven, Stamford and West Hartford leaders joined with state officials in September to announce the plan, and they invited other Connecticut municipalities to get on board the effort to bring upgraded Internet service to the state.

“The response from the state’s towns has been overwhelming,” Katz said in a prepared statement Friday. “I’ve heard over and over that municipal officials are frustrated with available Internet speeds and the cost to their towns of upgrading Internet networks.”

“That so many Connecticut cities have joined this effort is heartening and confirms for me the pent-up demand for high-capacity digital connectivity in support of commerce, research and 21st Century life in our state,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

The next step in the project is to obtain formal proposals from Internet service providers interested in taking part in the cooperative public-private effort. Those proposals are due to be handed in by Jan. 13 to New Haven’s city purchasing department, which is administering the project.

William Vallee, who is the Office of Consumer Counsel’s broadband policy coordinator, said two international investment banks have already expressed interest in becoming involved with the high-speed Internet project. One of those financial institutions, Macquarie Bank, is also an owner of Aquarion Company, Connecticut’s largest water company, Vallee said.


Click headline to read more--

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

Finland Abolishes Copyright Levies On Digital Devices | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com

Finland Abolishes Copyright Levies On Digital Devices |  Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we've noted before, copyright levies -- effectively a tax on blank storage media -- are becoming ever-more anachronistic and unworkable. So it's good to hear about a country doing the sensible thing and getting rid of them entirely (pdf):

Finland is the latest EU member state to scrap levies on digital devices, following similar moves in Spain and the UK. The Finnish Parliament on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to replace a levies system that has existed since 1984 with the creation of a government fund designed to compensate artists for private copying of content such as music and movies.

That's from a press release issued by the lobby group Digital Europe, which describes itself as follows:

Digital Europe represents the digital technology industry in Europe. Our members include some of the world's largest IT, telecoms and consumer electronics companies and national associations from every part of Europe. Digital Europe wants European businesses and citizens to benefit fully from digital technologies and for Europe to grow, attract and sustain the world's best digital technology companies.

Given its background, it's hardly surprising that Digital Europe hopes that Finland's decision is part of a wider move:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

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

Netflix upload traffic mysteriously grows to 9.5% of all upstream bandwidth use in North America: This could negatively affect 4K streaming | Stephan Jukic | 4K.com

Netflix upload traffic mysteriously grows to 9.5% of all upstream bandwidth use in North America: This could negatively affect 4K streaming | Stephan Jukic | 4K.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix is truly an internet entertainment giant. During peak entertainment viewing hours, the company’s steams make up a full third of all the bits transmitted to internet users throughout North America who use fixed connections like cable, DSL, fiber or satellite internet connectivity. The one exception to this is actually the cellular internet network, where not nearly as much content streaming from the company is going on for reasons of practicality.

Furthermore, Netflix users also send a huge amount of data back upstream as it turns out. According to a recent Internet usage report by researchers at consumer bandwidth product maker Sandvine, the total Netflix take of upsteam traffic during peak hours is also a very sizeable 9.8% of all North American upstream traffic over the same fixed internet services mentioned above.

This is second only to the traffic generated by BitTorrent, at 25.49%.

Sandvine defines these peak hours as occurring at roughly 7 to 11pm each evening, in other words, when network use is within 95% of its total daily maximum.

What’s interesting about the report isn’t so much that Netflix is a major hog of both upload and download traffic, this is something that’s already been well known and established for some time. Instead, what does call attention is the odd fact that the upload quantity has increased in the newest measurements while downloads have remained relatively stable.

And the upload increase is quite substantial. Since the last measurement earlier in the year, in which it was at 6.44%, it has increased by more than a third while downloads have only gone up by a fraction of a percent from 34.21 to 34.89% in that same timeframe.

Of course, this change could also be temporary since it has fluctuated in past instances during previous years.

Overall, download traffic is the much heavier load on bandwidth than upload traffic and while users in the U.S uploaded an average of 8.5GB during the latest Sandvine measurement, total downloads in the same time averaged about 48.9GB.

As for the question of how users of Netflix upload so much data, well the answer lies in what are called ACK packets. These are data networking signals passed from users connected machines as a means of signifying acknowledgement of received data (Netflix content in this case).

This process occurs every time that Netflix connects client devices to its own servers and the client system then sends an ACK packet back to recognize the connection.


Click headline to read more--

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

Telecoms Seize IP Transition to Enhance Services | USTelecom

Technology is transforming traditional business models and bringing unprecedented innovation to digital consumers. To take advantage of the multiple changes underway as today’s communications systems transition to Internet Protocol (IP)- based networks, eWeek reports that telecom providers such as AT&T and Verizon are providing a variety of data services to customers to stay competitive and ahead of the curve in this fast-moving marketplace.

The migration to IP is supporting significant data-driven options, from cloud-based services to mobile banking and machine-to-machine communication, as well as improving the network and software systems needed to support them.


Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which offers high levels of voice and data capacity and frees up bandwidth, is playing an increasing role in these developments. VoLTE encompasses a number of multifaceted capabilities including voice, video and messaging integrated into a single service to attract more customers.


Patrick Kelly, founder of Appledore Research in Boston, noted: "As operators look to roll out new services like VoLTE, video and others …there's this transformation within their infrastructures, where they say, ‘OK, we need to move to deploying application-based services based on the value of that content.’ So if it's video, you're actually aligning that service to the value that's being delivered to the consumer and the enterprise customer."


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

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

Google, Wireless Industry Not Down With Marriott’s Wi-Fi Blocking Plan | Amy Schatz | Re/Code.net

Google, Wireless Industry Not Down With Marriott’s Wi-Fi Blocking Plan | Amy Schatz | Re/Code.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Microsoft and Google don’t agree on much, but they’ve presented a united front against the hotel industry, which is trying to convince government regulators to give them the option of blocking guests from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots.

The tech companies recently joined the wireless industry’s lobbying group and a handful of other parties in opposing the hotel industry’s petition, which seeks the Federal Communications Commission’s permission to block personal Wi-Fi networks on their properties.

This summer, the American Hospitality & Lodging Association and Marriott International asked the FCC to declare that a hotel operator can use equipment to manage its network even if it “may result in ‘interference with or cause interference’ to a [wireless device] being used by a guest on the operator’s property.”

“Wi-Fi network operators should be able to manage their networks in order to provide a secure and reliable Wi-Fi service to guests on their premises,” they argued.

At the time, Marriott was under investigation for a March 2013 consumer complaint for allegedly blocking guests from using their smartphones as personal Wi-Fi hotspots in the convention space at Opryland.

The Marriott-owned Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center tech staff was using a monitoring system that de-authenticated guests’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots. Meanwhile, the hotel was charging exhibitors and attendees anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for Wi-Fi service, the FCC said.

In October, Marriott settled an FCC complaint about the practice for $600,000 but argued that it hadn’t broken the law and was using technology to protect guests from “rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber attacks and identity theft.”

A month later, the agency asked for comments on Marriott’s earlier request to find such Wi-Fi blocking legal.

“Hilton could not meet its guests’ expectations were it unable to manage its Wi-Fi networks, including taking steps to protect against unauthorized access points that pose a threat to the reliability and security of that network,” Hilton Worldwide wrote in support of Marriott and the hotel industry’s request made public Monday.

Opponents of the proposal basically argued in filings late Monday that the hotel industry is just trying to keep guests and exhibitors dependent on pricy hotel wireless networks. They suggested hotels have other options for protecting Wi-Fi networks than jamming personal hotspots.


Click headline to read more--

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

Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing from Facebook search results | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com

Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing from Facebook search results | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As first reported by Reuters on December 12, Facebook has stopped showing Microsoft Bing search results within Facebook.

Instead, Facebook is now using its own search technology, which is focused on searching Facebook content, rather than Bing.

Microsoft and Facebook officials have both confirmed the switch has happened and that Facebook is no longer showing Bing Web search results in Facebook search. Microsoft execs have said the two companies will continue to partner in other areas.

Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook in 2007. The two companies have worked together on a variety of projects, including advertising initiatives, as well as a deal to incorporate Facebook data into Bing search results.

As of 2013, Facebook was not using Bing to power Facebook's graph search. At that time, Facebook still was using Bing to generate Web search results last year.


Click headline to read more--

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

Fort Wayne, IN: Cable providers wait | Paul Wyche | Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne, IN: Cable providers wait | Paul Wyche | Journal Gazette | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The stakes are high: 2.5 million customers in 11 states, including Indiana.

But before Comcast Corp.’s heir apparent, GreatLand Connections Inc., can take over there’s the little – and controversial – matter of Comcast’s pending $45 billion takeover bid of Time Warner Cable Inc.

Comcast announced plans in February to acquire Time Warner. Comcast agreed to shed subscribers to appease regulatory concern that the acquisition would create a monopoly. That’s how GreatLand was born. Or at least, conceived. But until the Federal Communications Commission gives its blessing on the Comcast-Time Warner deal, GreatLand can’t move forward.

And opposition to the Comcast-Time Warner union has grown in recent weeks. So much so that a FCC decision isn’t likely until early next year. Both sides hoped to have it done by year’s end.

As part of the deal, Comcast shareholders would own 67 percent of GreatLand, while Charter Communications Inc. shareholders would have the remaining 33 percent. Charter’s role in the company is a bit of a consolation prize as it also courted Time Warner.

In September, officials trumpeted the arrival of GreatLand with its new CEO Michael Willner and his promise of “connecting people and businesses with terrific products and excellent service.” Willner, a 40-year cable industry veteran and former CEO of Time Warner subsidiary Insight Communications, was short on details when Comcast made the GreatLand announcement.

Regional Comcast officials sat down with The Journal Gazette in October saying subscribers shouldn’t expect any snags as they’re transitioned to GreatLand.

Communications have quieted since.

Comcast declined to comment for this story, citing concerns over the ongoing regulatory review of the Time Warner merger, announced in February.


Click headline to read more--

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

North Korea's Internet is having serious problems | Russell Brandon | The Verge

North Korea is having serious connectivity issues this morning, North Korea Tech reports. The country has extremely limited web infrastructure to begin with, but reports from Dyn indicate the country's infrastructure has suffered a series of major outages over the past 24 hours.


As a result, anyone at a North Korean IP would have found it nearly impossible to connect to the web. "I haven’t seen such a steady beat of routing instability and outages in KP before," said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Dyn Research, told North Korea Tech. "Usually there are isolated blips, not continuous connectivity problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are absorbing some sort of attack presently."


The premise is particularly relevant given recent statements by President Obama, which promised a "proportional response" to the recent attack on Sony.


Click headline to read more--

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

Does Comcast Really Reach Out to Poor People? | Todd Shields | Bloomberg.com

Does Comcast Really Reach Out to Poor People? | Todd Shields | Bloomberg.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As he defended Comcast Corp.’s latest proposed acquisition before U.S. senators, a top company executive showcased the cable provider’s cut-rate broadband service for poor families.

“An amazing success,” David Cohen, who handles government affairs for Comcast, said during an April hearing on his company’s $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable Inc.

Comcast is dangling the promise of expanding the program -- and helping to close the digital divide that sees one in four U.S. households without an Internet connection -- as U.S. regulators decide whether to allow the merger.

Yet programs by Comcast and other cable companies offering cheap Internet aren’t benefiting enough low-income families, critics say. Comcast’s Internet Essentials, the biggest, has reached 350,000 households -- or about 13 percent of those eligible, according to one estimate. Cox Communications Inc., which has the capacity to provide service to 10 million homes, reports 15,000 subscribers. Time Warner Cable dropped its $9.95 offer after a year.

The programs have tight eligibility criteria and balky signup procedures, where they exist at all, its detractors say.

“Everybody would like to pretend they’re doing something,” said Harold Feld, senior vice president with the Washington-based policy group Public Knowledge. “Cable has not done anything real in this space.”

The cable industry bristles at such comments.

“It’s unfortunate that people look at efforts like this to connect low-income families to an important service and find ways to criticize it,” said Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the largest cable trade group.

Critics such as Feld say cable companies use the programs as bargaining chips when they want something from government. Internet Essentials was a three-year commitment made in 2011 as part of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal.

Comcast extended the program indefinitely in March when Cohen, executive vice president, met with Federal Communications Commission officials to plead on behalf of the bid for Time Warner Cable.

“Bribing the FCC for three years with a cheap broadband program is fine, but that doesn’t solve the problem,” said Feld. “They only did it as a merger condition.”


Click headline to read more--

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

MN: Rural Iron Range to get $7.7 million broadband boost | John Myers | TwinCities.com

Efforts to bring fiber-optic cable for broadband high-speed Internet to rural areas of the Iron Range will get a boost today from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

The IRRRB is set to approve a $1.5 million grant to White Township, part of a $4.8 million project by Northeast Service Cooperative and Frontier Communications to expand fiber-optic services across remote parts of the region.

The project will result in about 97 miles of new cable directly serving 23 town halls and fire halls, and will extend high-speed service to 2,262 Frontier subscribers in 13 townships.

A total of 9,400 "underserved households" will have the opportunity to hook up to Internet service offering speeds exceeding the state's goal as it seeks to bring broadband to residents in all regions.

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development is adding $2.4 million for the effort, with Frontier kicking in $750,000 and Northeast Service Cooperative $150,000.

Townships served by the project include Birch Lake, Embarrass, Fall Lake, Greenwood, Industrial, Kelsey, Morse, Northland, Silver Creek, Toivola, Waasa and two unorganized townships in northern St. Louis County.

The fiber-optic grant is one of dozens totaling nearly $7.7 million expected to be doled out by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board today in Eveleth.


Click headline to read more--

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

Judge questions evidence on whether NSA spying is too broad | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld.com

Judge questions evidence on whether NSA spying is too broad | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A federal judge on Friday questioned the strength of a key lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government’s Internet surveillance program known as “upstream” data collection.

Judge Jeffrey White heard oral arguments by attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the suit, and the government, during a hearing in a federal district court in Oakland, California. The EFF says its suit is the first challenge in public court to the government’s upstream data program, which copies online data from the main cables connecting Internet networks around the world.

The EFF first filed its suit in 2008 after an AT&T technician provided evidence that the company routed copies of its Internet traffic records to the NSA.

The National Security Agency program is unconstitutional because it collects communications, including content such as email, of people without ties to issues of national security, EFF attorney Richard Wiebe told the judge. That’s an overly broad dragnet that violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, he said.

U.S. Justice Department attorney James Gilligan did not deny the government taps the Internet’s backbone to gather data. But the government uses filtering mechanisms to automatically destroy certain communications records within milliseconds, he said.

Judge White could declare the upstream collection program unconstitutional, a ruling the government would probably appeal. But on Friday, he questioned whether there was enough evidence on either side to say whether the program is constitutional.

The judge’s ruling might take months, judging from the number and complexity of questions he asked Friday.


Click headline to read more--

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

Tor warns of possible disruption of network through server seizures | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com

Tor warns of possible disruption of network through server seizures | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Tor project said it could face attempts to incapacitate its network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers.

The project did not name the group or agency that may try to seize its directory authorities, which guide Tor users on the list of distributed relays on the network that bounce communications around.

“We are taking steps now to ensure the safety of our users, and our system is already built to be redundant so that users maintain anonymity even if the network is attacked. Tor remains safe to use,” wrote “arma” in a post Friday on the Tor project blog. The “arma” developer handle is generally associated with project leader Roger Dingledine.

Rather than take a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network, designed to mask people’s Internet use, take a random path through several relays that cover user tracks.

Unless an adversary can control a majority of the directory authorities, he can’t trick the Tor client into using other Tor relays, according to the Tor project website. There are nine directory authorities spread across the U.S. and Europe, according to arma.

There were no reports of a seizure by late Sunday. The project promised to update the blog and its Twitter account with new information.

Users who live under repressive regimes look to Tor as a way to escape surveillance and censorship. But the network has also been used by illegal websites including online sellers of drugs, like the underground drug market Silk Road. A second version of the market, Silk Road 2.0, was launched a few weeks after the first was seized by law enforcement in October 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Millions use the Tor network at their local Internet cafe to stay safe for ordinary Web browsing, as also banks, diplomatic officials, members of law enforcement, bloggers and others, according to the Tor project.


Click headline to read more--

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

Governor Cuomo's $500m broadband push to start in January | Will Brunelle | Capital New York

Governor Cuomo's $500m broadband push to start in January | Will Brunelle | Capital New York | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $500 million broadband expansion program is set to get underway after his 2015 State of the State address, said David Salway, director of the New York State Broadband Program office.

The expansion, announced Oct. 8, would create a “NY Broadband Fund” that would offer grants to any broadband company that offers to match public funding to expand and improve existing infrastructure.

The program will aim to accelerate economic development, according to the press release accompanying the announcement, which cited “the growth of the technology sector, education’s shift toward digital learning, and and the increase in consumer demand for greater internet connectivity at home” as the spurs for its development.

Salway will oversee development of the proposal’s blueprint and timeline.


In a Wednesday interview with Capital, he said the broadband fund will follow the same guidelines established by Cuomo’s 2012 “Connect NY Fund,” which initially offered $25 million in grants for largely the same purpose. That program operated as a public-private partnership, in which the state worked with vendors and companies to implement upgrades and expand services.


Salway said the broadband program office aims to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2018, and said this “unprecedented” effort has made Cuomo a “national leader” in expanding broadband services.


Click headline to read more--

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

Facebook should stop cooperating with Russian government censorship | Ilya Somin | WashPost.com

Facebook should stop cooperating with Russian government censorship | Ilya Somin | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Washington Post reports that Facebook has complied with a Russian government demand to block access to a page supporting Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny:

In a sign of new limits on Facebook’s ability to serve as a platform for political opposition movements, Russian users appear to have been blocked from accessing a page calling for a protest in support of a prominent dissident.

In 2011, Facebook was hailed by opposition movements during the Arab Spring and in Russia as a powerful new tool to spread information beyond the control of repressive governments. That may no longer be the case, at least not in Russia. Russian Internet regulators said Saturday that they had sent Facebook a “demand” that it block access to a page calling for a demonstration in support of Alexei Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin….

“At the moment, the demand” to block the page “is being fulfilled” by Facebook, Vadim Ampelonsky, a spokesman for the Russian Internet regulator, told the Interfax news service.

Facebook should be ashamed of cooperating with this demand for censorship by Russia’s repressive government, and should rescind that cooperation immediately. In fairness, the Post article quotes a Facebook spokeswoman to the effect that the company is studying the matter. But she didn’t deny the Russian government’s claim that Facebook has “fulfilled” its demand, and the site does indeed seem to be blocked for Russian users.


Click headline to read more--

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

Notice the Difference? New Canadian Internet Copyright Rules for ISPs Set to Launch | Michael Geist Blog

Notice the Difference? New Canadian Internet Copyright Rules for ISPs Set to Launch | Michael Geist Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The longstanding debate over how Internet providers should respond to allegations of copyright infringement by their subscribers was resolved in Canada several years ago with the adoption of a “notice and notice” system. Unlike countries that require content takedowns without court oversight or even contemplate cutting off subscriber Internet access, the Canadian approach, which has operated informally for over a decade but will kick in as the law in 2015, seeks to balance the interests of copyright holders, the privacy rights of Internet users, and the legal obligations of Internet providers.

The result is a system that has proven effective in raising public awareness about copyright, while safeguarding the identities of Internet subscribers, providing legal certainty to Internet providers, and leaving potential legal actions to the courts.

Under the notice-and-notice system, copyright owners are entitled to send infringement notices to Internet providers, who are legally required to forward the notifications to their subscribers. The notices must include details on the sender, the copyright works and the alleged infringement. If the Internet provider fails to forward the notification, it must explain why or face the prospect of damages that run as high as $10,000. Internet providers must also retain information on the subscriber for six months (or 12 months if court proceedings are launched).

For Internet providers, the system creates significant costs for processing and forwarding notices. However, assuming they meet their obligations of forwarding the notice, the law grants them a legal “safe harbour” that removes potential liability for actions of their subscribers.

There are important benefits for Internet users as well. First, unlike the content takedown or access cut-off systems, the Canadian notice approach does not feature any legal penalties. The notices do not create any fines or damages, but rather are designed as educational tools to raise awareness of infringement allegations.

Second, the personal information of subscribers is not disclosed to the copyright owner. When the Internet provider forwards the copyright notice, only they know the identity of the subscriber and that information is not disclosed to any third party.

If the copyright owner is unhappy with only sending a notification and wants to proceed with further legal action, they must go to court to obtain an order requiring the Internet provider to reveal the identity of the subscriber. Canadian courts have established strict rules and limitations around such disclosures.


Click headline to read more--

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

Title II means $15B in consumer fees? "Baloney"! | Brian Santo | CED Magazine

Title II means $15B in consumer fees? "Baloney"! | Brian Santo | CED Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The fight over telecom regulation is finally getting as bitter as it was destined to become, with the two FCC Commissioners of the minority party yesterday excoriating Chairman Tom Wheeler for antidemocratic “antics,” and a prominent U.S. Senator today calling the communications industry’s bluster about consumer fees ballooning up to $15 billion “baloney.”

The communications industry pulled off a nice feat 15 years ago convincing Congress and the FCC at the time that Internet communications are not communications. The result was that broadband communications/not-communications have been subject to what the industry calls a “light touch” and which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calls negligible oversight.

No matter how you phrase it, broadband is largely unregulated, leaving barely any legal framework available to force broadband providers who misbehave to comply with any rules of any sort. This is the reason why it’s been so hard to make any network neutrality principles stick to any company that hasn’t agreed to them as part of a bargain for approval of a megamerger.

And all along, communications companies have been redirecting all of their services into IP pipes, so that even the ones that used to fall under Title II will end up almost completely unregulated.

Wheeler started a year ago from this position: work with the FCC to create some reasonable regulatory framework for broadband; a failure to do so would leave him little choice but to try to apply Title II to broadband.

The industry preferred a fight over Title II, a sensible tactical maneuver if it’s against any new regulation at all.

So Wheeler invoked Title II. Communications companies responded by saying they might be compelled to stop investing in their networks if Title II regulation were to be considered. They even drafted letters echoing that sentiment and gave them to their suppliers to sign. Who could refuse?

But the threats smacked of extortion – “we’ll hold the economy hostage if you do this.” Worse, investors began to question if it’s just dangerously stupid for companies whose value hinges largely on operating advanced networks to stop investing in their networks. The industry has been forced in recent weeks to walk back that argument.

As that industry threat got undermined, the industry found a new one: Title II regulation would inevitably lead to increased regulatory fees that would be passed on to consumers. Those fees could total up to as much as $15 billion.

Sen. Ron Wyden published a blog post today saying not just that that won’t happen, but that it can’t.


Click headline to read more--

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

Why campaigns won’t stop using our data: Because the data says we like it | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

Why campaigns won’t stop using our data: Because the data says we like it | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Recent revelations about how the ride-on-demand company Uber handles the records of its users was a healthy reminder of just how much data about each one of us is floating around out in the world.

Including, that is, inside the computers of political professionals. Campaigns and political groups today have deep troves of data on us. And tech-savvy political practitioners say that while they, too, worry about data abuse, they're not about to give up figuring out clever ways to use that information. Why?

Because the data shows that we actually really, really like it when they do.

"We take great measures to protect the information we collect," Matt Compton, the digital director at the Democratic National Committee, said recently, of the data the DNC has on where we live, which candidates we've supported, what issues we care about.

But, Compton was quick to add, "in a lot of cases people like to be reminded about the information that they've shared with us."

How so?


Click headline to read more--

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

FTC chides BabyBus for tracking babies | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com

FTC chides BabyBus for tracking babies | Paul McNamara | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Trade Commission today has made public its contention that BabyBus, a China-based maker of mobile software designed for the youngest of the young, appears to be violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal information without permission.

From an FTC press release:

In the letter (to BabyBus), the FTC notes that it appears the child-directed applications marketed by the company, BabyBus, appear to collect precise geolocation information about users. The letter notes that the company does not get parents’ consent before collecting children’s personal information, which would appear to violate the COPPA Rule.

The letter notes that the applications, available on the Apple App Store, Amazon App Store and Google Play, have been downloaded millions of times. The apps are clearly directed to children from ages one to six, including apps that teach letters, numbers and shapes. The letter was also sent to the three application marketplaces.

The COPPA Rule requires companies collecting personal information from children under 13 to post clear privacy policies and to notify parents and get their consent before collecting or sharing any information from a child. The rule was revised in 2013 to adapt to the growth of mobile technology aimed at children.

If it’s the alleged collection of “precise geolocation information” that has the FTC concerned, well, there would appear to be little need to use the word alleged. From the privacy statement on the BabyBus website:


Click headline to read more--

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

Seattle, WA: A behind-the-scenes tour of the technology at Husky Stadium | Taylor Soper | Geek Wire

Seattle, WA: A behind-the-scenes tour of the technology at Husky Stadium | Taylor Soper | Geek Wire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Some of the renovations made to the University of Washington’s new Husky Stadium in Seattle are easily noticeable. There is no longer a track separating the first row of fans from the field. There are many, many more concession stands and bathrooms. And those rickety wooden bleachers have finally been replaced.

Other changes, though, are more difficult to point out — namely, the massive under-the-hood technology upgrades that have turned Husky Stadium into one of the more geeky places in the world to play football.

We had a chance to attend a UW game last month to find out what’s different from a technology perspective at Husky Stadium, which re-opened in the fall of 2013 after a one-year, $250 million renovation.

For starters, the university installed a Cisco-based network that isn’t even comparable to what existed in the old stadium.

“Now we have the Ferrari of networks,” said Trevor Baglien, who’s in his 17th year directing the IT team at the UW’s athletic department. “The old stadium would probably be a Yugo.”

There are now 15 or so networks responsible for running a variety of services on game day, from the 674 TVs around the stadium to the point-of-sale systems used by concessions to the actual Internet provided for the media and athletic department employees.

This has enabled the athletic department to offer new amenities to fans, like finally allowing credit card payments at concession stands, for example, or streaming content with a new IPTV system to the flat-screen TVs installed all around the stadium.

Jonathan Soriano, the design director of digital displays, is responsible for managing the content that shows up on those TVs — concession menu items, in-game replays, statistics, advertisements, etc.


Click headline to read more and view the pix gallery--

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

Report: Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age | Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson & Jennifer Connolly | PewInternet.org

Report: Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age | Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson & Jennifer Connolly | PewInternet.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The age of gigabit connectivity is dawning and will advance in coming years. The only question is how quickly it might become widespread. A gigabit connection can deliver 1,000 megabits of information per second (Mbps). Globally, cloud service provider Akamai reports that the average global connection speed in quarter one of 2014 was 3.9 Mbps, with South Korea reporting the highest average connection speed, 23.6 Mbps and the US at 10.5 Mbps.

In some respects, gigabit connectivity is not a new development. The US scientific community has been using hyper-fast networks for several years, changing the pace of data sharing and enabling levels of collaboration in scientific disciplines that were unimaginable a generation ago.

Gigabit speeds for the “average Internet user” are just arriving in select areas of the world. In the US, Google ran a competition in 2010 for communities to pitch themselves for the construction of the first Google Fiber network running at 1 gigabit per second—Internet speeds 50-100 times faster than the majority of Americans now enjoy. Kansas City was chosen among 1,100 entrants and residents are now signing up for the service. The firm has announced plans to build a gigabit network in Austin, Texas, and perhaps 34 other communities.In response, AT&T has said it expects to begin building gigabit networks in up to 100 US cities.


The cities of Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Bristol, Virginia, have super speedy networks, and pockets of gigabit connectivity are in use in parts of Las Vegas, Omaha, Santa Monica, and several Vermont communities.


There are also other regional efforts: Falcon Broadband in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Brooklyn Fiber in New York; Monkey Brains in San Francisco; MINET Fiber in Oregon; Wicked Fiber in Lawrence, Kansas; and Sonic.net in California, among others.


NewWave expects to launch gigabit connections in 2015 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri Monroe, Rayville, Delhi; and Tallulah, Louisiana, and Suddenlink Communications has launched Operation GigaSpeed.

In 2014, Google and Verizon were among the innovators announcing that they are testing the capabilities for currently installed fiber networks to carry data even more efficiently—at 10 gigabits per second—to businesses that handle large amounts of Internet traffic.

To explore the possibilities of the next leap in connectivity we asked thousands of experts and Internet builders to share their thoughts about likely new Internet activities and applications that might emerge in the gigabit age.


Click headline to read more and access hot link to report--

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

Big Broadband's Hail Mary To Stop The FCC: Have Congress Pretend To Do Its Job | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Big Broadband's Hail Mary To Stop The FCC: Have Congress Pretend To Do Its Job | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we've clearly stated in the past, having the FCC reclassify broadband as a common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act is not the perfect solution to the net neutrality question, but it's the best of a bunch of bad options. A theoretically good Congress would step in with a rewrite to the law to update it for the times.


As we noted in that link above, there were two problems with this idea of a Congressional rewrite: (1) Congress isn't particularly functional and (2) lobbying dollars might make the end result worse.


Two interesting things have happened in the past couple of months. First, having the FCC reclassify broadband under Title II went from a pipe dream -- which it absolutely was at the beginning of the year -- to quite likely (especially following President Obama's official support for reclassification). Second, the Republicans won Congress in the election.


As we've noted, for reasons that don't fully make sense, net neutrality has become a (stupidly) bitterly partisan issue, with Republicans against it and Democrats for it. This is true despite Republican and Democrat voters alike being overwhelmingly in favor of net neutrality.

So, with a Republican-controlled Congress, it appears that the plan is to actually try to do a rewrite of communications law, with the stated goal of legislating net neutrality -- even to the point (it's claimed) of supporting President Obama's requested net neutrality rules:


Click headline to read more--

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

NYC: Harlem leader in technology to lead data-driven commission | Jan Ransom | NY Daily News

NYC: Harlem leader in technology to lead data-driven commission | Jan Ransom | NY Daily News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Technically, he’s the right guy for the job.

The city’s borough presidents have appointed Clayton Banks, founder of Silicon Harlem, to the Commission on Public Information and Communications.

The commission, founded in 1989 and chaired by the city’s Public Advocate, is tasked with helping New York City residents obtain the city’s public information and providing recommendations to city agencies on how to improve access to data.

The 11-member commission has been mostly inactive in previous years, having held only two meetings since its inception.

But Banks — who Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer called a “leader at the crossroads of technology, communications and the civic space” — hopes to turn the board around.

“We can turn (the data) into ways to improve the quality of life,” Banks said. “That’s the essence of it.”

Through Silicon Harlem, Banks has worked to make Harlem a go-to destination for technology. He also heads Ember Media, a development group that builds digital solutions and interactive applications for major brands and nonprofits.

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

Google Fiber Roll Out in 33 Cities Put on Hold | Aaron Mamiit | TechTimes.com

Google Fiber Roll Out in 33 Cities Put on Hold | Aaron Mamiit | TechTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google sent out some bad news to dozens of cities that are currently waiting for the company to launch Google Fiber, Google's gigabit Internet service that promises super-fast connections to the Internet that are 100 times faster compared to the connections of the average American home.

Google insisted for months that it would be making a decision within the year for when nine areas will be hooked up to Google Fiber, However, Google's new announcement revealed that the decision will be made after the turn of the year.

"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," said a spokesperson for Google.

"While we were hoping to have an update for cities before the holidays, we have a bit more work to wrap up," the spokesperson added. "We'll be back in touch sometime early next year."

The nine areas that have been put on hold for receiving Google Fiber are Atlanta, San Jose in California, Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh in North Carolina, Portland in Oregon, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio. These nine metro areas collectively include 33 cities.

Google Fiber has only been made available in three locations so far, namely Austin, Kansas City and Provo, Utah.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, Google has learned to be a bit more methodical in rolling out Google Fiber in other cities. The experiences with the three locations where the service is already available have taught the company to first have the officials of each city completely understand what Google Fiber brings to their locations early on in the process.

Google Fiber business development director Jill Szuchmacher compared working with certain cities to "getting married without having ever dated," highlighting the need to have several conversations between Google and city officials up front.

Szuchmacher added that Google Fiber will also be doing checks on infrastructure that Google Fiber will use, saying that there will be no excavations needed on streets if such infrastructure is already available.


Click headline to read more--

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

Staples says hack may have compromised 1 million-plus payment cards | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld.com

Staples says hack may have compromised 1 million-plus payment cards | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The data breach at the Staples office-supply chain may have affected roughly 1.16 million payment cards as criminals deployed malware to point-of-sale systems at 115 stores, the company said Friday.

The affected stores cover 35 states from California to Connecticut, according to a list Staples released Friday. The chain has more than 1,400 stores in the U.S.

The malware, which allowed the theft of debit and credit card data, was removed in mid-September upon detection, Staples said. The retailer had previously confirmed the incident in October. A previous report from security researcher Brian Krebs around that time cited fraudulent transactions traced to cards that were used for purchases at Staples stores in the Northeastern U.S., but apparently the attack was much wider than that.

The malware may have allowed access to transaction data including cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes, for purchases made between Aug. 10 and Sept. 16, Staples said Friday.

At two of the stores, the malware may have involved purchases over an even longer period, from July 20 through Sept. 16. Staples has posted a list of all the stores involved on its site.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.