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Apply now to get funding for rural broadband pilot programs | MuniWireless.com

Apply now to get funding for rural broadband pilot programs | MuniWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Attention ISPs and community advocates!


The FCC has created a Rural Broadband Trials Program whose goal is to bring high-speed Internet access to those areas of rural America that still suffer from abominable broadband service.


You can apply now to participate in this program and help solve this problem.


You should submit an Expression of Interest and if approved, the FCC will allocate money to fund your project.  


Below are instructions on how to apply for this program.


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NY: Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership launches new program to assist young startups | Matthew Biddle | University at Buffalo

NY: Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership launches new program to assist young startups | Matthew Biddle | University at Buffalo | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Early-stage entrepreneurs can learn how to transform their ideas into a successful business, thanks to a new program in the University at Buffalo School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL).

The Startup CEL program will provide specialized support and guidance to young, innovation-driven companies as they navigate the complex pathway to commercializing their product, service or technology.

Startup CEL will launch this February in partnership with Ignite, the business development program of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) Inc., and UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS).

“At the CEL, we proudly support entrepreneurs as they launch, grow and sustain successful businesses that create jobs and invigorate our regional economy,” says Thomas Ulbrich, assistant dean and executive director of the CEL. “For individuals who are just beginning to take their ideas to market, the Startup CEL program will provide crucial knowledge and strategic insights, as well as a valuable support network of entrepreneurs, to increase their probability for success.”

Using the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, the Startup CEL program will offer a comprehensive, integrated and proven step-by-step approach to creating innovative, highly successful products. Participants will learn to understand their customer, focus on key market opportunities, overcome obstacles, scale a business and understand and communicate with potential investors.

The BNMC and Ignite will provide workspace at both the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center and at dig, a co-working space designed to help entrepreneurs form, refine and launch their business ideas. In addition, Ignite will provide mentoring, networking and collaboration opportunities, and help identify potential class participants through its relationship with entrepreneurs working at the Innovation Center, dig and other facilities on the medical campus and in the community.


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US agency sues Sprint for alleged unauthorized charges | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

US agency sues Sprint for alleged unauthorized charges | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a lawsuit accusing Sprint of illegally billing mobile customers for tens of millions[m] of dollars in unauthorized third-party charges.

Sprint operated a billing system that allowed third parties to cram unauthorized charges on customers’ mobile bills and ignored complaints about the charges, the CFPB alleged in its complaint.

The complaint from the CFPB, an agency established by Congress in 2010 to protect customers of the U.S. financial sector, mirrors complaints made by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and 51 state-level governments against AT&T earlier this year. In October, AT&T agreed to pay US $105 million[m] to settle those complaints of similar unauthorized third-party charges.

As the use of mobile payments grows, the CFPB will hold mobile carriers accountable for “illegal” third-party billing, CFPB Director Richard Cordray[cq] said. “Consumers ended up paying tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges, even though many of them had no idea that third parties could even place charges on their bills,” he said in a statement.


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Nextel to invest USD1bn in Brazil in 2015 | TeleGeography.com

Nextel Brasil is set to double its 2015 CAPEX to USD1 billion as it extends its mobile network to around 200 new cities next year, on top of the 497 covered at present.


In order to facilitate its goals, Alfonso de Orbegoso, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs, confirmed that Nextel has inked a five-year network sharing agreement with fellow mobile operator Vivo – a deal which is expected to be initiated before the end of the year.


In addition, Orbegoso told Telesintese that Nextel is still interested in acquiring the vacated 1800MHz frequencies previously held by the now-defunct Unicel in Sao Paulo state.

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Report: Masschusetts labor force growth aiding economic prospects | Michael Norton | WWLP.com

Report: Masschusetts labor force growth aiding economic prospects | Michael Norton | WWLP.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

.Massachusetts has the fastest growing population among northeastern states, according to a report released Tuesday that called that development “striking” and a contributing factor to a growing labor force and optimism about the state’s economic prospects.

The MassBenchmarks report, summarizing the recent sentiments of area economists, attributed the growing population and labor force to international immigration and a “lower level of domestic net outmigration than has been experienced in recent recoveries.”

MassBenchmarks co-editor Michael Goodman, director of the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth, said that compared to previous post-recession periods, fewer people have moved out of Massachusetts. There’s been a simultaneous increase in international immigration.

“It’s definitely been a boost to our growth,” Goodman told the News Service. “It’s certainly a good sign.”

According to the population estimates program at the UMass Donahue Institute, Massachusetts is growing twice as fast as the Northeast region on average, and faster than any other Northeast state, based on data for the year ending July 1, 2013. An institute official said a fresh batch of annual population data is due out later this month.

“While Massachusetts shows a reasonable rate of natural increase compared to other Northeastern states, it’s total positive migration – specifically the large number of international in-migrants offsetting a relatively small number of domestic out-migrants – explains why the state leads the region in growth,” institute officials wrote in a summary of the most recently available population data.

Among other reasons for optimism about the state’s economic track, because experts noted state gross product growth has “kept pace with strong national growth for the past two quarters,” and said consumers have more money and businesses face lower costs of falling oil and gas prices. One MassBenchmarks editorial board member estimated that half a percentage point might be added to the national economic growth rate this year because of lower oil prices.

Massachusetts software, information technology and staffing services sectors are “doing well,” according to MassBenchmarks, while wages are rising “modestly” and the state is getting a lift from the national economic expansion marked by the addition of more than 300,000 jobs in October and upward revisions of job growth in August and September.


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Vodafone to launch US MVNO; UK firm to partner with T-Mobile | TeleGeography.com

UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group has announced plans to re-enter the US mobile market through its Vodafone Americas subsidiary, and will operate as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), piggybacking on the network of T-Mobile US.


The new service is expected to launch in late 2015 and will target the company’s more than 400 multinational customers based in the US, as well as another 500 multinationals based outside of the country, but with a ‘strong US presence,’ it said.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, earlier this year Vodafone completed the sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for USD130 billion, ending its long-running partnership with the US mobile market leader. Vodafone gained its stake in Verizon Wireless back in April 2000 following the September 1999 tie-up between UK-based Vodafone Air Touch (now Vodafone Group) and Bell Atlantic Mobile (now Verizon).

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Comcast Increases Internet Speeds in Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Denver and Colorado Springs | MarketWatch.com

Comcast Increases Internet Speeds in Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Denver and Colorado Springs | MarketWatch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast today announced that it has increased Internet speeds for residential customers in Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle as well as those living in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs.

Specifically, the company has increased the download speeds of three service tiers: “Performance” now offers speeds up to 50 Mbps, up from 25 Mbps; “Blast” is now 105 Mbps, up from 50 Mbps; and “Extreme 105” has been bumped to 150 Mbps. These improvements come at no additional cost to the customer.

“We want our customers to have a great online experience whether they’re streaming video, posting photos or just checking email,” said Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Data and Communications Services, Comcast. “The speed of your Internet service is an important contributing factor to that experience and nationally, we’ve increased our Internet speeds 13 times in the last 12 years. Today, about half of all our customers subscribe to speeds faster than 50 Mbps.”

For most customers, the speed increases will go into effect automatically over the next few days but for those who want more immediate access, they can simply re-start their modem. Comcast will notify those customers who may need to upgrade their hardware to receive the increased speeds. This also will come at no additional cost to customers who lease their modems from Comcast.

The changes impact customers in the Portland, OR, Salt Lake City, UT and Seattle, WA markets as well as those in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs, CO.


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SpaceCurve rethinks databases for the real-time geospatial era | Joab Jackson | ComputerWorld.com

SpaceCurve rethinks databases for the real-time geospatial era | Joab Jackson | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Even though systems such as Hadoop and Spark can grapple with large amounts of data, their tools for analyzing and parsing this information efficiently and in real-time are still limited. A two-year old Seattle startup called SpaceCurve on Tuesday will release a new database system aimed to speed the process of analyzing location-oriented data as it is being generated.

"We're in a position to fuse spatial data that is very complex and difficult to work with," said SpaceCurve CEO Dane Coyer. The software can "continuously ingest high-volume geospatial data" and allow users to query and monitor the information.

About 80 percent of data has some sort of geospatial component, IT analyst firm Gartner estimates. Yet few enterprise software tools are equipped to make the most of this data, Coyer said.

Traditional databases and even newer big data processing systems aren't really optimized to quickly analyze such data, even though most all systems have some geospatial support. And although there are no shortage of geographic information systems, they aren't equipped to handle the immense volumes of sensor data that could be produced by Internet-of-things-style sensor networks, Coyer said.

The SpaceCurve development team developed a set of geometric computational algorithms that simplifies the parsing of geographic data. They also built the core database engine from scratch, and designed it to run across multiple servers in parallel.

As a result, SpaceCurve, unlike big data systems such as Hadoop, can perform queries on real-time streams of data, and do so at a fraction of the cost of in-memory analysis systems such as Oracle's TimesTen, Coyer said.


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T-Mobile’s new Data Stash plan doesn’t let workers share data | Matt Hamblen | ComputerWorld.com

T-Mobile’s new Data Stash plan doesn’t let workers share data | Matt Hamblen | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

T-Mobile today unveiled a monthly data rollover plan for consumers and business customers called "Data Stash," but the plan still won't allow workers to share their data with others in a work group.

Data Stash works much the same way for users who have a Simple Choice plan (or Simple Choice for Business Value Plan) and have purchased 3GB or more of LTE data per month for smartphones and 1GB or more for tablets.

T-Mobile will give those existing customers, as well as new customers, 10GB of free LTE data in January. The data must be used by the end of 2015, and once it's gone, each month of unused data in a plan can be rolled over monhtly for up to a year.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere described data rollover as a high priority for customers, noting that they asked on Twitter in 2014 more than 40,000 times for such a program. And Legere bashed rivals like AT&T and Verizon Wireless who don't offer such a program, contending that $50 billion annually is lost by wireless customers who have paid for data but then see it disappear at the end of the month when it doesn't roll over.

"We're putting an end to this appalling industry practice today," he said.

Even so, Data Stash won't let workers share their data allotments with other workers in a group, as T-Mobile describes on its Web site: "Our data plans are specific to the person, so businesses aren't wasting time and effort tracking everyone's usage. In other words, this is not a shared data option."


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Knight Foundation: Net Neutrality Report | KnightFoundation.org

Knight Foundation: Net Neutrality Report | KnightFoundation.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The debate over regulation of the Internet may be one of the most important of our day. Companies that have invested billions in Internet infrastructure contend that they need the ability to manage their networks, prioritizing some content over others to maintain service, and charging for higher speeds.

Advocates of net neutrality see the Internet as a utility, essential for individual learning, working, civic participation and free expression, as well as economic competition and innovation – too important to have fast lanes and slow lanes, with the fastest speeds going to the highest bidder.

The debate intensified this year, when the Federal Communications Commission invited public comment on new proposed regulations that stop short of the standards demanded by net neutrality advocates. The call elicited 3.7 million comments, as well as a storm of debate on Twitter and an avalanche of press coverage. Subsequently, President Barack Obama aligned with net neutrality supporters, but the new rules remain to be written.

The technical complexity of Internet regulation, and lack of direct historical precedent, make it difficult to engage the public in an informed debate and develop regulations that will remain effective over time. To tackle these challenges, both policymakers and citizens need to better understand public opinion, amid a torrent of organized advocacy from both sides. Knight Foundation partnered with Quid, a data analytics firm, to separate the signal from the noise.


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FCC: 84 MHz Is Reserve, Not Projection | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC: 84 MHz Is Reserve, Not Projection | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Officials clarified Monday (Dec. 15) that the 84 MHz spectrum/1.25 per pop clearing target in the just-issued public notice on the incentive auction rules is a proposed minimum reserve for a successful auction, not a projection of how much spectrum the FCC expects to clear in the auction.

According to officials speaking on background, suggestions that those targets were a change from the Greenhill report's $1.50 per pop and 126 MHz numbers was not correct.

The Greenhill numbers—which were provided to broadcasters as a best-case payout scenario—were meant to be a high-end business case for broadcasters to consider, they said, while the 84 Mhz/$1.25 per pop numbers were meant to be a "stick in the ground" minimum for the auction to close and return "fair value for the taxpayer," not a prediction of where the auction was going to end up.


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FCC Seeks More Info From AT&T on DirecTV Deal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Seeks More Info From AT&T on DirecTV Deal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC has asked AT&T for even more information on its proposed merger with DirecTV, suggesting that some of the earlier information did not quite compute and asking for clarifications if they were inaccurate.

In a follow-up to a Sept. 9 request for data, the FCC sent a request Monday asking for answers to some supplemental questions by Dec. 22.

For example, the FCC says that AT&T's population density calculations do not correlate "appropriately" for one-square-mile increments, as requested.

It also seeks further info on broadband speed calculations, expected data rates, cell sites and other broadband-related questions. There are also follow-up questions about churn rates and pricing.

The FCC is currently vetting the proposed deal, but likely won't complete its review until at least the second quarter of 2015.


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Wi-Fi most important hotel feature, survey says | Patrick Nelson | NetworkWorld.com

Wi-Fi most important hotel feature, survey says | Patrick Nelson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I’m going to age myself here by recalling for you the days and nights I have spent crawling around under hotel beds attempting to hack phone jacks. That grubby activity was in order to connect my then-glamorous 1989-launched Sharp Wizard PDA, or Personal Data Assistant.


This scrabbling and dubious-sounding enterprise was so that I could access pre-web CompuServe, the first major commercial online service. I used it to read home news in the room. It was a pursuit that was otherwise unattainable in those days.

The alligator clips, a number of fried modems—digital switchboards introduced around then killed modems—and an acoustic coupler, along with the Wizard itself, have long been assigned to the computer dump in the sky. Ah, fond memories.

Connectivity, duh?

But fast forward, because for many years now, I have chosen abodes based on laid-on Internet availability.

So I was delighted to see that, 25 years after my misspent youth phone-jack hacking, that the hospitality industry has finally twigged that it’s connectivity we nomads are after.

Finally, a hotel chain has gotten around to asking customers whether they think Internet is important or not. And—surprise, surprise—the answer is a resounding yes.

And what’s more, not only are the customers saying it’s important, but they reckon it’s more important than anything else, including, it sounds, chocolate on the pillow. Which in my experience only gets in your hair by morning anyway.

UK four-star hotel chain Amba Hotels found that 67% of the 1,000 users it polled thought free Wi-Fi was the most important factor when choosing a hotel. It was more important than a good night’s sleep, which came in at 58%, and friendly, knowledgeable staff, at a lackadaisical 40%.

Free Wi-Fi was, in fact, roughly on par with location. Location was in at 65%.

Drilling down, the numbers re-enforce travel folklore:


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Why Comcast's pro-net neutrality ads are totally disingenuous | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com

Why Comcast's pro-net neutrality ads are totally disingenuous | Fredric Paul | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Everyone knows what it means to whitewash unpleasant facts, and in recent years we've become accustomed to the term “greenwashing” to describe companies claiming to be environmentally friendly when they’re really not.

Well, Comcast seems intent on creating the need for a new term—“netwashing,” perhaps—to account for its totally disingenuous commitment to "a free and open Internet."

I happened across a television commercial last weekend and literally could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. Comcast, the biggest of the ISP boogiemen, repeatedly voted the worst company in America, is actually claiming to support net neutrality? Really?

Well, that depends on how you define “net neutrality,” not to mention “support,” doesn’t it? The company says “We're for an Open Internet for all to create more innovation and competition.” And it notes that it’s “the only company in America legally bound by the 2010 FCC’s Open Internet rules.”

Wow. Just…wow.

Comcast is actually bragging about being such a threat to net neutrality via its 2010 takeover of NBC/Universal that regulators had to single it out for special rules. When those rules expire in 2018, however, Comcast has been clear that it won’t commit to continuing to follow them, only that it will comply with the relevant rules at the time. Sorry, but you don’t get a medal just for promising not to break the law.

And is Comcast really treating all data “fairly and equally,” as it claims in its hideously patronizing video?


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Suing Arista was always the plan | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com

Suing Arista was always the plan | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Suing Arista was always the plan. It appears there was no intention to attempt to negotiate a royalty arrangement with the company after Cisco discovered potential infringement of its patents and copyrighted material.

CEO John Chambers didn’t answer our question last week on whether Cisco did indeed attempt to hammer out a royalty deal with Arista. He said he couldn’t comment on litigation, but that the company was surprised by statements from Arista executives on how they didn’t have to re-invent existing technology in order to achieve its current success in data center switching, among other remarks.

His non-answer was enough to convince us no such alternative was even considered. The bad blood between Arista CEO Jayshree Ullal and Cisco/Insieme marketing VP Soni Jiandani is well known. There may be some resentment between Chambers and Arista Chairman and Chief Development Officer Andreas Bechtolsheim as well; Andy served as vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Gigabit Systems Business Unit, developers of the Catalyst 4500 line, from 1996 to 2003.

Indeed, our belief is that Cisco was ready to file suit against Arista back in June as the company was set to go public. But perhaps due to the bad PR implications of trying to derail the IPO, Cisco delayed its suits until this month, which was no accident.

Cisco's suits came two days after expiration of the 180-day lockup period on Arista, the time in which company insiders are prohibited from selling shares immediately following an IPO. If insiders flood the market with Arista stock it may cause a significant decrease in its value; being sued by Cisco would undoubtedly sink it even deeper.


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Claro Argentina pays USD281.5m for 3G, 4G licences | TeleGeography.com

Argentinian regulatory duo the Secretaria de Comunicaciones (SeCom) and the Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones (CNC) have confirmed that Claro Argentina has paid USD281.49 million for the 3G and 4G-suitable spectrum that it was awarded in the government’s recent frequency auction.


While the licence fees attributed to rival cellcos Telecom Argentina (Personal) and Movistar Argentina have yet to be formally divulged by the authorities, local business site Ambito Financiero has reported that the former will pay USD410.78 million, with the last-named due to pay USD209.14 million.


Movistar opted not to bid for 3G spectrum, while Personal acquired supplementary regional frequencies in the 850MHz band, hence the disparity in licence fees. The spectrum awarded to the fourth and final bidder, media conglomerate Arlink (Grupo Uno), has yet to be confirmed by the regulators.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, winners of the 4G spectrum are required to provide coverage of all localities with more than 500 inhabitants (around 98% of the population) within five years, with the licences valid for a period of 15 years.

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American Express Creates New Technology Hub in Silicon Valley | MarketWatch.com

American Express Creates New Technology Hub in Silicon Valley | MarketWatch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

American Express today announced the opening of a new technology hub in Palo Alto, expanding its presence in Silicon Valley. The new team being assembled will focus on innovations in big data, cloud computing and mobile infrastructure.

“Technology innovation is driving the company’s ongoing digital transformation, and our team in Silicon Valley is focusing on core capabilities that we expect to be key to our ability to continue to innovate and move our business forward,” said Marc Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “By developing infrastructure and frameworks to be used broadly across the organization, the team in Palo Alto will play a crucial role in our global business growth and future success.”

Chief Technology Officer Nik Sathe, who previously served in executive roles at Google and PayPal, overseeing the development of digital payments capabilities and platforms, will be the senior executive based at the Palo Alto hub.

Over time, American Express expects to employ some 200 individuals in the Palo Alto hub. The company chose the location, in part, to cultivate the technology talent building their skills locally at technology firms, in the start-up community and at area universities.


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US Cellular sells 595 towers to Vertical Bridge for USD159m | TeleGeography.com

Chicago-based US Cellular, the United States’ fifth largest mobile network operator by subscribers, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vertical Bridge Holdings to sell 595 towers for approximately USD159 million.


Wells Fargo Securities and TD Securities served as financial advisors to US Cellular on the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.


Alexander L Gellman, CEO of Vertical Bridge, commented: ‘Vertical Bridge is excited to acquire this portfolio of towers in large metropolitan markets. Many of these sites are in locations that would be very difficult to replace.’

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The 3 Big Myths that Are Holding Back America’s Internet | Susan Crawford | Backchannel | Medium.com

The 3 Big Myths that Are Holding Back America's Internet - Backchannel - Medium

Back in 2001, then newly minted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman (and now top cable industry lobbyist) Michael Powell was asked a question about the digital divide.

He quipped, “I think there is a Mercedes divide. I would like to have one, but I can’t afford one.” The talking point hasn’t changed: Last week I met with a telecom industry investor who is completely unconvinced that there is anything wrong with the state of high-speed Internet access in America. He looked me right in the eye and said, “Sure, I’d like a Ferrari too.”

The staying power of the “it’s like a luxury vehicle” meme in the minds of those who fervently support the status quo got me thinking. It’s the end of the calendar year — the time when our need for summing-up expresses itself in a flowering of lists.


So here’s my list of the Three Great Myths about U.S. Internet access. Go to any meeting on high-speed Internet access policy and you’ll hear these lines.


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Comcast Still Blocking HBO Go On Third Party Devices, Never Bothers To Explain Why | Karl Bode | Techdirt.com

Comcast Still Blocking HBO Go On Third Party Devices, Never Bothers To Explain Why | Karl Bode | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the more dubious Comcast practices brought up by opponents of Comcast's planned $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable is the cable giant's sluggish refusal to support certain internet video services and platforms running over its broadband network.


Case in point is the HBO Go app on Roku, which Comcast hasn't supported since around 2011 or so for no coherent reason. To get the app to work, it needs to simply authenticate with the cable provider to prove you are a cable subscriber (since, at least until next year, there's no HBO Go standalone option).

Much smaller cable companies haven't had a problem in getting this to work, but Comcast, with its limited resources, somehow just can't seem to spend the time. Roku's neutrality filing with the FCC expressed concern that cable authentication systems could be used as yet another way gatekeepers could extract tolls from streaming services.


As we noted when Comcast similarly refused to support HBO Go on the Playstation 3, the company -- when it can be bothered to comment on the issue at all -- usually trots out the excuse that getting this stuff to work is well, gosh -- time consuming:


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Podcasts Are Great, But Don’t Count AM/FM Radio Out Just Yet | Seth Stevenson | Slate.com

Podcasts Are Great, But Don’t Count AM/FM Radio Out Just Yet | Seth Stevenson | Slate.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As part of this rah-rah, decennial pep rally for podcasting, I’ve been assigned to ponder the grim future of terrestrial radio. You know—AM/FM. That stuff your parents used to tune in with the old-fashioned knobs on their cars’ dashboards. Antiquated call letters. Staticky Eagles songs. Brontosaurish broadcast towers rusting away on forgotten hillsides.

“Can radio even survive?” asked my editor, gazing dreamily into the middle distance. “No one listens to it anymore. What will become of those radio airwaves now that podcasts have taken over the world?”

His concern is sweet. But terrestrial radio doesn’t need his pity. At least not yet. According to Pew’s State of the Media report from earlier this year, in 2013 a full 91 percent of Americans 12 and up listened to traditional radio at least once per week. That number is barely changed from 2012, or for that matter from 2002. America still tunes in.


Yes, I know, you and your buddies are deeply into Serial, you haven’t listened to FM in years, corporate radio sucks. But people like you do not reflect the actual state of the marketplace. And frankly, Jeff Smulyan is getting mighty sick of your podcast triumphalism.


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Dish Network Adds Netflix To Set-Top Box | Jon Lafayette | Broadcasting & Cable

Dish Network Adds Netflix To Set-Top Box | Jon Lafayette | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dish Network said it will integrate the Netflix app into its set-top box, making it easy for subscribers to access programming from the streaming service.

Netflix has already been eating away at viewership of traditional broadcast and cable TV networks. Easier access through a multichannel video programming distributor will increase its ubiquity.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Pairing Netflix with Hopper represents the consolidation of two incredible video experiences,” Vivek Khemka, Dish senior VP of product management, said in a statement. “This app integration eliminates the need to switch television inputs to access content on varying devices. It gives our customers easy access to their favorite shows and movies, on both Dish and Netflix, without ever having to leave their Hopper.”

Dish said the app will begin to rollout to customers with its second-generation Hopper DVR throughout the day.


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FCC Seeks More Input On Responsibility For Closed Captioning | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC Seeks More Input On Responsibility For Closed Captioning | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC is seeking additional comment on how it should proceed if it decides to extend some of the responsibility for complying with closed captioning beyond broadcasters and TV stations to the programming's producers.

In February, the FCC adopted new rules governing closed captioning quality.

The item consisted of an order on the standards, a declaratory ruling clarifying various issues, including on VOD captioning, and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that teed up the question of just who is responsible for insuring caption accuracy, as well as whether quantitative standards are also needed.

The further notice was tied in part to the observation by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association that "The creation and delivery of good quality captions is not solely within the control of any one entity and often requires coordination and execution among many connected parties in the video delivery chain.”

The comments the FCC sought included whether to make programmers share responsibility. In response, the FCC said, commenters raised some concerns that it wants to get yet more input on.


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Sunlight: Anti-Net Neutrality Comments Dominate Second Round | John Eggerton | Multichannel

Sunlight: Anti-Net Neutrality Comments Dominate Second Round | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Sunlight Foundation's analysis of the second batch of network neutrality comments released by the FCC in October found that it was dominated by opponents to net neutrality rules, but Sunlight also says that was due to the docket's inundation by form letters orchestrated by a single group.

Its analysis back in September of the first round of comments, which the FCC released in August, found that less than 1% of the comments were clearly opposed to net neutrality, with at least 60% of the comments from form letters, though it said that volume was actually low for "high-volume" regulatory dockets, which certainly describes the FCC net neutrality docket. It had more than 4 million comments, a record for the commission.

In the second tranche of comments, whose analysis Sunlight released Tuesday (Dec. 16), 60% of the comments opposed network neutrality, the group said, which came almost entirely from letters generated by American Commitment (56.5% of the anti-net neutrality comments). Only about 1% of non-form letters opposed network neutrality.

American Commitment does feature a "Stop Obama's Internet Takeover" campaign prominently on its website.

Combining both rounds, Sunlight found that 41% of the total comments submitted were anti-net neutrality, with the rest either pro or with no clear opinion. All told, about 79% of the comments came in form letters.

Opposition to paid priority was a common theme in those form letters, including ones generated by FreePress, BattleForTheNet, Credo, Daily Kos and the Sierra Club.

Title II was a popular topic in the second round of comments, not surprising given the concerted push by network neutrality activists to reclassify Internet access under that common carrier regulatory regime. The phrases "common carrier," “title II,” and “public utility” occurred in about half of the comments in the second tranche.

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New England security group shares threat intelligence, strives to bolster region as cybersecurity mecca | John Dix | NetworkWorld.com

New England security group shares threat intelligence, strives to bolster region as cybersecurity mecca | John Dix | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) is a three year old organization with a bold mission to “bring together industry, university, and government organizations to address the most advanced cyber threats” and drive cybersecurity R&D in the New England region.


Network World editor in Chief John Dix attended their most recent meeting in Boston and later tracked down ACSC Executive Director Charlie Benway and ACSC Board Chair William Guenther (CEO and Founder of Mass Insight) for a deep dive on the organization’s goals.


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Sony hackers turn to terror tactics, threaten movie theaters | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com

Sony hackers turn to terror tactics, threaten movie theaters | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The hackers who attacked Sony Pictures have apparently moved on to a new tactic: attempting to spread fear among the general public.

In a message on Tuesday, the hackers allude to attacks on movie theaters showing “The Interview.”

Due to open Dec. 25, the movie is a comedy about celebrity TV interviewers sent to North Korea on a secret mission to kill leader Kim Jong Un. It has some speculating that North Korean hackers were behind the attack on Sony.

“We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” the message said.

Whoever wrote the email doesn’t appear to know that the premiere of the movie already happened, last week in Los Angeles, without incident.

“The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001,” it said. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

The threat, whether credible or not, grabbed the attention of some media outlets.

Variety screamed “Sony Hackers Threaten 9/11 Attack on Movie Theaters That Screen ‘The Interview’,” The Daily Beast said, “Sony Hackers Issue 9/11 Warning” and The Verge turned the threat toward moviegoers rather than theaters and reported, “Sony hackers threaten terror attacks against people who see The Interview in theaters.”

The message was reportedly accompanied by what appears to be a new leak of documents, this time related to Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment.

Hackers had previously promised they would release a “Christmas gift” and said the latest documents were the first part of that data dump.


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