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Uncle Sam Confronts Climate Change Animation

Uncle Sam Confronts Climate Change Animation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
What this little cartoon makes clear is that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, it’s the water rising all around this nation.
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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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OH: OneCommunity Announces "Big Gig Challenge" Award Recipients | community broadband networks

OH: OneCommunity Announces "Big Gig Challenge" Award Recipients | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last fall, nonprofit ISP OneCommunity created the "Big Gig Challenge" to jump start expansion and promote gigabit applications in northeast Ohio. The organization recently announced the winners and provided some information about their projects.

The West 25th Corridor project, running through Ohio City, Tremont, Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Centre, and Old Brooklyn is a four mile stretch that will affect small business, the Cleveland Clinic, two MetroHealth Systems campuses, and several other large employers. This project also reaches 14 sites that could be developed and over 900 properties. It is a collaborative project that includes four Cleveland Wards.

The Village of Greenwillow plans to expand its existing network and work with private sector business owners and land developers. Likewise, Lorain County Community College will build off its existing network connections to create a community fiber road map. From a press release on the award, as printed in BBC Mag:


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Federal Community Broadband Act proposed to remove state barriers for public networks | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Last week, US Senators Cory Booker, D-NJ, Edward J. Markey, D-Mass, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo introduced the Community Broadband Act to preserve the rights of cities and localities to build municipal broadband networks. It coincides with President Obama’s recent request that the FCC look into removing such barriers.

Here’s what I see as the high level meat of the act

No statute, regulation, or other legal requirement of a State or local government may prohibit, or have the effect of prohibiting or substantially inhibiting, any public provider from providing telecommunications service or advanced telecommunications capability or services to any person or any public or private entity.

And there’s a “safeguard” that might in the end serve private providers as well as public. Perhaps digging from both sides of the tunnel, local governments will find better ways to deal with permitting and rights-of-way


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BAM! The FCC just defined broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News

BAM! The FCC just defined broadband as 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission just took a bold step and redefined broadband as 25 Mbps for downstream speeds and 3 Mbps for upstream speeds a move FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had hinted at earlier this month in a speech at International CES. The definition is a huge jump from the previous definition of broadband as 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, which was the old standard implemented in 2010.

For a measure of how bold this is, consider that the previous standard was only changed in 2008 to define broadband as 786 kbps down up from dial up speeds of 200 kbps down at a time when people were already using services such as Skype. So until this move, the definition of broadband usually lagged the actual broadband speeds the majority of customers were actually offered in the country. But according to the FCC about 20 percent of the country can’t access speeds that meet the new definition, which is why this is so notable.

The FCC’s definition is important because it determines where and what projects can get funding, especially in rural areas, which are those most likely to have slower outdated broadband. The rules are mostly likely to cause problems for DSL providers, notably AT&T, Verizon and smaller companies such as Windstream, CenturyLink and Fairpoint, which have many miles of old copper wires that will now need some kind of upgrade to provide 25 Mbps services to the home.

The FCC’s efforts to promote faster broadband are clearly troubling the industry. The National Communications and Telecommunications Association posted this statement:


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ACA to FCC: No Enhanced Transparency Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

ACA to FCC: No Enhanced Transparency Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The American Cable Association has told the Federal Communications Commission it should not adopt enhanced transparency rules in the new Open Internet order commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to vote on in February. But if the agency proceeds, it should exempt the medium-sized and smaller cable operators ACA represents, and should apply the rules to edge providers.

Transparency rules are the only ones a federal court didn't tell the FCC it had to change when it threw out the old rules last year, but some have pushed the commission to boost the requirements to better guard against violations and help edge providers develop applications.

The ACA said no one has demonstrated that the current rules don't provide sufficient information to determine whether an ISP is discriminating.

Nonetheless, if the FCC imposes enhanced transparency rules, it must exclude smaller operators for whom they would cause "excessive and costly burdens"; instead, the ACA said, the FCC should rely on its current investigation, complaint and enforcement procedures.

The ACA also argued that while enhanced disclosure should not apply to its members, it should extend to all entities, including edge providers, who can also cause congestion for consumers. The vote is set for Feb. 26.


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AT&T CEO Touts Multiscreen Future | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

AT&T CEO Touts Multiscreen Future | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Delivering video to any screen is one of the "primary objectives" AT&T will tackle through its proposed acquisition of DirecTV, a strategy that will factor in alongside AT&T's ongoing pursuit of over-the-top services, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO, said Tuesday during a call to discuss the company’s fourth quarter results.

“When we did this deal [for DirecTV] our customers are demanding video to be delivered across any device,” he said. “So one of the primary objectives we will have coming out of the close of the deal is taking advantage of the [programming distribution] relationships that DirecTV has.”

Part of the vision: Seeing AT&T’s wireless customers “being able to walk out of our stores with content available to them on devices that they have purchased in our store.”

On that note, Stephenson referenced Otter Media, the online video joint venture with The Chernin Group formed last year that recently inked a deal to take a majority stake in Fullscreen, the popular YouTube network targeted to youngsters.

Delivering video to mobile handsets and tablets will be a “high priority,” he said. “It’s going to be a multi-faceted approach in terms of how we bring video to our customers, but we’re looking at multiple channels and channel line-ups that we’d be able to accommodate into our wireless customers both tablet as well as handsets as well as our broadband customer base.”


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AT&T Adds 73,000 U-verse TV Subs In Q4 | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

AT&T Adds 73,000 U-verse TV Subs In Q4 | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Despite the threat of the small but growing cord-cutting, AT&T added video subscribers to the U-verse pile in the fourth quarter of 2014.


AT&T gained subs at a slower rate than it did a year earlier, but those numbers were offset a bit by AT&T’s sale of its Connecticut wireline operations to Frontier Communications.

AT&,T, which is in the process of merging with DirecTV, said it tacked on 73,000 U-verse TV subs, extending that total to nearly 6 million (AT&T had about 197,000 U-verse subs in Connecticut). With the Frontier deal factored in, TV additions were down from an increase of 194,000 U-verse TV subs in the year-ago quarter.

AT&T posted a net gain of 405,000 U-verse high-speed Internet subs, versus 630,000 adds in the year-ago period. AT&T ended 2014 with 12.2 million U-verse broadband customers (the Connecticut properties had about 298,000 U-verse high-speed Internet customers).

Update: AT&T addressed the decline in U-verse subscriber growth on Tuesday's earnings call. “Net adds were impacted by a strategic move to improve the profitability of our wireline consumer business,” AT&T CFO John Stephens said. “With our high content costs we targeted profitable, long-term value subscribers with lower churn rates while still taking market share.”

With non-U-verse DSL included, AT&T said its total wireline broadband sub base declined by 51,000 in the quarter, but was up slightly for all of 2014.

The telco said about 97% of AT&T’s video subs take a bundle, with nearly two-thirds of U-verse TV subs taking three or four services from the company. ARPU for U-verse triple-play customers was just north of $170.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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UT: Google Fiber waiting for move into Salt Lake City | Dan Rascon | KUTV.com

UT: Google Fiber waiting for move into Salt Lake City | Dan Rascon | KUTV.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Could Google Fiber finally be making its way to Salt Lake City? A city spokesperson says yes, as long as it can check off a couple of more items on their list.

It was one year ago that Mayor Ralph Becker and other city officials held a press conference to announce the coveted fiber network had put Salt Lake on it's up and coming list. According to Google, the hair thin glass product could make your internet speeds a hundred times faster.

"We are very close," said Mayor Becker's spokesman Art Raymond. "We are very nearly at the end of that check list. One of the few remaining things to do is to move a piece of legislation to help city code to streamline the processes that would be related to this project."

Right now there are only three cities in the entire country where Google Fiber is up and running. One of those is Provo, the other two are Kansas City and Austin, Texas.

On Tuesday Google added Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham to the list of Potential Fiber sites. Salt Lake remains on the upcoming fiber city list.

"I think it's a good short term solution," said Pete Ashdown the president of XMission, Utah's first internet provider that is headquartered in Salt Lake City. But Ashdown doesn't like the idea that google would hold exclusive rights to the fiber network if they came.

"I would like to see more competition in the market. I'm not just looking out for my own business, but I want to compete in a level playing field and I can't compete against Google," said Ashdown.


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Sub Losses Improve At Time Warner Cable | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Sub Losses Improve At Time Warner Cable | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable, in perhaps its last quarterly earnings release before it is acquired by Comcast, reported its best quarterly subscriber results in seven years, losing just 38,000 basic video customers, well ahead of analysts estimates.

In addition, TWC added 168,000 high-speed data customers and 295,000 phone customers in fourth quarter of 2014, its best-ever period performance with the latter segment.

TWC began implementing its TWC Maxx program in several select markets last year, a factor in the subscriber improvements, according to the company. Already TWC completed the all-digital conversion of its New York and Los Angeles markets and plans to complete the roll out in Austin, Texas in early 2015. TWC Maxx will expand to Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego this year.

“Our fourth quarter marked a strong finish to a really positive year for Time Warner Cable,” chairman and CEO Rob Marcus said in a statement. “As a result of record Q4 subscriber net adds and the investments we made all year in our plant, products and customer care, we enter 2015 with tremendous operating momentum.”

Time Warner agreed to be acquired by Comcast in February and continues to move through the regulatory approval process, which it expected to be completed later this year. In a statement, Marcus said he expects the merger to close “soon,” adding “until then, we remain one hundred percent committed to executing our plan."


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Silk Road paid thousands in shake-downs from malicious hackers | Joab Jackson | NetworkWorld.com

Silk Road paid thousands in shake-downs from malicious hackers | Joab Jackson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When operating outside of the law, you can’t exactly rely on the police to protect your illegal enterprise from other criminals.

The Silk Road marketplace founders likely learned this lesson in 2012 and 2013, after paying thousands of dollars to cyber extortionists who threatened to expose serious site vulnerabilities or hit it with denial of service attacks, according to evidence presented in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

The extortion information emerged during testimony from U.S. Internal Revenue Service special agent Gary Alford, who had subpoenaed the emails of defendant Ross Ulbricht as part of his investigation. Ulbricht is on trial at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for narcotics and criminal enterprise charges in relation to Silk Road.

According to prosecutors, Silk Road facilitated the exchange of $1.2 billion in illegal goods, mostly drugs, and generated $80 million in commissions for the operators from 2011 until October 2013, when the site was shuttered by law enforcement. Like an eBay for unlawful goods, Silk Road matched sellers with buyers, who used bitcoins to pay for goods that were delivered through the mail.

On at least two separate occasions, Silk Road operators paid malicious attackers ransoms in exchange for keeping the site up and secure.


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OneCommunity's Middle Way - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 135 | community broadband networks

OneCommunity's Middle Way - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 135 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

OneCommunity is a nonprofit organization in northeastern Ohio that has connected thousands of community anchor institutions with high capacity connections. Created as OneCleveland before expanding, it has remained a rather unique approach to expanding high quality Internet access. This week, CEO Lev Gonick joins us to talk about OneCommunity and its contributions to the region.

As neither a private company nor a local government, Lev believes that OneCommunity offers a third way, something they often call a "community-driven" approach. We discuss how a big city like Cleveland needs to think about solving the problem of expanding Internet access broadly.

OneCommunity has just announced the recipients of its Big Gig Challenge and Lev shares some of the lessons they learned in evaluating proposals and working with the communities that competed for the prize.

Lev and I will be on a panel together again with some other great folks in Austin for Broadband Communities in the middle of April. Great deal to attend here.


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Comcast/TWC Extend Merger End Date to August | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Comcast/TWC Extend Merger End Date to August | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have agreed to extend the end date of their merger agreement by six months to Aug. 12, 2015.

The companies had initially told the SEC they thought the deal would be completed by the end of 2014 -- actually by Feb. 12, 2015, a year from the deal's announcement -- but as is standard, the agreement also anticipated that an extension might be necessary given that neither company controls the vetting process by the FCC and Justice Department in Washington, and a court challenge to the FCC's protective order had made it essentially a formality unless the parties had decided not to do the deal.

They informed the SEC of their decision to extend in an 8K filing Jan. 28 (http://www.advfn.com/news_Current-Report-Filing-8-k_65278666.html).

The FCC has an informal 180-day shot clock on the deal, which shows its vetting is only on day 122. But that clock dates from when the papers were filed--which did not happen until April-- and has been stopped the clock twice due to document production issues.

The initial end date was Feb. 12, 2014, a date that would have given either party an out if they did not want to continue the deal beyond that. Neither opted for that out.

"Comcast and Time Warner Cable agree that the End Date is hereby extended to August 12, 2015, as contemplated by the Merger Agreement," the companies told the Securities and Exchange Commission."


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MN: Dodge County Broadband 2014 Update: Well covered – maybe due to student entrepreneurship | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Dodge County Broadband 2014 Update: Well covered – maybe due to student entrepreneurship | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

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

  • Household Density: 16.9
  • Number of Households: 7,460
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 99.1%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 99.4%


Dodge County is doing well. It’s sandwiched between Rochester and Owatonna. I suspect that the infrastructure from/for the Mayo Clinic has been helpful to them. They have a number of providers in the are: BevComm, Charter, Citizens Telecom Company (and others). I don’t hear much about the area in terms of broadband – probably because they are so well served. One fun story is about a students at nearby St Olaf College who started a wireless broadband service in 2012…


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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