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Why Apple Added Little-Known C Spire as an iPhone Carrier ...

Why Apple Added Little-Known C Spire as an iPhone Carrier ... | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

“C Spire, a small, regional carrier that’s popular in Mississippi and pockets of the Southeast, offers Apple access to a region typically neglected by the larger carriers.  It’s hard to resist that Southern charm and provides the potential for additional growth away from the urban centers Apple already dominates,” John Feland, CEO of analytics firm Argus Insights, says.

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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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The Internet's Original Sin | Ethan Zuckerman | The Atlantic

The Internet's Original Sin | Ethan Zuckerman | The Atlantic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ron Carlson’s short story “What We Wanted To Do” takes the form of an apology from a villager who failed to protect his comrades from marauding Visigoths. It begins:


"What we wanted to do was spill boiling oil onto the heads of our enemies as they attempted to bang down the gates of our village. But as everyone now knows, we had some problems, primarily technical problems, that prevented us from doing what we wanted to do the way we had hoped to do it. What we’re asking for today is another chance."


There’s little suspense in the story—the disastrous outcome is obvious from the first paragraph—but it works because of the poignancy of the apology. All of us have screwed up situations in our lives so badly that we’ve been forced to explain our actions by reminding everyone of our good intentions. It’s obvious now that what we did was a fiasco, so let me remind you that what we wanted to do was something brave and noble.


The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, “free as in beer” constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference.Cegłowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.


The talk is hilarious and insightful, and poignant precisely for the reasons Carlson’s story is. The internet spies at us at every twist and turn not because Zuckerberg, Brin, and Page are scheming, sinister masterminds, but due to good intentions gone awry. With apologies to Carlson:


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Another One Bites the Dust -- Microsoft Leaves ALEC | Common Cause

Another One Bites the Dust -- Microsoft Leaves ALEC | Common Cause | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Microsoft, one of the nation’s largest corporations, has ended its membership and support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive corporate lobbying group. Microsoft had been a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force. 


Here is Microsoft’s statement regarding its ALEC membership:


“As we discussed, in 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC. With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC…we are no longer members of ALEC and do not provide the organization with financial support of any kind.”


Microsoft’s message was sent to The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott and Coolidge and Walden Asset Management. The Sustainability Group is a Boston-based socially responsible investment group that had questioned Microsoft’s ALEC membership in light of the company’s expressed support of renewable energy.


Microsoft joins more than 90 private sector members, including major corporations like Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble, that have dumped ALEC. The exodus was triggered by public exposure beginning in 2011 of ALEC’s carefully-hidden efforts to write and secure passage of legislation including “Stand Your Ground” bills, restrictive voter ID requirements, anti-union measures, and  proposals blocking the development of renewable energy.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, named for Microsoft’s founder, stopped financially supporting ALEC in 2012; over 400 state legislators have also dropped their affiliation with ALEC.


Common Cause has filed a tax whistleblower complaint against ALEC with the Internal Revenue Service, charging the group with masquerading as a charity and violating the terms of its nonprofit status by underreporting its lobbying activity.

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Frontier Communications Promises Gigabit Broadband Will Be Available… to Almost Nobody | Stop the Cap!

Frontier Communications Promises Gigabit Broadband Will Be Available… to Almost Nobody | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Frontier Communications has jumped on the gigabit broadband promises bandwagon with an announcement to investors the company will make available 1,000Mbps broadband speeds available later this year to a small handful of customers.


“I want to note that nearly 10% of our households are served through a fiber to the home architecture,” said Frontier’s chief operating officer Dan McCarthy. “Over the next several quarters we will introduce expanded speed offerings in select markets including 50-100Mbps services. Some residential areas will also be able to purchase up to 1Gbps broadband service. We are excited to bring these new products to market and look forward to making these choices available to our customers.”


Most of Frontier’s fiber customers are part of the FiOS fiber to the home infrastructure Frontier adopted from Verizon in Fort Wayne, Ind., and in parts of Oregon and Washington. The rest of Frontier customers accessing service over fiber are in a few new housing developments and some multi-dwelling units. The majority of customers continue to be served by copper-based facilities.


Despite the speed challenges imposed by distance-sensitive DSL over copper networks, Frontier customers crave faster speeds and more than one-third of Frontier’s sales in the last quarter have come from speed upgrades. As of this month, 54% of Frontier households can receive 20Mbps or greater speed, 75% can get 12Mbps and 83% can get 6Mbps. Here at Stop the Cap! headquarters, little has changed since 2009, with maximum available Frontier DSL speeds in this Rochester, N.Y. suburban neighborhood still maxing out at a less-impressive 3.1Mbps.


Frontier’s plans for the next three months include a growing number of partnerships with third-party equipment manufacturers and software companies, as well as integrating former AT&T service areas in Connecticut into the Frontier family:


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With New Delivery Service, Uber Declares War on Google and Amazon | WIRED.com

With New Delivery Service, Uber Declares War on Google and Amazon | WIRED.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Uber is already an expert in getting you from door-to-door. Now, the company wants to figure out how to deliver stuff to your door as well.


On Tuesday, Uber announced a pilot program for what it calls Uber Corner Store, a service that would allow Uber users in the Washington D.C. area to get staple items like toothpaste and bandages delivered from local stores. According to a blog post, the program will only last a few weeks, but it hints at CEO Travis Kalanick’s long-term vision for Uber, which is to transform the company from a pure transportation play into a full-fledged logistics company.


Uber has never been one to back down from a fight. Since its earliest days, it has wrestled with regulators and fought dirty with competitors like Lyft. But all of that may be child’s play compared to what could come next. With Corner Store, the five-year-old startup could be setting itself up for an all-out war with two of tech’s superpowers: Google and Amazon.


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Kicking the stool out from under the cybercrime economy | Grant Hatchimonji | NetworkWorld.com

Kicking the stool out from under the cybercrime economy | Grant Hatchimonji | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Put simply, cybercrime, especially financial malware, has the potential to be quite the lucrative affair. That's only because the bad guys have the tools to make their work quick and easy, though. Cripple the automated processes presented by certain malware platforms, and suddenly the threats -- and the losses --aren't quite so serious.


CSO Online had the opportunity to chat with Shape Security's senior threat researcher, Wade Williamson, at this year's Black Hat conference, and he offered a brief background of these types of popular malware platforms before putting the threat landscape into perspective.


Williamson maintains that, despite its perceived "downfall," Zeus is still one of the most popular botnet platforms out there, and that's for a number of reasons. For one, the source code for Zeus previously leaked, allowing people who know how to code to more or less build on top of it for free. Also, it was one of the most common building blocks for many of the high-profile piece of malware that came after it; it's the very reason that it can be difficult to distinguish between Citadel and Zeus, for example. Ultimately, Zeus served as the "innovative wedge" that can be seen in man-in-the-browser financial malware today,


That said, there's a new up and comer in town in the form of Pandemiya.


"If you rewind about six years ago, SpyEye was actively marketing and saying, 'We're better than Zeus,'" says Williamson. "But they eventually merged and then you got iterative changes on top of the Zeus codebase. Pandemiya, on the other hand, is the new entrant and you're starting to see it challenge the monolith [Zeus]."


Be it Pandemiya or Zeus, however, the goals behind them are more or less the same. According to Williamson, there are two major branches to attack strategies now. The first is working on making the botnet harder to take down, which some coders have accomplished by implementing P2P communication between the bots.


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US: MVNO meltdown as reseller trio run into problems | TeleGeography.com

According to Fierce Wireless, US electronics retailer RadioShack has discontinued its ‘RadioShack No-Contract Wireless’ brand, which was launched in 2012 through a partnership with Leap Wireless – a cellular operator now owned by AT&T Mobility. The online journal notes that No Contract Wireless was not a standard mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service, because while the offering was branded as RadioShack and sold through the company’s existing distribution channels, Leap Wireless provided the billing as well as the service.


In separate but related news, Spot Mobile, an MVNO which piggybacks on T-Mobile US’s network, has confirmed that it has decided to wind down its business and will shut off its service to customers by 7 September. The precise details behind Spot’s shutdown are unclear, and attempts to reach company officials were unsuccessful, Fierce Wireless notes.


Finally, earlier this month fellow virtual operator Chit Chat Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Local press reports quoted Chit Chat’s John Hennessy as saying that the drastic measure was implemented in order to settle a billing dispute with network partner Sprint Corp.


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Vehicle-to-vehicle networks could save over 1,000 lives a year, US says | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com

Vehicle-to-vehicle networks could save over 1,000 lives a year, US says | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. government wants to force cars to talk to each other over wireless networks, saying that could save more than 1,000 lives every year.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking input about a possible federal standard for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which would let cars automatically exchange information, such as whether they’re close to each other. The agency will accept comments from the public and industry for 60 days from when the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is published in the Federal Register.


V2V would let cars do some of the work of driving or even accomplish things humans can’t, such as virtually “seeing” into blind intersections before entering them. It may be one step on the path to self-driving cars.


On Monday, the NHTSA published a research report on V2V and issued an ANPRM in hopes of collecting a lot of feedback before issuing a full NPRM in 2016. In the report, it estimated the safety benefits of just two possible applications of V2V, called Left Turn Assist and Intersection Movement Assist. Together, they could prevent as many as 592,000 crashes and save 1,083 lives per year, the agency said.


Neither system would necessarily take control of a car. Left Turn Assist would warn drivers not to turn left into the path of an oncoming car, and Intersection Movement Assist would warn them not to enter an intersection when there’s a high probability of crashing into other vehicles there. The two technologies could help drivers avoid more than half of those types of crashes, the agency said. Other V2V systems could include blind spot, do not pass, and forward collision warnings, as well as stop light and stop sign warnings.


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State of Rural Minnesota Overlaid Loosely on State of Minnesota Broadband | Blandin on Broadband

State of Rural Minnesota Overlaid Loosely on State of Minnesota Broadband | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Center for Rural Policy and Development recently released their State of Rural Minnesota 2014 presentation. It’s a series of maps that documents by county, change in population, age, diversity and income. Here are a couple of high level take away:


  • Counties with access to high education and diverse populations are growing in population, especially a younger population.
  • Northeastern Minnesota (from Cook County to Lake of the Woods) is going to have the highest populations of seniors by 2045. (There are a few outliers.)
  • Highest incomes were seen around the Twin Cities. (Scott County tops with median income $86,324.)
  • Lowest incomes were seen in Central and Northern Minnesota – roughly from Cass County to Lake of the Woods. (Again some outliers.)
  • Western Minnesota, most of the counties bordering North Dakota, have seen the greatest decline in population since 1990.
  • Project population in Western Minnesota is expected to grow in the next 20 years.


Without going into the numbers – just using broad stroke maps – I thought I’d compare that to Connect Minnesota maps. Well, the download speed map.


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Verizon Wireless is tops in network performance, reliability, speed in 2014 tests | Matt Hamblen | NetworkWorld.com

Verizon Wireless is tops in network performance, reliability, speed in 2014 tests | Matt Hamblen | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Wireless beat out the other three national carriers for overall network performance, reliability and speed in the first half of 2014, according to an analysis by RootMetrics released today.


AT&T was not far behind Verizon in the RootMetrics "State of the Mobile Union" testing that involved using phones from carriers in 5.6 million test samples from cities, small towns, airports and rural areas, as well as 6,400 indoor locations.


In July, Verizon also came out on top in network performance in a RootMetrics report that looked at 125 cities and 50 airports. That data is folded into the latest more comprehensive report.


That earlier study covered about 60% of the U.S. population, while the latest report includes that earlier data as well as more rural areas, medium and small towns and freeways to attempt to show network performance for the other 40% of the population, RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore said in an interview.


When compared to the last set of tests in the second half of 2013, RootMetrics found that "every carrier is getting better, which is all good news for consumers," Moore said.


In the latest study, T-Mobile showed a solid focus on network performance in urban areas in the first half of 2014, while both T-Mobile and Sprint "have started to close the gap," between themselves and Verizon and AT&T, RootMetrics reported. Both T-Mobile and Sprint typically require customers to roam more often onto other networks in rural areas of the U.S., while remaining strongest in metro areas.


Root Metrics' data can show wireless users who travel frequently how network performance will be in different areas. Users can also see how a carrier performs near home or work in a single location. "Mobile coverage is localized, and even in your own city, yours and my experience are going to be different," Moore said.


For overall performance, Root Metrics said Verizon got a score of 81.6 out of 100, while AT&T scored 79.5. T-Mobile scored 71.5 and Sprint had 69.6.


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US Senator Rockefeller questions airlines' data privacy practices | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

US Senator Rockefeller questions airlines' data privacy practices | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A senior U.S. senator is asking airlines about their data privacy practices, saying he’s concerned about what information the companies are collecting and sharing with third parties.


Some consumer advocates have raised concerns that airline privacy policies “can contain substantial caveats and that it is difficult for consumers to learn what information airlines and others in the travel sector are collecting, keeping, and sharing about them,” Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, wrote in a letter to 10 U.S. airlines Monday.


The airlines receiving the letters included United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Airlines contacted about Rockefeller’s letter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.


A spokeswoman for Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, didn’t point to specific complaints about airline privacy policies, but noted that he has focused on raising consumer awareness about the personal information they provide online. This year, Rockefeller has introduced theData Security and Breach Notification Act, which would create a federal standard for companies to safeguard the personal information they hold and to notify consumers if their systems are breached.


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The ETA trade group chief eyes Bitcoin | Julian Hattem | The Hill

The ETA trade group chief eyes Bitcoin | Julian Hattem | The Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The head of a top financial trade group says that companies he represents are growing comfortable with the virtual currency Bitcoin.


The Electronic Transactions Association, which represents companies like Visa and MasterCard, has already welcomed one Bitcoin company into its fold, and companies may be more inclined to support the virtual currency in the future, chief executive Jason Oxman told CoinDesk


“I think it will continue to happen going forward,” he told the Bitcoin news outlet in an interview.


“At bottom, our industry is in the business of facilitating electronic transactions, and those electronic transactions are going to take the form of whatever the customer or merchant of choice agrees is going to be the form of their electronic transaction,” he added.


Bitcoins only exist virtually but can be exchanged for cash or used to pay for goods and services at some companies.


Supporters say they can revolutionize the way that people pay for things and transfer money across the globe, and major Wall Street firms have started to take notice.


Oxman told CoinDesk that his industry learned from the way record companies responded to music downloading service Napster when it first debuted, and are trying to take the opposite approach.


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The FCC is investigating whether businesses are being overcharged for voice and data service | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

The FCC is investigating whether businesses are being overcharged for voice and data service | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Government bean counters have given the Federal Communications Commission the green light to find out whether big telecom companies are charging other businesses too much for connectivity. The FCC said Monday that the Office of Management and Budget has approved a long-awaited study of the issue, which concerns the dedicated voice and data connections that link together networks at banks, businesses, universities and even wireless carriers.


When you pick up a call on your cell phone, or use an ATM, or log onto a school network that connects different campuses, you're taking advantage of a complex behind-the-scenes network that's probably using dedicated voice and data lines at some part of the journey. Parts of this back-end infrastructure may be owned and operated by different telecom companies, which means that — unbeknownst to many of us — there's also a huge commercial market for communications that you as a consumer may only experience indirectly.


Telecom geeks call this system "special access." Here's why special access is important: Because of the size of the players in this rather obscure market, the amount of money changing hands can be enormous. Yet as more of these connections shift from carrying voice to data, some worry about the prices that special access providers are charging. Some say the prices are veering into monopoly territory, because in some places only a few incumbent companies like Verizon and AT&T offer it. It's a bit like the way consumers complain about a lack of choices among retail Internet providers, but in this case, the consumers are businesses with enterprise-grade needs. These costs get passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices.


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OMB OK's Special Access Data Collection | Multichannel.com

OMB OK's Special Access Data Collection | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Office of Management and Budget has given the FCC the green light to collect data from ISPs and others on the state of the special access (business broadband services) market.

 

OMB had to sign off on the additional paperwork per the Paperwork Reduction Act.

 

With that go-ahead, the FCC said Monday (Aug. 18) it was ready to proceed with the data collection.

 

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association argued that the FCC had majorly lowballed the amount of work and money it will take by thousands of hours and millions of dollars.

 

The FCC wants to collect data from buyers and sellers of special access service to determine how competitive the marketplace is for the services, which include services carrying voice and data from cell towers to businesses and from ATMs and credit card readers.

 

"Special access service has become increasingly important in the digital economy, enabling businesses large and small to connect to their customers around the globe," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "Consistent with the terms of OMB's approval, we will move forward with data collection and fact-based analysis that will help the Commission better understand competition in this marketplace, and the impact on consumers as we pursue the Commission's statutory mandate to ensure special access services are provided at reasonable rates and on reasonable terms and conditions."


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Approving Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Opens the Door for Massive Cable Consolidation | Stop the Cap!

Approving Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Opens the Door for Massive Cable Consolidation | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Although Charter Communications did not succeed in its bid to assume control of Time Warner Cable, it isn’t crying about its loss to Comcast either.


Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media Corp., which has very close ties to John Malone, former cable magnate, says if the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is approved, it will start a race to merge the rest of the cable industry into just a handful of cable operators serving almost the entire country.


Comcast’s argument is that since it does not compete with Time Warner Cable, there are no antitrust or anti-competitive reasons why it should not be allowed to buy Time Warner Cable. If state and federal regulators believe that, nothing precludes a company like Charter (Liberty has an ownership interest in the cable company) snapping up every other cable operator in the country. In fact, Charter has signaled consolidation is precisely its intention, alerting investors it intends to play a very aggressive role in mergers and acquisitions once it sees what regulators feel about the Comcast-Time Warner deal.


Likely targets for Charter include:


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Cloudy Days for Bright House Networks Ahead? Comcast-Time Warner Merger Complicates Volume Discounts | Stop the Cap!

Cloudy Days for Bright House Networks Ahead? Comcast-Time Warner Merger Complicates Volume Discounts | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bright House Networks customers could face much higher cable television bills and a decline in technology upgrades thanks to a merger deal between two companies that should theoretically have no impact on them.


Bright House Networks has been an odd duck among cable companies since it was created from cobbled-together systems originally owned by Vision Cable, Cable Vision, TelePrompTer, Group W, Paragon and others. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Time Warner effectively ran the cable systems still owned by the Newhouse family. After the AOL-Time Warner merger, Advance/Newhouse decided to take back control of the management and operations of its cable systems, relaunching them under the Bright House Networks brand.


While the Newhouse family continues to assert its ownership and control of Bright House, it is highly dependent on Time Warner Cable to handle cable programming negotiations and broadband technology. That is why Bright House customers were sold “Road Runner” broadband service for many years – a brand familiar to any Time Warner customer. To this day, programming blackouts that affect Time Warner cable TV viewers usually also impact those subscribing to Bright House. Time Warner Cable also retains a minority ownership interest in Bright House.


Although the company is well-known in Indianapolis, Birmingham, suburban Detroit and Bakersfield, its presence is most recognized in central Florida, where it serves customers in Orlando, Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Tampa Bay, and many points in-between.


Despite the fact Bright House serves more than two million customers and is the sixth largest cable company in the country, it is small potatoes to major programmers like Comcast-NBCUniversal, Viacom, Disney, and others. All the best discounts go to satellite television providers and giant cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Smaller operators pay substantially more.


That is where the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable comes in.


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Time Warner Cable holds serve on U.S. Open Wi-Fi | CED Magazine

Time Warner Cable holds serve on U.S. Open Wi-Fi | CED Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable will be serving up free Wi-Fi access at next month’s U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York City.


The nation’s second-largest cable operator said the Wi-Fi deployment at the U.S. Open was its largest public venue installation to date with 235 access points. The free Wi-Fi access will run for the duration of the U.S. Open and will be available throughout all of the tournament’s key public areas including Arthur Ashe Stadium, East Gate, Food Village, Octagon, South Plaza and the Chase Indoor Tennis Center.


U.S. Open attendees can connect to the Wi-Fi via two SSIDs; USOPEN2014 or TWC WiFi.


Time Warner Cable introduced its self-service management portal for Wi-Fi two years ago. The management portal provides a branding opportunity for businesses’ to add their names and logos, and marketing messages on the Wi-Fi welcome pages. A spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable said the management portal for the venue would launch soon. For the U.S. Open SSID, there’s a vanity portal that is fully USTA branded while Time Warner Cable co-branded its TWC WiFi portal.


Time Warner Cable has installed access points from Cisco at the U.S. Open venues.


The Wi-Fi service was an extension of Time Warner Cable’s existing partnership with USTA, which began last year and includes advertising across select U.S. Open platforms and properties as well as the newly created Time Warner Cable Studios.


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How to Save the Net | WIRED Magazine

How to Save the Net | WIRED Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s impossible to overstate how much the Internet matters. It has forever altered how we share information and store it for safekeeping, how we communicate with political leaders, how we document atrocities and hold wrongdoers accountable, how we consume entertainment and create it, even how we meet others and maintain relationships.


Our society is strengthened and made more democratic by the open access the Internet enables. But the Internet as we know it is at risk from a variety of threats ranging from cybercrime to its very infrastructure, which wasn’t built to withstand the complications our dependence upon it causes.


We asked some of the Net’s biggest stakeholders and thought leaders to lay out ways we can maintain the Internet as a home for innovation, community, and freely exchanged information. We are excited to present you with these six takes on what could go wrong—and how to bring us back from the brink.


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ILSR's Chris Mitchell In Burlington, Vermont on September 19th | community broadband networks

ILSR's Chris Mitchell In Burlington, Vermont on September 19th | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Members of the Burlington, VT community are hosting a luncheon on Friday, September 19th, to discuss ways to help keep BT local. Chris Mitchell, as one of the leading experts on municipal broadband, will be leading the discussion. We have followed BurlingtonTelecom's challenges and victories since 2008.


The event is titled "How Do We Keep Burlington Telecom Local?" and will be at the CCTV Center for Media & Democracy in Burlington. From the announcement:


"Many Burlington residents and activists are concerned about the City of Burlington’s plans to sell Burlington Telecom to a private entity by 2017. While the City is committed to BT as a driver for economic and community development, it currently has no specific plans to retain a meaningful ownership stake in the new entity."


The event is part of a series of community talks aimed at maintaining public input as the City prepares to move forward.


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Why would Chinese hackers want hospital patient data? | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com

Why would Chinese hackers want hospital patient data? | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The theft of personal data on 4.5 million patients of Community Health Systems by hackers in China highlights the increasing degree to which hospitals are becoming lucrative targets for information theft.


Already this year, around 150 incidents of lost or stolen personal data—either due to hacking or ineptitude—have been reported by medical establishments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


In the case of Community Health Systems, hackers stole patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. They did not steal medical data, Community Health Systems said—but that data can be the real prize in such breaches.


With its high prices and lack of a centralized health system, the U.S. is a lucrative target because in the right marketplace, health records can be worth a lot of money, said John Halamka, chief information officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network.


That’s because people without health insurance can potentially get treatment by using medical data of one of the hacking victims.


Halamka, who also runs the “Life as a healthcare CIO” blog, said a medical record can be worth between US$50 and $250 to the right customer—many times more than the amount typically paid for a credit card number, or the cents paid for a user name and password.


“If I am one of the 50 million Americans who are uninsured ... and I need a million-dollar heart transplant, for $250 I can get a complete medical record including insurance company details,” he said.


As long as personal details like age, weight and height are approximately correct—and with a faked second form of ID—a person could use the stolen data to convince a hospital they are insured and receive treatment, Halamka said.


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UT: Clearfield considers high-speed Internet | Antone Clark | Standard.net

UT: Clearfield considers high-speed Internet | Antone Clark | Standard.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Clearfield, UT officials want to look into the possibility of bringing high-speed Internet and fiber optics to the city.


No, that doesn’t mean they have interest in joining UTOPIA.


At the behest of Councilman Mike LeBaron, city officials have initiated a look-and-see approach to potentially bringing Google Fiber to the community. The councilman has asked staff to study the option of bring Google to the table for discussions.


That process has been initiated.


City Manager Adam Lenhart said he has signed up the city as an interested entity and has provided information to the company. He said staff will make every effort possible to move discussions with the company forward. “We’d love to be able to offer the benefits of fiber to our business community and our residents,” he said.


Expectations aren’t high about a possible outcome.


“We don’t anticipate, in the short term, anything coming out of it. But you don’t know unless you ask,” Mayor Mark Shepherd said.


Lenhart said Google has already selected a small number of cities and any exploration beyond that number could be a ways down the road.


LeBaron agrees partnering with Clearfield would be unique, but thinks the arrangement would be an interesting case study for the worldwide company. He said the city’s proximity to Hill Air Force Base, the presence of Freeport Center and the pending development of Clearfield Station are factors that could make the city a desirable partner.


He is also realistic. “You can’t dance unless you have a dance partner,” LeBaron said.


During a July work session, LeBaron said there are neighborhoods in the southern end of the city that have limited options when it comes to Internet access. He suggested Google Fiber might be a potential benefit because it offers higher speeds and faster service.


LeBaron outlined the selection process Google uses to determine cities that can offer their product. He noted Provo is one of three U.S. cities that have Google Fiber. Google took over iProvo as part of its move into the city, paying $1 for an existing fiber optic network.


LeBaron said he talked to Provo Mayor John Curtis, who indicated residents had seen reduced costs in voice, data and video services as a result.


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Sprint slashes shared data plan prices | Matt Hamblen | NetworkWorld.com

Sprint slashes shared data plan prices | Matt Hamblen | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As promised last week by its new CEO, Sprint announced late Monday it will lower its shared data plans to prices below those offered by other national carriers starting on Friday.


The Sprint Family Share Pack will cost $160 a month for four lines and 20GB of data, Sprint said. Verizon Wireless and AT&T both charge $160 for less than half as much data -- 10 GB. T-Mobile offers a family plan through September that costs $100 a month for four lines and 10 GB of data.


Also, Sprint is offering for a limited time a plan that allows a family with up to 10 lines to get 20GB of shared data plus unlimited talk and text for $100 a month. The deal is good through 2015.


Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the family plans will be augmented by new prices for individual customers later in the week. "Simply put, we are offering the best deal on shared data," he said in a statement. "We want customers to think twice before choosing another wireless carrier."


The price cuts were promised in Claure's first meeting with employees last Thursday. "When your network is behind, unfortunately you have to compete on value and price," he said at the time.


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Media Roundup: Broadband Around the Nation - Week of August 15, 2014 | community broadband networks

Media Roundup: Broadband Around the Nation - Week of August 15, 2014 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This week in Community Broadband coverage, Eldo Telecom is helping debunk some fiber fallacies. Blogger Fred Pilot responds to a typical Comcast claim that government should not compete with private sector telecommunications providers, saying the argument is economically false:


"When the public sector steps in to build and/or finance telecommunications infrastructure, it does so because this market environment combined with the previously mentioned business model limitations of investor-owned telephone and cable companies produces market failure on the sell side. That failure has left millions of Americans unable to order modern Internet landline-delivered services at their homes and small businesses."


And, as the debate heats up about whether cities can restore local authority to build networks, cities, towns and counties around the nation took action to expand or develop community broadband networks.

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NAB Sues FCC Over Broadcast Incentive Auction | Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Sues FCC Over Broadcast Incentive Auction | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The National Association of Broadcasters has challenged the FCC's broadcast incentive auction in a D.C. federal appeals court, saying that its auction framework "violates the Spectrum Act; (2) is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion under the Administrative Procedure Act."


NAB's primary beef is with how the FCC is proposing to predict TV station coverage areas, which it says could result in significant viewership loss. The NAB says that the FCC changed the methodology (the OET-69 bulletin) in contravention of the statute.


“We are confident that the Report and Order fulfills the mandates established by Congress on this complex matter," said an FCC spokesperson.


"Specifically, the NAB challenged, among other things, the FCC decision to change the methodology used to predict local television coverage areas and population served," NAB said in a statement. "[That]h could result in significant loss of viewership of broadcast TV stations after the FCC 'repacks' TV stations into a shrunken TV band."


"The petition also states that the FCC failed to take steps to preserve licensees' coverage areas in repacking," says NAB, "and that the FCC erred in failing to ensure proper protections for broadcast translators, which are transmitters that help boost the coverage of broadcast TV programming to more rural and remove viewers."


The statute requires the FCC to make all reasonable efforts to preserve TV station coverage areas and associated interference protections.


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Google wants to show the world how sexy cluster management really is | GigaOM Tech News

Google wants to show the world how sexy cluster management really is | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It doesn’t have a enticing name like cloud computing or the appconomy, but cluster management really is some sexy stuff. Important, too: Done right, it’s the thing that makes the web run by letting companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter scale to billions of users without spending every spare dollar and every spare second of engineer time managing their servers.


And now that Google is in the business of selling IT, it wants everyone to know this and experience it themselves. I explained this in June when Google announced its open source container-management technology called Kubernetes in June, and again last month when Google signed up a list of big-name partners to support it. On Monday, Google took things a step further by announcing a partnership with Mesosphere that will let Google Compute Engine users spin up a self-managing cluster in a few clicks.


Mesosphere is a startup (read more about it here and here) that’s built on top of the Apache Mesos technology. Mesos is essentially an open source version of the system that Google uses to automate its data centers, with end result being that many applications and services can share the same set of resources simultaneously because the system ensures that each gets everything it needs in order to run optimally. Mesophere makes it easier to deploy Mesos and achieve those benefits, and also adds some tooling on top of it.


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The Net Neutrality State of Play | Michael Copps Blog | Benton Foundation

The Net Neutrality State of Play | Michael Copps Blog | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than a million citizens have contacted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding genuine network neutrality. We know a healthy democracy demands an Open Internet. Last week the President of the United States also weighed in against a fast-lane/slow-lane Internet. Two conclusions stand out: (1) no new arguments have been ginned up by the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T that lend a whit of credibility to their entrenched opposition to strong net neutrality rules; and (2) growing grassroots support for a truly open Internet is commanding attention at the highest levels of government.


By word and by deed the big guys are only digging themselves in deeper. Verizon, for example, argued in a filing with the FCC that paid prioritization schemes “should be permissible and should be tested in light of consumer demand rather than resolved through regulatory wrangling.” They would have us believe that if they get the OK for differentiated fast lanes and attendant gate-keeping, they will make it work for consumers. Haven’t we heard that one before—like when the FCC deregulated cable modem and telecom broadband? My cable and broadband bills went way up; I suspect yours did, too. Consumer-friendly? I don’t think so.


Now Verizon is arguing that “reasonable network management” of their system means the company should be able to throttle its “unlimited” data transmission to customers by slowing down data speeds on their 4G LTE wireless networks. I saw first-hand as previous FCCs gave industry carte blanche to decide what is reasonable. Without some commonsense rules of the road, that is a sure-fire recipe for consumer abuse. And any new net neutrality rules that permit companies to invoke “commercially reasonable” as the gold standard by which to judge Internet openness would be both a farce and a menace. As I—and citizen action groups like Public Knowledge, Free Press and Common Cause (where I lead the Media & Democracy Reform Initiative)—have long argued, the glory of the Internet is not what it does for big ISPs; it is what it does for people. The Internet is increasingly home for the news and information we get, home for how we educate ourselves, how we debate and advocate and organize as citizens of a self-governing nation.


Huge telecom and cable companies that would have us believe that their interests on the Internet trump ours are on the wrong side of both history and democracy. It is hubris at best and greed at worst to argue that the communications infrastructure we are all so dependent upon should be exempt from rules of the road that ensure its potential to serve the needs of citizens. The fight being waged here, my friends, is not over arcane technicalities. No, this battle is about whether a privileged few will be allowed to undermine the democratic potential of the most dynamic communications network ever invented.


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