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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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AFP Back To Claiming That Twitter's Terms Of Service Allow It To Take And Sell Anyone's Twitpic Photos | Techdirt.com

AFP Back To Claiming That Twitter's Terms Of Service Allow It To Take And Sell Anyone's Twitpic Photos | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two years ago, we wrote about one of the most bizarre copyright lawsuits we've ever heard of. News giant AFP (Agence France Presse) -- for reasons that I still cannot begin to comprehend -- decided to proactively sue a photographer, Daniel Morel, after it (AFP) had taken his photos (of the earthquake in Haiti) from TwitPic without permission, and distributed them for sale via Getty Images. So why did AFP sue? Because Morel contacted them upon discovering this, demanding lots of money. And what was AFP's reasoning? Well, it tried to claim that Twitter's terms of service allowed this. There were all sorts of problems with that idea. First of all, the photo was on Twitpic, not Twitter, and the two are different companies. But, more importantly, neither of the terms of service from Twitter nor Twitpic (AFP eventually figured out the difference) allowed AFP to do what it claims. The AFP appeared to deliberately misinterpret the terms of service, which simply give Twitpic the right to make use of the images -- but that does not extend to third parties automatically, which is what AFP implied.

 

Oh, and did we mention that AFP itself has a history of copyright maximalism, including suing Google for merely linking to AFP stories, with AFP's headline showing in Google News?

 

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Anoka County part of NTIA Study | Blandin on Broadband

The ARRA-funded Connect Anoka County / Zayo fiber project is one of 12 CCI (Comprehensive Community Infrastructure) grants selected to participate in a study that the NTIA is conducting to evaluate economic and social impacts of the BTOP grants. The study will assess the impact that the BTOP grants are having on broadband infrastructure and in achieving economic and social benefits in the community.

 

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What Does The Election Of France's New President Mean For European Copyright? | Techdirt.com

What Does The Election Of France's New President Mean For European Copyright? | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Whatever you might have thought of his policies, Nicolas Sarkozy probably had more impact on European copyright policy than any other EU politician. He consciously tried to the lead the way in bringing in more extreme copyright enforcement, most notably with the "three strikes" HADOPI law.

 

That alone makes his defeat in the recent French presidential elections significant: there are no signs that his successor, François Hollande, will take anything like the personal interest in copyright that Sarkozy did. But that also makes it very hard to predict what effect Hollande's election will have on the French and European copyright scene. Nonetheless, the French site Numerama has published an early attempt to lay down some rough ideas of what happens next.

 

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Size matters as Verizon FiOS tops Consumer Reports survey - FierceTelecom

It pays to be the biggest even if you may not necessarily be the best. That's one way of looking at a Consumer Reports' survey that hedged a bit before naming Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) as "highly rated" among providers offering a triple play of voice, video and data services, the magazine says in its June issue.

 

Throw out big and regional telecom provider WOW (WideOpenWest), which "was also top rated," the magazine said.

 

Verizon had the chops to score higher than the major cable companies for "TV picture, sound and channel selection" and got top grades for Internet speed. The telco lost points, though, because of complaints about bills for its triple play and the fact that subscribers must rent a receiver for every TV.

 

WOW, which has a smaller subscriber base than Verizon, mostly in the Midwest, got pretty glowing praise across the board.

 

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Shelly Palmer Radio Report - May 8, 2012 | Shelly Palmer Digital Living

Shelly Palmer Radio Report - May 8, 2012 | Shelly Palmer Digital Living | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that you have a powerful smartphone, a tablet, a great laptop and Internet access almost everywhere, wouldn’t it be great if you could get any TV show you wanted to watch on any device anytime? That’s the idea behind Nimble TV. The new cloud TV service will charge you a small fee to stream all of the TV you already subscribe to, to any device you own. It’s an idea whose time has come. Is it going to work? Absolutely. The technology to do this is actually pretty simple. Is Nimble TV going to get sued by the big content providers? Probably, but Nimble TV is ready for it. Nimble is doing a small test in New York City, and they plan to roll out the service as soon as possible. Is watching anything you want, anytime on any device the future of video entertainment? You bet it is. Visit shellypalmer.com to learn more about Nimble TV.

 

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Dark fiber providers may see $986M market as broadband data demand rises - FierceTelecom

The never-ending hunger for higher speed broadband wireline- and wireless-based data services is driving new dark fiber services revenue. New data from IBISWorld revealed that by the end of 2012 dark fiber revenues will grow at an average annual rate of 3.7 percent, to reach $986.2 million.

 

"As the amount of data and broadband use has grown, demand for networks that support communication has increased as well, thus supporting industry revenue growth," said Nikoleta Panteva, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

 

Although dark fiber revenue slowed during the recent recession, Panteva said, "The combination of increased broadband connections and rebounding corporate profit has supported strong revenue growth during the past five years."

 

To expand their respective dark fiber holdings, a number of traditional and competitive service providers have been aggressively purchasing the assets of other service providers to provide a mix of retail fiber-based Ethernet to businesses and wholesale services to wireless operators.

 

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Industry, Consumer Advocates Have New FCC Commissioners To Woo - Tech Daily Dose - Tech Daily Dose

Industry, Consumer Advocates Have New FCC Commissioners To Woo - Tech Daily Dose - Tech Daily Dose | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telecom companies, industry groups, and consumer advocates all agree that the pair of Federal Communications Commission nominees confirmed by the Senate on Monday are well prepared for the job, but observers are waiting to see where the new commissioners come down on policy issues.

 

After months of delay, the Senate confirmed Jessica Rosenworcel, a former Senate Commerce Committee senior communications counsel, to fill a Democratic seat on the FCC and Ajit Pai, a former FCC aide, to fill a Republican seat.

 

Both Rosenworcel and Pai have already done stints as staffers at the FCC, and most who have done business with the agency praised the pair's knowledge of the issues.

 

"Both are well-qualified and respected, and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to their positions in an important period for communications policy," said Verizon vice president for regulatory affairs Kathleen Grillo. Among the issues that the new commissioners will be considering is Verizon's bid to buy spectrum from cable companies.

 

The praise from all corners is backed up by both new commissioners' experience, but it also reflects a desire by many of the people with business before the FCC to play nice with commissioners who may be casting deciding votes on issues like media ownership and broadband subsidies.

 

In general Rosenworcel and Pai are expected to largely approach issues from their various political views: Rosenworcel from the left with a more supportive view of an active government role; and Pai from the right with a more deregulatory standpoint.

 

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Groups protest Verizon's proposed special access rate hikes | Network World

Groups protest Verizon's proposed special access rate hikes | Network World | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Members of the NoChokepoints Coalition will ask the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to stop Verizon Communications from raising the rates for middle-mile broadband connections that many businesses rely on.

 

Verizon has proposed to raise the rates on its so-called special access services by 6 percent, according to the coalition. Special access fees are the rates that businesses and other large telecom customers pay for connections to carriers' central switching facilities.

 

Members of the coalition planned to file petitions opposing the rate hike late Monday with the FCC, a coalition spokeswoman said.

 

While global broadband prices are dropping, Verizon has proposed its second increase in less than a year, said Maura Corbett, NoChokepoints' executive director.

 

"It doesn't take a PhD in Economics to figure out that if a company is able to continually raise prices in a market where the costs keep dropping, that it's probably using that market as its personal ATM machine," Corbett said in an email. "So while the rest of the economy struggles to recover from one of the worst economic downturns in history, Verizon continues to overprice this critical broadband input simply because nobody is stopping them."

 

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North Dakota Co-Ops Bring Out the Better Broadband: Fiber Transforms Lives | Stop the Cap!

North Dakota Co-Ops Bring Out the Better Broadband: Fiber Transforms Lives | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When broadband advocates talk about the advantages of fiber-to-the-home service, commercial providers and their friends routinely criticize us for demanding “Cadillac” networks in areas that “don’t need” fiber-fast broadband speeds. Despite the fact the United States and Canada continue to fall further and further behind in the global broadband speed race, companies that answer to stockholders simply won’t hear of upgrading networks to the technology Asia and Europe increasingly takes for granted.

 

There is no question fiber broadband is costly to build, especially in rural communities where the cost per home will require a long-term payback for the upfront investment required. But that doesn’t stop community-owned networks and public co-ops from advancing forward.

 

Dakota Central Telecommunications and Dickey Rural Networks last month celebrated the completion of the largest fiber-to-the-home network in North America… in rural North Dakota.

 

Both providers, operated as co-ops, deliver speedy service to every home and business within a 10,000 square mile area. Broadband at speeds of 20Mbps starts at $39.95 a month. Want faster speeds? For $89.95 a month, you can purchase 50Mbps service. A triple-play package of phone, broadband, and cable TV service runs $113.75 a month.

 

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Senate confirms FCC picks who were held up over LightSquared - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Senate confirms FCC picks who were held up over LightSquared - The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Senate on Monday approved the nominations of Republican Ajit Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The two nominees were approved by unanimous consent.

 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) held up the nominations for roughly four months in an attempt to force the FCC to hand over internal documents related to its review of LightSquared, a politically connected start-up that had planned to build a nationwide 4G network.

 

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Good-Bye to Seattle's Free Wi-Fi | community broadband networks

Good-Bye to Seattle's Free Wi-Fi | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In 2005, Seattle started offering free Wi-Fi to several neighborhoods, hoping to increase usage among businesses, residents, and passers-by. While the effort was hailed by some, and criticized by others, it was an experiment in community broadband. An experiment that ended on April 29th.

 

The City still considered the free Wi-Fi a pilot project, even though it had been in operation since 2005. Areas served were the University District and Columbia City neighborhoods, and four downtown parks. There will still be free Wi-Fi in public libraries and in a few hotspots around town as well as in some city facilities, including City Hall and the Seattle Center.

 

The theory was that municipal WiFi was a workable and cheaper way to get more people online. But Wi-Fi is only cheaper in the short run -- something fiber critics tend to ignore. As Seattle has found, most of the network has to be replaced every 5-7 years.

 

Technical issues and geography also create unique problems for citywide Wi-Fi. Where to put transmitters, interference from buildings, foilage and water, are all barriers to offering a service that is worthwhile to potential users. David Keyes, Chief Information Technology Officer for the City of Seattle noted these problems where there have been complaints of spotty and unreliable reception. Keyes talked to Brian Heaton of Government Technology:

 

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Corporate raider cashes in on LightSquared debt | TeleGeography

Self-styled ‘corporate raider’ Carl Icahn has sold his US250 million debt holdings in Philip Falcone’s ill-fated telecoms start-up LightSquared, Reuters reports, while Falcone continues to negotiate with creditors to avoid a debt default. News of Icahn’s debt sale comes as the venture’s remaining creditors reportedly agreed to a second week-long extension, until 14 May, for Falcone to reduce his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners’, 96% equity stake in LightSquared.

 

Icahn, who was perceived to be one of the main driving forces behind attempts to coerce Falcone to reduce his role in LightSquared, is believed to have made a big profit on the sale, according to the sources familiar with the matter. Reuters suggests that billionaire Icahn sold his debt for around USD0.60 on the dollar, after acquiring the debt when it was trading in the low USD0.40 range, just months earlier.

 

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Edgewater Wireless Introduces Next Generation WiFi3 Technology | MuniWireless

Edgewater Wireless Systems has released WiFi3 – its advanced WiFi infrastructure technology. WiFi3 technology provides three independent channels on a single wireless access point radio, delivering over 50X performance improvement when compared to single-channel access point products which are the common standard in the WiFi Access Point Infrastructure market.

 

WiFi3 technology was developed to deliver huge benefits to smart phone, laptop and tablet users by dramatically improving download and upload performance for voice, video and data intensive applications. Traditional single-channel WiFi is like driving on a single-lane road and getting stuck behind a slow moving vehicle. Even users with the fastest smart phone or tablet can only go as fast as the slowest device on that single-channel. By comparison WiFi3 delivers three channels on the same WiFi radio, so faster devices can be moved to the faster lane, while slower devices can be relegated to a slower lane.

 

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The Morning Briefing: Mobile payment systems | Smart Planet

The Morning Briefing: Mobile payment systems | Smart Planet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about mobile and online payment systems.

 

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How Gridium is making sense of energy data | GigaOM CleanTech

How Gridium is making sense of energy data | GigaOM CleanTech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There will be petabytes of smart meter data emerging in the coming years, which means there will be a growing need for new tools to analyze and make sense of all that data. A new startup called Gridium, which launched a couple months ago and is co-led by energy entrepreneur Tom Arnold, has developed software that can help industrial and commercial building owners tap into smart meter data to help lower their energy bills.

 

Arnold, who previously was the CEO of carbon offset startup TerraPass and led EnerNOC’s move into energy efficiency, tells me in an exclusive interview that Gridium has recently raised a $1 million Series A round of funding from investors including Navitas Capital and private individuals like Cleantech Group’s CEO Sheeraz Haji. Gridium will use the new funds to ramp up sales of its first product and build out its engineering team.

 

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Twitter Defends Occupy Marcher’s Right to Privacy | Truthdig.com

Twitter Defends Occupy Marcher’s Right to Privacy | Truthdig.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Despite a judge’s order to hand over the tweets of The New Inquiry Senior Editor Malcolm Harris, who was arrested in October marching with Occupy protesters across the Brooklyn Bridge, Twitter is fighting for the principle that its users own their communications and should determine what to do with them.

 

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Broadband event showcases its power in communities :: Editor's Blog at WRAL Tech Wire

Broadband event showcases its power in communities :: Editor's Blog at WRAL Tech Wire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Schools, libraries, health care, public safety … the list goes on.

 

Every one of these community anchor institutions and sectors today must have reliable, high-speed broadband Internet access – despite geography.

 

The upcoming SHLB-NTIA Broadband Conference on May 22-24 in Arlington, Va., puts the spotlight on the valuable role broadband plays in community anchor institutions today.

 

The Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have teamed to focus the event on Creating Sustainable Broadband Solutions for Communities and Anchor Institutions.

 

“This national conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, will focus on the broadband needs of schools, libraries and other anchor institutions, providing them the knowledge and information they need to acquire affordable high-speed connections to the Internet so that they can improve educational, medical, and other online services to meet the needs of their communities,” said John Windhausen, Jr., director of SHLB Coalition.

 

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Net Neutrality and Economic Equality Are Intertwined | NYTimes.com

Net Neutrality and Economic Equality Are Intertwined | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Imagine a network of private highways that reserved a special lane for Fords to zip through, unencumbered by all the other brands of cars trundling along the clogged, shared lanes. Think of the prices Ford could charge. Think of what would happen to innovation when building the best car mattered less than cutting a deal with the highway’s owners.

 

A few years ago, Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and a leading thinker about the evolution of the “information economy,” warned members of the House judiciary committee that this could be the fate of the Internet. Companies offering broadband access, he said, should not be allowed to discriminate among services online. If they did, the best service would not always win the day. “It’s not who has a better product,” he explained. “It’s who can make a deal with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or Time Warner.”

 

That world may be right around the corner. Last month, the online video powerhouse Netflix started a political action committee to complement a budding lobbying effort in support of the idea that all content must be allowed to travel through the Internet on equal terms. Netflix is trying to build a coalition of businesses to make the case for this open access, also called network neutrality.

 

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The Doctor Is In...Your TV: A $27 Billion Business | Fiscal Times

The Doctor Is In...Your TV: A $27 Billion Business | Fiscal Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tired of feeling "like the walking dead" but worried about the cost of a doctor's visit, Amber Young sat on her bed near tears one recent Friday night in Woodbury, Minn. That's when she logged onto an Internet site, run by NowClinic online care, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group (which also owns UnitedHealthcare), and "met" with a doctor in Texas. After talking with the physician via instant messaging and then by telephone, Young was diagnosed with an upper respiratory illness and prescribed an antibiotic that her husband picked up at a local pharmacy. The doctor's "visit" cost $45.

 

"I was as suspicious as anyone about getting treated over the computer," said Young, 34, who was uninsured then. "But I could not have been happier with the service."

 

NowClinic, which started in 2010 and has expanded into 22 states, is part of the explosion of Web- and telephone-based medical services that experts say are transforming the delivery of primary health care, giving consumers access to inexpensive, round-the-clock care for routine problems — often without having to leave home or work. Insurers such as UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna, and large employers such as General Electric and Delta Air Lines are getting on board, pushing telemedicine as a way to make doctor "visits" cheaper and more easily available. Proponents also see it as an answer to a worsening doctor shortage.

 

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Rapporteur on Fundamental Rights Finds ACTA Contrary to Democratic Values | La Quadrature du Net

Rapporteur on Fundamental Rights Finds ACTA Contrary to Democratic Values | La Quadrature du Net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On April 26th, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) presented its second opinion on ACTA in the “civil liberties” committee (LIBE). This opinion, slamming the agreement, was widely supported by members of the committee.

 

Today, on May 8th, the rapporteur Dimitrios Droutsas presented his draft report to the LIBE committtee, highlihtening that ACTA was a threat to fundamental freedom and would freeze any attempt to democratically debate copyright policy in the EU. As many LIBE members underlined the lack of a clear call for rejection of ACTA, he agreed to add to his report language stressing that ACTA is not compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, thus clarifying his position.

 

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Franken to FCC, DOJ: Do Better Job of Enforcing Comcast/NBCU Conditions - 2012-05-07 | Broadcasting & Cable

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) says the government has been too lax in its enforcement of Comcast/NBCU deal conditions -- he opposed the deal -- and claims that only emboldens the nation's largest cable operator to try and delay resolution of disputes.

 

Comcast responds that it is complying with conditions, even exceeding them, but "respectfully disagrees" with how they are being interpreted in the case of Bloomberg TV and news neighborhooding.

 

Franken, long a Comcast/NBCU and general media concentration critic, wrote the FCC and Justice Department Monday (May 7) to say that the government needs to better monitor and enforce the conditions it applied in the Comcast/NBCU deal. Those include public interest conditions from the FCC and competition-related conditions, including network neutrality, levied by DOJ in its settlement with the companies.

 

He also took the opportunity to say that given what he argues has been "Comcast's questionable compliance record to date and its penchant for challenging all conditions-related complaints," he doubts the FCC can impose sufficient behavioral conditions on Comcast's and other cable operators' proposed sale of spectrum to Verizon to prevent future competitive harms, a deal he has also been critical of.

 

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A New FCC: What Should We Expect? | Benton Foundation

A New FCC: What Should We Expect? | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At last: a full Federal Communications Commission! After months of seemingly interminable delay (due to a confirmation process high-jacked for non-related purposes) a full complement of five Commissioners is now available to pursue the people’s business in communications. And serious business it is.

 

The two new Commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Agit Pai, bring a wealth of experience, expertise and collegiality to their posts. I know Jessica best because she worked in my office as Senior Legal Advisor during part of my tenure there. She brings a depth and breadth of telecommunications knowledge perhaps unprecedented in scope for a new Commissioner. Both new Members hold great promise for distinguished service at the FCC.

 

Someone asked me a few months ago, what should we expect of an incoming Commissioner? “Four things,” I replied.

 

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Copyright Misunderstandings and the Google Competition Inquiry | Marvin Ammori

Copyright Misunderstandings and the Google Competition Inquiry | Marvin Ammori | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Next Wednesday, George Mason University is holding a conference on competition, search, and social media. I will be on a panel regarding antitrust remedies, and this post is about a particularly misguided remedy.

 

Over the past few years, Google’s ubiquity and has success captured the attention of both competitors and regulators. Google’s competitors have raised concerns over the company’s practices in their bid to encourage an investigation and regulatory action against the search engine, with some particularly related to copyright matters. Their complaint: that Google search engages in “theft” of the content of other sites, puts that content in search results, and therefore use the stolen content to generate ad revenue. (For example, see page 29 of this report issued by Google’s competitors including Microsoft and Yelp). Their proposed remedy: to forbid Google from displaying in search results “snippets” from other sites without permission. They claim that Google is forcing them to choose between (a) allowing the company to steal their content and be included in Google search results without negotiating over how the snippets will be displayed or commit “webicide” by removing yourself from Google search results.

 

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Africa: Mobile broadband key to meeting Millennium Development Goals - Media Update

Africa: Mobile broadband key to meeting Millennium Development Goals - Media Update | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit held in Cape Town last week, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa shared insights on how Ericsson’s technology is for a force for good to enable the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

 

Mwambu Wanendeya, vice president for communications and sustainability for sub-Saharan Africa, delivered a keynote address titled ‘The Vision of a Networked Society.’ Wanendeya highlighted how increased access to affordable mobile broadband can free developing communities from poverty and change the way these societies live and access services such as education and healthcare.

 

Wanendeya said: “Several studies have shown that improved connectivity makes life easier, safer and better for people living in rural and urban communities, resulting in a better quality of life, increased productivity and ultimately, improved GDP. No longer considered a luxury, mobile broadband is critical infrastructure for the continent’s socioeconomic growth and prosperity.”

 

Citing the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) as a case study, Wanendeya shared the far-reaching impacts of implementing mobile technology based solutions at the grassroots. For the past five years, Ericsson has brought ICT and connectivity to the MVP, a partnership between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) that helps rural communities in 10 African countries to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

 

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FCC launches new mobile broadband subsidy

FCC launches new mobile broadband subsidy | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has begun the process to get competitive bids for new mobile broadband subsidies designed to bring 3G or 4G service to areas in the country that do not have it.

 

The FCC on Wednesday announced bidding procedures for the first phase of its new Mobility Fund and released a map of areas eligible for Mobility Fund service. The map includes large areas if the U.S. Mountain West, including large parts of Idaho, Nevada and Washington state, as well as large parts of Alaska. But several areas in the eastern U.S. are also eligible, including large chunks of West Virginia, northern New York and Maine.

 

The Mobility Fund, created in 2011 as part if the FCC's revamp of telephone subsidies under the Universal Service Fund, will award up to $300 million to mobile providers that bring service to new areas. Winning bidders must deploy either 3G service within two years or 4G service within three years of the award.

 

With the launch of the Mobility Fund, the FCC has recognized mobile service as a universal service priority for the first time, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

 

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