Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
123.6K views | +14 today
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Pinterest is to young designers as YouTube is to rising rock stars… | Blandin on Broadband

I have written about Target’s use of Pinterest in the past. I think it’s interesting to see the role that social media is playing in certain fields – like music and now design.


It’s the whole flattening of the world. I like to see a Minnesota company on the edge of making it happen. I would love to see Minnesotans get found through these channels. It’s just one more way that folks without broadband are at a disadvantage.


According to Fast Company


Click headline to read more--


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

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Remarks at Silicon Flatirons | Benton Foundation

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Remarks at Silicon Flatirons | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The message is simple, so simple it can be summed up in a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s second address to Congress.


“As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”


All of us have observed the growing convergence of previously separate and distinct communications services and with it, inevitably, the growing obsolescence of the Communications Act’s categories -- principally the titles that address common carriage, broadcasting, and cable. While there may continue to be a viable distinction on the consumer, or demand, side, it certainly is no longer true on the production, or supply, side.


As we consider the Communications Act, there is one high-level point that deserves emphasis. Internet speed means that even a new Telecommunications Act will be out of date the moment it is signed. The only way to deal with this reality is to have an expert agency capable of being as nimble as the innovators redefining technology and re-drawing the marketplace. In the event that the Commission is thwarted in its ability to apply its expert policy judgment then, in light of the new, ever-changing technology landscape, I believe the best and ultimate outcome would be Congress’s significant modification of the Communications Act.


Bigger picture, the FCC has the authority it needs to provide what the public needs -- open, competitive, safe, and accessible broadband networks. Indeed, that we have authority is well-settled. What remains open is not jurisdiction, but rather the best path to securing the public interest. Those are the challenges that the FCC will confront with the Open Internet, the IP transitions, the Incentive Auction, and other issues.


Click headline to access hot links to sources--


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

Majority of Organizations That Accept Payment Cards Fail to Maintain PCI Security Standards, New Verizon Report Finds | MarketWatch.com

Majority of Organizations That Accept Payment Cards Fail to Maintain PCI Security Standards, New Verizon Report Finds | MarketWatch.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new Verizon report has found that too many businesses, following their annual assessment for meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, fail to maintain ongoing compliance -- putting the businesses at an increased risk for data breaches, and financial and reputational damages.

 

The " Verizon 2014 PCI Compliance Report " affirms that payment card transactions remain a prime target for attackers, and the rate at which data breaches are occurring appears to be increasing. It is estimated by The Nilson Report that global credit cards fraud exceeded $11 billion in 2012 alone.


According to the report, in most cases, payment card data breaches are not a failure of security technology or of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, but rather a failure to implement appropriate compliance and security measures as intended.


"We continue to see many organizations viewing PCI compliance as a single annual event, unaware that compliance needs to have a 365 day-a-year focus," stated Rodolphe Simonetti, managing director, PCI practice, Verizon Enterprise Solutions.


However, there is a bright spot in the report: Organizations' initial compliance with the PCI standard has shown some improvement. In 2013, more than 82 percent of organizations were compliant with at least 80 percent of the PCI standard at the time of their annual baseline assessment, compared with just 32 percent in 2012.


There were also regional differences due to breach notification laws, varying legal requirements and levels of adoption. The Asia-Pacific region took the top spot (75 percent), followed by the U.S. with 56 percent and Europe with 31 percent in meeting at least 80 percent of the PCI requirements.


Click headline to read more, view video, charts & infographics and access hot link to full report and cover art--


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

Glenn Greenwald, Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, Bill Keller, and the New Public-Interest Journalism | The New Yorker

Glenn Greenwald, Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, Bill Keller, and the New Public-Interest Journalism | The New Yorker | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Lately, there’s been a lot of coverage of well-known journalists launching their own Web sites or going it alone with their existing ones: Glenn Greenwald, Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, and the All Things Digital crew come to mind. Now there’s an unlikely addition to the field: Bill Keller, the former executive editor and columnist of the Times. On Sunday, Keller announced he was leaving the paper to lead an online startup devoted to covering the criminal-justice system.


The news about Keller came hours before Greenwald’s new site, The Intercept, went live. It launched with an exclusive and disturbing story about the N.S.A.’s role in selecting targets for drone attacks, which, it claimed, contributes to the killing of innocent civilians in places like Pakistan and Yemen. The story relied on an unnamed source who used to operate U.S. drones, and it also quoted from documents that Edward Snowden leaked, which discussed drone operations. (Greenwald and Laura Poitras, one of his colleagues at The Intercept, were two of the journalists who broke the Snowden story.)


Keller’s baby, the Marshall Project, will be strictly not for profit, in the mold of ProPublica, the investigative news site that launched in 2007, under the leadership of Paul Steiger, a former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, and has since received many journalism awards. The initial financial backing for the Marshall Project will come from Neil Barsky, a former hedge-fund manager who was also a reporter at the Wall Street Journal; it will also seek tax-deductible donations from charitable foundations and other sources. The Intercept represents the initial rollout of a larger venture funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, which will have both a charitable and a commercial aspect. The journalism operation will be organized as a nonprofit, with editorial independence, and the technology side will be a regular business. Last fall, Omidyar said he would commit two hundred and fifty million dollars to the over-all venture, First Look Media, which is looking to launch a range of “digital magazines” and other media products.


Despite their differing origins and sources of funding, however, the Marshall Project and First Look Media share one thing in common: a commitment to high-quality, independent journalism, which tackles serious subjects and, when necessary, upsets powerful interests. In an era when it’s widely believed that online journalism has no place for in-depth reporting and muckraking, these developments caution against blanket statements.


Click headline to read more--


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

Cyberespionage operation 'The Mask' compromised organizations in 30-plus countries | NetworkWorld.com

Cyberespionage operation 'The Mask' compromised organizations in 30-plus countries | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A cyberespionage operation that used highly sophisticated multi-platform malware went undetected for more than five years and compromised computers belonging to hundreds of government and private organizations in more than 30 countries.


Details about the operation were revealed Monday in a paper by security researchers from antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab who believe the attack campaign could be state sponsored.


The Kaspersky researchers dubbed the whole operation "The Mask," the English translation for the Spanish word Careto, which is what the attackers called their main backdoor program. Based on other text strings found in the malware, the researchers believe its authors are probably proficient in Spanish, which is unusual for an APT (advanced persistent threat) campaign.


"When active in a victim system, The Mask can intercept network traffic, keystrokes, Skype conversations, PGP keys, analyze WiFi traffic, fetch all information from Nokia devices, screen captures and monitor all file operations," the Kaspersky researchers said in the research paper. "The malware collects a large list of documents from the infected system, including encryption keys, VPN configurations, SSH keys and RDP [remote desktop protocol] files. There are also several extensions being monitored that we have not been able to identify and could be related to custom military/government-level encryption tools."


Data found by investigating and monitoring a set of command-and-control (C&C) servers used by the attackers revealed more than 380 unique victims from 31 countries. The main targets of the operation are government institutions; embassies and other diplomatic missions; energy, oil and gas companies; research institutions; private equity firms and activists.


Victims were targeted using spear-phishing emails with links leading to websites that hosted exploits for Java and Adobe Flash Player, as well as malicious extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The URLs used were meant to impersonate the websites of popular newspapers, many in Spanish, but also The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Independent.


Click headline to read more--


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

Netflix performance on Verizon and Comcast has been dropping for months | Ars Technica

Netflix performance on Verizon and Comcast has been dropping for months | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix's speed rankings show that video streaming performance on Verizon and Comcast has been dropping for the past three to four months.


The rankings were updated this morning with data from January. Verizon FiOS dropped from sixth to seventh best in the US, swapping places with Time Warner Cable. Comcast stayed in 14th place out of 17 rated providers, while Verizon DSL dropped from 16th to 17th, trading places with Clearwire.


The story is really in how each provider's megabits per second changed from month to month. Verizon FiOS suffered just a tiny drop from 2.22Mbps to 2.2Mbps from October to November, but then it went down to 2.11Mbps in December and 1.82Mbps in January.


(Note that if you want to see a graph containing all ISPs, or get different data sets, check out this Netflix link. The charts in this story were generated using Netflix's tool, which rearranges the values in the y-axis depending on the data being presented. Make sure to check the Mbps numbers in the y-axis when examining each chart.)


Click headline to read more and view ranking and analytical charts--


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

FCC Speeds Up H Block Auction | Multichannel.com

FCC Speeds Up H Block Auction | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC announced on Feb. 10 that it was switching from five, 30-minute rounds to seven, 20-minute rounds in the H block auction, according to an FCC spokesperson.

 
That is standard procedure when bidding activity slows.
 
All 176 licenses had drawn a bid last week, but the lone bid on  North Platte, Neb., was withdrawn, so it is the only market without a provisionally winning bid. Even one bid is the provisional winner since there is no individual market floor price, only an aggregate floor of $1.564 billion, which Dish has guaranteed.
 
As of round 55, almost $1.29 billion had been bid for 175 of the 176 licenses, but there had only been 17 net bids. The auction will end when there are no more bids, of withdrawals, or waivers--bidders get a certain number of chances to signal they aren't bidding in a round but don't want the auction to end just yet.
 
The auction is the first of three congressionally mandated spectrum auctions, culminating in the broadcast incentive auction in mid-2015.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Wheeler Promises Action On Network Neutrality | Multichannel.com

Wheeler Promises Action On Network Neutrality | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said while he thinks Congress should rewrite the Communications Act, in the interim the FCC has the power and responsibility to protect the Open Internet, though he went no further on explaining how he will go about doing that beyond saying "in the coming days" he will outline his strategy.


In a speech at the Silicon Flatirons Center in Boulder, Colo., Monday, according to a copy of his speech, Wheeler delivered what he called the third installment in a trilogy of policy addresses--"Return of the Jedi, without the Ewoks." He said, borrowing from one of his favorite sources--Abraham Lincoln--that the FCC must "think anew, and act anew.” 


In the latter department, he said, the most obvious place where the FCC must "act anew" is on network neutrality.


That is because the D.C. Federal Appeals Court vacated the heart of the Commission's Open Internet order.


But Wheeler focused on what the court said the FCC an do, which is issue "issue enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness." That means, said Wheeler, that the FCC "has the authority it needs to provide what the public needs – open, competitive, safe, and accessible broadband networks."


He said the question now is not whether the FCC can can do that, but how.


Click headline to read more--

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

Chris Mitchell to Speak at Fiber Event in Stockholm Feb. 21 | community broadband networks

Chris Mitchell to Speak at Fiber Event in Stockholm Feb. 21 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On Friday, February 21, 2014, Christopher Mitchell of the ILSR will be speaking in Stockholm at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center. The event, titled Fibre: The key to creating world-class IT regions, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Sweden (1:30 a.m. CST for viewers in the U.S.) and will be livestreamed.


Chris will be providing an update on fiber efforts in the U.S. He will join a distinguished line-up of speakers including Benoit Felton. Felton joined us for Broadband Bits podast episode 21 to talk about his work in Stokab.


Click headline to read more--

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

Kansas Broadband Market Fights for Pro-Community Legislation | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

Kansas Broadband Market Fights for Pro-Community Legislation | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
The Kansas rural and urban broadband market - the people, businesses and organizations that pay for services - is demanding state government get out of the way and let the market get faster better Internet access. This market response is setting the stage for legislative battles in other states.


A statewide community petition drive demands legislators "bring NO broadband bill forward until you visit our communities and learn about our inadequate broadband." Topeka, KS entrepreneur Lazone Grays addresses the negative impact on small businesses of the ALEC-inspired, lobbyist-written bill that threatens communities' ability to implement their own best solutions to meet broadband needs.


From his vantage point in the state capital, and being actively engaged professionally in increasing communities' access to technology that prepares individuals for the work world, Grays discusses why and how constituents in all states must get into the broadband political game:


--there's a disconnect between constituents and legislators who believe they only answer to industry lobbyists;


--inadequate broadband infrastructure is an urban as well as rural problem; and


--small business must be the core of counterattacks on bad broadband bills.


Click headline to listen to this Gigabit Nation interview--

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

Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Will Support High-Speed Broadband Apps | Telecompetitor

Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Will Support High-Speed Broadband Apps | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When it comes to ultra-high-speed broadband, many people believe that if you build it, they will come. Others say people are more likely to come if they have a good idea in mind of what they want to do with the connection.


Mozilla seems to be firmly entrenched in the second camp, as evidenced by its launch last week of  a $300,000 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund. Mozilla said it will partner with the National Science Foundation and USIgnite to award funding to as many as 20 projects leveraging high-speed networks in Chattanooga and Kansas City.


According to a Mozilla blog post, the fund aims to “bring discoveries out of the lab and into the field to help move prototypes to Minimum Viable Pilots and get tools in the hands of users.”


US Ignite, launched in 2012, is a non-profit organization that aims to identify “transformative” high-speed broadband applications. Funding for US Ignite comes from tech and telecom companies including Juniper, NEC, Cisco, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, as well as Mozilla.


The National Science Foundation and several other government departments including the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense have been working with US Ignite since its inception. Some US Ignite-funded projects use government resources such as the Global Environment for Networking Innovations (GENI) network that interconnects universities with ultra-high-speed programmable networks.


US Ignite previously has made cash awards to help further promising projects in a variety of U.S. locations. In addition, Chattanooga’s Gig Tank Day in the past has made cash awards for promising projects in that city, where a network supporting gigabit speeds to end users has been deployed. Kansas City also has a network supporting that type of connectivity.


Click headline to read more--


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

TX: Gigabit Internet arrives in Austin, but it's not from Google, AT&T or Time Warner | Austin Business Journal

TX: Gigabit Internet arrives in Austin, but it's not from Google, AT&T or Time Warner | Austin Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tiny San Marcos-based Grande Communications has beaten web and telecom giants Google Inc. and AT&T Inc. to the punch in the fight to bring super high speed Internet to Austin, according to a report in Austin 360.


The company is reportedly prepared to unveil on Monday its new ultrafast offerings to a number of West Austin neighborhoods, including Belmont, Old Enfield, Rosedale, Oakmont Heights, Bryker Woods, Tarrytown and Pemberton Heights, according to Austin 360.


The new service, which features download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, will be available starting at $65 per month. Bundling the service with Grande's other TV and phone options could bring the price down, as well.


It is still months before AT&T or Google are set to get their super fast fiber networks up and running in Austin.


Click headline to read more--


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

The future of the desktop is a tabletop | NetworkWorld.com

The future of the desktop is a tabletop | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One day, the future of Intel's desktop business will lie within something that looks like the Microsoft Surface. No, not the tablet--the older, tabletop version. Remember that?


In a world increasingly defined by mobile devices, one might think that Intel's desktop business would be the equivalent of Siberia. In fact, the opposite is true, according to Lisa Graff, the vice president of the PC Client Group and general manager of the Desktop Client Platforms Group.


Last quarter, Intel shipped a record number of its Core i5 and i7 chips, Graff said in an interview, with more unit sales going to businesses than consumers. There are still a large number of businesses, such as banks, that would rather lock down their data than risk its wandering away on a mobile device, she said.


In fact, Intel sees its desktop business bifurcating: shrinking into smaller devices, such as the Next Unit of Computing (the NUC), where Intel's traditional desktop components are packed tightly within a chassis slightly smaller than a Rubik's Cube. Workstation and gaming PCs, however, will still demand a large, roomy chassis with abundant power and cooling. But when asked to describe the future of the desktop PC, Graff selected a more traditionally consumer-oriented device: the flat-screen TV.


Click headline to read more--


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

Federal Communications Law Compliance for 2014 - Notes from Baller Herbst | Blandin on Broadband


Thanks to Jim Baller for allowing me to share his Federal Communications Law Compliance for 2014 document. It is so valuable – and I think it’s so generous for him to share.


He has gone through everything from key principles of the Federal Universal Service program to Digital Media Copyright Act. I’ll include the table of contents below


Click headline to view the complete Table of Contents of the document--


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

Cable TV Revenues in California | Jonathan Kramer's Blog | CellTowerSites.com

Cable TV Revenues in California | Jonathan Kramer's Blog | CellTowerSites.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Each year, under California’s statewide cable TV franchise law (DIVCA) the California Public Utilities sets a fee to offset its administration costs.  It releases a report each year setting that fee.  As part of the 2013-2014 draft report, just released at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/SearchRes.aspx?docformat=ALL&DocID=88214113, the Commission disclosed that the Cable Industry’s gross video income for 2012 (the calculating basis) was $5,492,310,300.  When I say video service. that exclude income from Internet, Telephony, and a host of other income sources for cable TV systems.


The California Cable & Telecommunications Association reports that there are 5.5 million cable subscribers in this state.


Doing some very complicated math with the aid of a supercomputer on my cell phone, it turns out that the average annual video fee paid by each California cable subscriber in 2012 was $998.60, or $83.22 per month for just video service.


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

Who's behind The Mask? A guide to the spyware-on-steroids bundle | GigaOM Tech News

Who's behind The Mask? A guide to the spyware-on-steroids bundle | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab announced late Monday that it had uncovered what it calls “The Mask”, a bundle of cyber-nastiness that was apparently used to spy on people for as much as 7 years.


Here’s a primer on what The Mask was apparently capable of, and the hints we have as to its origins.


Click headline to read more--


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

You Want People To Have Strong Passwords? What Are You, Some Kind Of Communist? | Techdirt.com

You Want People To Have Strong Passwords? What Are You, Some Kind Of Communist? | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


Passwords are a pain. If they are strong, they are hard to remember, and if you can remember them they probably aren't strong. Of course, there are all those excellent password managers out there, but using them requires an even stronger password.... No wonder, then, that time and again we hear of people giving up and using simple-to-guess passwords, and of the awful consequences that result.


Stefania Maurizi points us to an Italian journalist, Nicola Porro, who's also had enough. He's written a blog for the newspaper Il Giornale, in which he describes tech people who keep giving him a hard time over his weak passwords as the "new communists" (original in Italian):


So why do I say they are communists, and not just idiots? For the simple reason that they don't believe in free will, or in individual freedom. Can't I be free not to change my password every month? Can't I be free to use a simple password? Can't I be free to choose whatever the devil I like? Can't I be free to consider it irrelevant whether somebody steals my data? Isn't it an option that whenever I'm online they screw me over and steal precious information from yours truly and that I'm not at liberty to put myself intentionally in danger in order to have an convenient password?


He goes on to say:


"and as for anyone who dares to say something about the risks of getting conned blah blah blah, I am quite happy to sign online once and for all that I accept full responsibility for any password theft."


I wonder if he's considered what might happen if his system were taken over as part of a botnet that took out a hospital's computer system, say, or were used to host and distribute child pornography: would he be happy about accepting responsibility for those too?


Click headline to read more--


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

U.S. CIO Urges Feds to Fail Fast, Not Fail Big | NetworkWorld.com

U.S. CIO Urges Feds to Fail Fast, Not Fail Big | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If Steve VanRoekel has his way, the end of large-scale, multi-year federal technology projects is near at hand.


VanRoekel, the CIO of the federal government, is calling for a dramatic shift in the way departments and agencies plan their IT projects. Speaking at a government IT conference last week, he urged attendees to embrace an agile, iterative strategy for tech deployments that would supplant the more ambitious, big-bang approach that has resulted in innumerable projects that ran over budget, past deadline and failed to deliver the anticipated results.


"When I say fail fast versus fail big, we need to think really hard about how we challenge ourselves to break these things down, to start small, to iterate rapidly, to do things in a way that you can fail and learn from that failure and then move quickly into the next phase," VanRoekel said.


In that sense, he suggests that department and agency CIOs follow the lead of the private sector, where the model of incremental development is in wide use. Talk to startups in Silicon Valley as well as large government IT contractors in Northern Virginia, he said, and agile is "the new normal. This is the mentality."


Click headline to read more--


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

Verizon, AT&T & Mediacom Drop In Netflix’s Streaming Rankings | Multichannel.com

Verizon, AT&T & Mediacom Drop In Netflix’s Streaming Rankings | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Led by Google Fiber, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, Suddenlink Communications and Charter Communications, the top five U.S. ISPs as ranked by Netflix remained unchanged in January while Verizon (DSL and FiOS Internet), AT&T U-verse, and Mediacom Communications all dropped at least one spot.


Taking the hardest hit in Netflix’s monthly ISP Speed Index for January was Mediacom Communications, which dropped five spots, to number 13 on a list that ranks 17 U.S. ISPs. Coincidentally, Mediacom, which provided an average Netflix streaming speed of 1.53 Mbps in January (versus 1.79 Mbps during the month prior), has been using a transparent caching system from Qwilt in favor of Open Connect, a private content delivery network that relies on Netflix-supplied edge caches. Until a shift in policy last September, Netflix had been withholding access to its library of higher bit rate “Super HD” content to subscribers who get broadband service from ISPs that are members of Open Connect.


Among others losing ground in the Netflix index, AT&T U-verse dropped three spots, to number 12, delivering an average Netflix stream of 1.59 Mbps in the month of January.


Verizon DSL, with an average streaming speed of 970 kbps, fell one spot to find itself in last place, behind Clearwire and its average of 990 kbps. Verizon FiOS also dropped a spot, to number 7, with an average of 1.81 Mbps, off from the 2.11 Mbps average posted by Netflix in December.


U.S. ISPs that made up ground included Time Warner Cable (one spot, to number 6); Bright House (five spots, to number 8); Windstream (two spots, to number 9); and Clearwire (one spot, to number 16).


But any shift in Verizon's results, even when viewed through Netflix's lens, comes at a sensitive time.


Click headline to read more--

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

Verizon Shelves Home Monitoring & Control Service | Multichannel.com

Verizon Shelves Home Monitoring & Control Service | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Communications confirmed reports that it stopped taking new orders for its Home Monitoring and Control service last fall, a decision that came about two years after the telco launched it.

Verizon’s pull-back, expected to be temporary, comes as several other service providers develop and launch home security and automation products designed to stoke new revenue growth in a fragmented yet still growing market led by ADT.

“We’re revisiting the service to more accurately reflect our vision for the connected home,” a Verizon spokesman said in a statement. “As technology and consumer expectations evolve so must our offerings. In the meantime, we continue to provide service and support for current Home Monitoring customers.”

Verizon declined to say how many customers are currently on the service, but noted that it stopped adding new home security and automation subscribers last October.

Verizon developed its smart home service platform in tandem with 4Home, a startup acquired in December 2010 by Motorola Mobility that also counted Verizon as an investor. Arris, which acquired the Motorola Home division from Google last April, dissolved the 4Home platform last year, according to CEPro. Arris was not immediately available for comment.

Verizon launched the service in October 2011, selling it for $9.99 per month alongside equipment packages (basic home monitoring, energy control and a third package that combined components of the first two) starting at $69.99. Verizon offered do-it-yourself and professional installation options.

Verizon will be stepping aside temporarily as others push ahead. AT&T, for example, had its Digital Life product rolled out to at least 58 U.S. markets by the end of 2013. Several cable operators, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Rogers Communications, have developed and deployed home security and automation services in tandem with iControl, a firm that has recently opened up its platform to app developers and third-party hardware suppliers.


Click headline to read more--

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

Did Mt.Gox really need to suspend Bitcoin withdrawals? | NetworkWorld.com

Mt.Gox, the world's oldest Bitcoin exchange, caused a massive drop in the price of Bitcoin after it suspended its transactions on Friday to correct a flaw in the transaction process that could enable fraud.


Since the announcement, some have questioned whether Mt.Gox actually needed to address the problem, and if it did, whether it needed to shut down transactions on its network in order to do so.


In an updated announcement of the service suspension released today, Mt.Gox identified "transaction malleability" as the bug that has enabled fraud on its network. The company claimed that it had "detected unusual activity on its Bitcoin wallets and performed investigations during the past weeks," which "confirmed the presence of transactions which need to be examined more closely." The announcement also conveniently offered both a "technical" and "non-technical" explanation of the problem. This part, from the "technical explanation," explains the risk:


"[A]n individual could request bitcoins from an exchange or wallet service, alter the resulting transaction's hash before inclusion in the blockchain, then contact the issuing service while claiming the transaction did not proceed. If the alteration fails, the user can simply send the bitcoins back and try again until successful."


Clearly, it's a threat. However, it's not a new threat to anyone in the Bitcoin community. As many have pointed out, Bitcoin developers have been aware of transaction malleability since about 2011, and have even created a Wiki page for the bug.


In an interview with CyptoCoinsNews.com, Bitcoin core developer Greg Maxwell says that although Mt.Gox appears to be taking a proactive measure against the threat posed by transaction malleability, it shouldn't need to cause such massive disruption do so.


Click headline to read more--


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

Did Congress Empower the FCC to Regulate the Internet? Appeals Court Says ‘Yes’ | Benton Foundation

Did Congress Empower the FCC to Regulate the Internet? Appeals Court Says ‘Yes’ | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last month’s blockbuster ruling throwing out the key provisions of the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 Network Neutrality rules justifies taking a hard look at Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.


Opponents and proponents of Network Neutrality have, understandably, focused their attention on whether the FCC should take the invitation of the court to "reclassify" broadband services as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. In the near term, the controversy over reclassification will be front and center. But the longest lasting and most important legacy of the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is likely to be its expansive interpretation of Section 706.


An appeal to the Supreme Court is possible, but unlikely. (The FCC would have to decide to seek Supreme Court review and ask the Solicitor General to take the case. Even if he agrees to do so, the Supreme Court would have to grant review, something that it rarely does in the absence of a conflict between lower courts, which is not the case here. Other parties to the case could also appeal, but their likelihood of success is even lower. Thus, whether or not the FCC chooses to reclassify broadband, we are almost certainly going to be living under the appeals court’s interpretation of Section 706.


For some 14 years, the FCC did not consider Section 706 to be an independent source of regulatory authority, but rather thought of it more as a guiding principle to be effectuated using other provisions of the Communications Act. However, after the D.C. Circuit rejected the Commission’s effort to invoke other provisions of the Communications Act to support Net Neutrality policies in 2010, the Commission revisited Section 706 and determined that it could, indeed, be the basis for substantive regulation. Although last month’s decision dealt the Commission a severe blow by rejecting two of the three elements of the Commission’s Net Neutrality rules (anti-blocking and anti-discrimination), it did uphold the Commission’s transparency rules requiring Internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose their network management practices. In doing so, the Commission set forth an extremely broad reading of Section 706.


Here is what Sections 706(a) and 706(b) say:


Click headline to read more--


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

'Special Excess': The Secret Broadband, Internet, Cable, Wireless and Phone Networks | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost

'Special Excess': The Secret Broadband, Internet, Cable, Wireless and Phone Networks | Bruce Kushnick Blog | HuffPost | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Forget about the NSA and the phone networks. There's another secret network you should know about. I call it "special excess," though it's known in the telecom industry as "special access." You won't hear about these secret wires. For example, when AT&T and Verizon tell us they are losing lines, the special access wires are not part of the accounting, even though they represent the majority of access lines in America.


Or when you hear that local service is losing money, the secret is that much of the revenues from these "special" networks are not being added to that calculation and are hidden from sight. Some analysts estimate that they are overcharging the competitors and businesses that use these networks by more than $12 billion annually. Or worse, this network has obscene profit margins of over 100 percent last time there was any data available, which was 2007.


And yet there's nothing special about special access lines. They are just more wires and services that are part of the network, as this diagram above shows.


And of course you are paying for this excess. When you make a wireless call, it ends up going to a cell tower and then takes a ride on a wire. Or when you download or upload using your broadband connection, these bits are all traveling over these monopoly wires.


In fact, No Choke Points, a group that's been talking about special access for years, states:


Nearly every American uses high-capacity broadband lines each day. These lines connect our cell phones, workplaces, banks, factories, data centers, universities, and hospitals to enable communications among customers, employees, suppliers, government, and each one of us.


And according to most sources, these wires are monopoly products, as the incumbent phone companies -- AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink -- control an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the market in their own territories.


This is one of the reasons that America's broadband is expensive or your cellphone service has data caps. Think of it like the gas in your car. They keep raising the price. Special excess is the gas of the Internet; the more expensive it gets, the less you get to travel, and at slower speeds, and the more you have to pay.


And at this time there is a war going on about these services and wires, even though this has long been simmering, in part because the FCC has been kicking the ball down court since 2005 and letting the incumbent companies -- AT&T, Verizon, and Centurylink -- reap the benefits.


But this is only a small brushfire compared to the host of hidden secrets no one is talking about -- until now. I'll get to that.


Click headline to read more--


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

WA: Broadband: Pursue what’s best for the city; charge providers | SeattleTimes.com

WA: Broadband: Pursue what’s best for the city; charge providers | SeattleTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Letters to the Editor--


Pursue what’s best for the city, not Comcast


Thank you guest columnist Ron Main for explaining why I need Comcast to continue to provide me with slow, often unreliable Internet access at a very high cost [“Why Seattle does not need to build a broadband network,” Opinion, Feb. 5].


He justifies his argument against city involvement, in part, by claiming that 95 percent of city and state residents don’t avail themselves of Comcast’s “higher” speed offerings — so ergo, they don’t care about “fiber to home” access. He conveniently neglects to mention that Comcast charges high dollars for these increased speeds — a self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.


Main’s arguments are cynical, self-serving and detrimental to Seattle’s “world-class” aspirations. I urge our city leaders to pursue what’s best for its residents and not Comcast.


Beverly Marcus, Seattle


Charge service providers rates for public infrastructure



Given the recent court rulings concerning censorship around content management on the Internet, and the even more laughable “corporations are people” ruling, do we really want to hand the most powerful tool of the last hundred years over to a tightly organized group of scalpers? Maybe we should give more land to the railroads while we’re at it.



I suggest that if the so-called providers need access to more publicly owned infrastructure, like street side poles or underground conduits, that they pay a monthly subscription rate, much like their customer bases. That way, when unexplained or buried increases show up in our bills, they too will have their rates raised. At least the public coffers might see a fair return on their infrastructure ownership.


                                                                                                        Lawrence Kida, Seattle

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

IL: Chicago takes step on affordable high-speed Internet | ChicagoTribune.com

IL: Chicago takes step on affordable high-speed Internet | ChicagoTribune.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Plans to bring affordable gigabit-speed Internet to some Chicago neighborhoods took a step forward Monday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office issued requests for qualifications from potential vendor partners.


This begins a two-phase process through which the mayor’s office will select a service provider to help fund the deployment of gigabit Internet in seven “Innovation Zones” across the city.


The zones are the Loop; West Loop; River North; University of Chicago and Medical Center; Illinois Institute of Technology and Bronzeville Commercial District; and Ravenswood and Pullman Industrial Corridors.


Emanuel in September 2012 announced the Chicago Broadband Challenge as a plan to create the infrastructure for high-speed Internet throughout the city. Initial plans suggested outfitting 15 commercial corridors with gigabit-speed Internet. The city slashed that number after it determined that only those seven zones had sufficient fiber and other assets available to support demand in those areas, said Kate Yager, the city’s deputy chief of policy.


Before powering up the seven zones, the city says it must take several months reviewing qualifications and proposals from potential vendors.


Click headline to read more and access hot link to download the full innovation map--


more...
No comment yet.