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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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Boston rumors aside, cell service can be halted - Brooks Boliek | POLITICO.com

Boston rumors aside, cell service can be halted - Brooks Boliek | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

The government’s process for shutting down a wireless network is shrouded in both secrecy and controversy.

 

Amid the chaos in Boston on Monday, The Associated Press erroneously reported that all cell service had been shut down throughout the city out of fear that other bombs might be detonated via mobile phone.

 

In truth, cell outages had more predictable causes — massive use that overwhelmed the available bandwidth and interfered with calls, texts and Internet access.

 

Still, the incident pointed to a little-known fact: The government does have a means of shutting down wireless communications and it has been done at least twice. But of course, the idea is controversial.

 

“For the most part, there is no good reason to do it,” said Parker Higgins, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

Higgins’s objection is twofold — it may be unconstitutional and, also, it can easily disrupt rescue efforts and increase public anxiety. Even with overloaded circuits, cellphones were crucial on Monday to summoning emergency workers and allowing people near the blasts to tell relatives and friends they were OK. Phones, Higgins said, are “terribly important as calming devices” that can lower the public’s panic level.


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Antitrust Chief Supports Limits on Wireless Companies | NYTimes.com

Antitrust Chief Supports Limits on Wireless Companies | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

The Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer said on Tuesday that he supported limits on how much of the nation’s airwaves a single wireless company could hold, a condition that could keep AT&T and Verizon from bidding on certain blocks of airwaves during auctions.

 

William J. Baer, the assistant attorney general who oversees the antitrust division, told a Senate subcommittee that limits were needed to promote competition in the market for wireless broadband service.

 

The remarks echoed comments filed by the Justice Department last week in response to a Federal Communications Commission request for recommendations on how public airwaves, or spectrum, should be allocated. The F.C.C. sought the comments in preparation for the auction, in 2014, of spectrum that it is hoping to reclaim from television broadcasters.

 

In its filing, the antitrust division said it supported auction rules that would ensure smaller carriers could continue to compete for wireless customers, but it avoided saying that a strict limit, or screen, was the best way to go about it. Currently, the F.C.C. looks at acquisitions of new spectrum on a case-by-case basis, seeking to keep any one company from dominating a given market.

 

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Because Some Students At Stanford Go To Startups, That Somehow Means Stanford Is No Longer A University? | Techdirt

Because Some Students At Stanford Go To Startups, That Somehow Means Stanford Is No Longer A University? | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

First off, I should note that I like Nick Thompson, the editor of The New Yorker's website. I thought he was great back when he was at Wired, and later when he was an editor for The New Yorker magazine as well. So I'm a bit perplexed by his recent blog post bemoaning the fact that some students at Stanford drop out to do startups and that those startups often have strong ties to Stanford. I should note that I've got no personal connection to Stanford (though it appears Thompson is an alum). However, I'm really struggling to see what the problem is. Having real world skills and being able to do something with them seems like a good thing. Having a university right in the heart of Silicon Valley with close ties to Silicon Valley seems worthwhile.

The article even mentions how this has historically been the case as well, as many of Silicon Valley's most successful companies have close ties to Stanford, going back to Federal Telegraph and Hewlett Packard -- often considered the two "founding" tech companies of Silicon Valley. But where things get really confusing is that Thompson seems to leap from the idea that some rather small percentage of students have created startups, with a few of them having close connections to faculty and administrators, to the idea that this is some sort of "requirement" for students at Stanford:

 

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Smart grid progress: Missouri poised to make grid modernization easier | Smart Grid News

Smart grid progress: Missouri poised to make grid modernization easier | Smart Grid News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Far too many U.S. states make it difficult and dangerous for utilities to modernize the grid. They refuse to allow cost recovery until after the project has been completed and "passes inspection." That puts all the risk on utilities, since there is every possibility that the utilities commission will deny all or part of the recovery, leaving the utility stuck with the bill.


Of course it is important that utilities be held accountable, but that is best done with performance metrics tied to rewards and penalties. That's why I was pleased to see that Missouri is considering a bill that would bring its regulations into the 21st century. Let's hope that it happens, and that it then spreads to Missouri's neighbors.


A bill now under consideration by the Missouri legislature could give the state's electric power utilities the incentives they need to improve the electric power infrastructure.

 

In an editorial for the Springfield News-Leader, former Governor Kit Bond harshly criticized the bill's opponents.


Missouri's grid is in dire need of improvements, he said, "yet opponents of this legislation have no plan to deal with our aging power grid. Instead, they have buried their heads in the sand… Their do-nothing strategy prevents the electric utilities from being able to make critical improvements."

 

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The Greatest Trick The Government Ever Pulled Was Convincing The Public The 'Hacker Threat' Exists | Techdirt

The Greatest Trick The Government Ever Pulled Was Convincing The Public The 'Hacker Threat' Exists | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The US government is already fighting wars on several fronts, including the perpetual War on Terror. "War is the health of the state," as Randolph Bourne stated, and the state has never been healthier, using this variety of opponents as excuses to increase surveillance, curtail rights and expand power.

Bruce Schneier highlights a piece written by Molly Sauter for the Atlantic which poses the question, "If hackers didn't exist, would the government have to invent them?" The government certainly seems to need some sort of existential hacker threat in order to justify more broadly/badly written laws (on top of the outdated and overbroad CFAA). But the government's portrayal of hackers as "malicious, adolescent techno-wizards, willing and able to do great harm to innocent civilians and society at large," is largely false. If teen techno-wizards aren't taking down site after site, how is all this personal information ending up in hackers' hands? Plain old human carelessness.

 

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Government Has Already Fooled Us More Than Once On Privacy; History Belies How CISPA Will Be Used | Techdirt

Government Has Already Fooled Us More Than Once On Privacy; History Belies How CISPA Will Be Used | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the key things we've seen in the pushback on CISPA is that its backers insist that people arguing against it don't really understand how the bill works, and that it does protect privacy. CISPA sponsor Rep. Mike Rogers himself took to Twitter this morning to tell the EFF that it's misreading his bill.

 

But, of course, as we've seen, it seems that Rogers himself is the one being misleading when it comes to privacy. If he truly believed in privacy protections, he would have supported a variety of straightforward amendments that made it clear how privacy could be protected. But he didn't. Instead, he clearly left it open for abuse.

 

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How to Pick an FCC Chair Who Gets It | Preeti Vissa Blog | Huff Post

How to Pick an FCC Chair Who Gets It | Preeti Vissa Blog | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

With outgoing FCC Chair Julius Genachowski's next career move already announced, talk in Washington is that President Obama will be nominating his successor sooner rather than later. This is important to the future of all communities in a world increasingly dependent on telecommunications technology.

 

And getting this appointment right isn't as simple as it seems.

 

As my colleague Stephanie Chen has been pointing out in a series of posts lately, this is not just a question of finding someone with generic qualifications for working at the FCC -- smarts, knowledge of telecommunications, etc. Lots and lots of people have those basic qualifications.

 

What we need is someone specifically ready for the unique and complex challenges that telecom regulators will have to address over the next several years. Those challenges haven't gotten nearly enough attention from the media.

 

First of all, you might expect the world's leading economy to have a world-leading telecommunications network. Instead, out of 33 countries, we rank 15th in terms of broadband adoption, 9th in broadband speed, and 21st in broadband prices. Indeed, our phone companies have trouble guaranteeing you'll actually be able to place and receive a call when you want to.

 

Perhaps most critically, there's the question of "universal service." Universal Service -- the notion that everyone should have access to affordable telephone service at just and reasonable rates -- has been this country's policy since 1934. It's still a vital principle, but the technological landscape in which it operates is changing rapidly. Instead of essentially immobile devices connected by miles of copper wire, we now have mobile networks and increasing use of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, to transmit phone signals.

 

And, as Stephanie noted recently, that's where things get tricky:

 

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White House revives its CISPA veto threat - Tony Romm | POLITICO.com

White House revives its CISPA veto threat - Tony Romm | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

The Obama administration renewed its threat to veto the House's flagship cybersecurity bill — a second rebuke in two years, once again made on the eve of the measure's arrival on the full chamber floor.

 

While the White House offered limited praise for this year's version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, the administration reaffirmed in its official Statement of Administration Policy issued Tuesday that CISPA remains riddled with inadequate privacy protections.

 "Both government and private companies need cyberthreat information to allow them to identify, prevent, and respond to malicious activity that can disrupt networks and could potentially damage critical infrastructure," the administration said.

 

Yet, the statement continued, "However, the administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."

 

In the end, CISPA still is likely to pass the House — much as it did in 2012, after the administration first brandished its veto pen.

 

Still, the White House's play could give Democrats new cover to vote against the information-sharing bill. And it lays down a fresh marker in what's sure to be a lengthy congressional debate over the country's digital defenses, which soon heads back to the Senate.

 

"Obviously, we want to see as much concern expressed by House members," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a CISPA opponent, earlier this week, "so that even if it passes, we hope it's not an overwhelming vote going into conference."

 

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NY: Internet expansion key for region | Denton Publications

A statewide $25 million project to expand high-speed internet access in rural New York through the Connect NY Broadband Grant Program is welcome news.

 

The project includes $2.1 million to provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service to 457 households in the unserved areas of Schroon and North Hudson. The service will be delivered utilizing fiber to the home technology.

 

Also included is $557,000 for Essex County broadband service expansion. That money will provide high-speed broadband service to households that do not have access in Jay and Wilmington, passing 1,900 homes. The project will also provide digital video services and potentially a competitive telephone service.

 

Statewide the projects will build approximately 6,000 square miles of new infrastructure and will provide high-speed internet service to 153,000 New York households, 8,000 businesses and 400 community anchor institutions.

 

While internet use has become the norm, it’s still not available in many areas. High-speed service, normally provided through cable companies, typically stops where cable television service ends. That means hundreds of rural areas remain without high-speed internet access.

 

High-speed internet expansion is crucial for the North Country, which faces the “digital divide.” The term was coined by sociologists to describe a split in American society between those with access to readily available information and those who do not. Most agree, people without access to the internet are at a disadvantage.

 

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Australia: Can Turnbull deliver his NBN? Have your say | Biz Spectator

Australia: Can Turnbull deliver his NBN? Have your say | Biz Spectator | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

Have a view on The Coalition's NBN plan? Have your say in our questionare below. 


The Coalition’s National Broadband Network (NBN) plan has been poorly received in many quarters and the subsequent NBN-related polls indicate that Labor’s NBN is a clear winner. 

 

Business will be affected by any decision to wind back the current NBN rollout and the extent of this concern will become evident as more becomes known about the Coalition NBN plan. Some of the members of the Australian Information Industry Association have cautiously supported elements of the plan and provided guidance of key concerns, including the need for the Coalition to ensure that Telstra is structurally separated and for NBN Co to be prevented from competing with internet service providers.

 

Just how NBN Co would remain solvent under the Coalition’s plan to bolster competition in the access market has not been explained by the Coalition.

 

As things stand, companies with existing access networks will be able to expand their networks and cherry pick customers in major urban areas without being required to commit to providing wholesale access for competitors or committing to products and price restrictions imposed on NBN Co.

 

This is just one of many issues that the shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull will need to address.

 

While the release of the Coalition’s long-awaited NBN policy provides a modicum of certainty for businesses and consumers, there are substantial execution and regulatory hurdles that could pose headaches for Turnbull. 


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MA: An exclusive interview with CCCC President John Cox on why the college chose Comcast | CapeCodToday.Com

MA: An exclusive interview with CCCC President John Cox on why the college chose Comcast | CapeCodToday.Com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

“Cape Cod Community College Reaches for the Clouds with Comcast…” – so said the headline on DailyMarkets.com on March 28th.

 

Across the Cape, heads turned as word leaked out that CCCC had signed a three-year contract for fiber optic Internet service with Comcast.

 

No Cape Cod institution was more instrumental than the Cape Cod Community College in the genesis of OpenCape – the fiber optic broadband network that is being built in southeastern Massachusetts with government funds. Indeed, former CCCC President Kathleen Schatzberg and retired IT director Dan Gallagher were prime movers in advancing OpenCape. Gallagher subsequently retired from the college to lead OpenCape until his departure last fall.

 

Given the College’s lead role in OpenCape’s development, many view with surprise that CCCC ended up contracting with Comcast.

 

Over the past ten days we have interviewed CCCC President John Cox about the circumstances leading to the Comcast contract and also for details about the contract itself. President Cox answered a broad range of questions, so we will let his words tell the story through our email Q&A with him.

 

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Sony ISP launches world's fastest home Internet, 2Gbps | PCWorld

Sony ISP launches world's fastest home Internet, 2Gbps | PCWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Sony-backed ISP in Japan has launched a 2Gbps Internet service, which it said is the world’s fastest for home use.

 

So-net Entertainment began offering its “Nuro” fiber-based service on Monday to homes, apartments, and small businesses in Tokyo and six surrounding prefectures. Nuro will cost ¥4,980 (US$51) per month on a two-year contract, plus a ¥52,500 installation fee that it is currently offering for free for those that apply online. The upload speed is 1Gbps.

 

The company said the service includes rental of an ONU (optical network unit) designed to handle the high speeds. ONU devices are commonly used in homes and business to convert fiber to broadband Internet. Individual users of the service are unlikely to see 2Gbps speeds on their devices, as it exceeds the capacity of most consumer network adaptors.

 

The Japanese government has strongly backed fiber connections to private residences, and the country is now among the world leaders. About 25 percent of Japanese households are currently connected, the second-highest rate in the world, according to data from regional FTTH, or Fibre to the Home, organizations. The UAE is the highest at over 70 percent.

 

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KS: Lawrence-based Wicked Broadband announces plan to install super-fast 1 Gig Service | Lawrence Journal World

 

It is being billed as Lawrence’s version of Google Fiber — without the Google.

 

Lawrence-based Wicked Broadband on Tuesday announced that it is launching a pilot project to install in a Lawrence neighborhood the same super-fast 1 gigabit per second Internet service that is garnering national attention for Kansas City and Google.

 

Wicked Broadband co-owner Joshua Montgomery told a crowd gathered at a Tuesday afternoon announcement party that Lawrence needed to upgrade its Internet infrastructure if it wants to compete for new businesses in the future.

 

“We’re now right next door to the fastest network in the country,” Montgomery said. “If a startup company is going to choose between Lawrence and Olathe, they are going to choose Olathe because it has the infrastructure.”

 

Montgomery said Wicked — which has operated under the names Lawrence Freenet and Community Wireless Communications Corp., at various times — will run a contest to determine which Lawrence neighborhood will become the first to have the high-speed service installed.

 

Similar to how Google chose neighborhoods in Kansas City, residents will be allowed to preregister on Wicked Broadband’s website. The neighborhood with the highest percentage of homes preregistering and paying the $10 registration fee will be chosen as the test neighborhood. The company plans to announce the winner on June 16, and Montgomery said he hopes installation work would begin later this year.

 

How many other neighborhoods in the city receive the high-speed service will depend on how much demand residents show for the service.

“We think it will be very popular,” Montgomery said. “You’ll be able to engage in commerce and communications in ways you’ve never done before.”

 

The high-speed service has been touted as having immediate applications in the gaming and entertainment world. Montgomery said a nearly three-minute promotional video for his company took four hours to upload onto the Internet via a traditional connection in Lawrence. On a 1 gigabit connection, it took 45 seconds.

 

Montgomery said Wicked plans to offer 1 gigabit residential service for $99.98 per month; 100 mbps service for $69.98 per month and 20 mbps service for $49.98 per month. None of the plans will have usage caps, nor will uploading speeds be reduced, Montgomery said.

 

“We’re going to provide disruptive pricing into the marketplace,” Montgomery said.

 

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The More Mobile Devices You Have, the More Valuable Mobile Content Becomes | AllThingsD.com

The More Mobile Devices You Have, the More Valuable Mobile Content Becomes | AllThingsD.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

Smartphones aren’t simply transforming the manner in which media is delivered and consumed; they’re transforming its value, as well. This according to the Boston Consulting Group, which argues that mobile devices are far more than just enablers of media consumption.

 

In a new report, “Through the Mobile Looking Glass,” BCG notes that consumers’ perceived value of online media increases as they purchase additional mobile devices. According to the firm’s research, there is a 41 percent increase in perceived media value when consumers add a second mobile device to their collection, another 40 percent increase when they add a third, and a 30 percent increase when they add a fourth.

 

In other words, people with more mobile devices value the media they get through them more than those with fewer devices. Makes sense, right? You get more value out of your HBO subscription if you’re able to finish that “Game of Thrones” episode you started watching on your TV set on your iPad while commuting home from work. And if your iPad battery runs out on that trip and you can finish it on your phone? More value still, right?

 

It’s an interesting idea: Mobile devices can inspire people to value a product or service above and beyond what they pay for it. Is that a boon for media companies?

 

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Content that follows devices offering easy access to information will be a boom for one to one learning and BYOD implementations.

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Japan Unveils 2/1Gbps Fiber Broadband Service for $51/Month; Phone Service for $5.38 | Stop the Cap!

Japan Unveils 2/1Gbps Fiber Broadband Service for $51/Month; Phone Service for $5.38 | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Japan has leapfrogged over Google’s revolutionary 1Gbps broadband service with twice the speed for roughly $20 less a month.

 

Sony-owned So-net Entertainment on Monday introduced its 2Gbps optical fiber GPON service called NURO, charging as little as $51 a month for 2/1Gbps service.

 

“Light NURO is reasonably priced, very high-speed fiber to the home broadband that delivers the world’s fastest speeds on technology usually reserved for commercial service,” the company said.

 

NURO is available in Tokyo and six Kantō region prefectures, including Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, and Ibaraki.

 

Customers agreeing to a two-year contract get the best prices and a waiver (in certain circumstances) of installation fees as high as $540. Customers wishing to avoid a term contract can sign up for around $77 a month.

 

Customers are supplied a wireless router with support for speeds up to 450Mbps backwards-compatible with all Wi-Fi wireless devices.

 

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Canada: Exiting Rogers CEO Gets $18.5 Million Retirement Package While Your Rates Increase | Stop the Cap!

Canada: Exiting Rogers CEO Gets $18.5 Million Retirement Package While Your Rates Increase | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

Exiting Rogers Communications CEO Nadir Mohamed won’t be hurting when he leaves one of Canada’s largest telecom companies next year.

Documents filed with securities regulators disclose Mohamed’s golden retirement package includes:

 

$5.5 million in cash;$6.8 million in non-transferable stock that can be liquidated later;Another $6.2 million in stock options.

 

Mohamed has also signed a non-compete agreement to stay out of the telecom business for a year after he leaves Rogers.

 

Last year, Mohamed earned $8.21 million from a combination of his $1.2 million salary and various bonuses and stock awards.

 

Last spring, Mohamed presided over job cuts of 300 management and head office positions.

 

Rogers increased its rates in January to cover “increasing costs.”

 

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Comcast Encrypting Everything; No Box? We’ll Cancel Your Cable TV Service | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Encrypting Everything; No Box? We’ll Cancel Your Cable TV Service | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

Comcast will encrypt the entire lineup of its cable television service, including local channels, starting with two markets in New England and gradually rolling out this summer across all of Comcast’s service areas.

 

The encryption will obsolete cable reception of QAM signals, which some cable customers use to avoid paying for set-top equipment.

 

Comcast called FCC approval of its encryption request a victory for consumers because it will “allow us to automate certain system functions and will reduce the need for scheduled in-home appointments, providing greater convenience for our customers.” Comcast also candidly said it will dramatically reduce signal theft and unauthorized viewing by past due customers, which can now be shut off from the cable office instead of dispatching technicians to the home to disconnect service.

 

Consumer and Comcast customer Brier Dudley begs to differ. In two columns in the Seattle Times, Dudley writes Comcast is tightening the screws on its customers, forcing them to get unwanted equipment that will eventually cost them monthly rental fees set “at market rates.”

 

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Virgin Media’s New Speed Throttle Spreadsheet = Bait and Switch Broadband | Stop the Cap!

Virgin Media’s New Speed Throttle Spreadsheet = Bait and Switch Broadband | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Stop the Cap! has hammered ISPs for a long time for promising “unlimited” broadband but sneaking in “traffic management speed throttles” they call a matter of fairness and we call deceptive marketing.

 

Virgin Media’s UK broadband customers have just been introduced to the extreme absurdity of selling “insanely fast” fiber broadband that comes with a sneaky spreadsheet guaranteed to confuse all but the most observant byte counters.

 

Some customers suspect Virgin Media is just retaliating for repeated findings from British regulators that the company runs dodgy advertising that promises one thing and delivers something entirely different in the fine print. More than two dozen of their TV commercials and print advertisements have been banned for deceptive ad claims, ranging from the “fastest broadband in Britain” (not exactly) to promotions promising “free service” that actually costs around £15 a month (what is a dozen quid or so among friends).

 

So why does Virgin Media need traffic management? They have oversold the service to too many customers and won’t invest enough in upgrades to keep up with demand.

 

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Breaking News: Provo, Utah the Next City Slated for Gigabit Google Fiber | Stop the Cap!

Breaking News: Provo, Utah the Next City Slated for Gigabit Google Fiber | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Provo, Utah will be the third city in the country to get Google’s gigabit fiber network, in part because fiber infrastructure installed by a defunct provider that ran into money problems is now likely available for Google’s use.

 

The announcement came from Provo Mayor John Curtis this afternoon.

 

The choice of Provo was a surprise even to area residents, who speculated the “epic announcement” promised by Provo’s deputy mayor Corey Norman involved the opening of a new Popeye’s Chicken location or a second Red Lobster headed to town. Instead, it is only 1,000/1,000Mbps broadband for a likely price of $70 a month.

 

Provo’s existing fiber infrastructure, now owned by the local government, was likely a major reason in selecting the city of 115,000 for a Google-style upgrade.

 

The announcement came a little over a week after Google announced Austin, Tex. as the second stop for Google’s fiber upgrade. The surprise announcement may create waves in the telecom industry that earlier assumed Google was only interested in developing a demonstration project in Kansas City. It is now likely Google has bigger plans than that.

 

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A Fighter for the Public Interest at the FCC | Victor Pickard Blog | Huff Post

A Fighter for the Public Interest at the FCC | Victor Pickard Blog | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

Does it matter who chairs the Federal Communications Commission? People might be forgiven if they think it doesn't, especially as President Obama considers a former corporate lobbyist to head the agency. Won't Rupert Murdoch, regardless of who's FCC chair, simply buy whatever media outlets he desires? Won't powerful companies like Comcast or AT&T just continue to dictate policies affecting internet speeds, access, costs, and content?

 

Given repeated concessions to industry interests in recent years -- from weak net neutrality protections to approving the Comcast/NBCU mega-merger -- it's easy to assume the FCC has always been helpless to rein in the powerful media and telecom corporations that it's meant to regulate. But history suggests otherwise, reminding us of what could, and what should, be possible.

 

Over 70 years ago America faced similar challenges with harnessing a communication technology's democratic potential, and a public interest defender rose to the occasion. In the late 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt watched as newspaper companies rapidly bought up broadcast stations. What had been hailed as a great democratizing force -- radio -- was being over-commercialized, degraded by poor programming and excessive advertising. Roosevelt wanted an FCC chair who would stand up to powerful media lobbies and help rescue radio's fading democratic promise. In James Lawrence "Larry" Fly he found someone who not only wouldn't back down, but would relish defending the public interest against media monopolies.

 

Larry Fly's appointment to the FCC chairmanship in 1939 marked a decidedly different turn for the commission, initiating a nearly decade-long progressive regulatory orientation for American media policy. Previously Fly had cut his regulatory teeth on policy battles handling anti-trust cases at the Justice Department and then heading the Tennessee Valley Authority's legal department. He viewed monopoly power with a deep-seated suspicion, believing that capitalism foundered without competition. He held special disregard for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), whom he once likened to a "dead mackerel in the moonlight -- it both shines and stinks."

 

Fly did not fear provoking powerful industries. Corporate attorney and presidential candidate Wendell Willkie called Fly "the most dangerous man in America -- to have on the other side." Beyond being known as a fighter, his life's work would be defined by a commitment to civil liberties and democratic principles. He viewed the American media system as democracy's infrastructure; too precious to leave to profit motives alone.

 

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White House will oppose CISPA in its current form | The Verge

White House will oppose CISPA in its current form | The Verge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

As an amended version of CISPA nears a vote on the House floor, the White House has once again stated that it has fundamental problems with the cybersecurity bill in its current form. In an official policy statement, the Obama Administration said that lawmakers had not addressed several issues regarding information-sharing and privacy, and that "if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill." Instead, it urged a continuing dialog between Congress and the President in order to create a more acceptable version.

 

Specifically, the White House remains concerned that CISPA does not require companies to "take reasonable steps" to strip personal information when sharing user data with the government or other businesses. This has been a major point of contention between CISPA supporters and civil libertarians, who worry that the bill would give companies immunity for swapping user data inappropriately. The White House says that an amended CISPA should "incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards" into its text, but it also worries more generally about limiting the liability of companies when they're faced with a potential security problem. "Even if there is no clear intent to do harm," the statement reads, "the law should not immunize a failure to take reasonable measures, such as the sharing of information, to prevent harm," it writes.

 

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CISPA Renders Online Privacy Agreements Meaningless, But Sponsor Sees No Reason To Fix That | Techdirt

CISPA Renders Online Privacy Agreements Meaningless, But Sponsor Sees No Reason To Fix That | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CISPA's sponsors insist the law is 100% voluntary—it doesn't compel companies to do anything. But as we've been warning for a year and warned again yesterday, the bill's blanket immunity provision doesn't merely clear a "legislative thicket" of laws restricting information-sharing about cyber threats. It also bars companies from making enforceable promises to their users about how they might share users' information with the government or other companies in the name of protecting cybersecurity.

 

Yesterday the House Rules Committee refused to allow a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash to fix this problem, to be brought to the floor for a vote.

At that Committee meeting (1:01:45), the bill's chief sponsor Chairman Rogers emphatically repeated his earlier assertions that CISPA wouldn't breach private contracts in response to questions from Jared Polis:

 

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The 10 Nerdiest Cities in America | Movoto.com

The 10 Nerdiest Cities in America | Movoto.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

I’m a nerd and proud of it. As a kid growing up in the ’80s, though, there were few things more terrifying than the prospect of being deemed a nerd for my love of comic books, computers, role-playing games, and myriad other “nerdy” pursuits.

 

Thinking back on it now, it seems crazy that things considered so mainstream and even cool nowadays could get anyone subjected to near constant ridicule at the hands of their peers, but, oh boy, did they ever. I was the poster child for every known form of physical and psychological torture kids are capable of inflicting on one another.

 

That was then, this is now.

 

These days, nerds are cool. TV shows like “King of the Nerds” and “The Big Bang Theory” are extremely popular, comic books and video games are part of mainstream popular culture, and a “Star Trek” movie is one of the most anticipated films of the year by nerds and non-nerds alike. The folks who landed the Curiosity rover on Mars are national heroes. This guy is a star.

 

If you hadn’t already guessed, my fellow Movoto bloggers are all pretty nerdtastic. So, naturally, when we recently got to talking about what some of the best cities in the U.S. are for various types of people—see our recent look at the top towns for gamers—the idea of determining where nerds (aka “my people”) would most feel at home came up.

 

After coming up with our criteria and crunching the numbers, it was Atlanta—also Movoto’s top gamer city—that took the crown.

 

Here’s the list:

 

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International bandwidth demand is decentralising | TeleGeography

 

New data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service reveal that demand for international bandwidth grew 39% in 2012, and at a compounded annual rate of 53% between 2007 and 2012.

 

International bandwidth demand growth has been robust on all five of the world’s major submarine cable routes, but has been particularly rapid on key routes to emerging markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. While bandwidth demand on the trans-Atlantic route – which has long been the world’s highest-capacity route – increased at a healthy rate of 36% annually between 2007 and 2012, demand for bandwidth from the US to Latin America grew 70% per year over the same period, and demand for capacity on the Europe-Asia route via Egypt grew a staggering 87% per year.

 

Telcos have kept up with increasing bandwidth demand by building new cables and upgrading existing systems, deploying a total of 54Tbps of new capacity between 2007 and 2012. Carriers’ new capacity deployments reflect the changing patterns of international bandwidth demand. Between 1997 and 2002, the amount of new capacity deployed across the Atlantic was greater than the amount deployed on the trans-Pacific, US-Latin America, Intra-Asia, and Europe-Asia routes, combined. Similarly, between 2002 and 2007, nearly half of all new capacity was deployed on the trans-Atlantic route. Over the past five years, however, new capacity deployments have become remarkably balanced, with each of the world’s major routes gaining between 10Tbps and 12Tbps.

 

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4 Predictions for the Next 40 Years in Mobile | LinkedIn.com

4 Predictions for the Next 40 Years in Mobile | LinkedIn.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

It is a remarkable 40 years since Motorola researcher Martin Cooper called his Bell Labs rival from New York in 1973 using the DynaTAC handheld phone and, in doing so, making what is widely acknowledged as the world's first public mobile phone call.


At nine inches tall the DynaTAC was handheld in the loosest possible terms, weighing the same as one and a half bags of sugar and would have cost consumers the equivalent of nearly $10,000 in today's money. It's worth reading this copy of the original Motorola press release.

 

So what will the next 40 years of mobile communications hold in store for us? Here are just four of the innovations I predict we will see.

 

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