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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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Democrats want T-Mobile to promise not to lay-off workers | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Democrats want T-Mobile to promise not to lay-off workers | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dozens of House Democrats urged the Federal Communications Commission on Monday to force T-Mobile to accept job-protection conditions as part of its purchase of MetroPCS.

 

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the 62 Democrats said they will not support "another consolidation of two companies that leads to the reduction of American jobs." 

 

They expressed concern over the fact that T-Mobile and MetroPCS have said they expect to achieve $6-7 billion in post-merger "efficiencies" and "transaction-specific savings."

 "Experience has shown that companies often achieve these savings through job cuts and employee lay-offs," the lawmakers wrote. 

 

They noted that both MetroPCS and T-Mobile have closed customer call centers and shipped them overseas in recent years.

 

They said the FCC, which is currently reviewing the deal, should force T-Mobile to commit to "preserving U.S. jobs" to receive approval.

 

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Narrowing the UK's broadband divide | Light the Fuse

Narrowing the UK's broadband divide | Light the Fuse | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to a recent study published by the Institute of Directors (IoD), although the UK has the world's 7th largest economy, it's broadband infrastructure ranks only:

 

18th in the world on average connection speeds;19th in the world on the fastest connection speeds;16th in the world on the percentage of connections above 4 Mbps;21st in the world on the percentage of connections above 10 Mbps;

 

Shocking as these statistics are, broadband performance is significantly worse in rural areas of the UK, with a clear divide to that seen in urban areas. In the Greater London area between 5% and 10% of broadband connections offer speeds of less than 2.2Mbps. This proportion rises to over 20% of connections for some rural communities.

 

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Op-ed: Moving from an age of Internet scarcity to abundance | The Seattle Times

Op-ed: Moving from an age of Internet scarcity to abundance | The Seattle Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Consider your last electrical appliance purchase. Did you pause to think if your home could handle the increased electrical demand? No, because our electrical networks are built around the principle of abundance, not scarcity.

 

If the massive cable companies ran our electrical grid like they do their broadband networks, we would have to do without air conditioning, which puts a heavy strain on the grid during peak demand. In contrast, the cable networks get congested during periods of peak activity, failing to deliver the “up to” speed promised in their advertising.

 

Some new network builders are embracing a different approach, one that has major implications for the future of innovation: adopting a business model of abundance rather than scarcity.

 

In Tennessee, the city of Chattanooga owns and operates one of the most advanced citywide broadband networks in the nation. Google is making a gigabit the standard connection in Kansas City. And Seattle is helping Gigabit Squared offer gigabit-speed services to 14 neighborhoods, including areas of the University District, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Rainier Beach, Ballard, West Seattle and Beacon Hill.

 

The big cable and telephone companies have responded by saying they see no demand for such fast networks because there are so few applications that require blazing fast connections. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski disagrees and has called for at least one gigabit network in each state by 2015.

 

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Obama Administration: Mobile Phone ‘Unlocking’ Should Be Legal | TIME.com

Obama Administration: Mobile Phone ‘Unlocking’ Should Be Legal | TIME.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Obama administration will push to reverse a new prohibition on mobile phone unlocking, after an online White House petition protesting the ban drew more than 100,000 signatures. The ban makes it a federal crime for consumers to “unlock” newly purchased mobile phones in order to use a different wireless network without their current carrier’s permission. Despite the Obama administration’s opposition, however, Congress will most likely need to change federal copyright law for the ban to be reversed.

 

Public interest groups have opposed the unlocking ban because it frequently means that consumers have to buy new phones if they want to switch networks after their contracts have expired. Unlocking also allows consumers to resell their phones for use on another carrier after their contracts are over, and to use second-hand phones on the carrier of their choice, which may not be the network on which the device was originally activated. These actions are now illegal without the permission of the carrier.

 

Derek Khanna, a former House Republican Study Committee staffer who is a leading advocate against the ban, argues that it violates the property rights of phone owners. “If you bought a phone then you own it,” Khanna wrote in an email to TIME. “Your contractual relationship with your provider is between you and your provider. But by the federal government coming and saying that unlocking your phone is a federal crime, they are removing your property rights to do what you please with your own device.”


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Yes, The US Industrial Revolution Was Built On Piracy And Fraud | Techdirt

Yes, The US Industrial Revolution Was Built On Piracy And Fraud | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Missed this when it first came out, but Bloomberg ran a fantastic report at the beginning of February, highlighting how piracy and fraud were key components to helping America catapult into the industrial revolution. In fact, there are reasonable arguments to be made that if the US was not a "pirate" nation, that it would not have had the kind of success that it has had as the industrial world leader. We've discussed some of this in the past, and have highlighted how Eric Schiff's researchshowed how other countries (the Netherlands and Switzerland) industrialized by explicitly rejecting patents. The US didn't go that far, but it did involve quite frequent copying of the efforts of others and then improving on them, without fear of repercussions.

 

In its adolescent years, the U.S. was a hotbed of intellectual piracy and technology smuggling, particularly in the textile industry, acquiring both machines and skilled machinists in violation of British export and emigration laws. Only after it had become a mature industrial power did the country vigorously campaign for intellectual-property protection.


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It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking | Rob Pegoraro's Blog

The White House's response to a petition urging the administration to undo the recent re-criminalization of unlocking cell phones goes farther than I would have thought possible: http://petitions.white...

In it, tech advisor R. David Edelman endorsed legalizing unlocking not just phones but tablets--a type of hardware unmentioned in the petition. Then he wrote this: "if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network."

That would be a huge step forward for the wireless business--and would bring it in line with wired telecom, where the FCC's "Carterfone" decision (http://en.wikipedia.or...) ended the Bell System's control of the hardware we could plug into its lines. It's a big deal for the administration to endorse.

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GA: Avalon hopes to attract tenants with Gigabit Internet access. | Atlanta Business Chronicle

GA: Avalon hopes to attract tenants with Gigabit Internet access. | Atlanta Business Chronicle | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In a world that lives in the "cloud", high-speed Internet access is a potent weapon to win new business. Avalon, a $600 million mixed-used developmentplanned in Alpharetta, is doing just that.

 

The developer of the 86-acre center said it will be the first such development in Georgia to deliver "Gigabit Internet," ultra-fast Internet access via fiber optic cable.

 

The technology, known as FTTP (fiber-to-the-premise), provides Internet access by running fiber optic cable from an Internet Service Provider to the home or business.

 

Fiber optic cables signals are sent via pulses of light rather than electricity. Therefore, data can be sent extremely quickly with little deterioration. FTTP delivers Internet speeds of between 10Mbps and 300 Mbps. Internet speeds via coaxial cable connection, in comparison, typically ranges between 1Mbps and 6Mbps.

 

Super fast Internet access will help market Avalon to tech and digital media companies companies who need to transfer large files electronically and stream high definition video and audio.

 

The Internet is the “oxygen” for virtually every business, said Mark Toro, managing partner at North American Properties the developer behind Avalon.

 

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29 percent of Rhode Island adults don't use the Internet | providencejournal.com

29 percent of Rhode Island adults don't use the Internet | providencejournal.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than halfway through a $4.5 million federally funded project to increase high-speed Internet access, Rhode Island ranks high in terms of access speed and coverage.

 

But just because affordable access to the Internet exists doesn't mean people are connecting to available services and using them to increase productivity and competitiveness.

 

In fact, 29 percent of Rhode Island adults don't use the Internet and lack basic digital literacy skills that would allow them to post resumes, search for jobs, apply for unemployment benefits and perform basic online functions.

 

That's what's known as the "digital divide," the state's broadband program director, Stuart Freiman, told the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation board of directors Monday night.

 

In the remaining two years of the grant, Frieman said this divide is a key issue the EDC is working to address.

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Mobile Health Solution Connects People to Emergency Care at Critical Moments | AT&T

Up until now, an elderly person suffering from a fall or heart attack could use a device around his neck to send for assistance – if he happened to be at home.  AT&T* is working to overcome this limitation with a mobile health (mHealth) solution that will automatically connect people in distress to medical assistance, in their home or elsewhere.  Equally important, the system should track a person’s location in real time and let neighbors or relatives know when – and where – a loved one has suffered a mishap.

 

This innovative mobile Personal Emergency Response System (mPERS) solution, being developed in collaboration with Valued Relationships Inc. (VRI) and Numera Libris™, plans to use Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity to link people in distress virtually anywhere, at anytime to a professionally staffed monitoring center. Unlike current monitoring systems, which are often confined to a person’s home and require the individual in distress to manually press a button for assistance, AT&T’s mPERS solution intends to overcome these limitations by automatically triggering a notification to the monitoring center if something happens.

 

For example: A person wearing a small, portable mobile device suddenly falls. Without that person having to do anything, a sensor within the device alerts the monitoring center. A professional from the call monitoring center would attempt to reach out to the individual through instant two-way wireless voice communication enabled on AT&T’s network. If the center decides further assistance is needed – or isn’t able to get a response from the person – within minutes it would alert emergency services to send an ambulance or other emergency medical personnel, as needed.

 

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White House calls for cell phone unlocking ban to be overturned | Ars Technica

White House calls for cell phone unlocking ban to be overturned | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The legality of unlocking one's cell phone to run on any network has flipped back and forth in the past several years. It was deemed illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—then it was made legal by the Library of Congress in an exception to the DMCA passed in 2006. The Library chose not to renew the exemption in 2012, however, and it expired in January of this year. That inspired a petition to the White House, which a few weeks ago passed the 100,000 signature mark. The White House then promised to respond.

 

Today the White House posted its response to the petition. The administration opposes the Library of Congress' position, and it called for legislation to make consumers' freedom to unlock their phones crystal clear.

 

"If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network," writes R. David Edelman, a White House advisor. "It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs." 


The response tries to be diplomatic toward the Library of Congress. "The law gives the Librarian the authority to establish or eliminate exceptions—and we respect that process," writes Edelman. But his response also notes that "the DMCA exception process is a rigid and imperfect fit for this telecommunications issue," and the problem warrants a broader response.

 

The Library of Congress has its own statement out. The statement uses awkward language to acknowledge it's out of step with the White House, without really admitting it was wrong in the first place.

 

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Chairman Rockefeller Details Committee Priorities for 113th Congress | U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation

Chairman Rockefeller Details Committee Priorities for 113th Congress | U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced his priorities and goals for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for the start of the 113thCongress.

 

“I look forward to continuing working with my colleagues on the Commerce Committee to solve the tough problems that affect people’s lives. Public service demands – and deserves – nothing less than everything you have. So with an agenda that seeks to prepare Americans for a digital economy and better protect consumers, we have our work cut out for us in the 113th Congress.  I am confident that this Committee, with its long history of bipartisan cooperation, can take on these priorities to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all Americans.”

 

Key Priorities for the Senate Commerce Committee for the start of the 113th Congress Include:


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Three reasons why ceiling for rights fees is nowhere in sight | SportsBusinessDaily.com

Three reasons why ceiling for rights fees is nowhere in sight | SportsBusinessDaily.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Four years ago, my colleague Michael Smith and I heard a rumor that ESPN was offering $495 million to pick up the BCS rights over four years.
 
The number sounded so ridiculously high — a full $100 million more than incumbent Fox was offering — that we hesitated publishing it, even though we had multiple confirmations.

That figure — an average of $124 million per year — sounds quaint now, especially considering that late last year, ESPN agreed to pay an average of $500 million per year just to renew it.

As has been the case with every big media rights deal over the past decade, the initial BCS announcement in 2008 prompted some to speculate that sports rights finally had hit a ceiling — that ESPN’s bid was so massive that either the government would get involved to protect consumers or the market would correct itself.

Today, the same situation is happening in Los Angeles, where Time Warner Cable’s recent Dodgers deal — $8 billion over 25 years — has brought out the same speculation. How can sports rights go any higher?

Network and league executives privately say that we are still nowhere close to a rights ceiling, and they believe rights fees will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. Taking a look at the TV market as a whole, it’s difficult to argue with them.

 

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10 Reasons To Be More Optimistic About Broadband Than Susan Crawford Is | Forbes

10 Reasons To Be More Optimistic About Broadband Than Susan Crawford Is | Forbes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Susan Crawford thinks she sees the future of the Internet—and it isn’t pretty: Cable companies monopolizing broadband, charging too much, withholding content and keeping speeds low, all in order to suppress disruptive innovation.

 

Wireless can’t compete because of sheer physics—and an AT&T/Verizon duopoly will mirror the cable monopoly, anyway. The Internet will increasingly resemble cable itself: a limited bundle of “channels” chosen by cable companies.  Facebook and Google might be strong enough to cut deals to stay in the “basic tier,” but new entrants will be shut out. So will cable TV alternatives like Netflix.  Only regulating broadband like a public utility can avoid this dire future.  Or better yet, just have government deliver the service.

 

Crawford’s become the unofficial spokesman for a budding campaign to reshape broadband. Her speech Thursday night at the New America Foundation provides a good introduction to her new book, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.

 

But there are many reasons to think the Internet’s future will be brighter than she fears, and that her preferred, government-run future wouldn’t turn out so well. Here are just ten:

 

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F.C.C. Urges a Right to Unlock Cellphones | NYTimes.com

F.C.C. Urges a Right to Unlock Cellphones | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For a decade consumers have been able to keep their cellphone numbers even if they switched their wireless carriers. On Monday, the Obama administration and the Federal Communications Commission said consumers should also be able to switch carriers and keep their actual phones.

 

For consumers, being able to take their iPhone or any other type of handset with them when they switch carriers could make it easier to take advantage of lower rates once an initial contract is fulfilled. That might mean more price competition and more choices for cellphone customers.

 

The administration and the F.C.C., under Julius Genachowski, announced that they will urge Congress to overturn a ruling last year by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress that made it illegal for consumers to unlock their cellphones, opening the software that restricts most phones from working on another carrier’s network.

 

Most consumers probably are not even aware that there is a process that would allow them to keep their current phone when they switch from one national carrier to another — but only after they have satisfied their initial service contract. The freedom to keep a phone regardless of the carrier has become a popular cause in technology circles, and an online petition to the White House gained more than 100,000 signatures in a month, prompting a response.

 

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Self-sketching whiteboard unveiled | BBCNews.co.uk

Self-sketching whiteboard unveiled | BBCNews.co.uk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Microsoft is working on an interactive whiteboard that aims to interpret users' sketches to complete the diagrams they were drawing.

 

The firm will unveil the prototype as part of Techfest - an annual event where its researchers reveal some of the projects they are working on.

 

The digital canvas is designed to help workers make sense of "big data" - the growing amount of information available from sensors and other sources.

 

The project is still at an early stage.

 

However, one analyst suggested there would be significant demand for such a product if Microsoft was able to overcome the hurdles involved in bringing it to fruition.

 

Microsoft spent $9.8bn (£6.5bn) on research and development in its last financial year.

 

That is less than Samsung Electronics' $10.5bn investment but more than Apple's $3.4bn, Sony's $4.6bn and Google's $6.8bn R&D tallies.

 

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Dan Cohen Named Founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America | DPLA

Dan Cohen Named Founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America | DPLA | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced today the appointment of Dan Cohen as the DPLA’s founding Executive Director.  Cohen, currently a tenured professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, brings to the DPLA more than a decade of experience in digital humanities and a deep commitment to the future of libraries, archives, and museums.  Cohen will begin his tenure on April 18, 2013.

 

“Dan Cohen’s appointment is exceptionally good news for the future of the DPLA,” said John Palfrey, President of the DPLA Board of Directors. “Dan’s contributions to the field of digital humanities and to libraries are already extraordinary.  He has led major open source development projects, helped to digitize important works of culture, supported teachers and students in accessing fantastic digital materials, and written about the importance of libraries, archives, and museums in a digital age.  We are very fortunate that he has agreed to lead the DPLA as the founding executive director.”

 

As the Executive Director, Cohen will work to further the DPLA’s mission to make the cultural and scientific heritage of humanity available, free of charge, to all.  He will manage the day-to-day operations of the new organization, will serve as the DPLA’s spokesperson, and will advocate for partners within and outside the larger DPLA community, among a range of other critical duties.

 

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The Progeny Waiver: Will the FCC Wipe Out Smart Grid, Save Thousands of Lives? Both? This Season on Spectrum Wars! | Wetmachine

The Progeny Waiver: Will the FCC Wipe Out Smart Grid, Save Thousands of Lives? Both? This Season on Spectrum Wars! | Wetmachine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Depending on whom you ask, the Progeny Waiver will either (a) totally wipe out the smart grid industry, annihilate wireless ISP service in urban areas, do untold millions of dollars of damage to the oil and gas industry, and wipe out hundreds of millions (possibly billions) of dollars in in wireless products from baby monitors to garage door openers; (b) save thousands of lives annually by providing enhanced 9-1-1 geolocation so that EMTs and other first responders can find people inside apartment buildings and office complexes; (c) screw up EZ-Pass and other automatic toll readers, which use neighboring licensed spectrum; or (d) some combination of all of the above.

 

That’s not bad for a proceeding you probably never heard about.

 

For me, the Progeny Waiver is a microcosm of why it has become so damn hard to repurpose spectrum for new uses. The added twist here is that this time it is largely the unlicensed spectrum users acting like incumbents and saying that it will be the end of the universe if Progeny lights up its system (although the licensed neighbors say the same thing, pretty much), and Progeny, the licensee, arguing that everything will be JUST FINE, really, and if it isn’t too damn bad because we are licensed and they are unlicensed so there!

 

You might ask, “if this Progeny thingie is so gosh darn important, why have I never heard of it?” Well that’s why you read this blog, you clever reader you. This amazing little proceeding is still so deep in the bowels of the FCC that only the true spectrum wonks have noticed. But action now appears imminent, so consider this a sneak preview of this season’s favorite telecom reality show, Spectrum Wars.

 

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Verizon: Voice Over LTE, LTE-Only Phones in 2014 - Verizon CFO Claims LTE Only Will Lower Consumer Costs | DSLReports.com

"We will ultimately get to voice over LTE, probably end of this year, beginning of next year," Verizon CFO Fran Shammo stated yesterday at Deutsche Bank's Media, Internet, and Telecom conference. The company had planned to offer the improved voice quality services, but initial implementations of voice over LTE have been quite the battery hog.

 

According to a Verizon transcript (pdf) of the event, Shammo notes that by late 2014 Verizon expects to be able to remove the CDMA chipset from phones, which he claims will result in lower costs and subsidies for customers (or, more likely, just lower costs for Verizon that aren't passed on to you). "So over the next two to three years I think we will start to see subsidies come down," stated Shammo.

 

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Connected Tennessee Hosted First Ever State Broadband Summit | Chattanoogan.com

Leaders from across Tennessee assembled in downtown Nashville Wednesday to share and learn about broadband best practices, discuss strategies to address remaining barriers to broadband access, adoption, and use, and to network with other leaders working to bridge the digital divide.

 

The Summit brought more than 150 attendees to the Nashville Public Library on Church Street for a day-long event with informative sessions, special presentations, and Metro Nashville Public Schools announcing a spring summit dedicated to technology in education, in partnership with Connected Tennessee. 

 

Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns opened the day with a presentation on the history of the organization, the future ahead, and the goal of the Summit.

 

“It was exciting to be able to spotlight so many of the broadband best practices across the state and to hear from experts representing various sectors about how broadband is impacting and improving every aspect of our lives and communities,” he said.  “Whether it was economic development, education, healthcare, public safety, or beyond, the importance and opportunities enabled through broadband were certainly showcased today and we want to thank our many partners who helped make the Summit such a great event.”

 

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Carole Monroe Explains New Hampshire's Fast Roads Initiative - Community Broadband Bits #36 | community broadband networks

Carole Monroe Explains New Hampshire's Fast Roads Initiative - Community Broadband Bits #36 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The New Hampshire Fast Roads Initiative is bringing great Internet access to rural New Hampshire. Project CEO Carole Monroe joined us for this week's Community Broadband Bits podcast.

 

Fast Roads is the culmination of years of local organizing and several efforts to improve access to the Internet in the region. The project is already benefiting the community and is not fully built out yet.

 

We discuss the project and the challenges they face -- from pole attachments to a host of hostile lobbyists in the state capital.

 

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Representative Chaffetz Working On Legislation on Cellphone Unlocking | Forbes

Representative Chaffetz Working On Legislation on Cellphone Unlocking | Forbes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Yesterday, as a result of our White House petition on cellphone unlocking reaching 114,000 signatures – the White House provided their official response. They came out in favor of unlocking and against the criminal penalties. They said that they support legislative fixes to solve this problem. The FCC also issued statements yesterday in favor of unlocking.

 

I wrote an article with my perspective on what should be done at this point yesterday in the Atlantic (and I wrote the major articles on this subject here and here).

 

Then late last night we get word from an influential Member of Congress Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)  that he is interested in this issue (he tweeted out the Atlantic piece) and that he is working on legislation for unlocking your phones:

 

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MN: Senator Franken promotes investment in broadband | Blandin on Broadband

Senator Franken sends a letter to Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray with suggestions to craft a smart budget. He includes a vote for broadband, especially in rural areas…

 

"In addition, America’s technology infrastructure needs to keep up with our changing economy.  Broadband access is absolutely essential to compete in the global marketplace.  Without access to high-speed Internet service, rural health care clinics can’t communicate with specialists, farmers can’t check market prices, and small businesses can’t sell their products online.  More than 226,000 Minnesota residents don’t have access to broadband service. The federal government should do whatever it can to expand broadband service to rural communities through programs such as the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.  I request that the budget reflect strong investments that will help build broadband infrastructure and promote broadband adoption."

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FCC: Budget Cuts Could Harm Vital Missions | Multichannel.com

FCC: Budget Cuts Could Harm Vital Missions | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sequester-related budget cuts could affect public safety, consumer protection, spectrum and universal service, an FCC spokesman said Thursday.

 

Unless the Congress takes action by midnight Friday night (March 1), the month will come in like a lion if that means taking a $85 billion bite from the budgets of government agencies across the board.

 

“The cuts to the FCC’s budget required by sequestration are very significant, particularly at a time when staff levels are lower than they have been in nearly 30 years," said the spokesman. "and will harm vital agency missions including public safety and homeland security, law enforcement, universal service, spectrum, and consumer protection. We have been developing plans to try to mitigate the impact of these cuts on consumers, the communications sector, and our staff.”

 

Total FCC budget is $341,923,845, sequestration would cut about $17 million and would need to be realized in seven months. Auction-related expenses are exempt from the sequester, however.

 

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Comcast to FCC: We've Overdelivered on NBC Promises | Broadcasting & Cable

Comcast filed its two-year NBCU deal compliance report at the FCC on Thursday, and Comcast executive VP David Cohen says the takeaway is that the company has met, or exceeded, all its obligations in the transaction.

In January 2010, the FCC approved the $30 billion joint venture with GE. The deal combined the nation's largest cable operator with a studio library and cable channel content. It created a company majority owned by Comcast (51%) that pooled all of NBCU's media content with most of Comcast's, with Comcast retaining full control of its cable and Internet assets. Comcast has the option of buying out NBCU parent GE's 49% interest. Comcast has recently signaled it will exercise its option to buy GE's stake.

The report outlines compliance with the voluntary conditions agreed to by Comcast in order to secure government approval of the deal.

 

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'Google Maps' of US White Space spectrum goes LIVE | The Register

'Google Maps' of US White Space spectrum goes LIVE | The Register | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Today is the day that Google opens up its database of US White Space spectrum, starting the mandatory 45-day trial in readiness to start giving away another thing everyone else is charging for.

 

The trial is public, and ready to go live, and will map out which of the TV broadcast frequencies aren't being used in any specific location, and which are thus available for short-range devices to use, licence-free, under the FCC's White Space regulations.

 

Eventually, superfast networks might use the spectrum, perhaps even Google itself will build a White Space network, but for the moment Google is merely one of several firms given permission to compile and test White Spaces databases by the FCC to keep the process fair.

 

Spectrum Bridge and Telcordia completed their trials late last year and there are another 10 companies approved to run databases - including Microsoft - but Google is interesting because it's one of the biggest brands involved and has previously suggested that, unlike the competition, it won't charge for access to its data.

 

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