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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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H-1B workers in line for Obamacare work | IDG News Service

Some state governments are willing to hire offshore outsourcing firms to work on IT projects under controversial contracts that don't bar use of temporary foreign labor, or workers on H-1B visas.


Two multimillion dollar government health care IT projects, one in Illinois and the other in the District of Columbia, illustrate what's going on.


In Illinois, Cognizant was awarded a $74.1 million contract in June to upgrade the state's Medicaid systems to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.


In January,Washington D.C. awarded Infosys a $49.5 million contract to develop a health benefit exchange and replace its Medicaid and eligibility systems.


In Washington, H-1B visa holders may already be working on systems. In Illinois, state officials say that no H-1B workers are working on its project - for now.


Illinois said that Cognizant has assigned 13 workers, all U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents with Medicaid experience and expertise, to work on the project. Seven of the staff members are former state of Illinois employees with extensive knowledge of the state's Medicaid system, according to spokeswoman Kelly Jakubek, communication manager for Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services


Cognizant has submitted paperwork to bring on 60 visa workers or more, a proposal that the state isn't aware of, Jakubek said.


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Disney CEO Iger: Distributors Should Accept Lower Video Margins | Multichannel.com

Disney CEO Iger: Distributors Should Accept Lower Video Margins | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable operators and telcos who have enjoyed high-growth in their broadband and telephony operations, may have to accept dwindling video margins in the future, Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger told an industry audience Tuesday.


Iger, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York, said that broadband apps like Watch ESPN and other content have helped drive growth at high-margin business like broadband and telephony for distributors, and in order to continue reaping those rewards, they will have to weather lighter margins on the traditional video side.


“You can’t look at the MVPD of today and only focus on their video business. You have to look at the collection,” Iger said. “While the cost of programming has increased and perhaps that has resulted in some lower margins for the distributor, the fact is they have put themselves in these other businesses that have inspired great growth over the years. They may have to accept lower margins on their video business because they are in a business that goes well beyond that.”


Iger added that apps like Watch ESPN have helped programmers receive additional revenue from distributors because they also increase the value of the overall voice, video and data bundle.


Iger said he considered the emergence of mobile video as the most dramatic change he has seen in his 40 years in the media business, adding that it is essential for both programmers and distributors to ensure that more content is available on more devices.


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Viacom CEO Dauman: A La Carte Not the Answer | Multichannel.com

Viacom CEO Dauman: A La Carte Not the Answer | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told an industry audience Tuesday that proposals to bring a la carte programming to consumers will not lower content costs.


“When you really sit down and explain to legislators or regulators what would happen in a so-called a la carte world, it’s not good for consumers,” Dauman said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York. “The system as it exists allows a lot of choice for a reasonable price. The price to pick networks that you think you want now would go up in an a la carte world. People are fundamentally rational once you talk to them. I expect that everything that will unfold will be done in the commercial marketplace, not regulated by Washington.”


 The cry for a la carte offerings has grown louder in the wake of several high-profile retransmission consent blackouts – the latest a month-long dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS was resolved on Sept. 2. Earlier this year U.S. Sen. John McCain (R – Ariz.) reopened the debate by introducing a bill that would allow consumers to pay for the channels they want to watch.


Distributors have added their voices to the debate and have also called for regulators to stop the practice of bundling channels as part of carriage agreements. Earlier this year Cablevision sued Viacom for the practice, claiming the programmer forces consumers to pay for a growing number of channels they don’t watch to get access to the few they do.


Dauman didn’t want to comment specifically on the Cablevision suit, except to say that the believes it doesn’t have. He added that distributors do have the option of carrying fewer channels for a higher price.


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ACLU: FBI has '20 separate records' for every adult and child in the USA | NetworkWorld.com

According to a recent ACLU report, the FBI knows quite a few things about you even if you've not done anything wrong. "Unleashed and Unaccountable [pdf]: The FBI's Unchecked Abuse of Authority" documents this extraordinary expansion of FBI power over the last 12 years:


"The FBI also claimed the authority to sweep up voluminous amounts of information secretly from state and local law enforcement and private data aggregators for data mining purposes. In 2007, the FBI said it amassed databases containing 1.5 billion records, which were predicted to grow to 6 billion records by 2012, which is equal to 20 separate "records" for every person in the United States."


This was repeated and refined under the heading "Mining Big Data," which specified that by 2012 the FBI would have "20 separate 'records' for each man, woman and child in the United States." But in March 2012, there were "dramatic changes to the National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) guidelines to allow it to collect, use, and retain records on U.S. citizens and permanent residents with no suspected ties to terrorism."


At the time that happened, the ACLU explained that this "could include records from law enforcement investigations, health information, employment history, travel and student records." It could also "add commercial information, anything it - or any other federal agency - could buy from the huge data aggregators that are monitoring our every move."


Yet National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Michael Leiter turned around and used this deluge of information as the reason NCTC failed to identify the underwear bomber. He said, "The NCTC receives over 5,000 pieces of information and places more than 350 people on the terrorist watch list each day."


In Unleashed and Unaccountable, under the heading "Mining Bigger Data: The NCTC Guidelines," the ACLU explained, "Such unfettered collection is essentially a revival of the Bush administration's Total Information Awareness program, which Congress largely defunded in 2003 because of privacy concerns."


The 60-page report covers numerous abuses by the FBI such as targeting journalists and First Amendment activities as well as "using the No Fly List to pressure Americans abroad to become informants," before concluding:


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MS: C Spire To Travel Google Fiber Path to 1-Gig | Multichannel.com

MS: C Spire To Travel Google Fiber Path to 1-Gig | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telecommunications and wireless service provider C Spire has unleashed a plan to deploy fiber-fed 1 Gbps residential broadband services in Mississippi, and will use a page from the Google Fiber playbook to pull it off as it looks to establish the region as the “Silicon South.”


The company announced Tuesday that it will base its deployment plan on a “Get Fiber First” application campaign that will call on cities and towns in the state to proclaim why they deserve to get connected. “The communities that want it the most, and move quickest, will get it first,” the company said.


According to the C Spire request for information (RFI) document, potential launch communities will get a leg up if they offer advantageous permitting and construction access “or other incentives,” business terms from local government that reduce the cost of implementation and operation, and if they show “sizable local demand" during the coming pre-registration process.


Depending on the cities and towns selected for the coming C Spire Fiber to the Home service, the company appears most likely to compete for broadband customers with incumbents providers such as Comcast.


C Spire said it has the resources and equipment in place to deploy the service rapidly, noting that its existing fiber network, used to backhaul its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and to deliver services to business customers,  already covers 4,000 miles, with another 1,500 miles slated for installation during the next year.


By using a demand-driven, Google Fiber-like deployment priority system, C Spire said its 1-Gig service will be available “to any community near an existing fiber route that opens its arms to welcome it, with fast-track permitting and homeowner pre-registration.”


C Spire did not outline the specific timing for 1-Gig network buildouts and installations, but did say it expects to share more details about those plans on Monday, Sept. 30 at a “Get Fiber First” town hall meeting at its corporate offices in Ridgeland, Miss. C Spire will also open pre-registration on that date.


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X1 Expands To 85% of Comcast's Footprint | Multichannel.com

X1 Expands To 85% of Comcast's Footprint | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

X1, Comcast’s IP-capable next-gen video platform, has been rolled out to 85% of the cable operator’s service area, but it’s too early to say how the product is performing relative to markets that are still using only the company’s legacy video system, Comcast vice chairman and chief financial officer Michael Angelakis said Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York.


X1, currently offered on a Pace-made HD-DVR, features a cloud-based user interface, delivers a suite of IP-fed sports and weather widgets, third-party applications, including Pandora and Facebook, and the beta version of a "Send to TV" app that lets users fling non-DRM-protected Web video to the TV. Comcast has also begun to test an EA-powered gaming system that runs on the X1.


Comcast, which expects to complete the X1 rollout by the end of 2013, has been marketing the new video service largely to new triple-play customers.


Comcast has not announced how many customers are on X1, but Angelakis said Comcast is “connecting about 10,000 X1s every single day right now, and that number will ramp over time.”


But he said it’s still too early in the rollout to say how that's comparing to markets that have yet to make the jump to X1. Overall, Comcast has been improving video subscriber losses, but has not yet been able to turn the corner. It lost 159,000 video subs in the second quarter of 2013, giving it a total of 21.77 million.


Angelakis said recent, positive housing trends give Comcast a “glimmer of hope,” noting that this year capital spending on extensions has started to “tick up” a bit. While still small, that budding trend “is always a good sign…so we are cautiously optimistic that is going to help,” he said. “I don't think it is meaningful enough to create a directional change, but we will take any wind in our sails."


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Why Publicly-Owned "Closed" Networks Repel Competition and Choice | LinkedIn Blog

Why Publicly-Owned "Closed" Networks Repel Competition and Choice | LinkedIn Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A publicly-owned network is paid for by its constituents. The public has used their own money or bonded themselves to the success of the network.

For me to come in and build a competing network and be successful, I have to convince the constituent to FORSAKE their own investment and use my network rather than the one they are bonded to as a community.

It is my opinion (and anecdotally true in my community) that most communities, certainly those of 20,000 or less, have way too much loyalty for a new network to win that argument.

Open Access without the Utilities in the Retail Space is the BEST use of the network. It is ridiculous to think that multiple last-mile options is good for the consumer. The person who lives in that house technically owns that last mile in a public network, they should have the right to pay for and use it as they see fit.

The cost to the consumer to switch from one service provider to competing service provider is relatively $0 on an Open Access network.


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NSA Complains That It Has To Spend Time Closing Leaks Rather Than Spying On Everyone | Techdirt.com

NSA Complains That It Has To Spend Time Closing Leaks Rather Than Spying On Everyone | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

NPR has a slightly bizarre article claiming that the effects of the Snowden leaks "aren't what he intended." Except the article doesn't really suggest that at all. It does focus on how the NSA is now spending a ton of time trying to figure out how to prevent future leaks, but that's to be expected. It also talks about how the NSA needs to focus on that rather than on spying on everyone with a hint of "and you might all die because we can't do our jobs" added in for flavor.


Another effect of Snowden's disclosures on NSA operations has been that agency leaders have chosen to expedite planned security reforms, as part of an effort to prevent future leaks. The agency has begun consolidating databases, moving them from separate repositories into large data centers where cloud analysis can be employed. The data are to be "tagged" with restrictions so that analysts not qualified or authorized to review the information will not be able to access it.

"We've had to do things that we had planned to do over the next three or four years and move them dramatically to the left," says the NSA's chief information officer, Lonny Anderson. "We haven't asked for additional resources. We've just said, 'We've got to do this.' So something gives, because we're not getting additional resources. And what gives, for us, is mission."

The NSA mission is intelligence gathering.

"We have to make sure we don't cross a line where we're so busy locking down the networks that we're not defending the nation," Anderson says. "That's the fine line we walk."


Of course, that's silly. If part of what Snowden revealed was the terrible data management and security of the NSA, then that seems worth fixing anyway. In fact, it could be argued that the failure to properly control the NSA's data was likely a much bigger threat than anything Snowden leaked.


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Common Cause-NY Wants Anti-Corruption Commission to Review Big Telecom’s Political Contributions | Stop the Cap!

Common Cause-NY Wants Anti-Corruption Commission to Review Big Telecom’s Political Contributions | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Since 2005, five cable and telephone companies and their respective lobbying trade associations have donated nearly $12 million to New York politicians, making Big Telecom companies among the biggest political donors in the state. Now a government reform group wants an investigation by the state’s anti-corruption commission.


By exploiting giant loopholes in New York’s campaign finance laws, telecom companies that used to live with annual campaign finance limits of $5,000 are now donating millions to powerful political leaders in Albany – the majority conferences in the legislature, the state party committees, and the governor. Some are using secretive “housekeeping” accounts controlled by political parties. Others hide behind shadowy contributions from “limited liability corporations” (LLCs) established by some of the state’s biggest cable and phone companies and treated under current law as living, breathing people.


“Big Telecom exemplifies the pay-to-play culture which has come to define Albany, giving generously to the leadership in exchange for veto power over bills which favor the public interest,” said Common Cause-New York executive director Susan Lerner.


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Brookdale Launches ConnectedLiving® at Its Nine R.I. Locations | Sacramento Bee

Brookdale Launches ConnectedLiving® at Its Nine R.I. Locations | Sacramento Bee | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Rhode Island has traditionally been among states with the highest percentage of senior citizens, ranking ninth in the United States for citizens older than 65 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Now, some of these seniors will have access to personalized computer training to get connected to the digital world. Senior living provider Brookdale and ConnectedLiving® today announced the launch of ConnectedLiving at all nine BSL communities spanning all regions of the Ocean State.


The award-winning ConnectedLiving program helps residents at Brookdale communities get online using a secure, easy-to-use cloud-based social network, coupled with customized training and support that teaches seniors how to use the technology, and also provides ongoing support that helps them to stay connected for the long-term.


ConnectedLiving's platform includes an interface, providing secure access to the Internet, email, photos, a library, games, and social media tools such as video chat. This technology, coupled with classes, programming, and on-site support ensures adoption and sustained usage. Using the ConnectedLiving Network (CLN), Brookdale residents gain new computer skills, enjoy more frequent communication with family and friends, and benefit from the health advantages that come from increased social activity. In addition, residents' family members are able to access the CLN from anywhere to communicate directly with their loved one and view dining menus, calendars, photo galleries and more.


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AT&T exec urges faster FCC review of plan to retire wired networks | NetworkWorld.com

AT&T exec urges faster FCC review of plan to retire wired networks | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Tuesday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move faster in reviewing the carrier's request to move to an all-IP, all wireless network nationwide.


In remarks at a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday morning, Stephenson said that he's encouraged that incoming FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler "knows how fast [the wireless industry] moves ...and knows that regulations can actually slow the rate."


Stephenson said he's hopeful that Wheeler and the FCC "moves along" AT&T's request, which effectively means retiring traditional wired networks.


AT&T is seeking FCC guidance on the procedures needed to discontinue traditional wired TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) telecommunications in communities around the nation and replace it with a more efficient and profitable wireless approach that also moves networks from expensive data centers into a cloud-based design.


"It's a big darn deal, and will take investment, but the amount of cost it removes from the legacy [system] is dramatic," Stephenson said in his presentation, which was webcast. "The biggest restraint is regulatory because we can't just retire certain technology. Our all-wireless, all-IP, all-cloud is moving at a blazer pace."


Stephenson noted that AT&T submitted its request to the FCC 10 months ago.


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New method of creating twisted light may allow fibers to carry more information | KurzweilAI.net

New method of creating twisted light may allow fibers to carry more information | KurzweilAI.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The images above show the spiral structure of the coherent light emitted from a beam of electrons accelerated to nearly the speed of light and arranged into a helix by a simple laser. Left: An intensity map. Note the dark center where the light cancels itself out, resulting in a cross section resembling a doughnut. Right: A phase structure map, clearly showing the helix described by the light.


Scientists at SLAC have found a new method to create coherent beams of twisted light — light that spirals around a central axis as it travels.


The method has the potential to generate twisted light in shorter pulses, higher intensities, and a much wider range of wavelengths (including X-rays) than is currently possible.


First described two decades ago, twisted light is attracting attention from researchers in fields as diverse as telecommunications, quantum computing, condensed matter research and astronomy because of one unique property:


Researchers have demonstrated that it can transmit more information through fiber optic cables than the current industry standard.


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US Senator Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions | Tony Romm | POLITICO.com

US Senator Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions | Tony Romm | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the powerful chairman of the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday strongly endorsed a series of sweeping restrictions on U.S. surveillance programs — from ending the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call logs to creating new oversight mechanisms to keep the NSA in check.


In a speech at Georgetown University Law Center, Leahy (D-Vt.) said the government “has not made its case” that the ability to collect Americans’ phone records en masse under the PATRIOT Act is “an effective counterterrorism tool, especially in light of the intrusion on Americans’ privacy rights.”


As the senator criticized the program, authorized under Section 215, he also pledged to explore “possible structural changes” to the secret court that reviews government surveillance requests. And Leahy said he planned to work with his Republican colleagues in the House to rein in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs the NSA’s ability to tap Internet communications as it scours for foreign terror suspects.


Leahy’s speech Tuesday marks his committee’s return to the thorny, complex surveillance debate sparked by contractor Edward Snowden. Even as Snowden’s leaks continued to make headlines, lawmakers disengaged as they turned their attention to Syria and the debt ceiling.


The chairman’s panel plans to hold a classified briefing on the NSA on Wednesday, with an open hearing to come next week featuring testimony from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Gen. Keith Alexander, the dual leader of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command.


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Canada: Google reaches out as Waterloo area laments BlackBerry | The Globe and Mail

Canada: Google reaches out as Waterloo area laments BlackBerry | The Globe and Mail | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Inc. is giving Kitchener-Waterloo a morale boost as the region’s largest technology company struggles to survive.


The search giant will invest an undisclosed amount of money in Communitech, a regional economic development initiative that works closely with 650 technology startups to help them build their ideas into viable companies by providing them with space, funding and support.


While the cash will help the incubator purchase software and update some equipment, its chief executive officer said the most important part of the deal is the direct line the centre now has to Google’s engineers and executives.


“We will have access to their experts in various fields,” Communitech chief executive officer Iain Klugman said. “They are opening the kimono and letting us in – it’s a huge honour because Google is a fairly private organization and they have invited us inside. And Google is getting an opportunity to get up close and personal to influence a bunch of start-ups.”


The Kitchener-Waterloo region is reeling after last week’s announcement that BlackBerry would cut 4,500 of its 12,500 employees by next spring as it seeks to cut $50-million from its operating budget and prepare itself for an eventual sale.


But the region’s politicians and economic development officials have worked to position the region as more than a one-company town, and being included in Google’s seven-city “Google For Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network” is a welcome opportunity to talk about something other than layoffs.


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Spectrum Auctions: Sens. Want 'Expeditious' Coordination With Mexico, Canada | Broadcasting & Cable

Yet another group of legislators has asked the FCC to get moving on coordination with Mexico and Canada as it prepares its plan for reclaiming broadcast spectrum for auction and repacking stations to free up contiguous blocks for that auction.

The latest is from a bipartisan group of senators including members of the Commerce Committee and the chair of the Judiciary committee.

In a letter to acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn, they praised her for her leadership in implementing the voluntary broadcaster incentive auction, but also said it is "essential" that international coordination be Addressed expeditiously."

They point out that there were some border coordination problems during the DTV transition, which had a much longer time line than the auction, which is targeted for completion by the end of next year. "It is important that the FCC takes advantage of the insights gained during the DTV transition in carrying out this coordination process," they wrote.


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Tone Deaf Dianne Feinstein Thinks Now Is A Good Time To Revive CISPA | Techdirt.com

Tone Deaf Dianne Feinstein Thinks Now Is A Good Time To Revive CISPA | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We had believed, along with a number of others, that the Snowden leaks showing how the NSA was spying on pretty much everyone would likely kill CISPA dead. After all, the key component to CISPA was basically a method for encouraging companies to have total immunity from sharing information with the NSA. And while CISPA supporters pretended this was to help protect those companies and others from online attacks, the Snowden leaks have reinforced the idea (that many of us had been pointing out from the beginning) that it was really about making it easier for the NSA to rope in companies to help them spy on people.

Also, if you don't remember, while CISPA had passed the House, the Senate had shown little appetite for it. Last year, the Senate had approved a very different cybersecurity bill, and had expressed very little interest in taking up that fight again this year. Except now, in an unexpected move, Senate Intelligence Committee boss, and chief NSA defender because of reasons that are top secret, has now announced that she's been writing a Senate counterpart to CISPA and is prepared to "move it forward."


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FCC Seeks More Input on Auction Relocation Fund Costs | Multichannel.com

FCC Seeks More Input on Auction Relocation Fund Costs | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC's Media Bureau wants to hear more from broadcasters and cable operators about what specific costs of incentive auction repacking they will be seeking to cover out of the $1.75 billion relocation fund Congress approved for that purpose, including specific prices and ways to keep those prices down, including by bulk buying.


The FCC's notice of proposed rulemaking on the auction, released last December, asked for input on hard costs like equipment and tower services and "soft" costs like legal and engineering costs.


But, according to a public notice the bureau says it wants to drill down on those, as well as strategies to limit costs--the commission has also scheduled a Sept. 30 public workshop to discuss those issues.


The FCC is looking for specific pricing info on repacking costs, including whether there are regular discounts. The bureau said it did not get much info the first time around on bulk purchases, so wants to hear whether manufacturers could be encouraged to provide built-in discounts reflecting the amount of business the FCC will be sending their way via repacking.


It also wants to know whether it would be viable for broadcasters to get together to organize bulk purchases ro service arrangements to save money--the $1.75 billion is all broadcasters and MVPDs will be getting.


The FCC is also contemplating requiring competitive bidding for goods or services over a certain threshold, or seeing whether in the case of, say, HVAC equipment, whether it could limit reimbursements to the price offered by vendors who sell to federal agencies.


The agency also issued a "catalog of eligible expenses" it expects to be paying for out of the fund, though it said there could be others--one of the reasons for the request for further comment.


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From 'Routergate' to 'Towergate' | West Virginia MetroNews

From 'Routergate' to 'Towergate' | West Virginia MetroNews | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year, I and others reported to you about an independent legislative audit which found that West Virginia wasted between $8 million and $15 million in federal stimulus money buying over sized routers to place in community anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries and state police stations.


The audit said Cisco up-sold the state and the state’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program made a series of errors in approving the deal.


That wasn’t the end of the story.


Now the legislative auditor has issued a new report about even more mismanagement in how the state spent millions of dollars in stimulus money, this time for 17 emergency communications towers.


According to the audit, state homeland security director Jimmy Gianato and emergency communications director Joe Gonzalez failed to comply with a series of state purchasing laws in awarding $10 million in tower construction business to Premier Construction of Lewis County.


The audit says Gonzalez had a “professional relationship” with the owner of Premier Construction and was even used by the company as a reference.  Gonzalez also played a role in Premier being awarded an earlier contract for building a single communications tower in Lewis County.


In 2010, when the state had an opportunity to expand its emergency communications network with federal stimulus money, the audit says Gonzalez and Gianato hired Premier without going through the proper bid process.  Premier then contracted out most of the work to five different companies, four of which were not licensed to do business in West Virginia (a violation of state law).


When state purchasing director David Tincher got wind of the tower project and became aware it had not been competitively bid, he warned Gonzalez and Gianato that the awarding of the contract “may not have been done in accordance with appropriate procedures.”


The audit says that despite Tincher’s recommendation to Gianato and Gonzalez that they stop construction, the work continued.


This all sounds remarkably similar to the “Routergate” scandal.  Large amounts of federal stimulus money are pushed into the state, where bureaucrats ignore proper procedures, despite warnings.


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Dennis Linthicum: Voters 'feel they're not getting represented' by Greg Walden in Congress | OregonLive.com

Dennis Linthicum: Voters 'feel they're not getting represented' by Greg Walden in Congress | OregonLive.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dennis Linthicum, chairman of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners, said he will decide in the next two to four weeks whether to mount a challenge to Oregon Rep. Greg Walden in the Republican primary.


"People that I talk to basically feel like they are not getting represented," said Linthicum, a businessman and software developer, adding that his supporters believe he can "tackle the status quo in Washington, D.C."


Linthicum announced last week that he is exploring a candidacy against Walden, who is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a close adviser to House Speaker John Boehner.


The Klamath County commissioner has talked with an official from the Club for Growth, a Washington, D.C. group that has called for Walden to be replaced by a more staunchly conservative Republican.


Linthicum said the potential support of the Club for Growth, which often invests heavily in GOP primary campaigns is "certainly attractive," but he said it is not a major factor in his decision to run.


Barney Keller, a spokesman for the Club for Growth, said his group would not consider endorsing Linthicum until he enters the primary and demonstrates his viability.  The club has already gotten involved in an upcoming congressional race in neighboring Idaho, where it has endorsed Bryan Smith in his Republican primary challenge to Rep. Mike Simpson.


"When we jump in, we would jump in with both feet," said Keller, adding that the group has spent more than $1 million on some House races.  The group has a super-PAC that can spend unlimited amounts on independent expenditure campaigns and it also bundles contributions from donors to favored candidates.


In part, Linthicum's potential candidacy is driven by controversy over the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, a pact reached in 2010 aimed at settling a complex and bitter fight over water rights in the region.  Among other things, it called for the removal of four dams on the Klamath River.


Linthicum was elected to the county Board of Commissioners in 2010 as a strong opponent of the agreement and of dam removal.  He charges that Walden hasn't taken a strong stand.


"You probably couldn't give me an answer" on where he stands, Linthicum said of the congressman.


Linthicum also criticized Walden for opposing an amendment that would have curtailed the National Security Agency's surveillance program involving telephone data.


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Iowa: BroadNet connect Expands Broadband Access | Communication and IT Services for Health Care, Business and Government

Under a joint program specifically designed to deliver business-scale broadband technologies to rural communities, several communities in Iowa are now a part of BroadNet connect’s new high-bandwidth fiber optic network. When all projects are complete, the selected cities and municipal services across Iowa will have access to broadband technology and other IT services that can ride over the high speed network.

 

The program began with a grant that was part of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand data centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability. BroadNet connect (BNc), a communications and IT services subsidiary of UnityPoint Health, then partnered with community leaders to build an operating network that closes any “digital divide” between rural and urban communities.

 

“Originally, the goal was to bring on just a few customers,” said Rodney Brown, executive director of BroadNet connect. “However we were able to exceed that goal exponentially due to our ability to not only provide broadband access, but to provide other solutions like cloud services that can flow over our network. We’ve really taken the critical seed money and grown a larger network than we had hoped for in our most ambitious targets. We're connecting communities to an extremely robust backbone. The services these communities can now have access to, and the businesses they can attract, are unlimited.”

 

“What this ultimately means,” said James A. Erb, Mayor of Charles City, “is that our community can attract and support business operations with high bandwidth demands. Everything you can do in a skyscraper you can now do on our main street – big data, heavy communications, telemedicine, and so on. If your business has a communications demand, we can meet it.”

 

“City services will benefit tremendously,” said Rod Bradley, Denison Chief of Police, “and not merely emergency services. Yes, police and fire will have a much faster and reliable communications infrastructure, but everyone from our city clerk to the utility offices will be able to perform more efficiently and give greater value to the community.”


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OH: Broadband Internet still on the horizon for county | Coshocton Tribune

OH: Broadband Internet still on the horizon for county | Coshocton Tribune | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cost overruns for a fiber-optic network project by Horizon will delay three rural counties from receiving services.


Steve Steele, chief operating officer for Horizon Telecomm, based in Chillicothe, said the final cost for the project to lay about 2,600 miles of fiber-optic wiring in 34 Ohio counties will be over its approximate $95 million budget. He said how much over has yet to be determined.


The deadline for completion of the main part of the project also has been pushed from July of this year to the end of December.


That will exclude completion of laying lines, setting utility poles and offering services in Coshocton, Holmes and Perry counties. Steele said Horizon will use its own funds to finish those counties within the next three years.


Project estimates for those three counties have to be determined as well, Steele added, but as an example, a rough estimate for Coshocton alone is about $1 million.


Horizon representatives met with Coshocton County commissioners Monday to update them on the project and its delays.


Horizon received a $66.4 million Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program stimulus grant, awarded by the National Telecommunication Infrastructure Administration, in 2010 for the Connecting Appalachia project. That was to provide 70 percent of project costs, with the remaining 30 percent coming from Horizon. Steele said the cost overruns would be paid by Horizon as well.


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Another Day, Another Loss For Broadcasters In Quixotic Campaign To Kill Innovation | Techdirt.com

Another Day, Another Loss For Broadcasters In Quixotic Campaign To Kill Innovation | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just last week, we noted that a court in NY had rejected an attempt by ABC and CBS to shut down DISH's AutoHopper offering that helps users automatically skip commercials (along with their PrimeTime AnyTime feature that automatically records prime time network TV).


That came after a ruling in California in a nearly identical case, this time by Fox and NBC. That case had moved forward and it appears that, yet again, a court has said no to the attempt to get an injunction against DISH. The full decision isn't out yet, but the parties have seen the ruling and it's clear that DISH won, and Fox didn't:


"We have just received the ruling, and while the judge found that Fox could prevail at trial on the merits of the case, she did not grant our preliminary injunction," says a Fox in a statement. "We disagree that the harms caused by Dish’s infringing services are completely compensable by damages, and as a result we are looking at all options. We will file a response in due course."


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Cisco reveals its Internet of Everything router | NetworkWorld.com

Cisco reveals its Internet of Everything router | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cisco Tuesday unveiled its Internet of Everything router, a device intended to address the growth in Internet traffic brought about by cloud, mobile, video and machine-to-machine communications.


The Network Convergence System (NCS), which was expected, is the culmination of three years of work by 450 engineers and $250 million in funding, Cisco says.


NCS includes a new network processor Cisco introduced two weeks ago: the nPower X1.


The system is not a core router like the Cisco CRS, or a successor to the CRS, the company says. Rather, it is a network fabric designed to scale CRS cores and ASR 9000 edge routers in service provider networks from centralized systems to distributed architectures able to accommodate the growth of Internet connected “things,” like cars, homes and machines.


Cisco expects trillions of these device-driven events to come online in the next decade, a situation the company refers to as the Internet of Everything.


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In Supreme Court Opinions, Web Links to Nowhere | NYTimes.com

In Supreme Court Opinions, Web Links to Nowhere | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Supreme Court opinions have come down with a bad case of link rot. According to a new study, 49 percent of the hyperlinks in Supreme Court decisions no longer work.


This can sometimes be amusing. A link in a 2011 Supreme Court opinion about violent video games by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. now leads to a mischievous error message.


“Aren’t you glad you didn’t cite to this Web page?” it asks. “If you had, like Justice Alito did, the original content would have long since disappeared and someone else might have come along and purchased the domain in order to make a comment about the transience of linked information in the Internet age.”


The prankster has a point. The modern Supreme Court opinion is increasingly built on sand.


Hyperlinks are a huge and welcome convenience, of course, said Jonathan Zittrain, who teaches law and computer science at Harvard and who prepared the study with Kendra Albert, a law student there. “Things are readily accessible,” he said, “until they aren’t.”


What is lost, Professor Zittrain said, can be crucial. “Often the footnotes and citations,” he said, “are where the action is.”


For most of the Supreme Court’s history, its citations have been to static, permanent sources, typically books. Those citations allowed lawyers and scholars to find, understand and assess the court’s evidence and reasoning.


Since 1996, though, justices have cited materials found on the Internet 555 times, the study found. Those citations are very often ephemeral.


“It is disturbing that even at the Supreme Court, where creating and citing precedent is of the utmost importance, citations often fail to point the researcher to the authority on which the court based its decision,” Raizel Liebler and June Liebert, librarians at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, wrote in a second recent look at the topic, “Something Rotten in the State of Legal Citation.” It was published in The Yale Journal of Law and Technology.


Even links to the Supreme Court’s own Web site have stopped working. One is to a video of what Justice Antonin Scalia called “the scariest chase I ever saw since ‘The French Connection.’”


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New California law will let minors digitally erase their online past | TheVerge.com

New California law will let minors digitally erase their online past | TheVerge.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year Google's Eric Schmidt suggested that the internet should have a "delete" button for individuals that wanted to remove troubling information from the web, and thanks to a new law minors in California will get that chance.


The SFGate reports that California governor Jerry Brown signed a new law today that will require internet companies to pull down online activity from their services should a minor make the request. While the law is a step forward it has more than a few loopholes.


Companies won't need to remove any data from their servers — they'll just need to take it offline — and it only covers photos, data, or other online activity that is generated by the requesting individuals themselves. Minors won't be able to force companies to pull information posted, or reposted, by others. It's scheduled to go into effect in 2015.


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