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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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AT&T, Verizon, others hone their wireless backhaul skills | FierceTelecom.com

AT&T, Verizon, others hone their wireless backhaul skills | FierceTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The top four wireline operators--AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and Windstream--have become the natural purveyors of fiber to the tower (FTTT) services for wireless operators that need to higher speed backhaul services to accommodate the growth of their existing 3G and 4G LTE networks.


Just how big is the FTTT opportunity? According to a study written by Strategy Analytics for Tellabs, North America's wireless operators face a $650 million backhaul funding gap.


While the actual speeds delivered vary by market, all of these wireline wholesalers and alternative players have been aggressively extending fiber into existing cell towers inside their footprint delivering a host of IP/Ethernet-based services.


Some obvious differences exist in this group.


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Comcast shows off a 3 gigabit broadband connection. That's fast! | GigaOM Tech News

Comcast shows off a 3 gigabit broadband connection. That's fast! | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


In an attempt to show that cable technologies can stay competitive with the fiber-broadband, Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts today demonstrated a 3 gigabits per second (Gbps) connection. He also talked about the next generation in video delivery during his keynote speech at the Cable Show in Washington DC.


Roberts used the 3 Gbps connection which he used to open an email and download a 4K video file. I’m sure the email didn’t tax the connection. However the 4K video download would certainly tax Comcast’s existing broadband cap of 300 GB per month (it is trialing other versions of the cap) given that a single 4K movie download weighs in at about 100 GB per movie. Yet, 4K is the next generation video delivery standard after HD and companies such as Netflix are already starting to deliver content in 4K.


On the broadband side, Comcast knows that to keep up with the demand for faster broadband networks, it will have to push the envelope on gigabit speeds. Google is building out gigabit networks in three cities, while AT&T has threatened to build on in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile private companies and municipalities are pushing their own gigabit projects.


So while Comcast currently delivers a top speed of 305 Mbps in some markets, showing off a multi-gigabit connection is important to show that cable technology can keep up with the fiber to the home build outs. The 3 Gbps connection was delivered over a DOCSIS hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network. But in the real world such speeds might be impossible without an upgrade to the next generation DOCSIS 3.1 technology.


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Here's how cable will hit gigabit speeds and create a tricky business problem in the process | GigaOM Tech News

Here's how cable will hit gigabit speeds and create a tricky business problem in the process | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


The Cable Show began on Monday, and as the industry executives gathered in Washington D.C. they faced two big threats to their core lines of business. One involves the nature of pay television in an age of over-the-top content, and the other, the rise of gigabit networks.


In many ways it would seem that the rise of gigabit networks would crush the business of providing pay TV, but in fact, if cable companies play it smart, they may find a way to walk the line as their industry transitions to all-IP content delivery over broadband networks. They may even find new sources of revenue by offering IP services such as home security and automation. To understand what cable firms are dealing with, I spoke with Phil McKinney, the president of CableLabs, the industry standards setting body that is responsible for pushing cable’s access technologies.


CableLabs is the organization behind the DOCSIS 3.0 standard, which has helped cable companies roll out 100 Mbps and faster speeds. Unfortunately, those speeds have a practical limit that won’t help cable providers like Comcast or Time Warner Cable compete with Google’s gigabit networks. And if AT&T or municipalities get aggressive about deploying such networks, cable providers might find themselves selling the equivalent of feature phones in a smartphone world.


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Wired Highlights Local, Public Option for Internet Networks | community broadband networks

Wired Highlights Local, Public Option for Internet Networks | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


Klint Finley from Wired.com joined a Media Consortium press call that our own Christopher Mitchell participated in regarding community owned networks, Google Fiber, and concerns about the future of Internet access. He wrote about the event and the promise of municipal networks.


Finley referred readers to us:


"But there’s no guarantee that Google Fiber will come to the rest of the United States, and many communities may want to start building an alternative right away. Mitchell said the first step towards building a municipal broadband service in your area is to get educated about what other communities have done. That’s the purpose of the site muninetworks.org, which compiles information about municipal broadband initiatives across the country. The goal is to create a comprehensive resource for community organizers. Users can explore the projects in different states through the Community Network map."


We continue to find more local governments moving forward with their own investments to improve local access, suggesting that many understand the folly of hoping some distant corporation will build the network they need to be successful in the digital economy.

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Speak Your Piece: Brains and Broadband | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural

Across America, entrepreneurs are blossoming like spring flowers. They are cropping up everywhere. From the Silicon Prairie to the Southern Gulf to my back yard in northwest Montana, we are seeing start-ups grow successfully in unlikely places – creating jobs, innovating and attracting investment. We’ve made surprisingly swift progress. When I founded a ground-breaking tech company in northwest Montana, I was asked repeatedly, “How will you ever be able to grow a tech business from a small town in a flyover state?” The answer was, easy … technology would make it possible. And it did.


My husband, our daughter and I had moved to Whitefish, Montana, in 2002 from the Washington, D.C., area. We’d looked all over America for a community that had four seasons of recreation, good healthcare and public schools (our daughter was then 8 years old) and enough restaurants that we didn’t have to cook every day. My background was in telecom so I had seen firsthand the kinds of opportunities for business, healthcare and education that the Internet was making possible. We believed that we could make a living just about anywhere that had fast and reliable communications connectivity, and we found it in Whitefish.  


I passed the Montana bar exam in 2003. In contrast to the Virginia bar exam I had passed years earlier, this time I studied for it not in a classroom but in my living room. In 2004 I was approached by a young entrepreneur with an idea for a revolutionary tech company. Combining his tech vision and my business skills, we launched a company in Kalispell, Montana, that today is known as Vubiquity, the largest global provider of multi-platform video services. In fact, still today, some of the most cutting-edge video compression and distribution technologies in the world are being developed in Kalispell by a team of brilliant tech pioneers who work with colleagues and customers located all around the world. 


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Google Opens Up Some More: The 'Secret' Computer System It Uses To Give Info To NSA Is Secure FTP | Techdirt

Google Opens Up Some More:  The 'Secret' Computer System It Uses To Give Info To NSA Is Secure FTP | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is continuing to open up about the supposed "secret" program by which it hands data over to the NSA that has been subject to so much attention over the last week. And, once again, the story seems to be less than what was originally reported. Google's now said that when it receives a valid FISA order for information, the "secret" computer system it uses to get the required info to the NSA isn't some crazy server setup or dropbox... but secure FTP.


Instead the company transmits FISA information the old fashioned way: by hand, or over secure FTP.

“When required to comply with these requests, we deliver that information to the US government — generally through secure FTP transfers and in person,” Google spokesman Chris Gaither told Wired. “The US government does not have the ability to pull that data directly from our servers or network.”


However, the company does say that the government has asked for more, but that Google has refused.


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MN: The telemedicine tourniquet | MinnPost

MN: The telemedicine tourniquet | MinnPost | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


Inside the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation in Rochester, a new initiative is taking shape: the development of Mayo’s Center for Connected Care.


“This is a major initiative of the Mayo Clinic across all of its campuses,” says Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, director of the Mayo Clinic’s telestroke and teleneurology program and a vascular neurologist with the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. The vision is to “provide virtual care to patients regionally, within states that are historically Mayo Clinic territories, but also nationally and globally.” And not just in Demaerschalk’s specialty of stroke diagnosis and treatment.


“We imagine that Mayo Clinic can provide telemedicine across every medical and surgical discipline that our institution provides service for,” he says.


Mayo, like many other health care systems, is already engaged in virtual care on a number of fronts: in radiology, dermatology, infectious diseases, and other fields. Demaerschalk’s work in Arizona six years ago helped pave the way.


He and colleagues used technology to improve the speed and effectiveness of communication between Mayo’s stroke neurologists in Scottsdale and the emergency room teams at Arizona’s small regional hospitals. The telestroke platform’s audio, video, and digital connections put a Mayo specialist in the ER virtually, able to talk with patients, see and be seen by them, monitor vital signs, and use diagnostic tools. It was a big improvement over the norm of simply doing consults with emergency physicians on the phone, or transferring the patient to a stroke center. The result, in a clinical study, was a 14 percentage point increase in the accuracy of diagnosis and emergency treatment for stroke.


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What Happened to the Digital Divide? | POTs and PANs

What Happened to the Digital Divide? | POTs and PANs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


There was hardly a time in the late 90’s and early 00’s when broadband was discussed that the topic of digital divide was not mentioned. Government entities, policy people and even service providers talked about solving the digital divide to make sure that everybody had access to the Internet. There were committees and commissions formed in many communities to help solve the digital divide and to make sure that every child had a computer and an internet connection.


From what I can see the topic has disappeared from discussion and I rarely seeing the topic discussed any more. Does this mean that the digital divide has been solved? Certainly there are a lot more households with Internet access today than a decade ago, but do the poorest households now subscribe to the Internet?


Before one can even answer the question we need to define what broadband is. The FCC defines broadband as the ability to get a landline service with a download speed of at least 4 Mbps and an upload speed of 1 Mbps. In most markets that is one of the lower-speed products available and speeds in metropolitan and suburban areas are now much faster than that. According the numbers released by the FCC in August of 2012 there were 19 million people in the US with no access to broadband and another 100 million with access to broadband but who do not purchase it. But there are many who dispute the way that the FCC counted the 19 million figure and think that the real number is much larger.


Another way to look at the market is by households and the Leichtman Research Group did a study in 2012 that showed that there are almost 81 million homes with broadband, or just at 70% of all households. That same study said that broadband penetration rates in homes with average household incomes under $30,000 had only a 52% broadband penetration rate while homes with incomes over $50,000 had a 97% penetration rate. Obviously there are a lot of households who feel they cannot afford broadband.


Today one has to ask if landline broadband is the only kind of broadband. For example comscore reports that 133 million people owned smartphones as of February 2013, or 57% of everybody over 13 years old. Certainly there are many people whose only Internet access is with a smartphone.


A Pew Research Center study released a study earlier this year of the Internet usage of teenagers between 12 and 17. This group uses the Internet more than any other age group and 95% of teenagers access the Internet at least one per month. But 25% of teenagers only have a smartphone to use for Internet access. One has to question if smartphone usage is really broadband.


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USTR Nominee Confuses Transparency With Listening | Techdirt

USTR Nominee Confuses Transparency With Listening | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


We've already explained why were were worried that new USTR nominee Michael Froman would be as bad, if not worse, than his predecessor, Ron Kirk. And, in his Senate approve hearings he provided little to change that opinion:


"Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) raised the extraordinary secrecy shrouding the Obama administration's trade negotiations to date.  Wyden has blasted USTR's incredible decision to keep the negotiating text of the sweeping TPP pact, affecting everything from food safety to Internet freedom, hidden from the U.S. public and even from members of Congress.  Not even the Bush administration attempted that degree of secrecy.  Wyden asked, "If confirmed, will you make sure that the public...gets a clear and updated description of what trade negotiators are seeking to obtain in the negotiations so that we can make this process more transparent in the future?" Wyden further asked that negotiating texts be placed online.  Froman responded by saying he agrees with the principle of transparency.  But instead of committing to a meaningful fulfillment of that principle by releasing the TPP text online (as done under Bush), he reiterated USTR's general desire to seek input from "stakeholders."  It is of course difficult for stakeholders to provide meaningful input if they cannot see the thing in which they have a stake." 


Of course, as we've explained many times, transparency has nothing to do with seeking input from stakeholders, but the opposite: providing information to the public. Listening is important to understand what's going on, but that's not transparency.

It's pretty simple: information flowing into the USTR is not transparency. Information flowing to select interests is not transparency. Releasing information to the public is transparency. How does the USTR continually get away with pretending otherwise?


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Area Man Outraged His Private Information Being Collected By Someone Other Than Advertisers | The Onion

Area Man Outraged His Private Information Being Collected By Someone Other Than Advertisers | The Onion | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After a government whistleblower revealed last week that the U.S. National Security Agency is collecting phone records and other data as part of an authorized domestic surveillance program, area man Michael Landler, 46, told reporters Monday that he is outraged his private information is being collected by someone other than advertisers.


“I can’t express how infuriated I am that my credit history, phone activity, and online browsing habits are being systematically collected and archived without my knowledge by undisclosed organizations that aren’t trying to sell me products,” said the visibly disturbed man, adding that if his private information isn’t being used by advertisers to create a targeted consumer profile, it shouldn’t be used at all.


“As a law-abiding resident of this nation, I have the right to do whatever I want without a shadowy organization recording my every move, unless of course it’s part of an electronic campaign designed to figure out, based on all of my emails and phone conversations, what types of clothes, shoes, and houseware products I like. Then it’s fine.”


Sources later confirmed that Landler had posted a Facebook rant on the issue, which had generated a pop-up ad from a company that restores lost PC data.

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Five ways to stop the NSA from spying on you : WonkBlog | Wash Post

Five ways to stop the NSA from spying on you : WonkBlog | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


If recent reports are to be believed, the National Security Agency has broad powers to capture private information about Americans. They know who we’re calling, they have access to our Gmail messages and AOL Instant Messenger chats, and it’s a safe bet that they have other interception capabilities that haven’t been publicly disclosed. Indeed, most mainstream communications technologies are vulnerable to government eavesdropping.


But all is not lost! The NSA’s spying powers are vast, but there are still ways to thwart the agency’s snooping. Here are five of them.


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Keen On… Internet Access: Does American Broadband Suck? | TechCrunch

Keen On… Internet Access: Does American Broadband Suck? | TechCrunch | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


For years, it’s been taken for granted that the U.S. ranks low in the broadband performance table. But a controversial piece by ITIF’s Richard Bennett explodes the myth of poor U.S. broadband. Not everyone, however, agrees with Bennett. So, to debate the ITIF Senior Research Fellow, I invited Public Knowledge SVP Harold Feld, who has a much less positive take on America’s broadband reality. While acknowledging that American broadband performance has improved, Feld still believes that in certain respects, particularly rural access, American broadband is still pretty pathetic. “We suck less,” Feld insists, is hardly proof of America’s world beating broadband.


So why should Silicon Valley entrepreneurs care about this debate, I asked both Feld and Bennett. Their answers were identical. Low quality broadband, they both believe, kills digital innovation. Which is why, in spite of its occasional wonkishness, this debate about the quality of American broadband is critical to the success of the American 21st century digital economy.


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OH: Medina County Offices Will Connect With Community Network | community broadband networks

OH: Medina County Offices Will Connect With Community Network | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The newly completed Medina County Fiber Network (MCFN) in Ohio will soon add Medina County government as the next customer.


The Medina-Gazette reports the County Commission recently voted unanimously to enter into a five-year agreement with MCFN and drop Armstrong Cable. County Administrator Chris Jakab says the county will save $600 per month. Currently Medina County pays $3,300 per month and the new monthly fee will be $2,700 per month.


Apparently, Armstong Cable did not take the news well. At the County Commissioners meeting, Armstrong questioned the decision:


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NCTA's Michael Powell defends U.S. broadband efforts | LATimes.com

NCTA's Michael Powell defends U.S. broadband efforts | LATimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The cable industry's top lobbyist defended broadband in the United States against complaints that the country has fallen behind others in terms of speed and innovation.


"America is home to the world’s very best Internet companies," said Michael Powell, chief executive of the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. at the lobbying group's annual convention here. "We have worked hard to reach everyone, and now offer service to 93% of American homes."


Comparisons to other countries, Powell said, are not fair.


"Despite our success, many people like to denigrate U.S. broadband by painting false comparisons to other countries," Powell said. "There are some nations doing very well, but it is foolish to compare countries like Latvia and France to the United States of America."


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Where's the outrage over private snooping? | Mathbabe.org

Where's the outrage over private snooping? | Mathbabe.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


There’s been a tremendous amount of hubbub recently surrounding the data collection data mining that the NSA has been discovered to be doing.


For me what’s weird is that so many people are up in arms about what our government knows about us but not, seemingly, about what private companies know about us.


I’m not suggesting that we should be sanguine about the NSA program – it’s outrageous, and it’s outrageous that we didn’t know about it. I’m glad it’s come out into the open and I’m glad it’s spawned an immediate and public debate about the citizen’s rights to privacy. I just wish that debate extended to privacy in general, and not just the right to be anonymous with respect to the government.


What gets to me are the countless articles that make a big deal of Facebook or Google sharing private information directly with the government, while never mentioning that Acxiom buys and sells from Facebook on a daily basis much more specific and potentially damning information about people (most people in this country) than the metadata that the government purports to have.


Of course, we really don’t have any idea what the government has or doesn’t have. Let’s assume they are also an Acxiom customer, for that matter, which stands to reason.


It begs the question, at least to me, of why we distrust the government with our private data but we trust private companies with our private data. I have a few theories, tell me if you agree.


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The Current Surveillance State Is The End Result Of Two Consecutive Presidents Rewriting Their Job Descriptions | Techdirt

The Current Surveillance State Is The End Result Of Two Consecutive Presidents Rewriting Their Job Descriptions | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


The escalating build-out of the American surveillance state since 9/11 can't be attributed to any one factor. There have been several contributors, most of which have used the omnipresent "threat" of terrorism as leverage to increase governmental power and control at the expense of its citizens. But one undeniable aspect is the fact that two consecutive presidents have recast their presidential responsibilities, as Micah Zenko points out at Foreign Policy.


When asked last September if he personally chose which individual terrorist suspects could be targeted with lethal force, President Barack Obama gave a response that would have astounded the founding fathers: "What is absolutely true is that my first job, my most sacred duty, as president and commander in chief, is to keep the American people safe." This is false. As the presidential "Oath or Affirmation" in the Constitution reads: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


As Zenko states, Obama should know better. After all, he spent more than a decade lecturing on constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But his predecessor led the way, informing Americans that "safety" would trump rights.


George W. Bush told a cheering crowd at the 2004 Republican National Convention: "I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people.


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Why Yahoo Could Become the Next Major TV Network | AllThingsD.com

Why Yahoo Could Become the Next Major TV Network | AllThingsD.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the world waits to see if Yahoo will succeed in bringing Hulu into the Sunnyvale fold, it’s worth asking a long-term question about Yahoo and video. That question is this: Could Yahoo ever become the next major TV network — alongside ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC?


I think the answer is yes. And it’s especially likely when you throw Tumblr and Yahoo’s potential big mobile acquisitions into the mix.


To understand why, let’s start with the big changes in TV. If you’ve only skimmed the latest literature on where TV is headed, you’re familiar with two major trends. The first is the growth of cord-cutters: People who part ways with pay TV in favor of online and other video sources, like Hulu and Netflix. Cord-cutting numbers are heading north of a million viewers; there’s also a healthy population of cord-nevers — viewers who enter adulthood without ever getting pay TV at all.


The second major shift is in the TV experience itself. Simply put, the TV experience is growing closer to the online experience every day — between TV sets that easily integrate with social media and apps and the rise of addressable TV ads that target viewers directly, the way many online ads do.


The upshot is that we’re heading into a world where the Web and TV basically merge into a single premium video channel — or, at the very least, into two channels that overlap and interact tremendously.


Two kinds of businesses today are poised to do well in that new world:


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4 Reasons Google Bought Waze | Mashable.com

4 Reasons Google Bought Waze | Mashable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


For Waze, mapping software proved to be a road of riches. The company's nine-year journey culminated on Tuesday, when Google agreed to pay a reported $1.03 billion to acquire the company. That price may have been inflated by a bidding war among Google, Facebook and Apple, according to rumors.



Waze claims around 45 million users, but there's a good chance you're unfamiliar with the company and its app. If you're wondering why the Israeli firm became such a hot property of late, here are a few theories:


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FCC Nominations Hearings | U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on the nomination of Mr. Thomas Wheeler to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.


Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website.  Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.


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Glenn Greenwald: How America's Surveillance State Breeds Conformity and Fear

Glenn Greenwald: How America's Surveillance State Breeds Conformity and Fear | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


July 4, 2012 | Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a speech delivered by Glenn Greenwald at this month's Socialism 2012 conference, on the massive growth of government and corporate surveillance and their chilling effects on Americans' rights.


Last year was my maiden trip to the Socialism 2012 world. I started off by standing up and saying -- I was actually surprised by this, pleasantly surprised, because I didn’t know what to expect -- how amazingly inspirational I actually found this conference to be. The energy of activism and the sophisticated level of the conversation and the commitment that people displayed and the diversity of the attendees, really is unlike any other conference. And so when I was asked back this year, I was super excited to come back and accept. Not only because of that, but also because the conference organizers asked if I could speak about challenging the Surveillance State.


The reason that I was so eager to come and do that is because I really think that this topic is central to all of the other activism that’s being discussed here this weekend.


The Surveillance State hovers over any attacks that meaningfully challenge state-appropriated power. It doesn’t just hover over it. It impedes it, it deters it and kills it.  That’s its intent. It does that by design.


And so, understanding what the Surveillance State, how it operates -- most importantly, figuring out how to challenge it and undermine it, and subvert it -- really is, I think, an absolute prerequisite to any sort of meaningful activism, to developing strategies and tactics for how to challenge state and corporate power.


To begin this discussion, I want to begin with a little story that I think is illustrative and significant in lots of ways.


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Appalachian Wireless unveils LTE service | TeleGeography


Regional news site WKYT.com has reported that Appalachian Wireless unveiled its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in heavily populated areas of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky. At launch the company will offer LTE connectivity via both handsets and tablets, with a premium 50GB ‘data pack’ priced at USD329.99 per month.


The next phase of the company’s 4G rollout is tentatively scheduled for August this year. Gerald Robinette, CEO of Appalachian Wireless, is quoted as saying: ‘I am thrilled to death for what we can do with LTE, and I’m more than thrilled for what the customer will be able to do with LTE’.


According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Appalachian Wireless became the twelfth regional mobile operator to sign up to Verizon’s ‘LTE in Rural America’ programme, in October 2011. Under the terms of the agreement Verizon leased the cellco spectrum in the 700MHz ‘Upper C’ block in service areas where it had opted not to roll out its own LTE network. Going forward, Appalachian Wireless customers will have access to Verizon Wireless’ LTE network throughout the US.

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ACLU Sues NSA Over Mass Phone Spying | Threat Level | Wired.com

ACLU Sues NSA Over Mass Phone Spying | Threat Level | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


A second lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the NSA’s dragnet phone surveillance program was lodged today in a New York federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union, calling the spying “one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government.”


The suit (.pdf) comes days after Larry Klayman, the former chairman of Judicial Watch, lodged what was believed to be the first suit alleging the government has illegally spied on their Verizon accounts.


The Guardian last week posted a leaked copy of a top secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinion requiring Verizon Business to provide the NSA the phone numbers of both parties involved in all calls, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number for mobile callers, calling card numbers used in the call, and the time and duration of the calls, and where the calls were made.


According to the suit by the ACLU, whose employees subscribe to Verizon:


"The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book — with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where. It gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate associations."


Both suits allege breaches of at least the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.


Among others, the ACLU suit names Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander and FBI Director Robert Mueller.


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86 Organizations Petition Congress to Enact Patriot Act Reform to Counter Unconstitutional Surveillance | Media Alliance

86 Organizations Petition Congress to Enact Patriot Act Reform to Counter Unconstitutional Surveillance | Media Alliance | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

86 organizations petitioned Congress this morning to reform Section 315 of the Patriot Act, hold hearings immediately on the sweeping surveillance program revealed by NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden and UK Guardian reporters Gleen Greenwald and Ewan McAskill, and hold accountable those found responsible for overreaching the 4th amendment of the United States constitution.

To take action against unconstitutional surveillance, visit the Stop Watching Us website.

The text of the letter follows and is attached:


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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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MN: Local leaders drive rural broadband: $6.3 million project shows resources, local focus boost local use | Blandin on Broadband


Very pleased to share the following press release. I was lucky enough to work with the Blandin Foundation on the project and to work with some of the local projects.


GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (May 31, 2013) – Through the work of local leaders in dozens of rural Minnesota communities, more than 250,000 rural Minnesotans have been introduced to online resources to find jobs, continue their education and monitor their health.


Connecting rural Minnesotans with tools they can use to plug into the benefits of broadband was a key goal of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) project, a $6.6 million broadband adoption and use project in rural Minnesota between 2010 and 2012. The project was funded through a $4.8 million Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce and $1.6 million in MIRC partner matches. Blandin Foundation administered the grant on behalf of the initiative partners.


Now complete, the MIRC project brought a network of resources and support to rural Minnesota individuals and communities—especially those unemployed and seeking employment, small businesses, coalitions of government entities, and local leaders. It leveraged resources of coalition partners to extend small business technical assistance and training, expand hours for access to workforce centers, distribute refurbished computers to low-income families, train individuals and businesses and create courses for knowledge workers.


A group of 11 rural “MIRC demonstration communities” received $100,000 each to identify and implement nearly 100 projects that fit local broadband needs and helped communities boost their overall ability to participate in the Internet-based economy.


“Rural towns, cities and counties stand at the threshold of the broadband economy,” said Robert Bell, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), who helped demonstration communities evaluate their broadband readiness. “They already have the sense of place their residents treasure. Through broadband services, they have the chance to add the richness and complexity of life that their urban neighbors have long enjoyed.”


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Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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In Idaho, Ketchum Sharing Strategic Plan, Seeking Survey Input | community broadband networks

In Idaho, Ketchum Sharing Strategic Plan, Seeking Survey Input | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In March, Ketchum leaders hired Magellan Advisors to work with the city Broadband Strategic Planning Committee to create a plan to address the lack of high-speed Internet, especially in the downtown area. Brennan Rego's Idaho Mountain Express article reports the firm and the committee are now presenting their findings to the community in a series of meetings.


Community leaders now encourage members of Ketchum to complete a survey to get a better picture of the Internet situation. 


While there are no solid plans to build a fiber optic network at this time, Ketchum City Council is poised to make changes to development codes that would pave the way for efficient future installation. From the article:


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