Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
103.6K views | +64 today
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Supervisor tackles Internet access issue in rural areas of Southern VA | Mechanicsville Local

Supervisor tackles Internet access issue in rural areas of Southern VA | Mechanicsville Local | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After years of study and a blue ribbon committee formed to specifically address the problem, the issue of high speed Internet accessibility in rural portions of Hanover County appears to a question with few answers.

 

But that doesn’t mean that county officials aren’t looking or listening for options.

 

Sean Davis, vice chair of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors and Henry District representative, recently conducted a town hall meeting on the subject, with more than 200 people packing the cafeteria at Battlefield Park Elementary School to express their frustrations. Patrick Dye of Verizon also attended the meeting.

 

“I understand those frustrations,” Davis said in a recent interview. “I want those people to know that I am interested in finding solutions. These folks took time out of their schedule to sit in a hot cafeteria with no air conditioning while we held this meeting.”

 

After months of study, the county’s high speed Internet committee compiled a list of recommendations, including tax zones, grant applications, wireless options and alternative services.

 

“They had no immediate solutions to the problem, no fault of their own. They did come up with some recommendations,” Davis said.

 

While technology is addressing new options, there’s still no cure all for the county’s access problems in areas like Old Church, Black Creek and Studley.

 

“One of the issues that has plagued this conversation is providing accurate and timely information to the citizens about the challenges of high speed Internet accessibility in rural areas,” Davis said.

 

Click headline to read more--

 

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

All-optical transistor could be a big leap for quantum computing | GizMag.com

All-optical transistor could be a big leap for quantum computing | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Researchers at MIT, Harvard and the Vienna University of Technology have developed a proof-of-concept optical switch that can be controlled by a single photon and is the equivalent of a transistor in an electronic circuit. The advance could improve power consumption in standard computers and have important repercussions for the development of an effective quantum computer.

 

Chip manufacturers are constantly pushing to reduce power consumption to a minimum, but they still have to face the limitations that come with dealing with the world of electronics. In particular, the power consumed by a CPU is roughly proportional to its frequency and the square of its voltage, with a good portion of the consumed energy being dispersed as heat.

 

One promising solution could be to build circuits that use photons instead of electrons to store and elaborate data. This would drastically improve power consumption, because one photon is enough to both store a bit of information and activate a transistor. An all-optical computer could also reach much higher data transfer rates (think fiber optics).

 

So, why is it that we haven't built optical chips yet? The problem is that, unlike electrically charged particles, photons don't easily interact with one another: two photons that collide in a vacuum will simply pass through each other, unscathed.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Tiny Utah-based ISP makes a name for itself by rebuffing government snoops | Guardian.co.uk

Tiny Utah-based ISP makes a name for itself by rebuffing government snoops | Guardian.co.uk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley's role in US government surveillance has triggered public anxiety about the internet, but it turns out there is at least one tech company you can trust with your data. The only problem: it's a relative minnow in the field, operating from offices in Utah.

 

Xmission, Utah's first independent and oldest internet service provider, has spent the past 15 years resolutely shielding customers' privacy from government snoops in a way that larger rivals appear to have not.

 

The company, a comparative midget with just 30,000 subscribers, cited the Fourth Amendment in rebuffing warrantless requests from local, state and federal authorities, showing it was possible to resist official pressure.

"I would tell them I didn't need to respond if they didn't have a warrant, that (to do so) wouldn't be constitutional," the founder and chief executive, Pete Ashdown, said in an interview at his Salt Lake City headquarters.

 

Since 1998 he rejected dozens of law enforcement requests, including Department of Justice subpoenas, on the grounds they violated the US constitution and state law. "I would tell them, please send us a warrant, and then they'd just drop it."

 

Ashdown, 46, assented just once, on his lawyer's advice, to a 2010 FBI request backed by a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

 

"I believe under the fourth amendment digital data is protected. I'm not an unpaid branch of government or law enforcement."

 

Ashdown was wary about Silicon Valley's carefully worded insistence that the government had no direct access to servers. Access to networks, not servers, was the key, he said.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Big Cable's Sauron-Like Plan for One Infrastructure to Rule Us All | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

Big Cable's Sauron-Like Plan for One Infrastructure to Rule Us All | Wired Opinion | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Liberty Media chairman John Malone talks, it’s a good idea to pay attention. And this month, the craggy, whip-smart, billionaire cable mogul has set his sights on having the entire cable distribution industry charging for buckets of bits. Which means the Internet in America — as well as in the U.K., Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland — is in big trouble.

 

The issue is “cableization” of the entire Internet Protocol enterprise. After all, the cable distribution pipe is just a giant set of channels that will be dynamically reallocated between “Internet” access and other IP-based cable-provided services.

 

Malone’s bet (his word) is that we’ll all be buying channels from our local cable guy in the form of IP packets, and the cable industry will pull off the unrestrained monetization of its long-ago sunk cost in installing local monopoly distribution networks:

 

"…over the years more and more content is going to come all IP, all platforms, random access. And as that happens, the bandwidth demands are going to force market share cable’s way… [I]f cable can get its act together … I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d see over the top service providers that are wholesale to the cable operator, retail to the consumer, and that are bundled and discounted with the broadband connectivity side of the product offering. As that transpires, I think it’s going to change the game pretty dramatically.”

 

Malone calls this “creating value off the scale of a cooperative industry.” But creating this value for them is bad news for the rest of us.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

West Virginia University announces first university white space broadband trial | CivSource

West Virginia University announces first university white space broadband trial | CivSource | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

West Virginia University is the latest entrant in the rush to deploy TV White Space broadband (TVWS). TV White Space broadband relies on the use of vacant TV channels to transmit data. The university has partnered with AIR.U, the Advanced Internet Regions consortium on the project.

 

As CivSource has reported, TVWS is growing and has the backing of big players including Google and Microsoft. Trials are underway internationally, and most recently the Gigabit Libraries Network issued a national call to use libraries as hubs for the technology.

 

The initial phase of the West Virginia network provides free public Wi-Fi access for students and faculty at the Public Rapid Transit platforms, a 73-car tram system that transports more than 15,000 riders daily. This work will be separate from West Virginia’s troubled fiber broadband project which sought to expand access through anchor institutions and remains under scrutiny.

 

The network deployment is managed by AIR.U co-founder Declaration Networks Group LLC and represents a collaboration between AIR.U and the WVU Board of Governors; the West Virginia Network for Telecomputing, which provides the fiber optic Internet backhaul for the network; and Adaptrum Inc., a California start-up providing white space equipment designed to operate on vacant TV channels.

 

TVWS enables networks to broadcast Wi-Fi connections over several miles and over hilly and forested terrain. The Federal Communications Commission describes unlicensed access to vacant TV channels as enabling “Super Wi-Fi” services. For example, WVU can add additional Wi-Fi hotspots in other locations around campus where students congregate or lack connectivity today. Future applications include public Wi-Fi access on the PRT cars and machine-to-machine wireless data links supporting control functions of the PRT System. AIR.U intends to facilitate additional college community and rural broadband deployments in the future.

 

Founding partners of AIR.U include Microsoft, Google, the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and Declaration Networks Group, LLC, a new firm established to plan, deploy and operate Super Wi-Fi networks.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Way To Go Florida: Governor Signs Law That Accidentally Bans All Computers & Smartphones | Techdirt

Way To Go Florida: Governor Signs Law That Accidentally Bans All Computers & Smartphones | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

They must put something in the water in Florida. The latest is that the state has effectively banned all computers, tablets and smartphones. Yes, all of them. Apparently there was a hastily passed law, CS/HB 155: Prohibition of Electronic Gambling Devices, which as you might guess, is supposed to be about banning electronic gambling devices. Apparently, the bill was written quickly in response to a political controversy:

 

In April Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on slot machines and Internet cafes after a charity tied to Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was shut down on suspicion of being an Internet gambling front -- forcing Carroll, who had consulted with the charity, to resign.


But, here's the problem. The bill's definitions section is a complete mess. You can see the full text (pdf) which contains cross outs and additions, but what comes out in the end is the following:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Could the Supreme Court stop the NSA? | WonkBlog | Wash Post

Could the Supreme Court stop the NSA? | WonkBlog | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Every few months, the Obama administration asks the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to order Verizon (and, presumably, other phone companies) to continue turning phone calling records over to the National Security Agency. Under the rules of the FISC, Verizon’s customers—the people whose private information is being disclosed—are not allowed to challenge the orders.

 

But the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, has a plan to challenge the spying program: Ask the Supreme Court to step in. Ordinarily, it takes years of litigation in lower courts before an issue can reach the nation’s highest court. But EPIC has gone straight to the top, arguing in a Monday filing that the unusual structure of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court gives victims of the NSA’s program no other choice.

 

 

The Supreme Court has the power to issue an order called a “writ of mandamus” to deal with lower courts that overstep their legal authority. This type of order is only supposed to be used in “exceptional circumstances.” But EPIC argues that the NSA’s phone records program is exactly the kind of situation that merits the Supreme Court’s intervention.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules | NPR

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules | NPR | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

 

As , "the U.S. sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, claiming the maker of the iPad pushed publishers to sign agreements letting it sell digital copies of their books under what's known as the agency model. Under that model, publishers, and not retailers, set prices for each book, with Apple getting 30 percent."

 

In December 2011, news editor Sarah Weinman from Publishers Marketplace . From an "investigative body's standpoint," she noted, "just the very idea that there could be this uniform price might send up some red flags."

 

According to The Associated Press:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Lessons From The Fire Island Voice Link Debacle — This Is Still A Public Utility And People Really Do Care | Tales of the Sausage Factory

Lessons From The Fire Island Voice Link Debacle — This Is Still A Public Utility And People Really Do Care | Tales of the Sausage Factory | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We now have some preliminary data for how much Fire Island customers love Verizon using them as guinea pigs for untested services such as Voice Link. Turns out – surprise! – they totally hate it.

 

Actually, “hate” understates the matter. Forcing Fire Island residents to take Voice Link ranks up there with Microsoft Vista as “most loathed involuntary ‘upgrade’ from our monopoly provider.” Reaction has been so terrible that it likely will have ripple effects for the broader question of the whole copper-to-wireless conversion.

 

Which in some ways is a shame, because Voice Link is not intrinsically a bad idea and is not a bad product in and of itself. But a combination of disregarding the inability to support certain features as “not important” and a failure to properly introduce the product into the community has created a serious backlash on Fire Island.

 

On the plus side for our summer sitcom series That Darned Voice Link, everyone has the opportunity to learn some valuable life lessons to make things better for next time. This is, after all, the typical time in the story arc when everything hits the fan.  But if you learn the right lessons, scrappy little Voice Link can still have a the Montage of Self-Improvement, regain people’s trust, and be a successful replacement product for grouchy old Uncle Copper so he can finally retire in peace.

 

But seriously, above all else, do not use disaster victims as guinea pigs for your new product. They totally hate that.

 

More valuable life lessons on a Very Special Episode of That Darn Voice Link below . . .

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Verizon Ends AT&T Roaming Agreement in Montana; Rural Customers Left Without Service | Stop the Cap!

Verizon Ends AT&T Roaming Agreement in Montana; Rural Customers Left Without Service | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Wireless customers and public safety personnel are upset that the cell phone company was caught unprepared after a rural roaming agreement with AT&T expired at the end of June, leaving police officers without communications and others with no way to reach 911.

 

AT&T no longer permits Verizon Wireless customers to roam on its acquired former Alltel network, which has dramatically reduced service in Geraldine, Absarokee, Ft. Benton, Browning, Harlem, Evaro, Cascade, Stanford, Lincoln, Ennis, Virginia City, and Great Falls.

 

Lincoln resident Gayle Steinch is living with the result of that business decision. She has a single bar of service on her Verizon Wireless cellphone at her house. It is her only phone — she dropped landline service in 2007.

“And I live a half a block off the main street,” she told the Great Falls Tribune.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Vancouver, BC: A city with two gigabit Internet ISPs, and neither one is Google Fiber | Ars Technica

Vancouver, BC: A city with two gigabit Internet ISPs, and neither one is Google Fiber | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Gigabit Internet service is popping up in all sorts of places, from Google Fiber in Kansas City to major cities like Seattle and even a rural part of Vermont.

 

But a city with two gigabit Internet service is a rare thing indeed. That's just what Vancouver, British Columbia, is becoming, with a startup called OneGigabit now launching to compete against Shaw, a Canadian ISP that already offers gigabit speed in parts of Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

 

Shaw sells gigabit speed to "small pockets" of Vancouver and 250Mbps in other parts of the city for $115 per month, a CBC News article said. OneGigabit will charge just $45 to $65 a month, company founder Eric Kuhnke told CBC, but it will take a while to roll out, and availability will be limited mostly to apartment and condominium complexes.

 

"To be frank, it's uneconomical to serve a single client, with the construction costs that are involved to run fiber to one particular tenant to the building," Kuhnke told CBC.

 

OneGigabit launched the service on June 24. While wiring up individual homes would be too costly for OneGigabit, the company explains on its website that it is "working in partnership with local real estate development firms, outside plant cabling contractors, and telecommunications industry professionals" to serve "the vast majority of MDUs (multiple dwelling units)" in Vancouver.

 

Service will be available for apartment and condo buildings within 20 kilometers of downtown, OneGigabit says. Buildings might need retrofits and upgrades, but OneGigabit said it "assists property owners or strata boards with the process and costs involved."

 

Click headline to read more--

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

NH: Grant-funded area broadband project approaching completion | The Keene Sentinel

A project to bring high-speed Internet to rural homes and businesses in the region is nearly complete, despite delays that set the finish date back by six months.

 

N.H. FastRoads expects to have its nearly 250-mile fiber network in operation by the end of this year. A handful of businesses and residents are testing the network, which will run from Orford to Rindge, this week and next week.

 

The $7.7 million project had a deadline of July 1, but Executive Director Carole D. Monroe said complications during the construction phase, particularly with the time-consuming process of attaching FastRoads equipment to utility poles, slowed the project.

 

FastRoads is a collaboration among the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, Monadnock Economic Development Corp. and more than 30 communities in the Monadnock and Upper Valley regions.

 

The project is about 95 percent finished with building its “middle mile” network that runs fiber-optic cable through 235 hubs, including schools, hospitals and municipal buildings down the western side of the state.

 

FastRoads will not connect individual customers to the Internet through the “middle mile” network. Instead, the 161 miles of fiber will act much like a highway, connecting local networks with the broader infrastructure so small, rural towns have access to the same broadband as more populated areas. Service providers could then directly connect homes and businesses.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

How to stop AT&T from selling your private data to advertisers | BGR.com

How to stop AT&T from selling your private data to advertisers | BGR.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Reports from earlier this week suggested that AT&T is ready to follow in its rivals’ footsteps and begin selling the private usage data it collects from its subscribers’ phones to advertisers. The data in question is anonymized, according to AT&T, but it includes very sensitive information such as customers’ locations, Web browsing history, mobile app usage and more.

 

Privacy is something of a hot button issue right now, so it is likely that a number of AT&T subscribers would prefer to not have their private data sold to advertisers. Luckily, there is a fast and easy way to opt out of AT&T’s “External Marketing and Analytics Reporting” program, and complete instructions follow below.

 

Click headline to read the instructions--

 

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

New Report Examines Illinois Broadband Pricing | BroadbandIllinois.org

New Report Examines Illinois Broadband Pricing | BroadbandIllinois.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new report from Broadband Illinois sheds new light on how prices of residential broadband vary across different speed tiers and geographic locations through Illinois. The 37-page report analyzes the pricing for various broadband speed options and subscription plans across Illinois during the May 2013 timeframe.

According to the GIS team at Broadband Illinois, the purpose of the study is to not find where the cheapest service is, but to examine patterns in pricing related to speeds. The report also outlines ongoing household patterns in certain geographic locations.


“I believe this report breaks new ground in terms of Illinois', and America's, quantitative understanding of the prices at which broadband service is available throughout the state,” said Drew Clark, Executive Director for Broadband Illinois.

“I think that this will truly showcase Illinois' data collection capabilities and highlight them in a positive light. This is a fantastic step forward as part of our ongoing efforts to assess the broadband climate in the state of Illinois.”

Information used in the report was gathered by visiting Illinois provider websites during the month of May, 2013.  Data variables recorded for the report includes technology, bundle requirement, if the was for a business or residence, download/upload speeds, price and data caps.

That information was paired with data coverage data collected by Broadband Illinois earlier this year and submitted to the NTIA on April 1 for use in the National Broadband Map.

The result is a comprehensive guide exploring broadband pricing in Illinois through the use of graphs, tables and multiple residential pricing maps divided in speed tiers from under 768 Kbps to greater than 100 Mbps.

The report does not name providers or attempt to analyze the data collected.

“Our goal was not to single out specific carriers or pricing strategies, but to see the trends as a whole,” said Brian Webster Telecom Manager for Broadband Illinois.

 

Click headline to read more and access hot link to the report--

 

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

Comcast Profits from the Poor with Internet Essentials Deal | Next New Deal

Comcast Profits from the Poor with Internet Essentials Deal | Next New Deal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The digital divide is an equity issue, an education issue, and an economic issue. Over 100 million Americans, about one-third of us, don't subscribe to fixed high-speed Internet access at home. For many, the problem is price. Internet adoption rates for American households are lower, on average, in counties with the lowest median household income and outside of urban areas. Some have no options at all: 19 million Americans (6 percent of the population) cannot buy a connection where they live at any price.

 

How can children with no Internet connection at home compete with peers who are lucky enough to live in households that can afford access? There are more online educational opportunities than ever before, but a good Internet connection is needed to take advantage of many of them. Which kid will be able to learn to program, work with online tutors, rip through Khan Academy lessons, or participate in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)? Students with home access to the Internet are 8 percent more likely to graduate. And the divide doesn’t disappear once they’ve graduated: Eighty percent of Fortune 500 companies require that job applications be submitted online. Can we afford to leave a third of Americans out of the new economy?

 

Against this backdrop, the public relations department at Comcast has been hard at work over the past 16 months, talking about the successes of the Comcast “Internet Essentials” program, which has been credited with providing 150,000 low-income households with a $9.95-per-month “high-speed” Internet connection. To be eligible for the program, a household must include a student who currently receives a “free” or “reduced price” lunch through the Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP), live in an area where Comcast currently offers Internet access, have not subscribed to Comcast Internet access within the last 90 days, and not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

 

While the program may sound like a noble effort to combat the digital divide, it is deeply flawed in practice. Its so-called high-speed connections are painfully slow: 3Mbps downstream and 768Kbps upstream. This is equivalent to Comcast’s bottom-tier service, normally billed at $39.95, and is slower than 89 percent of cable connections in the U.S. These connections may not even be fast enough for modern web applications, especially if multiple users in the house are sharing the same connection at the same time. (The Internet Essentials program originally offered only 1.5Mbps, but Comcast raised the speed cap in the second year in response to criticism and a protest outside of Comcast’s headquarters.)

 

The program is also ineffective because it is not serving enough low-income households. Comcast estimates that 2.6 million households are eligible for Internet Essentials. Of that 2.6 million, the program serves only 150,000 households (5.8 percent of those eligible). In the Philadelphia region, the heart of “Comcast Country” and the location of Comcast’s corporate headquarters, only 3,250 families are participating (3.3 percent of those eligible). Even the number of eligible households is extraordinarily low, as the limits to participation noted above allow Comcast to capture new customers without cannibalizing its existing low-income subscriber base. Comcast's approach provides no relief to families on a tight budget that have already purchased a plan. For low-income NLSP families (at or below 130 percent of the poverty rate), affording the “market” rate for these packages can be quite challenging. The program will have zero effect on our national communications failings.

 

These limits aren’t the result of cost concerns. Within its footprint (which spans 50 million households in 39 states– 45 percent of the US population), the cost for Comcast to connect additional households is vanishingly low. With no additional network build needed, Internet Essentials represents almost pure profit for Comcast.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Contractors Providing Background Checks For NSA Caught Falsifying Reports, Interviewing The Dead | Techdirt

Contractors Providing Background Checks For NSA Caught Falsifying Reports, Interviewing The Dead | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The fallout from Ed Snowden's leaks has taken many forms, one of which is the NSA taking a long look at its contractors' hiring processes. Snowden claims to have taken the job solely to gathering damning info. This revelation, combined with some inconsistencies in his educational history, have placed the companies who perform background and credit checks under the microscope.

What these agencies are now discovering can't be making them happy, including the news that one contractor's investigative work apparently involved a seance.

 

Anthony J. Domico, a former contractor hired to check the backgrounds of U.S. government workers, filed a 2006 report with the results of an investigation.

There was just one snag: A person he claimed to have interviewed had been dead for more than a decade. Domico, who had worked for contractors CACI International Inc. (CACI) and Systems Application & Technologies Inc., found himself the subject of a federal probe.


It's not as if Domico's case is an anomaly.

 

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

MO: Pilot Projects Take Mystery Out of Broadband Success | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

A 4,000-mile broadband network represents a huge capital investment for an electric co-op - or any community organization for that matter. When done right, a comprehensive pilot project can save you a ton of money and a lot of time.

 

Learn how Co-Mo Cooperative in central Missouri ran a year-long pilot that removed a great deal of uncertainty, and paved the way to a very confident launch of a 4-year buildout. Co-Mo determined that buildout costs could be notably less that projected, and they achieved a take rate of about 46 percent, which is considerably more than expected. 

 

General Manager Randy Klindt offers listeners details on how to plan, establish measurement criteria for and execute pilots. He also provides community stakeholders with useful advice on  how to maximize the strengths of electric co-ops as part of an effective broadband strategy.

 

Click headline to listen live or from the archive of this GigaBit Nation discussion--

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

In Case of Emergency: My Cellphone Knows What to Do | NYTimes.com

In Case of Emergency: My Cellphone Knows What to Do | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I am lucky. I’ve never been in a disaster or in a situation where I worried about my survival. Perhaps that’s because I have lived in safe places and not tried too many risky activities. When my wife was a girl, though, she had to call a mountain rescue team after getting lost in difficult weather. Back then, she had to rely on her wits and a basic cellphone to call for help. Now, when emergencies or disasters strike, smartphone apps can offer detailed assistance.

 

The American Red Cross has an app that can alert you to common natural disasters so you can prepare in advance. The free Earthquake app for iOS or Android, for instance, has a main page with a big “alert” button that brings up information on global earthquake activity or notifies you about areas you have programmed in. This makes it handy for warnings about your own location or that of a relative living elsewhere. If an alert is issued, your phone can inform you automatically. The app’s “prepare” menu tells you what to do when you get an alert, during an earthquake and immediately after. If you are inside a building, for example, it will tell you to “drop, cover and hold on.” The sections are clearly written and easy to follow.

 

This app and its peers are specific to one disaster type — there’s also one for tornadoes, one for hurricanes, another for wildfires and more. This means if you live in an area vulnerable to more than one kind of natural disaster, you may have to set up several apps.

 

Among apps that can help you deal with a medical emergency, one of the most comprehensive is the $2 iOS app Army First Aid. This app contains information on a wide range of first aid situations, including injuries, shock and snake bites. It is set up in chapters, like a book, and each section is written in plain English and illustrated.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

NY & NJ : No more landlines on Fire Island? Verizon seeks to go wireless | Alaska Dispatch

Last October, Hurricane Sandy struck the shores of New York and New Jersey, upending houses and their inhabitants. Wireless providers scrambled to get service back to the storm-torn areas. On outlying islands along the New York and New Jersey coast, underground phone lines had been washed away.

 

Nearly eight months later, nearly all of the storm-affected areas are well on their way to rebuilding, and cell phone reception has long since been restored. But, residents of Fire Island– a barrier island off the New York coast– still do not have their landlines restored, and they might ever get them back.

 

Verizon Communications filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to discontinue landline service in “certain parts of New Jersey and New York affected by Hurricane Sandy,” most notably on Fire Island. Instead of restoring the old copper wire networks in the tiny community, the telecom provider has proposed offering its wireless communication service: Voice Link.

 

In May, Verizon received approval from the New York Public Service Commission to introduce the use of wireless technology– Voice Link– as an alternative to landlines.

 

Voice Link uses a compact box that plugs into a power outlet and provides a phone connection via the Verizon wireless network. The device can also run off of batteries for 36 hours with two hours of talk time.

 

Before Hurricane Sandy hit, there was a system of copper phone lines. But the storm washed away the phone lines, and it does not seem cost effective to restore the copper system, says Tom Maguire, Verizon’s senior vice president of national operations.

 

There are approximately 250 permanent residents on Fire Island, which is a popular tourist destination for New Yorkers during the summer. Mr. Maguire estimates that the cost per person of restoring copper lines to the island would cost about $17,000 per person, about $5 million in total.

 

Considering that fewer people are using landlines than ever before, Maguire says that restoring an increasingly archaic service doesn’t seem to add up. “A dollar I spend on copper is a dollar I don’t get to spend on new technologies,” Maguire explains.

 

But Wireless networks “just don’t provide the performance” that landlines do, says Professor John Cioffi a professor emeritus at Stanford University. (Mr. Cioffi is also the Chief Executive Officer of ASSAI Broadband Company). A wireless network is prone to overloading: “once you get enough traffic, it will come crashing down,” he says. Eighty percent of US mobile data is offloaded to WiFi networks right now that rely on cables.

 

“There is a hugely important public safety concern,” says Christopher Sterling, a professor at George Washington University and author of “ A History of Technology, Policy, and Economics.” Mr. Sterling worries about what will happen during an emergency when there is high stress on wireless networks. “When something occurs and everybody reaches for the phone, the wireless lines very quickly fill up and you can’t get through,” Sterling says.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Tennessee Town Tullahoma Tells us Why They Built a Network - Community Broadband Bits Episode #54 | community broadband networks

Tennessee Town Tullahoma Tells us Why They Built a Network - Community Broadband Bits Episode #54 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For our 54th episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we are back in Tennessee to interview Brian Skelton, General Manager of the Tullahoma Utilities Board. They built the network in 2008 and have weathered the tough economy, meeting the business plan while greatly benefiting the community.

 

This is a particularly content-rich interview, covering the importance of non-gimmick pricing, benefits to schools, local programming, and why they decided to become a gigabit community.

 

They haven't increased prices of the Internet or telephone service even though they have increased speeds five times for subscribers and added new telephone features. Despite facing tough competition and deep discount pricing, Tullahoma has experienced extremely low churn, which itself is a sign of how valued the service is. You can read our historic coverage of Tullahoma here.

 

Click headline to listen to this podcast--

 

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

SoftBank will invest $16B in Sprint, open R&D center in Silicon Valley | FierceWireless.com

SoftBank will invest $16B in Sprint, open R&D center in Silicon Valley | FierceWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said that is company is planning to invest $16 billion in Sprint over the next two years.  In an interview with Japanese news service Nikkei, Son said that SoftBank wants to make Sprint a more serious challenger for its rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which each have nearly twice as many customers as Sprint.

 The two companies will also open a joint R&D center in California as early as this year. That center will draw engineers from both companies and will work on both hardware and software, Son said. Eventually, he expects the R&D center to house about 1,000 engineers.

 

Son said he will chair the new Sprint's board of directors. Ronald Fisher, who now heads Softbank's U.S. operations will serve as deputy chairman.  In addition, four current Sprint directors, including CEO Dan Hesse will remain on the board.

 

In previous interviews, Son has indicated Sprint will maintain its unlimited smartphone data pricing, but also hinted more changes could come.


Click headline to read more--

 

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

Broadband is Everywhere and Yet Some Say “Bad News!” | Cable Tech Talk

Broadband is Everywhere and Yet Some Say “Bad News!” | Cable Tech Talk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The build-out of a national broadband infrastructure across 93 percent of America is among the most important U.S. technology accomplishments in recent history.  Just consider the sheer size of the U.S., spanning some 3.8 million square miles across farm fields, massive cities, mountain ranges and vast spaces.

 

A recent White House report, Four Years of Broadband Growth, highlighted some of the tremendous progress that cable and other broadband providers have made to build next-generation networks that are enabling Americans to compete in the global information economy. The report notes that, “Since 2009, the percentage of American homes reached by high-speed broadband networks have more than quadrupled…and average broadband speeds have doubled.”

 

The good news is that America’s broadband future is even brighter. During a recent cable innovations event, some of the foremost leaders in broadband technology got together to envision what’s on the horizon for broadband Internet in America.

 

NCTA President and CEO, Michael Powell, reviewed how cable providers had invested $200 billion to build out a national high-speed Internet infrastructure, which now passes 85 percent of U.S. homes with networks capable of 100 Mbps speeds or higher. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts highlighted the potential power within cable’s current network, by demonstrating how cutting-edge electronics can be used to reach three Gbps download speeds. And cable’s chief innovation guru, CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney, offered a glimpse of the not-too-distant future in discussing the industry’s progress toward completing the specification for the next iteration of faster cable technology,  which is expected to enable downstream speeds approaching 10 Gbps.

 

In spite of the continuous broadband improvement cycle that cable has been delivering across wide swaths of America, some to try and make lemons out of lemonade. Critics say cable is holding back on speed and infrastructure improvements and often cite Google as an example of how broadband should be deployed to American homes.

 

Let’s look at Google’s efforts in creating a broadband infrastructure and see how they compare to those of cable.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

How to Watch Sports Anywhere, Any Time | Cable Tech Talk

How to Watch Sports Anywhere, Any Time | Cable Tech Talk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When it comes to enjoying the second screen experience – that is, using social media platforms or live viewing apps on your smartphone or tablet while watching TV – live sports offer the ultimate way to watch.

 

The very nature of sports makes it ideal for social media and TV-everywhere apps. Best of all, many of these apps are paired with your cable subscription. For those, you can log in with the username and password from your cable operator and watch live. All of the apps we’ve featured are available on all Apple and Android mobile devices.

 

So download the apps and laugh in the face of scheduling conflicts, delayed planes, and long meetings. Thanks to the tech, you’re not missing a single serve (or homer, or power-play, or touchdown…)

 

Click headline to read more and access apps--

 

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

This is what the Future of TV Looks Like | Cable Tech Talk

This is what the Future of TV Looks Like | Cable Tech Talk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

During a recent keynote address, Brian Roberts, Chairman & CEO of Comcast Corporation, delivered a staggering demonstration of mega broadband speed, a new mini-sized cable box, and a slick, super intuitive TV menu interface dubbed X2.

 

Roberts, while being interviewed by CNBC’s Becky Quick, was asked whether there was a need for Gigabit broadband. Roberts responded, “I hope so!” And with that, kicked off a demo presentation by showing a blazing download of a 4 Gigabyte file of a 4K TV clip. The download bar was moving so quickly and on screen for such a short period of time, it was barely possible to take a picture. He then switched the demo screen to a speed test and revealed the speed he was utilizing to download through the cable network was over 3 Gbps. It was an impressive display to say the least.

 

Click headline to read more and watch video clips--

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

DirecTV, Time Warner Cable Moving in On Hulu; Online Video Rights & Internet Cable TV | Stop the Cap!

DirecTV, Time Warner Cable Moving in On Hulu; Online Video Rights & Internet Cable TV | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable won’t engage in an expensive bidding war for ownership of Hulu so it is trying to convince the online video venture’s current owners not to sell.

 

Sources tell Bloomberg News the cable company has offered to buy a minority stake in the online video streaming service alongside its current owners, which include Comcast-NBC, Fox Broadcasting, and Walt Disney-ABC.

 

If Hulu accepted the offer, the other bidders’ offers may not even be entertained.

 

Among those filing binding bids/proposals with Hulu as of the July 5 deadline:

 

Click headline to read more and watch video clip--

 

more...
No comment yet.