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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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Why the Web Won't be Nirvana | Newsweek.com

After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.


Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.


Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen.


How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.


What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is tht the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading.


Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them—one's a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn't work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, "Too many connections, try again later."


Won't the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.


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Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc's insight:

Here we are 18 years after this article was written and it looks like Clifford Stoll got some of his rant right and some of it wrong.  Regardless, its a fun read!

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AT&T, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom grow IPTV business, take video share from cable | FierceTelecom.com

AT&T, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom grow IPTV business, take video share from cable | FierceTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T and international service providers China Telecom and Deutsche Telekom's aggressive IPTV buildouts and subscriber acquisition strategies are helping them take away share from cable operators, says Infonetics in its new Pay TV Services and Subscribers report.


"Telco IPTV operators AT&T, China Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom continue to enjoy strong growth in new subscribers and ARPU, showing that competitive providers with differentiated services can successfully steal share away from incumbent cable operators," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.


Global IPTV has continued to rise due to an ongoing increase in new subscribers and ARPU, particularly in North America and Western Europe. The research firm forecast that the overall global pay-TV market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 5 percent to reach $270 billion.


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Cable Must Embrace Binge Viewing, Better User Experiences, Study Finds | TheWrap

Cable Must Embrace Binge Viewing, Better User Experiences, Study Finds | TheWrap | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s a brave new world out there, but providers have to do a better job of measuring user engagement, EY reports.


The rise of Netflix and Hulu and the ever expanding array of smartphones, tablets and mobile devices means that television viewers demand access to their favorite programs whenever, however and wherever they want.


This has led to a dramatic shift in the power dynamic — now consumers, not creators are driving the television industry. In particular, binge viewing, which has become a hot term now that companies such as Netflix are offering up entire seasons of shows like “House of Cards” at one time, is having a profound impact on the business. It demands that companies do a better job of measuring viewership and personalizing programming, according to a new study on the future of television by EY, the professional services firm formerly known as Ernst & Young.


Gone are the days when Nielsen ratings could accurately capture the popularity of a program or when viewers could be expected to tune in at the same time each week to catch up with the latest doings on “Seinfeld” or “Dallas.”


“These new players are reinventing content creation and discovery,” Howard Bass, leader of EY’s Global Media & Entertainment Advisory Services, said.


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FiOS TV App Brings Live TV to Xbox One | DSLReports.com

Verizon is the first ISP out of the gate to sign a partnership that will allow Xbox One customers to stream their television content.


As with the Xbox 360 the usual caveats apply -- to stream up to 79 live channels (depending on your cable lineup) you'll need to subscribe to both FiOS Internet and TV service, and you need to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber.


You can of course also use the device's HDMI pass-through connectivity to hook the Xbox One to your cable box, but you still can't integrate the device with existing FiOS DVR set top capabilities.


The announcements from both Microsoft and Verizon have a little bit more detail.

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Is White Space the Right Space? | Light Reading

Is White Space the Right Space? | Light Reading | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The growth in mobile broadband usage is so rapid that it cannot be accommodated by new technologies alone -- access to new sources of spectrum is also essential.


It is therefore unsurprising that unused spectrum in certain areas -- so-called white space -- is generating excitement in the industry.


However, this new approach raises key technical and commercial challenges and even risks harming existing mobile services.


Research from Ericsson AB shows that global mobile data traffic grew 80% between the second quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of 2013, which means that the average mobile operator will need about 1600-1800MHz of spectrum by 2020, compared with the 300-500MHz they have today.


Needless to say, this is a substantial amount of new spectrum and represents a critical challenge for the telecom industry. In this light, the promise of unused bands undoubtedly holds appeal. Regulators are inevitably eyeing up all opportunities and white space is seen by many as a prime new resource to mine.


White space is used to define the parts of spectrum that are not used at a particular time and geographic location. Traditionally, the focus has been on TV white space, which consists of unused spectrum in the television broadcasting bands (for example, 470–790MHz in Europe and 470–698MHz in the US).


These bands contain portions of unused spectrum because of the necessary geographical separation between television stations using the same frequency channel and due to unused spectrum by regional television stations.


In principle, these white spaces can be used to provide vital new capacity for broadband services. However, there are a number of issues that could limit the size of the market, the quality and cost of services, as well as potentially negatively impact existing licensed mobile broadband services.


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A Way to Remake Broadband | Bloomberg BizWeek

To say Southern California startup MagnaCom wants to shake up mobile and wire-line communications would be an understatement. The company is proposing that cellular, Wi-Fi, fiber, and wire-line broadband networks do away with one of their fundamental technological underpinnings—an age-old modulation scheme called QAM.


QAM stands for quadrature amplitude modulation, and it’s a means to manipulate signals so they carry information over communications links, whether it’s an episode of Sesame Street coming out of your cable box or a Twitter (TWTR) update popping up on your smartphone.


Improvements to that modulation scheme have led to big enhancements in spectral efficiency, meaning the same signals can carry more information. For instance, you may have heard mention of QAM in reference to mobile technologies: The boost from 16 QAM to 64 QAM was one of the means used to turn HSPA networks into faster HSPA+ networks.


MagnaCom’s founders, Chief Executive Officer Yossi Cohen, who has headed up mobile communications at both Motorola (GOOG) and Broadcom (BRCM), and Chief Technology Officer Amir Eliaz, a  communications scientist who developed MagnaCom’s technology, believe QAM has seen its best days. On Tuesday, they brought their company out of stealth mode with an audacious proposal: an alternative modulation scheme they call Wave Modulation, or WAM.


How WAM works is pretty geeky stuff, and I’ll admit it’s beyond my basic technical understanding. For the engineers out there, here’s MagnaCom’s explanation:


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Redefining Rust Belt: The Local Impact of Anchor Institutions in Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia | ChicagoFedBlogs.org

Redefining Rust Belt: The Local Impact of Anchor Institutions in Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia | ChicagoFedBlogs.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Anchor institutions play an active role in contributing to the economies of cities like Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Universities, hospitals (“eds and meds” in economic development vernacular), and other large-scale employers, once they are established, often stay rooted in their locations, and thus provide a base for the economic activity in their communities. 


The impact of these institutions is often felt across their entire cities or metropolitan areas as well, as they employ large numbers of both low-skilled and high-skilled workers, and attract and retain employees, students, patients, and visitors. Data available at the county level show that employment has increased in the education and health sectors even as overall employment has declined in recent years for all four cities.


As of 2012, these two sectors together accounted for more than 35 percent of total employment in Philadelphia County, and for 20 percent of employment in Wayne County (where Detroit is located). In Baltimore and Cuyahoga (Cleveland) Counties, the share of employment for those two sectors was close to 25 percent. (See charts). In Detroit alone, some experts estimate that educational and medical institutions hire 3,000 new employees every year, and add $1.7 billion of goods and services to the local economy.[1]  


In the city of Detroit, some of the anchor institutions include Wayne State University, Henry Ford Hospitals, Detroit Medical Center, the College of Creative Studies, and several museums. Arts institutions are increasingly viewed as having the potential to play an anchor role as well. While the employment base of this industry is relatively small, creative outlets add a quality of life dimension, tend to bring people of different walks of life together, and contribute to community diversity and stability.


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Google Fiber Vs. AT&T GigaPower: The Battle For High-Speed Internet | SeekingAlpha.com

Google Fiber Vs. AT&T GigaPower: The Battle For High-Speed Internet | SeekingAlpha.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As a resident of Austin, Texas, I have a front row seat to the battle brewing between AT&T and Google in the high-speed broadband market.


On Dec. 11, 2013, AT&T launched its U-verse GigaPower network in Austin and fired a shot across the bow of Google. In the spring of 2013, Google announced Austin would be the second city in the U.S. to receive Google Fiber after a successful launch in Kansas City, Mo.


Google estimates it will have the first wave of neighborhoods wired by mid-2014. AT&T's announcement to provide Austin with its new high-speed broadband network surprised many people and is clearly a move by AT&T to protect their dominance in the industry from Google's new fiber optic vision.


Google Fiber is Google's latest quest to be a game-changer in the high-speed broadband Internet and TV industry by building out extensive fiber networks in select cities. Google Fiber claims to be 100 times faster than today's average broadband speed, by offering 1 gigabit-per-second Gbps connections.


The key to Google's plan is keeping costs down and they have laid out two main strategies to accomplish this:


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GA Task Force Issues Recommendations for Achieving Digital Learning | THE Journal

The state of Georgia needs to increase broadband capacity to schools and wireless connectivity and device availability in schools and the broader community if it expects to improve educational achievement through digital learning. Those are the first three recommendations of 12 that appear in a new report issued by an education task force that has been working since November 2012 to examine the status of digital learning in that state. The findings, which touch on infrastructure, digital content and courses, and blended and competency-based learning, could have come from almost any state.


The task force was formed by Governor Nathan Deal in April 2012 and consists of 14 members, including district superintendents, principals, teachers, a grants specialist, technology leaders from Georgia's Department of Education, state legislators, and representatives from major corporations. Starting in November 2012, the group met eight times, toured successful school implementations of technology, and received presentations from education experts. The final result is a concise 22 pages.


"Digital learning has the potential to leverage technology to transform our educational system by providing students, parents, and educators more flexibility over the time, place, path and pace of learning," the report's authors stated. "In other words, it individualizes each student's educational experience and shifts the teacher's role from being the source of information to being a guide alongside students."


"Georgia students need 21st century skills to succeed in our economy, and digital learning can help provide those skills," added Deal in a press release. "The task force recommendations provide a strong framework for digital learning that will increase student achievement and broaden choices for Georgia students and parents."


The 12 recommendations offered by the task force are to:


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AK: Young professionals of Fairbanks need a vibrant economy and community to thrive | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

AK: Young professionals of Fairbanks need a vibrant economy and community to thrive | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Fairbanks Young Professionals Council was formed to engage and inform professionals younger than 40 in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and to position the borough's "post-Prudhoe generation" to to lead and serve. The YPC is also meant to empower: To provide a platform and voice to weigh in on issues impacting young professionals today, and future generations tomorrow. It was in this vein of give and take, learn and share, that last week, the Young Professional Council met with the Interior delegation. Legislators in attendance were Reps. Isaacson and Wilson, while staff was present from every other office.


To open the discussion, the YPC presented a few milestones of the group from the past year. We held a mayoral debate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Pub. We advocated to community leaders for urgent action on energy solutions and on behalf of the homeless. We met with Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the administration on how members might become involved on boards and commissions. We held service days to give back to our community.


While most groups meet with the Interior delegation asking for capital projects or advocating a specific agenda, the YPC specifically went without an "ask." Instead, it went with a question: What can we do to help our community sustain and retain young professionals? The group's influence is real and impactful. They are a diverse group of engaged citizens, committed to making Fairbanks a place where young people can make a living, raise a family and, eventually, retire. And while some may claim the town is slowly sinking away, the YPC is here and committed to Fairbanks.


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Improved Fiber Network Could Boost Jobs in Springfield, Ohio | GovTech.com

Improved Fiber Network Could Boost Jobs in Springfield, Ohio | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Springfield, Ohio, wants to use an existing fiber-optic network to lure more jobs and reduce costs, following a trend of other municipalities in Ohio.


The city wants to create a fiber-optic connectivity system between the city, the county, Springfield City Schools, Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and the Miami Valley Educational Computer Association, according to public documents.


The city has applied for a $50,000 Local Government Innovation Fund grant from the state for a feasibility study that would examine ways to connect the existing dark fiber ring to government buildings or schools and businesses. By creating the fiber-optic network between the school districts, it could lead to future cost savings, according to local school officials.


City commissioners and Springfield board of education members both passed resolutions of support last week.


"From an economic development standpoint, it's definitely capitalizing on an amenity that's already in the ground that we can use then to leverage as an additional incentive or perk to doing business in Springfield, especially business that's proximal to that fiber in the near-term," said Josh Rauch, the city's deputy economic development administrator. "Then as it builds out, you get more and more connectivity throughout the city."


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Akamai's state of the internet: the world grows as the U.S. falls behind | GigaOM Tech News

Akamai's state of the internet: the world grows as the U.S. falls behind | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In looking at the way that the internet is performing across the world in 2013, it’s very clear that many countries are hitting their stride and growing in terms of their adoption of broadband. However, that growth comes at a cost: the progression of the internet is signaling the beginning of the end of United States’ place in the top tiers of performance, according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report for the second quarter of 2013.


Overall, the number of unique IPv4 addresses has swollen to over 752 million — approximately 18 million more than the first quarter to create a 2 percent increase overall quarter-over-quarter. While it sounds like a small number in the grand scheme of things, Akamai noted that the number of unique IPv4 addresses is slowly dwindling. As major gains continue in developing nations like Tanzania and Mozambique, the IPv4 address pool is quickly becoming exhausted. While the size of the web is getting bigger, internet connections are also becoming faster. The global average connection speed saw a 5.2 percent increase quarter-over-quarter to 3.3 Mbps.


Even more important is the number of countries that have a connection speed of less than 1 Mpbs, which has dwindled to just 11 from 18 in the fourth quarter of 2012. Overall, this indicates that developing companies are increasing their average internet connection speeds, and already-developed nations are improving their infrastructure. The Global average peak connection speed increased just 0.1 percent to 18.9 Mbps, but more countries than ever are passing the 10 Mbps connection speed mark.


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NC is increasing 'knowledge' jobs, but the state must do more - Editorial | StarNewsOnline.com

NC is increasing 'knowledge' jobs, but the state must do more - Editorial | StarNewsOnline.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Research Triangle and the state's largest universities have led the way in helping to move North Carolina from an agrarian and low-skill industrial economy to one that gave the state a reputation as a leader of the New South. But we are not keeping up with other states, even as innovation-based industries are proving to be the key to a solid economic future. To regain momentum, we must be willing to make public investments that may not pay off tomorrow, but which are necessary to get us where we need to be, and step up efforts to recruit "innovation industries."


Those are among the conclusions of a recent report from the N.C. Board of Science and Technology, which advises state officials. The report made some positive notes – particularly that the knowledge-based jobs we have pay well above average and put us roughly in the middle of the pack for innovation industries because of the work already accomplished. But it also pointed out some serious challenges that lawmakers and the business community must take seriously if North Carolina is to be in a position to reap the benefits of innovation jobs.


In a word, investment – in our children, our work force, our infrastructure and our economic development process. The report paid particular attention to education.


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How the Internet of Things Will Transform the World | POTS and PANS Blog

How the Internet of Things Will Transform the World | POTS and PANS Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I read a lot about the Internet of Things. One of the best articles recently is a series being written by Christopher Mims for Quartz. In the two articles he’s written so far he is talking about how the IoT is going to transform our lives. I don’t think very many people are yet aware that this change is coming and how life altering it will be.


It’s easy to think about the IoT as being a smart device evolution that will make our lives a little easier. People today talk about putting together smart homes where the lights turn on and off as you enter the room and where you can change the temperature and other household settings from your smart phone. And today that is the IoT. Right now companies that make devices are starting to allow them to be IP and WiFi addressable so that we can communicate with them using a smart phone, tablet or computer.


But if that is all that the IoT is going to be it would be an incremental improvement in daily life for the geekiest of us, but it would be far from transformational. I believe that we are entering the century where IoT will transform our world. Within a decade we are going to see huge changes on our lives akin to the sort of changes that came from the introduction of the Web. And I am not sure any of us can really imagine what the IoT will do by the end of this century. But I know that the year 2100 will be as different from 2000 as that year was from 1900. We went from a world of horse drawn vehicles to a computerized world in a century, and the changes due to IoT will make today’s world look just as quaint as the horse and buggy does to us now.


So what are these big transformational changes?


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Report: After failed Sprint bid, DISH might make an offer for T-Mobile | GigaOM Tech News

Report: After failed Sprint bid, DISH might make an offer for T-Mobile | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After a failed bid to nab Sprint, DISH appears to have T-Mobile in its acquisition sights, with Reuters sources saying that DISH has already had some discussion with T-Mobile’s majority owner, Deutsche Telekom AG. DISH has spectrum that it wants to use for an LTE network but the best way to make that happen is to either partner with, or acquire an existing mobile operator brand.


When Softbank ended up with Sprint back in June, my colleague Kevin Fitchard noted that T-Mobile was the one of the next likely candidates for DISH to target, explaining how such a deal could help the satellite TV broadcaster. What’s less certain now is how it would help T-Mobile, which has shaken up the mobile landscape by removing device subsidies, eliminating contracts and making excellent progress on its LTE network build-up; all of which are forward progress for the operator.


Assuming DISH moves forward with a T-Mobile bid, I’m not sure where it could turn if such a deal falls through. The company is currently partnering with Sprint — ironically — to bring LTE to homes for broadband service. But that effort doesn’t even use DISH’s spectrum; it’s Sprint that’s providing the link. That leaves DISH with airwaves to use but no carrier or branding partner for an LTE network of its own.

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Handicapping Google’s Assault on the TV Industry | GigaOM Research Report

Handicapping Google’s Assault on the TV Industry | GigaOM Research Report | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google’s Chromecast and reported NFL negotiations are only the latest in a long line of attacks on the TV business.


To date, this path has been littered with failures, but Google is in it for the long term.


Furthermore, changing the fabric of the long standing television industry is more than just a matter of convenience for the company – it’s clearly a goal and perhaps even a necessity.


This report addresses the following points:


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2014: The year AT&T’s mobile network goes small | GigaOM Tech News

2014: The year AT&T’s mobile network goes small | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it


For the last year, AT&T has been poking and prodding small cells in its labs and out in the wild. The tiny little base stations will allow AT&T to surgically insert capacity into its HSPA and LTE networks in high-traffic areas like malls, stadiums and public areas where its customers are using their smartphones the most.


Those cells will bring a lot of benefits for consumers. They’ll offer up to greater speeds to customers in dense areas such as downtown financial districts and other high-traffic zones. They’ll bring stronger signals to the dead zones between cells on AT&T’s network. And they’ll bring greater coverage and capacity in difficult-to-penetrate indoor locations. Finally they’ll free up room on the macro network, giving customers in between small cells a better experience. But first AT&T has to work out the kinks.


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Controversial Michigan Landline Phone Legislation Advances | GovTech.com

Controversial Michigan Landline Phone Legislation Advances | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An effort to make it easier for telecommunications companies to stop offering landline phone service appears to be succeeding in Michigan.


Legislation that would amend the Michigan Telecommunications Act to streamline the process companies have to go through to discontinue basic local exchange or toll service passed through the Michigan Senate and is now being evaluated by the state’s House of Representatives. If signed into law, the bill’s provisions would go into effect after Jan. 1, 2017.


Sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, Senate Bill 636 has been categorized by some as a death knell for traditional hardwired phone service. But Nofs and some providers feel the bill protects landlines for those that need them, at the same time giving companies the flexibility to transition to a more cellular-based platform of services, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems.


In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Nofs described the problem as a matter of companies supporting multiple systems and whether it is right to require them to keep investing in “antiquated technology.” In addition, the Free Press reported that FCC data indicates the number of landline customers in Michigan dropped from 6.7 million in 2000 to 2.6 million in 2012.


“The Internet has changed the way the world works, and it has already changed how millions of people talk on the phone,” Nofs said in a statement. “This bill ensures our constituents are protected while delivering new and improved technology. It’s the best of both worlds.”


Not everyone is buying that rationale, however. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association issued a statement urging members of the Michigan House of Representatives to vote “no” on SB 636 or delay its passage until further amendments could be made to ensure public safety. Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police felt the bill would remove the availability of a reliable and affordable means for people to contact law enforcement.


AARP of Michigan also opposes SB 636, citing concern for older adults who likely rely more on landlines for social contact along with health and safety. The organization also noted that residents with home security systems or medical monitoring needs that run through landlines might be in jeopardy.


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NTIA's Year in Review and 2014 Forecast | NTIA.gov

NTIA's Year in Review and 2014 Forecast | NTIA.gov | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As 2013 winds to a close, I’d like to take a look back at all that NTIA has accomplished this year and forecast our plans for 2014.


Much of our work in 2013 focused on supporting the innovation economy of the future – one that produces new and better jobs and positions the United States to remain competitive in the 21st Century. 


To do this, we work to promote broadband access and adoption, advocate a multistakeholder approach to Internet policy making, and push to make more spectrum available for wireless technologies.


We made great progress this year, but have more work to do in 2014 and beyond.


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Google and Regulation | POTS and PANS Blog

Google and Regulation | POTS and PANS Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T said last week that they were not required to give access to Google Fiber to their poles in Austin Texas. AT&T owns about 20% of the poles there with the City owning the rest. And from what I can see, AT&T is right.


This all comes down to various regulations, and it appears that Google is doing everything possible to not be regulated in any way. It seems they have set up a business plan that lets them claim to escape regulation. Let me look at the nuances of what they are doing.


There is a federal set of rules that say that pole owners must provide poles to any certified telecommunications provider. According to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the states have the right to grant certifications to carriers. Every state provides at least two kinds of carrier certifications – CLEC and IXC.


CLEC is the acronym for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier and is the federal term used to describe competitive telephone providers.


IXC is the acronym for Interexchange Carrier and is the certification given to companies that only want to sell retail long distance.


Some states have other categories. Some states have a certification for a Competitive Access Provider (CAP) or for a Carrier’s Carrier, These two certifications are generally given to companies who only want to sell services to other carriers. They may sell transport, collocation or other services that only carriers can buy.


A company must obtain a CLEC or CAP certification if they want to gain all of the rights that come with such certification. This includes access to poles and conduits of other carriers, the ability to interconnect with other carriers, the ability to collocate equipment in the offices of other carriers. A CLEC certification also grants a company the right to bill ‘telecom’ products to customers, meaning traditional telephone or traditional TDM point-to-point data services.


These are generally rights that anybody who is building a network or providing traditional telecom services must obtain before other carriers will talk to them. But along with those rights come some obligations. Certified carriers are subject to paying some regulatory fees and collecting other fees and taxes from their customers. Regulated companies have to follow rules that dictate how they can disconnect non-pay customers. Regulated companies in some states even have some light regulations concerning pricing, although there are very few rules anywhere dictating how a competitive carrier prices their services.


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Report: Global Telemedicine Market to Grow 18.5 Percent Through 2018 | Healthcare Infomatics

Report: Global Telemedicine Market to Grow 18.5 Percent Through 2018 | Healthcare Infomatics | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The shortage of physicians in rural and remote areas in tandem with the continuous development of telecommunication are providing the opportunity for telemedicine to increase its services to millions of patients, according to a new report from Research and Markets.


This widespread deployment of services will continue at a rapid pace for the foreseeable future; the increase in telemedicine applications are increasing due to the high prevalence of chronic diseases, consistent need for improved quality services and rising elderly population across countries which demand telemedicine to deliver improved products with higher patient satisfaction.


As a result, the global telemedicine market, which stood at $14.2 billion in 2012, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5 percent during 2012-2018, according to the report, “Global Telemedicine Market Outlook to 2018.”


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Mediacom Scares Emmetsburg, Iowa Away From Community Broadband | DSLReports.com

Mediacom Scares Emmetsburg, Iowa Away From Community Broadband | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week, Karl noted that Mediacom was just "tired of hearing about" Google Fiber. Now, Community Broadband Networks takes notice that Mediacom is now tired of hearing citizens in Emmetsburg, Iowa point out Mediacom’s lack of investment in their local infrastructure. Recently, a majority of voters in Emmetsburg supported a proposal to issue bonds to build a local fiber network. But due to Iowa rules with obligation bonds, they were not able to get enough votes to have the proposal pass.


Part of the reason for the failure to pass the measure was due to Mediacom to dropping misleading pamphlets across the community. Scaring locals with misleading data or push polls is a bit of a long-standing tradition in the competition-phobic U.S. broadband industry.

In one pamphlet (pdf), Mediacom VP Dan Templin insists that the city already has gigabit service via fiber in the area and that Mediacom will be expanding it shortly to businesses. Of course, availability and price is not mentioned, and this excludes residential service. Templin puts out a call for users to help Mediacom "leverage their investment" by e-mailing a general Mediacom address (whatever that means).

Another pamphlet (pdf) features a local Mediacom employee scaring residents with phantom tax increases and largely irrelevant FCC statistics, while claiming local competition for the company is "fierce." The focus, as is usually the case, is on all the instances where these projects fail (and like all business proposals, especially when designed poorly, many do fail) -- not where they succeed.


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ME: Report: More broadband could add 11,000 jobs | Mainebiz.biz

ME: Report: More broadband could add 11,000 jobs | Mainebiz.biz | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A state task force studying expansion of broadband Internet access in the state has issued recommendations that analysts said could support the addition of 11,000 jobs and $70 million in new state revenue if implemented.


The report from the Governor's Broadband Capacity Building Task Force makes eight policy recommendations for the state: help business move online with a three-year tax credit for Internet-related staff training and marketing expenses; boost the number of elderly receiving home care through MaineCare; educate more health data specialists; offer 25% of all University of Maine courses online by 2015; provide all elementary and high school students an Internet-connected device; shift government administrative functions online; install fiber-optic cable along the Maine Turnpike to make it a "smart" road; and expand the Maine Universal Service Fund to support broadband expansion as well as telephone service.


The group estimates that 50,000 Maine homes are still without broadband access and it will cost $60 million to expand service to them. In general, the group says the private sector could take on more of these costs if state policy encourages an increase in the rate of adoption where broadband is available. Now, around 75% of households subscribe to broadband Internet where it is available.

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The future of broadband looks very much like cable TV. Here is why | GigaOM Tech News

The future of broadband looks very much like cable TV. Here is why | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There is a coming clash between the telecommunications firms and the internet giants, but it’s not just about the internet giants buying broadband underlying pipes and access technology.


It’s about the way technology is delivered and how to build out business models that take into account the value of content and services when the cost of transporting bits is significantly lower than the cost of transporting atoms.


The underlying enabler of all this — broadband networks — provides an excellent case study in how this might play out. Today we are moving from all-you-can-eat broadband to usage-based pricing as service providers try to reign in the demands on their networks, deliver a return on their investments and also compensate for high prices they pay per subscriber for video content. The battle here is exemplified by the likes of Netflix fighting caps implemented by companies including Comcast.


But at the Fiber to the Home conference held Tuesday in Austin, I saw the battle lines beginning to shift thanks to faster networks and new capabilities. IP networks are about services, which means that a delivery model where services are delivered as different channels becomes a possibility.


Soon, software-defined networking will allow providers to build out those channels virtually on their networks and deliver them a la carte or as a bundle. What’s missing is the business model.


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CA: Wireless Industry Gearing Up to Attack State Wireless Legislation and CEQA | CellTowerSites.com

CA: Wireless Industry Gearing Up to Attack State Wireless Legislation and CEQA | CellTowerSites.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It appears that the one of the leading wireless industry trade associations is getting ready to launch a new California legislative initiative to sharply restrict existing siting controls by local governments under current laws, and to marginalize CEAQ by changing the Permit Streamlining Act.


A copy of the circulating draft found its way into my hands, which appears to be authored by a well-known California wireless industry lawyer with input from a government affairs attorney working at a major wireless trade association.


There are two main areas expected to form the industry’s attack.    Each area of the expected attack is discussed below.

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