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Skype To Partner with Global Wireless Carriers | USTelecom Blog

Skype is now partnering with incumbent wireless network operators and will now allow wireless subscribers to buy Skype Credit directly through their phone bills or pre-paid mobile phone plans.

 

In 2012, Skype teamed up with a mobile billing company to set up direct billing for Skype Credit, starting with an opportunity in Russia. Skype will be extending this service to subscribers in the U.S. and Canada in 1Q of this year, and other countries throughout the remainder of 2013.

 

Leading mobile operators like Orange, Telefonica, T-Mobile, Telus and Verizon Wireless are expected to join in this partnership. The mobile operators will get a revenue share of the Skype Credit purchases and a new revenue stream from an ‘over-the-top’ technology, while Skype stands to gain a greater global reach.

 

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Copyright Explained Musically | Techdirt

Copyright Explained Musically | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For those of you who claim that copyright inspires no creativity whatsoever, perhaps you have not seen the following video, PandoHouse Rock: Copyright, explained, a collaboration between PandoDaily and Explainer Music's David Holmes:

 

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Australia: NBN wireless sent to the Northern Rivers | Government News

Australia: NBN wireless sent to the Northern Rivers | Government News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has advanced the spread of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the New South Wales regional Northern Rivers with fixed wireless technology.

The federal government has rolled out the NBN infrastructure in the remote region of the Northern Rivers located on the northern coast line of NSW as part of a $15 billion investment to improve telecommunications in regional areas.

The local government areas that are marked for NBN installation are Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, Clarence Valley Shire, Kyogle Council, the City of Lismore, Richmond Valley Council and Tweed Shire.

The fixed wireless rollout has been designed to cater to smaller communities and villages by using satellite technology similar to the 4G technology presently being rolled out in mobile networks.

Wireless reception will mean that properties connected in the regional areas will have faster internet access than city areas still relying on ADSL2+ transmitted through copper wire.

Senator Conroy said this is providing better broadband than regional Australia has ever had before.

"The government's uniform national wholesale price policy also means people living in and around these areas will pay the same prices for NBN services as people in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane,” Senator Conroy said.

 

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US And Europe Move On To TAFTA: Yet Another Chance To Push Through ACTA/SOPA Style IP Maximalism | Techdirt

US And Europe Move On To TAFTA: Yet Another Chance To Push Through ACTA/SOPA Style IP Maximalism | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

ACTA and SOPA may have flopped, but minor setbacks like that won't stop the onslaught of abuses from the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries looking to use the international treaty process to try to pressure everyone to keep ratcheting up protectionist laws concerning copyright, patents and trademarks.

 

Obviously, we've been talking about the still worrisome TPP agreement involving a bunch of Pacific Rim countries, but it's not stopping there. Back in October, we warned that the US and EU were preparing a new trade agreement as well, and the preliminary plans noted that it would include a "high level of intellectual property protection, including enforcement."

More details are starting to come out as the main EU negotiator for ACTA, Karel de Gucht, came to DC to see about getting things kicked off, on an agreement that's being called TAFTA -- the Trans Atlantic "Free Trade" Agreement. Of course, instead of recognizing the lessons from previous failed efforts to push for broken maximalist policies, it appears that the plan is to try, try again.

 

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WV: Program links businesses, colleges to develop product ideas | Charleston Gazette

A new program offered by TechConnectWV will bring private businesses and colleges together to help turn products with potential into marketable merchandise.

 

The Seed Grant Program for Research and Commercial Partnering will provide small matching research grants of up to $5,000 each for "close-to-commercialization" projects that involve partnerships between primarily undergraduate institutions and private businesses, according to the organization.

 

TechConnectWV is a statewide economic development organization that fosters and promotes innovation-based businesses and entrepreneurial activities across the state.

 

Jack Carpenter, director of the Innovation Transfer Consortium project, said in a news release that the effort would "enlighten" research faculty and business professionals to the concept of "collaboration for commercialization," and encourage projects to move forward.

 

The deadline to apply for funding is Feb. 22.

 

Preference will be given to projects relating to industries that include: chemicals and advanced materials, biotechnology/life science, identification technology, medical devices/health care, nanotechnology and energy.

 

"West Virginia's colleges and universities are treasure houses of innovation and ideas that can lead to job creation in each of these areas," Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnectWV, said in a news release. "We hope that by providing funds to help encourage these kinds of partnerships, we can create viable and robust new ways that others can follow in bringing innovations into the marketplace, where they can add to the growth of the economy."

 

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FL: Clearwater starts business incubator for technology companies downtown | Tampa Bay Times

FL: Clearwater starts business incubator for technology companies downtown | Tampa Bay Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Downtown Clearwater is not a place that's widely known for its high-tech startup companies. It's a long way from Silicon Valley.

 

Still, the city estimates that roughly 600 people are working in more than a dozen software or information technology companies in and around the downtown district. Many are in the Clearwater Tower building at 33 N Garden Ave.

 

Seeking to create even more high-tech jobs, Clearwater officials are launching a business incubator program for tech startups that are willing to locate downtown. The idea is to provide strategic advice and services to tech entrepreneurs so they can market their products and hopefully succeed.

 

"We have a lot of very early-stage sort of entrepreneurial businesses and mid-stage companies that perhaps need some help in going to that next level," said Geri Campos Lopez, the city's director of economic development.

 

But officials aren't establishing a site downtown. Instead, they're planning a "virtual incubator."

 

Clearwater is contracting with the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nonprofit outfit that runs a business incubator at the Young-Rainey Star Center on Bryan Dairy Road in unincorporated Largo.

 

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Which apps will drain your battery and data plan? Verizon’s got a list | GigaOM Tech News

Which apps will drain your battery and data plan? Verizon’s got a list | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Wireless may have shut down its own app store, but it’s not wiping its hands of app curation entirely. The carrier has started reviewing, rating and recommending Android and iPhone apps to its customers.

 

What’s interesting about Verizon’s approach is it isn’t making its recommendations based on how entertaining, useful or fun a particular app is. Instead a team of Verizon engineers is looking at each app’s impact on the phone’s battery life, its drain on a customer’s data plan and how loosely it plays with security and customer privacy.

 

Basically, Verizon is compiling a series of regularly updated recommendation lists. The first is a list of 20 apps available either for Android or iOS that Verizon claims deliver a “best in class” experience on smartphones and tablets. As you might expect, Verizon isn’t being entirely objective in its choices, but it never claimed to be. One of the apps is even Verizon’s own AppLuvr software, which recommends other apps based on what’s already installed on smartphones.

 

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Security Pioneer Creates Service to Encrypt Phone Calls and Text Messages | NYTimes.com

Security Pioneer Creates Service to Encrypt Phone Calls and Text Messages | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy, is widely considered the godfather of encryption software. After making his software available for download in the 1990s, he was the subject of a criminal investigation that was eventually dropped in 1996. Today, his P.G.P. software is the most widely used e-mail encryption software in the world.

 

But these days, Mr. Zimmermann is busy with his new venture, Silent Circle, which provides encryption for smartphone users. At a security conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Zimmermann introduced the service, which is available for Android and iPhone. Silent Circle lets users make encrypted phone calls, send text messages and do  videoconferencing. Messages are scrubbed completely from the phone after a predetermined amount of time. Communications are secured using a new, peer-reviewed open-source encryption technology.

 

Mr. Zimmermann’s business partners include Jon Callas, who co-founded the PGP  Corporation, which now belongs to Symantec, and two former Navy SEALs, Mike Janke and Vic Hyder. His target market, Mr. Zimmermann said, is soldiers based overseas, business people who operate in known surveillance states, human rights activists, dissidents and (more recently) journalists. Since starting Silent Circle in October, Mr. Zimmermann, said, he has spent nearly all his time in Washington signing up government agencies and contractors.

 

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9Wants to Know: Stimulus money going to waste in Colorado? | 9news.com

9Wants to Know: Stimulus money going to waste in Colorado?  | 9news.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A $100-million stimulus program designed to connect rural schools and town governments to a fiber optic network is being accused of wasting tax money and putting jobs at risk.

 

9Wants to Know found EagleNet has been expanding its fiber optic network in small communities where other fiber optic connections already exist.

 

"They were originally supposed to go where there was not service, or where customers were underserved," said Pete Kirchoff, the vice-president of the Colorado Telecommunications Association.

 

Kirchoff's group accuses EagleNet of not being upfront about its network plans.

 

In the small town of Flagler, 9Wants to Know found evidence EagleNet recently installed a fiber optic line where two other lines owned by private companies already exist.

 

Kevin Felty, the president of the CTA, said it's just one example of how EagleNet is overbuilding its network into places where it's not necessary.

"Plain and simple government waste," Felty said.

 

The CTA fears once EagleNet connects schools and town governments to its network, smaller companies will lose that business and will have to cut staff or go out of business.

 

"EagleNet is a threat I see," said Daniel Hollenbeak, who manages five employees at the Agate Mutual Telephone Co-Op.

 

Hollenbeak believes once EagleNet connects the local school to its network, Hollenbeak's job will be on the line.

 

"They're trying to come in and take our only community anchor institution from us," Hollenbeak said.

 

EagleNet is using a new fiber optic line running into Agate that it leases from another company.

 

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Mark Cuban Agrees: Independent Invention Is A Sign Of Obviousness; And Should Kill Patents | Techdirt

Mark Cuban Agrees: Independent Invention Is A Sign Of Obviousness; And Should Kill Patents | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For years, we've talked about the idea of an independent inventor defense for those accused of patent infringement -- which, contrary to the claims of some patent attorneys, is totally feasible -- and that idea has received some traction. However, we've also argued that things should go even further, and that if there is evidence of multiple independent inventions of the same concepts that it is a sign of obviousness, and all such patents should be rejected -- since patents are not allowed on inventions that are considered "obvious" to those who are "skilled in the art." Unfortunately, we've seen less support for that specific idea -- but perhaps that's changing.

Mark Cuban recently gave an interview to TechCrunch in which he discusses his rationale for giving EFF $250,000 to create the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents." When asked about how he would fix the patent system, he names a few popular ideas, like getting rid of software patents, requiring that the invention be put into practice, but he also (repeatedly) talks up how independent invention should be a sign of obviousness. A few snippets:

 

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"Shift Change": Creating Economic Democracy Through Workplace Cooperatives | Truth-Out

"Shift Change": Creating Economic Democracy Through Workplace Cooperatives | Truth-Out | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Shift Change is a timely documentary about the growing cooperative movement. In the last two years, Truthout has posted many articles on the efforts to achieve economic democracy through worker ownership. Shift Change offers an energizing look at the workings of the giant cooperative model, Mondragon, in Basque, Spain. The film also covers strong US-based worker-owned enterprises that prove the investor Wall Street model of business is not necessary to a successful company.

 

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KY: Education, Training for Workers Focus of Economic Development Conference | WSAZ-TV

KY: Education, Training for Workers Focus of Economic Development Conference | WSAZ-TV | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Technology is largely responsible for the creation of many new jobs and industries, but it's also an obstacle for workers looking for jobs.

 

The gap between the skills workers have and the skills they need was one of the concerns at Monday's economic development conference in Prestonsburg. The conference was a meeting of the One Eastern Kentucky group and included a keynote speech by Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson.

 

Abramson spoke about the need to educate and train workers in order to provide them with jobs in changing industries and bring new business into the region.

 

Kentucky has cut $1.6 billion from its budget in recent years, but the state is still experiencing economic and financial trouble. One way to counteract this, Abramson said, is to convince businesses to expand or relocate to eastern Kentucky.

 

Above all, business owners say they need "educated, skilled, productive and drug-free" workers if they are considering relocating or expanding to a new area, Abramson said.

 

Regional business owners like Tracy Syck say there is a mismatch between the skills workers currently have and the ones they need to succeed in evolving or new industries.

 

Syck owns a document destruction company. Her business also involves converting secure paper records to electronic versions. Finding workers is not easy.

 

"I don't think they understand the technology that is available and the training that is available and how that can improve their lives," Syck said.

 

She said her company has worked with unemployed coal miners through a state agency, and that while the miners have a strong work ethic, they lack the technological skills to succeed in a job that requires both manual and intellectual labor.

 

Abramson noted that even workers who already have jobs can lose them or do poorly if their skills become outdated. He relayed the story of one man he met who chose to update his skills at a community college.

 

"He said, 'I was in IT [but] I didn't keep up. They changed the whole next iteration of IT and I don't have the experience, and so I lost my job,'" Abramson said.

 

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FCC & FDA Actions to Advance Health Technology | Federal Telemedicine News

On January 31st, the FCC held an Open Meeting to discuss recent FCC actions to advance health technology. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowksi opened the discussion by reporting that his agency is proud of the recent creation of a new Healthcare Connect Fund with $400 million in annual funding. The funding will help to expand healthcare provider access to broadband especially in rural areas, support telemedicine, and encourage the creation of state and regional broadband healthcare networks. 

 

Other recent FCC actions include allocating spectrum for Medical Body Area Networks which consist of networks of wireless sensors able to transmit data on a patient’s vital health indicators to their doctor or hospital. As reported, the U.S. is the first country to make spectrum available for this specific usage. 

 

In another agency action, the FCC approved an Order that will reform the experimental licensing program by increasing spectrum flexibility for testing new wireless health innovations. This flexible approach will help to speed new wireless health technologies to market. 

 

To address the needs of low income households, fourteen projects were selected to participate in the FCC’s Broadband Adoption Lifeline pilot that authorized $13.8 million to support rural, urban, and suburban projects spanning 21 states and Puerto Rico. The data resulting from the projects will help the FCC structure the Lifeline program to promote the adoption and retention of broadband services by low-income households. 

 

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UK: Broadband in Winsley | Winsley Community Website

Wiltshire Council is committed to ensuring that all residents and businesses have access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband, and the social and economic benefits that it can bring.In partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council has now signed a contract with BT which extends the roll out of superfast broadband across Wiltshire.  At the end of the three years, to March 2016, 91% of Wiltshire will have access to superfast broadband, with all premises to have a minimum access line speed of 2Mbps. This exceeds their minimum target in the 2011-15 business plan which was at least 85% of all premises hopefully up to 95%Not all parts of Wiltshire currently have the same access to broadband and in particular superfast broadband. This is due to the fact that some areas are currently uneconomical for broadband providers to supply superfast broadband to homes and businesses.Wiltshire Council is investing £15.5 million together with £4.66m of government funding to make the provision of faster broadband in these areas commercially viable.The total investment for the Great Western Broadband (GWB) programme is £35.6 million. £4.6 million of the funds will come from BDUK, £2 million from South Gloucestershire Council, £15.5 million from Wiltshire Council, £12.8 million from BT and £0.74 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).The main technology that will be used to provide superfast broadband will be Fibre to the Cabinet or FTTC. This is where the copper cable between the local BT telephone exchange and the local “green cabinet” is replaced with a fibre optic cable which greatly improves performance. The connection between the premise and the local “green cabinet” continues to use the existing copper wires.

 

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Twitter Growth Surpasses Facebook | USTelecom Blog

When Twitter emerged on the Internet scene, some speculated the micro-blogging service was nothing more than a passing fad. Now, a Global Web Index study shows Twitter’s skyrocketing trajectory, making the social network the fastest growing among its competitors including Facebook.

 

Just how significant is Twitter’s growth? According to the report, the number of monthly active users rose to 288 million by the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to just 35 million monthly active users in 2009. Last year alone, the number of users jumped 40% from the second quarter to the fourth quarter.

 

Not only are there more users, but Twitter members are more engaged than ever before, although that doesn't necessarily translate to more tweets.  A significant number of Twitters user quality as “active passive” users – those who do not tweet, but instead use the service as a tool and source of discovery for products, news and more. In fact, only half of active users said they actually posted a tweet in the past month.

 

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Australia: Objections raised to NBN site | Whitsunday Times

Australia: Objections raised to NBN site | Whitsunday Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

FIVE development applications on behalf of the National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co Limited) were approved at last week's Council meeting in Bowen, however not everyone is happy with the proposed locations for the network's telecommunications towers.

 

Alan Irving is just one local resident who has raised an objection to the development application for a site at Sugarloaf.

 

"The objection period closed last week and as far as I am aware, 35 objections representing almost 100 per cent of Sugarloaf residents in the tower's footprint were received," Mr Irving said.

 

"We at Sugarloaf are particularly concerned because this type of development is completely at odds with the lifestyle we have chosen and why we chose to move to Sugarloaf in the first place," he said.

 

Councillors voted unanimously last week to approve NBN sites at Mt Julian, Cannonvale, Bowen and Proserpine. Cr Whitney confirmed the Sugarloaf site had not yet come before Council.

 

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February 2013 Online Newsletter | Community-Wealth.org

February 2013 Online Newsletter | Community-Wealth.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Welcome to our latest www.Community-Wealth.org e-newsletter, with a new look for 2013. In this winter edition, we bring you a host of new developments and site features:

Today, February 8, The Democracy Collaborative and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT will release the findings of our case study: The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth. The report focuses on the path-breaking Vision 2010 Program implemented in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by University Hospitals. Over a five year period, the initiative targeted more than $1 billion of procurement locally to create jobs, empower minority- and female-owned businesses and create a “new normal” for responsible, community-focused business practices in the region.

 

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IN: Hornett Outlines Purdue Research Park Impact | Inside INdiana Business

IN: Hornett Outlines Purdue Research Park Impact | Inside INdiana Business | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Purdue University officials presented the state, national and global impact of Purdue's economic development, research and information technology initiatives to the Board of Trustees on Friday (Feb. 8).

Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of Purdue Research Foundation; Richard O. Buckius, Purdue's vice president for research; and Gerry McCartney, chief information officer and vice president for information technology, presented reports at the meeting.

Hornett reported that the 175 U.S. patent applications filed are a 41 percent increase over the previous year and that 110 global patents were received by Purdue, a 26 percent increase. Royalties for Purdue's commercialized technologies reached $8.7 million, marking a 22 percent increase over the prior year.

 

Hornett said that over the same time period, Purdue ranks first for patent applications and second for invention disclosures in the Big Ten.

 

"The marked increase in disclosures and patent applications exemplifies the commitment Purdue faculty, staff and students have to making a global contribution by actively commercializing their discoveries," Hornett said.

 

"One particular area of growth is in student entrepreneurship. In the past fiscal year, we have seen tremendous growth in patents filed for students through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization."

 

In the 2011 filing period, 355 Purdue students filed patents, a 62 percent increase over the 218 filed the prior year.

 

Hornett also said that the Purdue Research Park, which is managed by the foundation, now has 239 companies that employ about 4,250 people.

 

Individuals working in the park network earn an average annual wage of $63, 000.

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TN: Stimulus-funded technology investment not paying off in Chattanooga | TNWatchdog.org

TN: Stimulus-funded technology investment not paying off in Chattanooga | TNWatchdog.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two frequently oppressed groups — taxpayers and nerds — are the guinea pigs for possibly one of the most expensive experiments ever conceived, all because of a revitalization effort in Chattanooga.

 

The goal is to gather technology-oriented geeks from around the country to see how quickly they will move to Chattanooga, depending on how much money city residents offer them.

 

Thus far, results show the lure of $10,000 to $20,000 is only good enough to fetch three out of 20.

 

Because of the doings of Chattanooga’s public electric utility, taxpayers played their part by shelling out $111 million. That money paid for only part of the costs of the city’s new smart grid, designed primarily for smart-meter technology — but also built to accommodate ultra high-speed Internet, which runs 200 times faster than average.

 

Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board (EPB)bestowed this technology upon the city at an overall total cost of $300 million. Customers who subscribe to EPB’s electric, Internet and cable TV services are responsible for financing what federal stimulus dollars would not.

 

Customers who want the ultra high-speed Internet must pay $350 a month.

 

Because of the high costs, market forces are not yet demanding this technology. Most of EPB’s 30,000 subscribers currently use a far more basic Internet service. Furthermore, private telecommunications providers in the Chattanooga area told Tennessee Watchdog in 2011 that EPB’s foray into Internet service has undercut their business.

 

Nevertheless, company spokeswoman Danna Bailey said EPB is providing badly needed infrastructure — similar to interstates and sewer systems — by offering ultra high-speed Internet that will revitalize Chattanooga’s economy.

 

“Other companies in the private sector were not bringing this kind of connectivity to our community, and we believe that it is critical infrastructure for economic development and, ultimately, quality of life. That’s what government’s role should be — to provide critical infrastructure for economic development and quality of life when the private sector does not.”

 

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AT&T: Two market trials show small cells are a 100% solution | FierceBroadbandWireless.com

AT&T: Two market trials show small cells are a 100% solution | FierceBroadbandWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T has already successfully tested small cell deployments in two U.S. cities--where the devices won rave reviews--in preparation for rolling out more than 40,000 small cells by the end of 2015.

 

The operator's first trial deployments are in Crystal Lake Park, Mo. and Waukesha, Wis., said John Donovan, senior executive vice president, AT&T technology and network operations, in a blog post.

 

An outdoor metrocell deployment across an area of poor coverage in Crystal Lake Park, a suburb of St. Louis, enabled a 17 percent increase in mobile traffic on AT&T's network in the deployment area and boosted the outdoor area to nearly 100 percent usable coverage, said Donovan.

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FCC Role in VoIP Services Future Unclear | Technorati Technology

FCC Role in VoIP Services Future Unclear | Technorati Technology | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in VoIP services remains unclear according to a Jan. 30 articlefrom Bloomberg. Both AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. would prefer for the FCC to remain out of regulating fiber-optic networks. As providers continue to work on switching to IP (Internet Protocol) services, they are asking the FCC for more freedom and fewer regulations.

 

VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services have been increasing rapidly in recent years, and the number of companies offering them is growing. As more businesses turn away from landlines, IP services are becoming more popular. Greg Crowe mentions in his article on Jan. 31 that smartphones may eventually get rid of voice plans and switch to VoIP.

 

The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association has sent a petition to the Federal Communications Commission. The association would like the FCC to carefully consider how the current infrastructure will have to change to accommodate more IP services in the future. Regulations could hurt this process and impede growth in the entire industry.

 

There is a debate about FCC’s authority to regulate VoIP services because companies that offer this may not fit the standard criteria of being telecommunications carriers. For example, the CEO of VoIPClub, Martin Teppor, believes his company would be one of many that could be impacted by new FCC regulations. The FCC has struggled for several years to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry, and it has become clear that modifications are necessary. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission has been slowly extending some of the rules to VoIP providers. Some regulation will still be necessary in the future, and many critics oppose the elimination of all previous guidelines. However, it will take time to find the balance between regulation for consumer protection and freedom for service providers.

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Oh Wait: MIT Already Made All Its Research Open; So Why Was It So Against Aaron Swartz? | Techdirt

Oh Wait: MIT Already Made All Its Research Open; So Why Was It So Against Aaron Swartz? | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We recently picked up on a suggestion by Farhad Manjoo over at Slate that MIT should make all of its research open access as an apology for assisting in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz.

 

Some people in our comments, reacting angrily against this idea, noted that faculty could not be forced to make their works open access by an administration. Well, it turns out that it's already happening. Daniel Hawkins pointed out that MIT faculty unanimously agreed that all its faculty members would release their works under an open access policy... back in 2009.

 

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Intracom and ZTE roll out small cell backhaul products | FierceBroadbandWireless.com

Intracom and ZTE roll out small cell backhaul products | FierceBroadbandWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Both Greece's Intracom Telecom and China's ZTE announced backhaul solutions for small cell deployments, reflecting growing marketplace demand for these types of offerings.

 

Intracom unveiled StreetNode, an outdoor small-cell backhaul platform designed to deliver carrier-grade wireless backhaul networking at the street level and on wall surfaces or lamp posts.

 

StreetNode features aesthetics designed to blend uniformly with street-level furniture, said the company. The platform features software-defined radio operation, an integrated auto-aligning antenna plus point-to-point or point-to-multipoint operation, said Athens-based Intracom.


Meanwhile, ZTE announced a series of backhaul solutions for LTE small cells. The products provide  support for a wide range of data transmission methods, including packet bearer network, fixed broadband--through PON, xDSL and cable--microwave wireless, Wi-Fi non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and TD-LTE.
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Lila Tekani's curator insight, April 16, 2013 7:45 PM

emerging transmission media 

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Microsoft launches 4Afrika initiative with Huawei W1 variant, TV White Space Broadband project | engadget

Microsoft launches 4Afrika initiative with Huawei W1 variant, TV White Space Broadband project | engadget | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Following the lead of co-founder Bill Gates Microsoft is taking more interest in Africa, announcing its 4Afrika Initiative with a stated aim of improving the continent's global competitiveness. There are several plans under way as a part of the project, with one of the first being a new Windows Phone 8 device from Microsoft and Huawei. Pictured above, the Huawei 4Afrika phone is a specially tailored version of the existing Ascend W1 meant as an affordable option (no price announced yet) for first time smartphone buyers that also comes preloaded with apps created by African developers for African consumers, and a subsection of the existing Windows Phone Store that will continue to focus on "locally-relevant" apps and content. It will be available in blue, red, black and white when it launches later this month in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

 

Another part of the push is a pilot project Microsoft is working on with the Kenyan government and Indigo Telecom which combines solar powered base stations using TV white space technology to offer affordable wireless internet access. Meant to bring broadband to places that currently lack even electricity, the deployment is called Mawingu, connecting a healthcare clinic and several schools in its initial test. After several years of pushing the tech, which takes advantage of unused TV broadcast spectrum, Microsoft hopes to convince other nations to make the legal/regulatory changes to start using it as well. There's a press release after the break with more details, as well as a video and more information available beyond the source links.

 

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BroadbandBreakfast's curator insight, February 9, 2013 2:29 AM

This should have some importnat implications for wireless in Africa. This will be the subject of our May Broadband Breakfast Club event, at http://broadbandbreakfastmay2013.eventbrite.com

Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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ICT Accessibility Strategy Released in the US | FutureGov

ICT Accessibility Strategy Released in the US | FutureGov | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Office of Management and Budget in the US has released a new federal strategy for improving the accessibility of information technology for the disabled within federal agencies and websites.

 

Announced in a memo to CIOs, Chief Acquisition Officers (CAOs) and Senior Procurement Executives of federal agencies, the strategy aims to improve the implementation of Section 508, the federal law requiring all electronic and information technology (EIT) developed, procured, or used by the federal accessible to people with disabilities. 8 million Americans have vision difficulties and another 8 million have hearing difficulties.

 

The strategy declares that “implementation of Section 508 across agencies is not consistent, and a more comprehensive approach is needed to build and sustain an accessible Federal technology environment”. The plan focuses on management practices to increase transparency, strengthen accountability and improve collaboration regarding accessible EIT.

 

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