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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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Aereo Does Dallas | Multichannel.com

Aereo Does Dallas | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Aereo, as expected, launched its mix of broadband TV and cloud DVR services in Dallas on Monday, extending its potential reach by an additional 6.7 million consumers across 31 counties.


The Dallas launch, which follows last week’s debut in Houston, offers a lineup that includes KDFW (FOX), KXAS-TV (NBC), WFAA (ABC), KTVT (CBS) and KERA-TV (PBS), as well as COZI-TV, ME-TV, UniMas, Telemundo, EstrellaTV, ION, The CW, AntennaTV, Qubo, and Bloomberg Television.


Aereo has already launched in New York City, Boston, Miami, Utah, and Atlanta. Markets on tap include Denver; Detroit; Minneapolis; Cleveland; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Tampa; Pittsburgh; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., among others.  


Aereo originally announced plans to launch in Chicago on September 13, but has delayed its commercial debut in the Windy City. Aereo originally announced plans to launch in Chicago on September 13, but has delayed its commercial debut in the Windy City. An Aereo spokeswoman said the delay is due to a "technical issue" discovered during the testing phase there. Aereo, she said, is "eager to launch in Chicago and our engineering team is working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue. As soon as we have a solution in place, the plan is to announce a revised launch date and begin to roll out invitations to those consumers who are pre-registered with us."


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How I Hire: There Is No Lone Genius; Hire a Team With these Four Types | LinkedIn Blog

How I Hire: There Is No Lone Genius; Hire a Team With these Four Types | LinkedIn Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s something romantic about the idea of the lone genius. The early success of GE is often attributed solely to the inspiration and perspiration of Thomas Edison. But experience and research both tell us that lasting success is built by teams that drive each other through collaboration, different skill sets and, yes, tension. It’s difficult to imagine the stratospheric successes of Steve Jobs without Stephen Wozniak or Mark Zuckerberg without Sheryl Sandberg. Edison had many collaborators and competitors who drove him, including the engineering genius Charles Steinmetz.


Diverse teams drive more innovation. Hiring people with different styles, backgrounds and experience increases the success of teams. My sense of what makes a successful team is constantly evolving, but these days I look for these four types when I hire.


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AT&T wants to get into the wireless broadcast video biz | CNET News

AT&T wants to get into the wireless broadcast video biz | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T wants to get into the wireless show business.


The company is working on technology that would enable it to broadcast video directly to its customers via its cellular network, CEO Randall Stephenson said during an investor conference on Tuesday. He said the service could come in the next three years.


If the service sounds familiar, that's because Qualcomm attempted to do the same thing with its ill-fated MediaFlo service. Qualcomm used a thin layer of spectrum to create a broadcast video service with multiple live channels that could be picked up with compatible phones. The broadcasters are attempting to do the same with local television channels through its Dyle service.


MediaFlo was an embarrassing failure for Qualcomm, and there has been little to no adoption of the Dyle service, suggesting little interest in live, broadcast video. So it's curious that Stephenson would tease such a service.


But Stephenson said that video is driving traffic, and believes that in some cases, there will be a need to broadcast video to a wide number of people, rather than have individuals access the same live video multiple. By broadcasting it in one channel, it removes the traffic caused by multiple simultaneous requests for that video.


"There's certain content a large number of people want," Stephenson said. "We're developing a broadcast channel to remove congestion."


History will repeat itself in a way. AT&T intends to use the same thin layer of 700-megahertz spectrum Qualcomm employed in its MediaFlo service.


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Blacksburg, VA: The First Gigabit Wireless City | US-Ignite.org

On September 19th, Blacksburg Virginia announced that it was initiating public gigabit wireless service to sixteen blocks of downtown and demonstrated coverage on the first block. I spoke at the launch and got to play with as much of the wireless gigabit as my devices could handle.


This was remarkable for several reasons.


  •   We now have a wireless gigabit city as one of the US Ignite communities and testbeds.  For all those who have been wondering if US Ignite was a fiber-only club, the answer is now clear: gigabit can be wireless as well as fiber. 
  • The money needed to add a new gigabit fiber to the Blacksburg head-end and to provide the wireless gigabit routers was raised through KickStarter – a social funding site which raised $94,000 to get the gigabit wireless going.
  •  Blacksburg has also received an NSF US Ignite grant to install a GENI rack and work on a health exercise application: FitNet.  This means that Blacksburg joins a very small and exclusive club that is assembling all three elements that have been shown to enable next-gen apps: gigabit to the end user, local cloud (via the GENI rack), and software-defined networking (via the OpenFlow switch in the GENI rack and future OpenFlow switches between the access points downtown).


The technology needed for gigabit wireless, IEEE 802.11ac is still very new.  Cisco sent some of their first gigabit wireless routers to Blacksburg via overnight delivery so they could be part of the launch.  Still, few people at the launch had devices capable of connecting at gigabit wireless speeds.  The TechPad Blacksburg had brought out a Macbook Air to demo the gigabit wireless speed, but software problems in IOS held the speed down (see http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57590809-263/macbook-air-real-world-802.11ac-speeds-throttled/).


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Yannis Corovesis's curator insight, October 4, 2013 10:23 AM

I like the idea of KickStarter deployment

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Offshore IT service providers are the leading users of L-1 visas | NetworkWorld.com

Offshore IT service providers are the leading users of L-1 visas | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The IEEE-USA is calling for reform of the L-1 visa program following the release of a government report that identified offshore IT service providers as the biggest users of the visa.


In the report, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that some of the L-1 visa program's rules are vague and the program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse.


The L-1 visa allows multinational companies to transfer foreign employees into the U.S. Unlike the H-1B visa, there is no cap or prevailing wage requirement with the L-1.


The largest users of the L-1 visa are companies either based in India or with operations there, said the report, compiled at the request of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senate's leading critic of H-1B visas.


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Meenakshi Singh's curator insight, September 24, 2013 8:13 AM

It sounds great, if any firm became largest IT service provider then it is must be came in to knowledge of most of the people so I am sharing it here so that this information could be reached to everyone.

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NSA spying fiasco sending customers overseas | NetworkWorld.com

NSA spying fiasco sending customers overseas | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The spectacle of National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposing the covert spying nature of US federal officials has sent ripple waves through the technology industry -- especially in the outsourcing arena.


Experts predict the NSA fiasco could result in the loss of business for some hosting vendors, but it’s hard to say exactly what the impact has been or will be.


The head of a European cloud computing provider said recently though that he’s seen a “measurable impact” from companies looking to use its services to escape what they fear could be the prying eyes of the US NSA.


“It has not been a profound surge, but there is definitely a measureable impact,” says Robert Jenkins, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Sigma, which is headquartered in Switzerland and has data centers across Europe and the United States. “We’ve definitely seen cases where people are turning to us because of this.”


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LinkedIn denies harvesting user email accounts without permission | NetworkWorld.com

LinkedIn denies harvesting user email accounts without permission | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

LinkedIn denied over the weekend charges that the company breaks into the email accounts of its members without permission to harvest contacts' addresses.


A class action complaint by four users has charged the professional networking site with hacking into their external email accounts and downloading addresses of their contacts for monetary gain by repeatedly promoting its services to these contacts.


Paul Perkins, Pennie Sempell, Ann Brandwein, and Erin Eggers charged LinkedIn with breaking into "its users' third party email accounts, downloading email addresses that appear in the account, and then sending out multiple reminder emails ostensibly on behalf of the user advertising LinkedIn to non-members."


The so-called hacking of the user's email account and download of addresses is done without "clearly notifying the user or obtaining his or her consent," which is likely to emerge as the crux of the case.


LinkedIn does not access a user's email account without the user's permission, and claims that it hacks or breaks into members' accounts are false, Blake Lawit, senior director of litigation at LinkedIn wrote in a blog post on Saturday. LinkedIn never deceives by "pretending to be you" in order to access the user's email account, Lawit wrote.


"We never send messages or invitations to join LinkedIn on your behalf to anyone unless you have given us permission to do so," he added.


New users signing in to LinkedIn are asked for the external email address as their user name, though they aren't told what it will be used for, according to the complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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Lawmakers want probe of Navy Yard faulty first responder radios | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Lawmakers want probe of Navy Yard faulty first responder radios | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Democratic lawmakers are calling on federal regulators to investigate reports that first responder radios failed during last week's shooting at Washington's Navy Yard.


Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) sent a letter on Monday to the heads of the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, urging them to work with other federal and local officials to investigate the problems.


"It is imperative that we understand what happened to these communications systems and why," they wrote.


They also urged the officials to ensure that FirstNet, a planned nationwide wireless network for first responders, avoids similar communications breakdowns.


The Hill reported last week that numerous firefighters and police officers were unable to communicate using their radios as they responded to the shooting. Some equipment stopped working as officers ventured into the building, and at least one officer was forced to rely on his cellphone.


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Astroturfers shut down after flooding Yelp and Google with fake reviews | Ars Technica

Astroturfers shut down after flooding Yelp and Google with fake reviews | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nineteen companies have "agreed to cease their practice of writing fake online reviews for businesses and to pay more than $350,000 in penalties" after being caught posing as real consumers on sites such as Yelp, Google Local, and CitySearch, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced today.


The companies posted reviews on various sites while pretending to be real consumers, violating state laws against false advertising and deceptive business practices, the AG's office said. The alleged astroturfers spoofed IP addresses to hide their locations and make the reviews appear to come from multiple users.


In one case, a marketing company arranged for this review of a periodontist to be written on CitySearch:


"Friendly and expert periodontist. Boy am I glad I discovered Dr. Tetri! I had noticed that my gums had been pretty inflamed lately and they were a bit swollen. At first I thought it was a temporary thing and made sure to floss and listerine, but then it didn't go away. So I did some research on good gum doctors in the city and stumbled across the practice of Tetri... best discovery ever."


The AG's office spent a year investigating the schemes, going undercover in the process, according to the announcement:


"Posing as the owner of a yogurt shop in Brooklyn, representatives from Attorney General Schneiderman's office called the leading SEO [search engine optimization] companies in New York to request assistance in combating negative reviews on consumer-review websites. During these calls, representatives from some of these companies offered to write fake reviews of the yogurt shop and post them on consumer-review websites such as Yelp.com, Google Local, and Citysearch.com as part of their reputation management services.


The investigation revealed that SEO companies were using advanced IP spoofing techniques to hide their identities as well as setting up hundreds of bogus online profiles on consumer review websites to post the reviews. The investigation found that many consumer-review websites have implemented filters to detect and filter or delete fake reviews, with Yelp's being the most aggressive."


Companies used their own employees to write and post reviews and "hired freelance writers from as far away as the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Eastern Europe for $1 to $10 per review." Companies sought reviewers by posting on sites such as Craigslist.com, Freelancer.com, and oDesk.com. One solicitation from an SEO company read as follows:


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Google wages war on Microsoft's Office with free iOS, Android apps | ComputerWorld.com

Google wages war on Microsoft's Office with free iOS, Android apps | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google on Thursday released new Android and iOS versions of its Quickoffice app, a mobile-only alternative to Microsoft's Office suite, and announced they are now free for the taking.


The move puts more pressure on Microsoft to offer Office on iPads and Android tablets, an analyst said.


"Google's taking the opportunity to get people to use their technology and adopt it," said Al Hilwa of IDC, "so that when Office comes [to tablets] those people already have what they need with Google's apps."


"We're making Quickoffice available for free to everyone: students, businesses, nonprofits, governments, consumers and anyone with a Google Account," said Alan Warren, head of engineering for Google Drive, on a Google blog yesterday. "Simply sign in with your Google Account to start editing Microsoft Office Excel, Word and PowerPoint files on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet."


Quickoffice, which can both edit existing documents and create new ones, relies on Google Drive to access Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations that users have uploaded to the search giant's online storage service, and to store new files built from scratch on a smartphone or tablet.


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Radios failed during Navy Yard attack, emergency responders say | TheHill.com

Radios failed during Navy Yard attack, emergency responders say | TheHill.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Radios for federal firefighters and police officers failed during Monday’s mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard, according to union representatives for first responders.
 
Union officials said police and firefighters resorted to using their cellphones and radios from D.C.’s emergency responders to communicate with each other during the attack.
 
Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington (NDW) Labor Committee, said police officers who were first on the scene at the Navy Yard had trouble communicating with others in the force via their radios.


Initially, officers found that their radios were working. But as they ventured deeper into the building where the shooting took place, their equipment stopped functioning.
 
After the first shootout with the gunman, one officer found his radio’s battery was dead, while another officer could not receive a signal from his radio and was unable to call for help. That forced them to use an officer’s cellphone to call others outside the building, according to Meely.
 
“They had to use their cellphone to just call out and tell them what's going on,” Meely said.
 

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Netflix CEO: 15-Meg Will Be Good Enough To Stream 4K | Multichannel.com

Netflix CEO: 15-Meg Will Be Good Enough To Stream 4K | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix hasn’t set a date for its anticipated launch of 4K streaming or previously indicated how much broadband speed consumers will need to obtain it, but CEO Reed Hastings dropped some hints on both counts in a video interview on September 13 with Claus Bülow Christensen, the producer of the Copenhagen Future of TV Conference. 


While Hastings doesn’t expect 4K TVs to fly off the shelves while prices remain high, he sees 4K video first taking hold on tablets, laptops and PCs as resolutions improve on those devices, helping to set in motion the adoption curve and, eventually, lower costs for 4K televisions.


That thinking also seems to fit into why Netflix is keen on streaming video in this emerging format as it gets its hands on a library of 4K source material. “Going forward we’ll see more and more 4K, and that will work really well over the Internet,” he said.


And how much speed will consumers need? “It’s around 15 megabits per second,” Hastings said. “It’s not too bad. If you’ve got a 50-megabit connection you’ll be fine.”


Netflix has been using proprietary video encoding technology from eyeIO to keep the bandwidth requirements of its current streaming service in check, but hasn’t announced if it will be using the vendor’s technology to help it squeeze down the streams for its coming 4K library. Sony is using eyeIO’s compression technology for its recently launched 4K video download service, but confirmed that the size of its 4K movie files will still be in the range of 45 gigabytes to 60 gigabytes.


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The “Building the Gigabit City” National Tour | Craig Settles Blog | Roisforyou.com

Longmont, CO’s point person for the city’s gigabit buildout, Vince Jordan, recently said he gets lots of calls from Colorado communities asking how to move forward with similar networks. His observations inspired me to create a special training program to give communities the building blocks to replicate U.S. gigabit success stories.


As those billions of stimulus dollars in middle mile network buildouts nationwide begin lighting up, communities are realizing a whole lot of work is still required to get actual Internet services into their neighborhoods. Quite a few also are realizing they don’t know quite how to plan or pay for these communitywide last mile networks.


So my program is a full-day, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-work event limited to 20 jurisdictions max, and broken down into five sessions. Each session, addresses a specific skill set, and is tailored to local issues and addressing attendees’ feedback I gather from pre-workshop questionnaires and worksheets.


The key element is the consulting. My advice is customized to workshop attendees’ questions and needs. Attendees build skills in implementing key tasks necessary for moving broadband projects forward. My book, Building the Gigabit City, continues the skills development by expanding on lessons learned during the workshop.


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US FDA to regulate only medical apps that could be risky if malfunctioning | NetworkWorld.com

US FDA to regulate only medical apps that could be risky if malfunctioning | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration intends to regulate only mobile apps that are medical devices and could pose a risk to a patient's safety if they do not function as intended.


Some of the risks could be unique to the choice of the mobile platform. The interpretation of radiological images on a mobile device could, for example, be adversely affected by the smaller screen size, lower contrast ratio and uncontrolled ambient light of the mobile platform, the agency said in its recommendations released Monday. The FDA said it intends to take the "risks into account in assessing the appropriate regulatory oversight for these products."


The nonbinding recommendations to developers of mobile medical apps only reflects the FDA's current thinking on the topic, the agency said. The guidance document is being issued to clarify the small group of mobile apps which the FDA aims to scrutinize, it added.


The recommendations would leave out of FDA scrutiny a majority of mobile apps that could be classified as medical devices but pose a minimal risk to consumers, the agency said.


The FDA said it is focusing its oversight on mobile medical apps that are to be used as accessories to regulated medical devices or transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device such as an electrocardiography machine.


"Mobile medical apps that undergo FDA review will be assessed using the same regulatory standards and risk-based approach that the agency applies to other medical devices," the agency said.


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NY: Gov. Cuomo urged to probe political gifts by Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Verizon | NYDailyNews.com

NY: Gov. Cuomo urged to probe political gifts by Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Verizon | NYDailyNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A government reform group is calling on Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission to review the telecommunications industry as part of its probe into potential links between political giving and bills.


A Common Cause/New York report due out Monday shows that the telecommunications industry in New York has donated nearly $12 million since 2005, most of which went to campaign committees controlled by the leadership in both legislative houses.


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


The report lists a number of bills with bipartisan support that the industry has successfully lobbied against in recent years. They include one that would take away state grants and tax breaks if a company moves its call center to another country and another that would create a state office of consumer advocate to represent interests of residential utility customers.


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US Ignite ONF Joint Workshop - A Shared Foundation for Global Networking | US Ignite Wiki

US Ignite ONF Joint Workshop - A Shared Foundation for Global Networking | US Ignite Wiki | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
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MI: Plan aims to improve broadband access in Livingston | LivingstonDaily.com

Those in Livingston County, MI with snail-speed broadband access can look forward to good news this week.


State and local officials are set to release a technology action plan Thursday that outlines goals for better broadband access, adoption and use in the county, said Michigan Public Service Commission member Sally Talberg, a Howell High School graduate.


The idea is to to get businesses, schools, health-care providers and government officials “moving in leaps and bounds,” she said.

The technology objectives come after a yearlong assessment by Connect Michigan and the Livingston County Broadband Committee, which has 25 local members ranging from government officials to nonprofit representatives.


“It was a very thorough assessment and didn’t just focus on infrastructure,” said Cromaine District Library Director Ceci Marlow, who chaired the committee.


Broadband availability and speeds were examined, in addition to adoption and usage. Digital literacy rates and the availability of public computer centers, for example, were also recorded.


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Target Enters the Online Video Business; ‘Target Ticket Premium’ Launches Next Month With 30,000 Titles | Stop the Cap!

Target Enters the Online Video Business; ‘Target Ticket Premium’ Launches Next Month With 30,000 Titles | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Starting Oct. 1, Target shoppers will be able to order movies and television shows to rent or buy online at prices from 99 cents to $36.99.


Target Ticket Premium will carry more than 30,000 movies and television shows, some available one day after airing, to customers who want a simple, pay-as-you-go shopping experience without monthly fees or contracts.


Target has signed content deals with Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Universal and Lionsgate. Networks licensing content to the service include ABC, AMC, CBS, Comedy Central, CW, Fox, FX, HBO, MTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Starz, USA Network and The WB.


Although movies will be available for online renting, television shows are available for purchase only. Stop the Cap! is told most movies will be priced to buy at $12.99-14.99, movie rentals will be comparable to iTunes ($4-5), and each TV episode is priced at around $3, with entire seasons available for around $35.


Target is designing the service primarily for families with children and those unfamiliar with online video. The company says its average customer will have never downloaded or streamed an online movie or show before. Target says the service will also have a robust parental control system and will be easy for anyone to navigate. To emphasize ease of use, Target Ticket will be available on just about every Internet-ready device around, starting with PCs, Macs, Xbox 360, Androids and iOS, Roku, Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players.


Wall Street has been lukewarm about the new venture, calling it just another transactional video service, similar to much larger platforms already available from Apple, Verizon and Amazon, to count a few. The service has been in beta test over the summer, open to familiarize Target employees with the concept.


Why would a Target customer bother with Target Ticket instead of Amazon or iTunes? Discounts. Target REDcard holders will receive five percent off rentals and purchases.


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Comcast Hires ‘Internet Guy’ to Embrace Broadband Innovation; Start By Killing the Usage Cap | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Hires ‘Internet Guy’ to Embrace Broadband Innovation; Start By Killing the Usage Cap | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast wants to embrace innovation and change. Before it can succeed, the cable company needs to permanently retire usage caps and consumption billing schemes, now being market-tested for possible reintroduction nationwide.


Comcast today announced it created a new executive position — vice president of consumer services for video, phone, Internet, and home products and appointed Marcien Jenckes to the position. His role is to oversee development of ideas for new products and services that can be sold to Comcast customers.


Jenckes says Comcast’s product lines are blurring as convergence between television and broadband continues. His role is to keep customers of both services happy by embracing innovation and change.


He will find his hands tied should Comcast bring back its usage cap, now under serious consideration. Limiting residential broadband limits customers’ interest in innovative new online applications that carry the threat of a wallop to one’s wallet from overlimit fees. Comcast ditched its arbitrary 250GB usage cap in the spring of 2012, but continues to think about bringing it back. This year, Comcast has tested a new 300GB cap in certain states tied to an overlimit fee for customers exceeding their usage allowance.


Customers don’t like usage caps one bit. Neither should Comcast “innovators” like Mr. Jenckes.


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Fire Island Is Getting Lit With Fiber Optics -- But What About the Rest of Verizon | Bruce Kushnick Blog | Huff Post

Fire Island Is Getting Lit With Fiber Optics -- But What About the Rest of Verizon | Bruce Kushnick Blog | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On September 10, 2013 a deal was cut with Verizon to give Fire Island, New York's citizens a Verizon fiber optic-based service called FiOS, Verizon's broadband and cable service. The agreement, created with the help of Senator Chuck Schumer, is great. As someone who's been working on this issue -- we will take any win we can get.


Schumer writes:


"By installing fiber-optic cables on the island, Verizon will not only make the system as good as it was before, it will be making it better," said Schumer. "Fire Island residents will now have greater access to high speed internet -- a necessity in the modern age -- and reliable voice service."


But before you light up that congratulatory cigar and take a sip of some fine whiskey, this brings up some basic questions. OK, so a group of small beach communities on an island finally got some adequate phone service; what about the 27 million households in Verizon's territories not to mention the tens of millions of business?


In our last article we outlined that Verizon lines and territories covers 27 million households. We don't know the number of businesses. Verizon has only 5 million FiOS TV customers and passed about 15 million homes -- not the 18 million the media claims they have. This means about 80 percent of their wires are still copper, not fiber and a bit more than 50 percent are currently passed.


Moreover, Verizon has no plans to upgrade at least 1/2 of their customers and instead is telling anyone who will listen that they are going to shut off these customers' copper wire services and force them onto expensive or crap wireless services, like Voice Link. "Crap" is a technical term.


Lowell Mac Adams, Verizon's Chairman & CEO, stated plan is -- Kill the copper.


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Post TWC-CBS Dispute, Other Networks Preparing to Demand Their Own Increases | Stop the Cap!

Post TWC-CBS Dispute, Other Networks Preparing to Demand Their Own Increases | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just weeks after Time Warner Cable and CBS settled a dispute over retransmission fees, other broadcasters and networks are preparing to make new demands for increased compensation from their cable, satellite, and telco IPTV partners at prices likely to provoke more blackouts.


Despite repeated protestations from Time Warner that over-the-air stations and networks deserve lower fees than cable-only networks, once the two parties went behind closed doors, the cable company quickly agreed to pay considerably more for CBS programming. Sources say CBS made a deal that will run up to five years and includes more than $1.50 in fees per subscriber, up from between 50-85 cents per month, depending on the city served, under the old contract. CBS had asked for about $2 a month. Effectively, the company will earn more than that because Time Warner also agreed to renew both the CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel, which cost extra.


“There is a new template here. Two dollars is the new holy grail,” Wunderlich Securities analyst Matthew Harrigan told Reuters.


Fox was the highest paid network before the CBS deal, collecting close to $1.25 per month per subscriber. ABC receives 50-65 cents and NBC less than that.


Harrigan predicts the other networks will race to raise their own prices, with Time Warner Cable (and others) likely forced to raise rates early next year to cover increased costs.


In the war for compensation, programmers hold most of the leverage.


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Africa Photographer Witnesses the Human Cost of Our Electronics | Mashable.com

Africa Photographer Witnesses the Human Cost of Our Electronics | Mashable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Marcus Bleasdale knows more about what goes into your smartphone than you'd ever want to hear about it. The British photographer has been documenting unthinkable violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 1999.


During that time, tens of thousands of child soldiers have been a part of conflict that has led to more than 5 million deaths. At the heart of this violence are what are called "conflict minerals," including gold and diamonds. More recently, three other conflict minerals — tantalum, tungsten and tin — have come into focus because they are used to produced smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras and other electronic devices.


We caught up with Bleasdale Sunday morning before he took the stage at Social Good Summit.


"Anyone in today's world is using a significant amount of electronics products," he told Mashable. "All of these consumable products have, at some time, had conflict minerals from Congo in them. We as consumers should be appalled by that."


Bleasdale said the violence really hits home when he sees an 11-year-old child, the same age as his niece, forced to tote an assault riffle. He also called sexual violence "the weapon of choice" by warlords in the DRC. About 40,000 women were raped in the DRC during a 12-month period in 2006-2007, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health.


The solution, Bleasdale argues, is not to refrain from buying electronic products.


"I'm probably the worst user of conflict minerals on the planet; I'm a photographer with five camera bodies and two computers and phones," he said.


"I walk around with half a Congolese mine in my bag everyday."


Instead, Bleasdale said consumers should demand that technology companies produce products that are free of conflict minerals. As part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, American companies now have to audit their supply chains and disclose whether their minerals come from mines run by armed groups in the DRC.


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Telco Verizon’s Plan for an End-to-End, Cloud-Based Smart Grid | Greentech Media

Telco Verizon’s Plan for an End-to-End, Cloud-Based Smart Grid | Greentech Media | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For years, Verizon has been working on expanding from its traditional role as utility industry telecommunications provider to enabling a broader, deeper set of smart grid services. That work ranges from its 2011 partnership with eMeter, now part of Siemens, to host its meter data management (MDM) and analytics on Verizon’s cloud computing platform, to using the same IT expertise for building energy management and utility customer engagement.


Now, Verizon is plotting a new step on that path: becoming an end-to-end smart grid solutions provider. The telco giant is now central manager of a utility-scale smart meter and MDM deployment, Ernie Lewis, industry partner with Verizon's global energy and utility practice, told me in an interview earlier this month.


“We’re in the midst of a pilot right now, and what we’re piloting is more than the MDM -- we have a meter-to-cash system that includes an AMI partner as well,” he said. “All of it is hosted in the cloud, leveraging our private wireless network, our private IP, our cloud assets -- basically, being in a position to provide an end-to-end solution for utilities.”


While Lewis wouldn’t name the utility or the technology partners involved in the project, it’s likely that eMeter is playing a role. “The eMeter partnership is still strong,” he said, with plans for a broader rollout of cloud-based services in 2014.


Verizon’s soon-to-be-revealed pilot project sounds a bit like another project launched by rival AT&T earlier this year. That project, with the 71,000-customer Duck River Electric Membership in Tennessee, will integrate cellular-connected smart meters from Itron, meter data management software from ElectSolve and volt/VAR optimization and distribution grid controls from S&C Electric.


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Broadband gap: Google Fiber isn't the only revolution in Kansas City | TheVerge.com

Broadband gap: Google Fiber isn't the only revolution in Kansas City | TheVerge.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Kansas City, a metropolitan area of about 2 million that straddles the border between Kansas state and Missouri, seems an unlikely place to see what the future of internet connectivity could look like. But nearly three years after Google announced that this midwestern metropolis best known for jazz and barbecue would become the first place in the world to get the company’s experimental, ultra-high-speed broadband internet service — Google Fiber — Kansas City is looking more futuristic. Just not in the way Google or Kansas Citians originally anticipated.


That’s because Kansas City is also home to another experimental broadband internet service effort that hasn’t received nearly as much international attention as Google Fiber. Just over a year ago, right around the same time Google actually began installing Fiber here, a ragtag alliance of affordable-internet advocates including a jazz club proprietor, a Pentecostal Christian minister and a former Occupy Wall Street protester began building their own nonprofit wireless internet service specifically designed for low-income households, a system they call the KC Freedom Network. Even though it can’t match Google Fiber in terms of raw speed, the KC Freedom Network offers something to users they say Google does not: truly affordable internet.


“The amount of money was probably the biggest thing,” says Anita Dixon, vice president of The Mutual Musicians Foundation, one of six organizations participating in the alternate network. Her group manages one of the country’s oldest jazz halls, located in Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine district, a cultural pillar of the city’s African-American community.


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WindomNet Creates Jobs, Benefits for SE Minnesota - Community Broadband Bits Episode #64 | community broadband networks

WindomNet Creates Jobs, Benefits for SE Minnesota - Community Broadband Bits Episode #64 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The small town of Windom in southeast Minnesota has long been one of the smallest FTTH networks in the nation. I have long wanted to bring WindomNet General Manager Dan Olsen on our show because it has some of the best anecdotes in the world of community owned networks. We finally got him!


To understand WindomNet, you should know that it has fewer households than what many of us consider to be the minimum threshold for a viable triple-play FTTH network. Not only have they made it work, they have attracted numerous employers to town, as our interview discusses. It also kept a local employer located just outside of town in the area after a massive telelphone company operating in Minnesota found itself unable to provide the service that business requested. Tiny Windom ran a fiber out to the business and kept them in the region.


The network has expanded to nearby farm towns with the help of a broadband stimulus award. Even now, after bringing connections to a rural region that the big providers have largely ignored,
the big cable and CenturyLink lobbyists that live in the capital in Saint Paul have relentlessly lied about Windom, calling it a failure and presenting skewed figures to suggest the investment had not succeeded.


In our discussion, Dan and I explore the reality of WindomNet and how it is benefiting a much larger region beyond its own borders. Read all of our coverage about Windom here.


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