Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
87.0K views | +120 today
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

In New York, Tech's Rising Tide Raises All Boats | Huff Post Blog

In New York, Tech's Rising Tide Raises All Boats | Huff Post Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After Silicon Valley, few cities know the benefits of the tech boom better than New York. "Silicon Alley" is now home to hundreds of tech startups, helping to diversify an economy that for many years was undeniably reliant on Wall Street's might. In fact, NYC recently eclipsed Boston as the nation's number two hub for Internet and mobile technologies, with a 29 percent increase in area IT jobs, according to the Center for an Urban Future.

 

This embrace of tech is no accident. Public and private initiatives alike have encouraged tech growth over the last several years, including WiredNYC (which will grant broadband infrastructure to hundreds of buildings over the next two years) and Cornell's plans, in partnership with Technion (Israel's MIT equivalent), to develop a high-tech campus on Roosevelt Island. This increase in jobs, private financing and public tech infrastructure has played a major role in helping decrease the city's unemployment rate, from 10.4 percent in January 2010 to 8.8 percent in 2012.

 

For example, the app economy (where companies form to create applications for Apple, Android and Facebook, among other platforms) alone has created an estimated 466,000 jobs. Some of these jobs are part-time gigs for developers looking to supplement their income, and some lead to jackpots (like Ethan Nicholas' "iShoot" app, which earned him more than $1 million in revenue from the iTunes store).

 

New York City lawmakers know that in order for this local tech boom to continue, they must prepare the city and its people to handle the increased needs of the industry. In an extensive report compiled by Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, a number of massive public works projects were suggested as a means to "foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create a pipeline of jobs for working families."

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Anti-Competition, “1.5Mbps is Good Enough for You” Broadband Bill Before Georgia Legislators | Stop the Cap!

Anti-Competition, “1.5Mbps is Good Enough for You” Broadband Bill Before Georgia Legislators | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A handful of Georgia state legislators have introduced a bill to ban community-owned broadband anywhere Internet service is available at speeds of at least 1.5Mbps — so slow it does not even meet the FCC’s new definition of “broadband.”

 

The so-called ”Municipal Broadband Investment Act,” introduced Feb. 8 is just the latest in a series of anti-competition, corporate welfare bills designed to protect existing telecom monopolies and duopolies from facing any additional competition.

 

Introduced and co-sponsored by Reps. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), Don Parsons (R-Marietta), Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla), Ben Harbin (R-Evans), and Jon Burns (R-Newington), H.B. 282 would only allow community providers to offer service where broadband is not available within a census block, a requirement that makes virtually all public broadband efforts untenable because of the patchwork of DSL service throughout the state.

 

Remarkably, the legislation also includes a penalty clause that will leave community providers liable for damages payable to corporate-owned Internet Service Providers if they dare compete with the state’s largest phone and cable companies. Local communities could even be on the hook for attorney fees paid by companies like Comcast, Windstream, and AT&T to make sure publicly owned ISPs never get off the ground.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Wireless Monitoring Pilots & Patients | Federal Telemedicine News

Technology originally designed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center scientists to monitor the health of astronauts is finding new applications on Earth that could significantly impact the safety of pilots and be used to rehabilitate cardio-pulmonary patients. 

 

A NASA engineer and a team of scientists at Glenn developed the “Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) to monitor the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production rates of astronauts exercising during long missions. The portable unit was designed to give the crew the ability to move around the spacecraft without being tethered to a large immovable unit. The units are wearable, versatile, small, uses low power, minimally invasive, and able to address the monitoring requirements of multiple scenarios. 

 

PUMA measures six components to evaluate metabolic function such as oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, gas pressure, and temperature. From those measurements, PUMA can compute the oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output, and ventilation. A small embedded computer takes readings of each sensor and relays the data wirelessly to a remote computer via Bluetooth. 

 

Click headline to read more--

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

NTIA Looking to Lift Freeze on Public Safety BTOP Grants | Broadcasting & Cable

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration is looking to lift the freeze on seven BTOP grants for emergency communications network buildouts.

That came out of a board meeting Tuesday of FirstNet, the national, interoperable broadband communications network being funded by broadcast incentive auction proceeds.

Those seven grants are administered by NITA under its stimulus bill-funded the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The seven projects began a couple of years ago, before FirstNet was authorized by legislation passed last year. NTIA did not want to continue spending $380 million in taxpayer dollars for state efforts that might be superseded by FirstNet.

But now, subject to confirmation by NTIA that those buildouts will be interoperable with the planned nationwide network, they will be allowed to go forward as kind of a test-bed for the network, whose board chairman, Sam Ginn, said at the meeting would combine national interoperability with state and local operational control.

Board member Craig Farrill outlined the five key goals of the network: 1. Reliability, 2. coverage, 3. exceeding public safety requirements, 4. low cost, and 5. early availability.

Early availability meant not 6 or 7 years, Farrill said, as well as bringing up parts of the network as soon as possible.

That is where the seven BTOP projects come in. They were described as part of a process of weaving state operations into a national quilt of interoperable communications, but the suggestion was they would be woven even before their was a quilt to stitch them into. That means that NTIA must be convinced they will be interoperable before it will sign off on lifting the partial freeze, said board member Sue Swenson.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Engineering an Economic Recovery | Huffington Post Blog

Engineering an Economic Recovery | Huffington Post Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Over the weekend, White House officials announced that the leading theme of the President's State of the Union address will be making America a "magnet for jobs and manufacturing."

 

If this sounds like the theme of every recent State of the Union, it's for good reason: The nation is not only suffering unbearable unemployment but also a badly damaged manufacturing sector.

 

Over the last decade, the U.S. lost nearly 6 million manufacturing jobs and closed down at least 40,000 industrial facilities. More troubling still, the nation lost ground in its area of core comparative advantage: High-tech manufacturing. The U.S. trade deficit in Advanced Technology Products (ATPs) reached $100 billion in 2011. This deficit alone surpassed the total net foreign earnings on all intellectual property royalties and fees for all U.S. incorporated companies from Apple to Boeing to Starbucks.

 

Americans have grown accustomed to such gloomy statistics. But, in order to reverse the depressing trends, we need greater clarity on their causes. While conventional wisdom says that low labor costs abroad, stagnant science research, or changes in American workers' productivity explain the loss of competitiveness, these factors don't tell the whole story regarding advanced manufacturing.

 

A core problem lies in America's failure to keep pace with one of its historical core strengths: engineering. Distinct from science and technology research, this means not just analysis and discovery but synthesis and innovation aimed at turning abstract ideas into tangible products. To help reclaim our advanced manufacturing edge, Obama might emphasize a single point: America needs to put the "&" back in "R&D".

 

Click headline to read more--

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

UK: Neul releases the first white space chip for the internet of things | GigaOM Tech News

UK: Neul releases the first white space chip for the internet of things | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Weightless Special Interest Group, the U.K. organization trying to build a technical standard around “white space” radio communications, has developed its first commercial silicon. Weightless founder Neul developed the white space radio chipset and has started offering it up to partners for testing. The hope is those partners will build the devices that tap into this new source of unlicensed airwaves and potentially connect the internet of things in the U.K.

 

The TV white spaces are the unused airwaves lying between TV channels, and governments around the world have proposed using those frequencies to develop a type of “Super Wi-Fi” – basically combining Wi-Fi’s unlicensed, free-to-access model with the much longer reach of these low-frequency TV airwaves.

 

In the U.S., regulators and the technology’s boosters want to use TV white spaces to expand the availability of cheap broadband, though the issue has become a political hot potato in the upcoming TV spectrum incentive auction. Microsoft is working with African regulators and ISPs to experiment with whites spaces broadband access in Kenya.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

NH: Lawmakers should let voters decide if they want communities to invest in broadband | SentinelSource.com

NH: Lawmakers should let voters decide if they want communities to invest in broadband | SentinelSource.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A report this week by Sentinel staffer Kaitlin Mulhere highlighted how inequities in Internet access can put students in rural areas academically behind their well-connected peers.

 

As more classes, textbooks and school curricula incorporate material from the World Wide Web, access to reliable Internet in school and at home broadens the educational gap between the “haves” and the “have nots,” Mulhere reported.

 

And in an increasingly connected business world, Internet access isn’t just an educational issue. It’s economic, too.

 

Fortunately, in-roads have been made to linking some Monadnock Region communities to a fiber-optic broadband network thanks to the Fast Roads project. A federal stimulus grant funded initiative laid a backbone of fiber-optic broadband — a so-called “middle mile” — through 22 communities in the western part of the state. The network includes 220 hubs where the network can be expanded into rural communities including Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Marlow, Richmond, Rindge and Swanzey.

 

But despite this advancement in the region, an onerous state law restricting municipal investment in broadband infrastructure could stand in the way of expansion into many of the rural communities that need it most.

 

Here’s how: While Rindge was one of two towns along the Fast Roads network selected to get “last mile” linkage to 1,300 businesses and residents, expansion into other communities hinges on whether local Internet service providers decide to invest in linking them to the network.

 

In areas where companies determine that investing in expansion isn’t worthwhile, municipalities often find their hands tied because state law does not allow communities to take out municipal bonds for broadband access if there’s a private company operating in the community. That means if a town has even a small pocket of coverage by a telecommunication company, it can’t get funding to pay for expansion to the rest of its residents and businesses.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Congress to renew cybersecurity scrap with Obama administration | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Congress to renew cybersecurity scrap with Obama administration | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A cybersecurity bill that received pushback from privacy advocates and the White House last year will be re-introduced on Wednesday, setting up a potential battle between Congress and the administration over cybersecurity legislation. 

 

House Intelligence Committee leaders Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) will re-introduce their Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and hold a public hearing analyzing the current state of cyber threat information sharing between the U.S. government and industry next week. 

 

The bill aims to thwart cyberattacks by making it easier for private companies to share information about cyberthreats and malicious source code with the intelligence community and the Department of Homeland Security.

 

The same privacy and civil liberties groups that fought against CISPA last year say they plan to revive their efforts to rally opposition against the bill—especially since it will be identical to the measure that passed the House last spring. 

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Are Libraries Good Beachheads for Gigabit Cities? Of Course. | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio

Are Libraries Good Beachheads for Gigabit Cities? Of Course. | Gigabit Nation on BlogTalk Radio | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Casting around for effective strategies to help meet (or exceed) the FCC’s Gigabit City Challenge, we wonder: how do we focus the myriad of broadband projects and stakeholders into one unified charge for better networks that produce great results? Libraries may be the answer.


Springing from Kansas City’s Google Fiber project, the K-20 Librarians Initiative hopes to make libraries the hub of broadband buildout and adoption efforts. The Initiative bridges K-12 school, college, and university libraries with public libraries to extend the reach of network infrastructure, applications and resources. Don Means, co-founder and principal of Digital Village Associates explains the game plan. He’s a major force in the Initiative.


As hundreds of middle-mile broadband networks come online that have wired libraries and other institutions, how do we leverage these buildouts to cover surrounding communities? Can libraries become mini test beds for applications people try before they buy? Will fiber to the library mean super fast wireless to the home? Means addresses these and other important questions.

 

Click headline to listen to this Gigabit Nation interview--

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

Spotlight on Rural Telehealth Issues | Federal Telemedicine News

Over 400 conference participants from rural areas throughout the country gathered in Washington D.C. February 4-6 to attend the National Rural Health Association’s 24th annual Rural Health Policy Institute. The attendees participated in discussions on NRHA’s 2013 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda and listened to ideas on how to effectively promote actions for rural communities that will be accepted by Congress, federal regulatory agencies, the White House, states, and the healthcare industry. 

 

Speaking at the General Session, Doug McKalip, White House Domestic Policy Council Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs, recounted how he grew up in Northwest Pennsylvania in a rural community and he knows first-hand the gaps in finding healthcare in the community. One of the most serious problems to obtaining care is the lack of broadband coverage and even where the internet exists; there are too many gaps in transmission. 

 

To work with the White House on rural issues, NRHA in 2012 participated with HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy and the White House Rural Council to discuss a number of initiatives including the future of primary care, the expansion of the National Health Service Corps eligibility, and how to achieve coordination between various rural health providers. 

 

At the NRHA Institute, telehealth was on the agenda. Mary Wakefield PhD, RN, HRSA Administrator recalled how HRSA in 2012 funded an Institute of Medicine (IOM) meeting with telehealth leaders to discuss all of the recent telehealth accomplishments and future goals. The report is available on the IOM website at www.iom.edu/Reports.aspx. 

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Comcast Employee to Serve in Inaugural Chicago Economic Growth Fellows Program | Chicago Tribune

Comcast Employee to Serve in Inaugural Chicago Economic Growth Fellows Program | Chicago Tribune | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

West Dundee resident Christopher Nelson, Government and Regulatory Affairs manager for Comcast, has been accepted into the inaugural class of Fellows to support implementation of Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, a dynamic economic development plan created to drive the 14-county Chicago metro area’s growth in the global economy and articulate clear, actionable strategies for economic growth and job creation.

 

This month, Nelson began a full-time, three-month-long commitment working with World Business Chicago (WBC) to launch initiatives that target one of ten transformative strategies detailed in the Plan. This week, the Fellows met with Chicago Mayor and WBC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, who requested the development of the Plan last year.

 

“I am grateful to our business community for lending us some of their top talent to help shape Chicago’s economic development,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This inaugural class brings new resources and knowledge to accelerate the Plan’s key economic growth initiatives, which are essential for Chicago to compete in the global economy.”

 

“With 7,000 employees, more than 150 facilities, and millions of customers in the region, Comcast is a major player in the Chicago area economy. We are honored to be part of WBC and to work with the city and so many distinguished partners to prepare our economy for the future,” said John Crowley, Comcast’s regional senior vice president. “Chris is a valued employee, and as a fellow, I know he will contribute greatly to the implementation of the development plan.”

 

The Fellows’ commitments will be centered on launching WBC initiatives from PEGJ’s ten transformative strategies:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

MT: Zombie Alert Hoax: Emergency Broadcast System Hacked | InformationWeek

MT: Zombie Alert Hoax: Emergency Broadcast System Hacked | InformationWeek | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Emergency alert: zombies are rising up in Montana.


"Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information become available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous."

 

That Emergency Alert System (EAS) voiceover warning, preceded by the standard, staccato EAS attention signal, ran Monday afternoon on CBS affiliate television station KRTV in Great Falls, Mont. The EAS warning interrupted a broadcast of "The Steve Wilkos Show" devoted to teen cheaters.

 

Signs of an apparent zombie apocalypse to the contrary, KRTV later that day released a statement confirming that a bogus message had been transmitted via its EAS equipment. "Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties," according to the statement. "This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency. Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets."

 

Local police likewise said there was no emergency. "We can report in the city, there have been no sightings of dead bodies rising from the ground," Lt. Shane Sorensen of the Great Falls Police Department told the Great Falls Tribune -- admittedly, with a laugh.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Living with FTTH -- Utrecht, Netherland | FTTH Council Europe

Living with FTTH: A Dutch family tells their story of how FTTH-enabled applications and services have brought multiple benefits to their work, personal and family life.

 

Click headline to watch the video Full Screen--

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

About Those Faulty Broadband Meters: None of Them Are Used to Track Usage Limits | Multichannel.com

About Those Faulty Broadband Meters: None of Them Are Used to Track Usage Limits | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A story on GigaOm today suggested that there is a serious problem with the usage meters that certain Internet service providers are using to track the amount of bits their customers are using.

 

According to the story, NetForecast -- a Charlottesville, Va.-based company that certain ISPs use to audit their usage-monitoring processes -- found that five out of seven of its client ISPs had usage meters that were more than 1% off the mark in measuring actual usage.

 

Sounds pretty grave, right? Problem is: Not one of those five ISPs is currently using those meters today to enforce data-usage limits, NetForecast president Peter Sevcik told me. In other words, they are in testing or perhaps merely informational -- presumably, with the ISPs trying to refine their accuracy before they actually use them to bill customers or put data caps in place.

 

Oh.

 

Sevcik wouldn't identify the ISPs in question, nor would he quantify how inaccurate the still-in-development meters were.

 

Comcast, for one, has published an audit report by NetForecast that says the MSO's meters are accurate. Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications also told me NetForecast has certified their meters for accuracy. AT&T says it doesn't work with the firm to certify its wireline usage meters.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Canadian startup puts a collection agency spin on stopping electricity theft | Smart Grid News

Canadian startup puts a collection agency spin on stopping electricity theft | Smart Grid News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The idea that an estimated $202.2 billion in electricity generated around the world each year is lost to energy theft or equipment failure may be hard to fathom. But a Vancouver, B.C. startup that develops technologies to reduce grid power losses puts it into more manageable scenarios.

 

According to Awesense:

Energy diversion costs U.S. utilities an estimated $6 billion annually – making energy the third most stolen commodity right behind credit card information and carsPower loss and equipment failure are so out of control in India that government statistics suggest it cuts the country's economic growth 1.2% annuallyThe amount of electricity lost in Rio de Janeiro each year could provide power to 6.2 million homes by some estimates, says an ELO Sistemas Electronicos VP

 

I talked with Awesense founder and CEO Mischa Steiner-Jovic, who uses words like "astronomical" and "almost unbelievable" when he describes the amount of money utilities – and their customers – lose each year.

 

"Utilities generate billions of dollars of power every year that they don't get compensated for and never gets to their customers," he says. And those power losses are passed along, adding $50 to $200 to customer electricity bills each year.

 

So as Steiner-Jovic puts it, "it's not a victimless crime," especially if you factor in the fires, power outages and injuries that can result.

 

But catching culprits – who may be individuals trying to avoid high electric bills or sophisticated marijuana grow operations – can be challenging.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Billy Ray, Community Broadband Pioneer, Joins us For Community Broadband Bits #33 | community broadband networks

Billy Ray, Community Broadband Pioneer, Joins us For Community Broadband Bits #33 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Glasgow was a true pioneer in community owned broadband networks, starting with its own cable plant in the 1980s. Billy Ray, CEO of Glasgow Electric Plant Board, has been an inspiration for municipal broadband networks -- one can't dig into the early history of LUS Fiber in Louisiana without running into something from Billy Ray, for instance. Glasgow's network has been a tremendous success, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of benefits to the community.

 

In our interview, we discuss the bitter legal fights of the early years as Glasgow built its own cable network and eventually began offering Internet access. Additionally, we discuss the important role of these information networks in creating more efficient (and less costly) electrical systems -- an incredibly important implication that does not get enough coverage.

 

Given the extraordinary history of Billy Ray and Glasgow EPB, we hope this will be the first of several conversations exploring that community. You can read more from Billy Ray on his blog.

 

Click headline to listen to the podcast--

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

Reducing the failure rate of power poles | esi-africa.com

Reducing the failure rate of power poles | esi-africa.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Electricity supply and distribution is undergoing many changes, cutting edge smart grid technology being a good example. But as recent storms have shown there is a strong argument for focussing on some simple but effective resilient grid technology where the focus is on keeping cables in the air and the power on, something that utilities in America alone spend US$180 billion a year trying to achieve, says Ian Smith, sales manager for Polesaver.

 

Possibly the weakest link in a distribution network is the humble wooden utility pole a basic piece of 19th century technology, it is effectively a tree dipped in chemicals, and whilst this might be a simplistic view it’s perhaps not that far from the truth.

 

And as a lot of linemen know the point of greatest weakness in wooden poles is the most mechanically stressed ground line section where conditions for rot, decay and termite attack are ideal, leading to pole breakage and failure at this section while the remaining 90% of the pole is still perfectly serviceable.

 

This is possibly why the demand for barrier technology is growing. This form of technology keeps out the causes of rot, decay and termite attack at the vulnerable ground line section of the pole, giving a substantial extension in utility pole life, typically of 10 years or more and reducing the risk of poles breaking and preventing power outages.

 

Some of the latest barrier technology is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and backed up by independent test data. Barrier sleeves can be quickly and easily fitted on site or by the pole supplier.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Providing Electronic Access To Public Records Is 'Expensive' And Other Government Excuses For PACER Fees | Techdirt

Providing Electronic Access To Public Records Is 'Expensive' And Other Government Excuses For PACER Fees | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Steve Schultze at Freedom to Tinker wants to know why the general public is still being asked to pay for access to public records. Since these records are generated using tax dollars, a person would reasonably expect they would be free to access, especially since they're the ones footing the bill. Of course, reasonable expectations are shattered by government entities daily and PACER is no exception.

As Mike noted in 2011, the fees to electronically access PACER records continue to rise, even as costs drop, leaving most Americans locked out by prohibitive fees (and a less-than-intuitive user interface). Schultze notes that not only are these fees excessive, they very likely are illegal.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Fibre to drive global broadband revenue growth to 2018 | telecoms.com

Fibre to drive global broadband revenue growth to 2018 | telecoms.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The global fixed broadband market generated service revenues of $188bn in 2012, up 7 per cent from 2011, and is set to continue growing to reach $251bn by 2018, according to US firm ABI Research.

 

Last year, fibre broadband had its strongest ever year in terms of service revenues (up 24 per cent), while DSL and cable broadband revenues rose two per cent and six per  cent respectively.

 

Fibre-optic broadband is expected to grow stronger than other platforms throughout the forecast period.

 

In 2018, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) revenue should reach $81.6bn, representing almost one-third of global broadband service revenue.

 

There was some less good news in the report though – average revenue per user (ARPU) has continued to decline across all broadband platforms over the past few years.

 

“The trend is expected to endure as the majority of operators are trying to offer lower prices to capture a larger market share,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting at ABI Research.

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

Iowa: State-built fiber optic network up for sale | WCFCourier.com

Iowa: State-built fiber optic network up for sale | WCFCourier.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Iowa Communications Network went up for sale Wednesday with a 172-page request seeking private companies to buy or lease the government-built statewide broadband system.

 

Two days earlier, news came from Washington, D.C., that the Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious plan to create nationwide wireless networks to make the Internet more accessible.

 

Both moves raise the same question: What should the government's role be in providing Internet access to its citizens, and at what level should that happen?

 

"Federal policy, at first, was to make sure the Internet was there," said Ramona McNeal, assistant professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She specializes in telecommunications policy. "Federal Internet policy started with the Clinton administration, and each administration after left its own mark."

 

President Bill Clinton, McNeal said, focused on Internet access for underserved communities.

 

President George W. Bush focused on leveling technological differences among different groups. Bush, for instance, expanded the definition of the word "literacy" as it was used for his hallmark No Child Left Behind legislation to include technological competence.

 

Bush provided money for teacher training in that area.

 

President Barack Obama's administration has returned the focus getting Internet access to rural areas, McNeal said. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act put $7.2 billion for Internet expansion in rural areas. The latest move by the FCC reinforces that push.

 

The Iowa Communications Network was Iowa's effort to connect schools, hospitals and government institutions in all parts of the state --- specifically rural areas --- to a singular network. The state has spent close to $320 million on the network, which is primarily used for telecommunications and distance-learning services.

 

The 25-year-old system consists of 8,661 miles of fiber cable but uses, at best, 10 percent of its capacity, said state Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Georgia Bill Aims to Limit Investment In Internet Networks | community broadband networks

Georgia Bill Aims to Limit Investment In Internet Networks | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Georgia General Assembly is considering another bill to limit investment in telecommunications networks in the state, an odd proposition when just about everyone agrees states need as much investment in these networks as possible.

 

House Bill 282, the "Municipal Broadband Investment Act," purports to limit the ability of public entities to invest only in "unserved" areas. But as usual, the devil is in the details. This bill will be discussed on Wednesday, Feb 13 at 4:00 EST in the Telecom Subcommittee of the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications committee (Committee roster here).

 

We strongly encourage Georgians to write to members of this committee and explain that these decisions should be made at the local level, not by the state. Communities each face unique circumstances regarding the need for telecommunications investment and they can be trusted to make informed decisions after weighing the available evidence.

 

Many local governments have invested in modest networks to connect local businesses, but such investments will be prohibited in Georgia if residents in the area are already served with a connection of at least 1.5 Mbps in one direction. This baseline is far lower standard than the FCC's definition of "basic" broadband: 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Setting a low baseline hurts communities but rewards carriers that have refused to invest in modern networks.

 

This bill poses a dramatic threat to the ability of local governments to encourage economic development and provide the environment necessary for the private sector to create the jobs every community needs. See our fact sheet on how public broadband investments have created jobs.

 

Supporters of this bill will claim that it only restricts investment to areas that are most needing it. This argument is not only flat wrong, it comes mostly from those most interested in preventing, not encouraging, investment.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

DISH will serve up spectrum on a platter if wireless plans prove unpalatable | TeleGeography

US satellite TV giant DISH Network intends to sell its potentially lucrative 2GHz spectrum holdings in the so-called ‘S-band’ if its current plan to find a partner with which to launch a wireless network does not come to fruition.

 

Bloomberg quotes DISH chairman Charlie Ergen who declared that ‘billions of dollars of spectrum’ could be made available if the ambitious scheme backfires. ‘We would admit we failed and try a new approach. We would hang a ‘for sale’ sign on the spectrum,’ he said.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics: How The BPI Cherry Picks Its Averages To Pretend File Sharers Spend Less | Techdirt

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics: How The BPI Cherry Picks Its Averages To Pretend File Sharers Spend Less | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've written more than a few times about how multiple studies have shown time and time again that those who file share tend to spend more on buying music than those who don't.

 

We've also talked about how the RIAA absolutely hates this fact and tries to dance around it at all costs. The latest move comes from RIAA sister organization, BPI (basically the UK RIAA), which has released a report (pdf) that they claim shows the opposite:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Oakland Raiders Hack NFL Blackout Rules In Real Life By Shrinking Stadium | Techdirt

Oakland Raiders Hack NFL Blackout Rules In Real Life By Shrinking Stadium | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I've made it no secret that I think sports leagues need to better embrace getting their product out to as many viewers as possible. Internet streaming could be a boon to growing fanbases if the leagues weren't so busy locking their own streams up and trying to shut everyone else down. And the real dingleberry on top of the crap sundae is that even if you buy one of the major sports leagues' streaming packages, you get smacked with blackout rules every time you want to watch your home team.

 

Still, as if that weren't enough, some leagues extend blackout rules to broadcast television, setting abitrary threshholds for stadium attendance or else no TV broadcast. Can you imagine anything stupider? Particularly for the NFL, a league whose sport is flatout better experienced on television, where fans can check on their fantasy teams while they take in commercials, a wonderful revenue stream for the league and broadcast partners alike?

In the case of the NFL, the rule is that teams have to have 85% of their capacity sold by the Thursday before a game to keep the TV blackout rule from being triggered. Well, the Oakland Raiders, one team who has more trouble than most getting fans into the stands (because they're horrible), has a plan to get around the NFL blackout rules. This amazing plan is...covering up a bunch of the seats in O.co Coliseum to reduce capacity and thereby increase the percentage of filled seats for their games.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Broadcom's new chip could bring 150 Mbps mobile broadband to your phone or tablet | GigaOM Tech News

Broadcom's new chip could bring 150 Mbps mobile broadband to your phone or tablet | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just because phones and tablets are now taking advantage of fast LTE networks doesn’t mean we can’t get ready for the next big thing. That’s exactly what Broadcom is doing. On Tuesday, the company announced what it calls the smallest LTE-Advanced modem for future smartphones and tablets. Broadcom’s silicon is expected to boost mobile broadband speeds while saving battery life at the same time.

 

The chip with the endearing name of BCM21892 is sampling now to hardware partners and expected to be in production by next year. So don’t look for any smartphones or tablets this year that use it. That’s OK because LTE-Advanced networks are still a future event as well. But once they’re here, good ol’ BCM21892 can take advantage of them with downloads up to 150 Mbps with uploads topping out at 50 Mbps.

 

Technically the radio interface on Broadcom’s new chip still falls in the plain old LTE category. Only when Broadcom boosts speeds to 300 Mbps over 20 MHz of spectrum will it really be LTE-Advanced as defined by the standards bodies. That said, these chips will support carrier aggregation, which is an LTE-Advanced technique.

 

Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.