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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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H-P will replace Verizon for web-hosting services on HealthCare.gov | Wall Street Journal

H-P will replace Verizon for web-hosting services on HealthCare.gov | Wall Street Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Since the site launched on Oct. 1, a number of outages in the Verizon data center have blocked customers from completing the process of
enrolling in coverage in all 50 states, including 14 that are running their own marketplaces rather than relying on HealthCare.gov.

On Oct. 29, a storage device in the data center malfunctioned and led to an outage as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to a
congressional committee about the rollout's troubles. Mrs. Sebelius blamed Verizon for the failures in her testimony, saying, "It is the Verizon server that failed, not HealthCare.gov."

The website was also down for a 16-hour period on Oct. 27. Other
components of the HealthCare.gov website crashed frequently after the marketplace launched.


The Department of Health and Human Services will replace Verizon Communications Inc.'s Terremark subsidiary as its web-hosting provider for the federal health-insurance marketplace, according to people familiar with the matter, presenting a new challenge to the rollout of the Obama administration's signature health-care initiative.


HHS won't renew its contract with Terremark and instead awarded a new contract over the summer to Hewlett-Packard.  Hewlett-Packard will take over the HealthCare.gov web-hosting work from Verizon at the end of March.


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Critics say U.S. tech companies could suffer in warning against China-based cloud services | NetworkWorld.com

Critics say U.S. tech companies could suffer in warning against China-based cloud services | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A congressional commission that warned U.S. companies that using China-based cloud services posed a security risk is unfair and could lead to retaliation against American tech companies, critics say.


The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its annual report to Congress this week, urging lawmakers and the President Barack Obama administration to take action to curtail the Chinese government's "large-scale cyberespionage campaign against the United States."


China-based hackers have "successfully targeted the networks of U.S. government and private organizations," the commission said. Those targets have included the Department of Defense and private companies.


China-based cloud services are a particular threat to U.S. organizations because of the relationship between China's Ministry of State Security (the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency) and the Chongqing Special Cloud Computing Zone, the commission said. The ties between the two represent a "potential espionage threat to foreign companies that might use cloud computing services provided from the zone or base operations there."


While acknowledging the risk of doing business in China, Daniel Castro, senior analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington research institution, said the commission's argument could be used to warn against storing data in a cloud service based in any country.


"That same mentality (if exercised by other countries) is destructive to U.S. tech companies because we want to be exporters of data services," Castro told CSOonline Thursday. "If we're saying you can't trust data because of where it's stored, well that message is going to come back and bite us."


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Mexico to host WTIS from December 4 - 6 | Voice&Data.com

Mexico to host WTIS from December 4 - 6 | Voice&Data.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The 11th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) will be held in Mexico from December 4-6, 2013. It will be co-hosted by ITU and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), Mexico's telecommunications and broadcasting regulator.


The WTIS, open to all the membership, is primarily targeted at those responsible for ICT statistics in relevant Ministries, regulatory agencies, telecommunication operating companies and national statistical offices. Experts interested in the subject of information society measurements are also welcome to attend the meeting.


"The WTIS 2013 will feature an international high-level panel debate on the topics of monitoring international development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development goals, as well as national coordination," ITU said in a statement.


"The other sessions of the WTIS 2013 will address topics such as data quality assurance, measuring ICT and gender, and digital broadcasting. It will also discuss the topic of big data and evolving areas in the mobile sector, such the measurement of machine-to-machine connections and LTE-advanced services. Countries are invited to present their data collection and dissemination platforms during the event," it said.


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What Burma’s Bad Internet and the NSA Surveillance Scandal Have in Common | Slate.com

What Burma’s Bad Internet and the NSA Surveillance Scandal Have in Common | Slate.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In late July, strange things started happening to Burma’s Internet. For about two weeks, the network—already sluggish at the best of times—sputtered and slowed to a crawl before going completely dark in the early morning of Aug. 5. The blackout came after numerous disruptions in the power supply to underground fiber-optic cables cut the country off from its only international subsea Internet cable.


The timing of the outages, close to the 25th anniversary of the massive 1988 democratic uprising that brought activist Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence, raised a few eyebrows, but government engineers in the now nominally democratic state repeatedly denied any foul play, pointing instead to technical problems with the country’s Internet. After all, years of mismanagement by a paranoid military dictatorship had ravaged every sector in the country, including telecommunications.


When the Internet continued to suffer minor outages and slowdowns throughout the fall, many started asking: Why does Burma’s Internet break so much? The answer, surprisingly, tells us a lot about the current National Security Agency surveillance scandal in the United States.


People frequently think of the Internet as a gigantic cloud, magically connecting the world. In reality, at its core, the Internet is a series of long, hard wires that wrap around the world, connecting country to country and continent to continent. (The late Sen. Ted Stevens was sort of right!) Telecommunications infrastructure hasn’t changed much since the time of the telegraph—the materials in the cables have simply been upgraded from copper to fiberglass. The more long-haul international Internet links a country has with the outside world, the more stable its Internet is.


Burma officially hooks into the worldwide Internet in three places. The majority of traffic is routed over one “dry” link to Thailand and one “wet,” or subsea, cable connection known as SEA-ME-WE 3. A meager overland link to China also exists but has operated intermittently over the past few months because of upgrades, flooding, and technical glitches.


For scale, there are 10 subsea cables that connect into the New York City area alone. The United States has about 50 submarine cables in addition to a vast amount (currently not publicly quantified) of cross-border terrestrial Internet links.


Unlike the United States, Burma has never had an extensive wired infrastructure. Internet penetration rates are thought to be about 1 percent, but only 1 percent of all homes in the country have a fixed phone line. Cable television network? Forget it. Myanmar Post and Telecommunications, the government body that oversees the construction and functioning of the Internet, is essentially wiring the country from scratch.


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The USTR's Revolving Door With Copyright And Patent Maximalists Removes All Credibility | Techdirt.com

The USTR's Revolving Door With Copyright And Patent Maximalists Removes All Credibility | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tim Lee, over at the Washington Post's The Switch, has an excellent, detailed look at why the USTR seems to think that patent and copyright maximalism is in the best interests of America. There are two key reasons, which I'll paraphrase as (1) the employees at USTR have strong connections to copyright and patent maximalists, and there's a constant revolving door between USTR and IP maximalists, and (2) they're basically ignorant of how the digital world works today.

The ignorance issue is disturbing, but somewhat understandable. As we pointed out just recently, the USTR relies heavily on Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs), which are deeply involved in these things. Members get access to the documents -- much more access than even Congress, and certainly a lot more access than the public which gets none at all. The IP ITAC is almost entirely made up of legacy industry players who come from a different era, and who know little about today's innovation. In fact, they tend to fight against innovation. As Lee notes, the USTR used to work mostly with exporters -- companies who ship stuff to foreign countries, and their general outlook on everything is from that perspective. But that makes no sense when you're talking about information. Rather than crafting export policies, they're creating information infrastructure policy, when the very flow of information is critical to innovation. And they simply don't get that. At all.


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Wall Street Journal Columnist Repeatedly Gets His Facts Wrong About NSA Surveillance | EFF.org

Wall Street Journal Columnist Repeatedly Gets His Facts Wrong About NSA Surveillance | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Wall Street Journal columnist L. Gordon Crovitz wrote a misleading and error-filled column about NSA surveillance on Monday, based on documents obtained by EFF through our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Since we’ve been poring over the documents for the last week, we felt it was important to set the record straight about what they actually reveal.


Crovitz:


"Edward Snowden thought he was exposing the National Security Agency's lawless spying on Americans. But the more information emerges about how the NSA conducts surveillance, the clearer it becomes that this is an agency obsessed with complying with the complex rules limiting its authority."


That’s an interesting interpretation of the recently released documents, given that one of the two main FISA court opinions released says the NSA was engaged in “systemic overcollection” of American Internet data for years, and committed “longstanding and pervasive violations of the prior orders in this matter.” The court summarized what it called the government’s “frequent failures to comply with the [surveillance program’s] terms” and their “apparent widespread disregard of [FISA court imposed] restrictions.”


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America falls a dismal 31st on ranking of consumer download speeds | VentureBeat.com

America falls a dismal 31st on ranking of consumer download speeds | VentureBeat.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

30 countries have faster Internet than America, at least according to the most recent update from Speedtest.net.  


Speedtest.net compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe, calculating the rolling mean in Mbps. It updated its list this week, and found the U.S. falls far short of countries that are hardly known for being technological powerhouses, including Moldova and Uruguay. 


Mbps, which stands for megabit per second, is a unit of data transfer. 


Hong Kong topped the list, followed by Singapore, Romania, South Korea, and Sweden. 


Speedtest is powered By Ookla, a company that makes applications for broadband testing and Web-based network diagnostics. It claims that its solutions have been adopted by nearly every Internet Service Provider in the world, and that its measurements of speed and quality go “way beyond” what most speed tests do. 


Various reports about Internet speed differ greatly, however. Akamai’s State of the Internet report from July put the U.S. at number nine, below South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Sweden. 


You’d think that in the country that invented the Internet, with one of the world’s most vibrant tech industries, we’d have the fastest Internet.  


But America is a big country in terms of area of population, so building efficient broadband networks can be a challenge. A report from CNN earlier this year said a lack of competition among service providers is also a challenge.


However there is a big push in the U.S. right now to expand broadband access, in an effort to bolster wireless innovation, small businesses, and education.


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Trojan program 'Neverquest' a new threat to online banking users, researchers say | NetworkWorld.com

Trojan program 'Neverquest' a new threat to online banking users, researchers say | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new Trojan program that targets users of online financial services has the potential to spread very quickly over the next few months, security researchers warn.


The malware was first advertised on a private cybercrime forum in July, according to malware researchers from Kaspersky Lab who dubbed it Trojan-Banker.Win32/64.Neverquest.


"By mid-November Kaspersky Lab had recorded several thousand attempted Neverquest infections all around the world," said Sergey Golovanov, malware researcher at Kaspersky Lab, Tuesday in a blog post. "This threat is relatively new, and cybercriminals still aren't using it to its full capacity. In light of Neverquest's self-replication capabilities, the number of users attacked could increase considerably over a short period of time."


Neverquest has most of the features found in other financial malware. It can modify the content of websites opened inside Internet Explorer or Firefox and inject rogue forms into them, it can steal the username and passwords entered by victims on those websites and allow attackers to control infected computers remotely using VNC (Virtual Network Computing).


However, this Trojan program also has some features that make it stand out.


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Kentucky Utility Company Launches Gigabit Service Using FTTP | TeleCompetitor.com

Kentucky Utility Company Launches Gigabit Service Using FTTP | TeleCompetitor.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Small utility company EPB SmartNet said last month that it has deployed the “first gigabit broadband service in Kentucky to be available for business customers.” The gigabit service will be available in EPB’s home market of Russellville, Kentucky (population 7,000). EPB SmartNet is not affiliated with the similarly named company that offers gigabit service in Chattanooga, Tenn.


EPB SmartNet previously deployed a fiber-to-the-premises network serving more than 4,000 homes in the Russellville area. The network uses GPON equipment from Calix.


“We built the network in 2010 and started offering broadband services in late fall 2011,” wrote Robert L. White, general manager and superintendent of the Russellville Electric Plant Board, in an email to Telecompetitor. The network was funded through long-term bonds and eventually will support a smart grid deployment.


“The network was built with gigabit capability in mind,” said White. Accordingly the company did not have to make any major changes to support gigabit connectivity. “Customers are all home run Ethernet back to the ONT at the premises.”


EPB’s gigabit service isn’t cheap. The current price is $1495 a month, making it easy to see why the service currently is offered only to businesses.


White said the company plans to offer gigabit service to residential customers in the future. But he said, “We currently have not set a time table for that decision.”


EPB is in the first phase of its smart grid initiative, said White. “We have officially kicked off our AMI deployment which will eventually lead to other smart grid initiatives such as demand response and in-home automation.”


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Pentagon deal will free up spectrum for LTE | Rethink Wireless

Next year will see the biggest sale of new licensed spectrum in the US since 2008, with the FCC preparing an incentive auction for frequencies held by broadcasters. An important staging post has been passed, with a deal between the broadcast industry and the Department of Defense (DoD), to clear some of the band earmarked for the AWS-3 auction next spring.


The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Pentagon have come to an agreement which will enable the FCC to free up the 1755-1780MHz band as part of the planned auction, which will be the most significant opportunity for operators to increase their licensed spectrum capacity for six years.


The government technology and spectrum body, the NTIA, sent a letter to the FCC detailing the deal, under which the DoD has agreed to move its operations out of the 1755-1780MHz band to the 2025-2110MHz band. That move is enabled by a spectrum sharing pact with the broadcasters, which currently use the higher band for remote news gathering, including video footage transmitted from emergencies.


In March, the NTIA recommended that the 1755-1780MHz spectrum be refarmed for commercial wireless broadband services on a shared basis, and that could pave the way for these two bands to be paired. Scott Bergmann, VP of regulatory affairs for the operators' trade body, the CTIA, said in a statement: "We are hopeful that the 1755-1780MHz band is ready in time to pair with 2155-2180MHz band, as the industry has long sought. Pairing these bands will maximize their value to industry and consumers alike, and generate significant revenue for the US Treasury."


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Orange studying Canadian MVNO market | TeleGeography.com

Orange Horizons, a division of French giant Orange Group, is examining a potential entry into Canada’s mobile market, reports the Globe & Mail.


Representatives of the French telecoms group recently held ‘exploratory talks’ with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Industry Canada and Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service about the potential opportunity for market entry, the newspaper said.


Sources added that Orange is considering launching a Canadian mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), and is not looking at acquiring its own wireless spectrum or radio network.

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Sinclair Broadcasting Hires Washington Policy Point Person | Multichannel.com

Sinclair Broadcasting Hires Washington Policy Point Person | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Rebecca Hanson, who has been the FCC's point person for broadcasters looking to participate in the spectrum incentive auctions, is leaving the commission to join a broadcaster who has signaled it is not looking to participate: Sinclair Broadcasting.


Sinclair has decided it needs a presence in D.C. as it "navigate[s] the challenges and opportunities that [it] will face in the coming years," according to Sinclair President, to whom Hanson will report in her post as SVP, strategy and policy.


Hanson has been senior advisor on broadcast spectrum in the Media Bureau and a member of the incentive auction task force.


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MN: Technology credited with rural revival – what if we boosted technology? | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Technology credited with rural revival – what if we boosted technology? | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Over the weekend the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story of rural revival. The article features towns such as Osakis, Jackson, Mankato, Brainerd, Kiester, Benson, Hancock and Morris and notes their progress and growth. Technology – broadband technology – is given some of the credit for progress and growth. That’s exciting and I’m sure that technology has played a role BUT it also feels as if maybe the towns could do even better with more technology or as if maybe we’re being satisfied with minimal improvements when we should be aiming higher.


For example, the starts by talking about dialup access…


“If you don’t have to endure dial-up modems, it really changes everything,” said Deborah Morse-Kahn, a historian who works from a home in the woods along the North Shore. “I have a FedEx truck or a UPS truck here every other day, and I am constantly running into people I used to know in the Twin Cities who are coming up here permanently, semi-retiring, still eager to be connected to the world — but also loving this sense we have here of living in the middle of a National Geographic special, with bears fishing for trout in a stream near your home.”


Comparing the current access with dialup is damning with faint praise. Some parts of the North Shore are well served, other parts will be well served soon but there are some areas – the Cloquet Valley – that are stuck with just better than dialup access. It might be OK for semi-retired residents who are looking to keep connected but it isn’t adequate for many home-based businesses or anything larger.


Imagine the multiple generations that could move Up North if broadband was sufficient to run a full time business…


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Teki system lets patients visit the doctor via Kinect | GizMag.com

Teki system lets patients visit the doctor via Kinect | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Like many other parts of the world, Spain's Basque Country is currently faced with an increasing population of senior citizens placing strain upon the limited resources of the health care system. That's why the Teki project was instituted. It allows patients with chronic conditions to quickly check in with their doctors via an internet-connected Microsoft Kinect unit, thus reducing the number of time-consuming office visits, and catching problems before they require hospitalization.


Teki was developed by technology services company Accenture, along with partners including Microsoft.


Users receive a Kinect box that is hooked up to their TV and internet, along with a wireless heart rate monitor that measures the pulse via the finger, and a spirometer for measuring respiratory levels.


On a regular basis, via an interface on the TV screen, patients communicate with their doctor using video conferencing, voice communications, or text messaging. At that time, the doctor can check their vitals, inquire about their symptoms, and answer any questions.


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WA: City of Seattle and CTC Release Report on Future of Cable Broadband | CTCNet.com

A new report prepared by CTC for the City of Seattle analyzes the current state of cable broadband technology. The report, titled "The State of the Art and Evolution of Cable Television and Broadband Technology," documents the need for cable systems to upgrade their network capabilities if they are to keep pace with growing demands, including access to video content, Voice Over IP, and providing wireless carriers with backhaul capacity.

Cable, which utilizes both fiber optic and coaxial components, is the dominant home and business broadband technology in the United States, and represents the main future of broadband for most homes and businesses. New applications and network uses are placing increased demands on the existing commercial cable infrastructure in many communities. This need for growth poses a number of challenges, in part due to the demands of streaming video sites, which provide an alternative source of programming content to the cable operators' own video services.


The report concludes that the only way to satisfy current and future increases in bandwidth demands is for cable operators to upgrade the IP data components of their systems, and by maintaining neutrality toward online video content. These upgrades, anticipated in the next five years and beyond, are necessary for cable providers to keep pace with other emerging technologies, such as fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP).

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Kim Dotcom's Mega cloud storage service gets an official iPhone app | Engadget.com

Kim Dotcom's Mega cloud storage service gets an official iPhone app | Engadget.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that Kim Dotcom's cloud storage service Mega is available to the public, it's finally found time to launch the iOS app it's been promising.


With its Android app already four months old, the new Mega iPhone app includes many of the same features as its counterpart, including file previews and easy sharing, but currently lacks automatic camera syncing -- although that is coming, along with iPad support.


What's next for Mega? It's on course to launch its Sync tool for Windows, Mac and Linux in the coming weeks, giving it time to concentrate on adding new security and messaging features to the cloud service in the new year.

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Comcast Rings in 2014 With Higher Rates & A Cheeky Broadcast TV Surcharge | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Rings in 2014 With Higher Rates & A Cheeky Broadcast TV Surcharge | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s happy days at Comcast’s marketing and public relations department. How does a cable company pocket an extra $1.50 a month from 21.6 million cable TV customers without facing the wrath of the masses? Blame it on greedy broadcasters and quietly bank up to $32.4 million a month in new revenue.


Comcast wants to break out the cost of some of its programming disputes with local stations from your monthly cable bill and add an extra $1.50 monthly surcharge the company is calling a “Broadcast TV Fee” starting in the new year.


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Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance | EFF.org

Busting Eight Common Excuses for NSA Mass Surveillance | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We’ve heard from lots of folks who are passionately concerned about the NSA’s mass spying, but are struggling to get their friends and family to understand the problem and join the over a half-million people who have demanded change through stopwatching.us and elsewhere.


Of course, you can show them the Stop Watching Us video and this great segment from Stephen Colbert. And if you’d like a detailed refresher on all the ways NSA is conducing mass surveillance, ProPublica has a handy explainer here.


You can also check out this new video from filmmaker Brian Knappenberger (writer and director of We Are Legion: the Story of the Hacktivists):


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Cable Companies See Jump in Broadband-Only Customers | DSLReports.com

Cable Companies See Jump in Broadband-Only Customers | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Suddenlink executives recently suggested that the company is seeing a sharp uptick in the number of broadband-only customers who aren't taking TV service.


Similarly Charter CEO Tom Rutledge recently expressed surprise at the fact more customers are going broadband only and forgoing traditional television services.


Add Time Warner Cable to the list of companies confirming the trend. According to Time Warner Cable CFO Arthur Minson, Time Warner Cable is seeing an uptick in users who take their faster "wideband" products (30, 50, 75 or 100 Mbps tiers). Minson says they're seeing a notable increase in broadband only users, which he views as a sales opportunity:


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CWA urges FCC to increase E-rate funding | Speed Matters Blog

CWA urges FCC to increase E-rate funding | Speed Matters Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When the FCC sought comment on proposals to update the E-rate program of support to schools and libraries, CWA responded. E-rate is the federal program which helps most U.S. schools and libraries acquire affordable Internet access, and CWA has long supported the program.


On November 8, though, CWA offered reply comments. These were that the FCC should:


•    Increase funding for the E-rate program. The current $2.38 billion funding is inadequate for the present, much less support higher-capacity networks and inside connections necessary to meet growing demand in schools and libraries.

•    Simultaneously take action on universal service fund (USF) contribution reform, in order to meet the funding needs of schools and libraries.

•    Adopt school system connectivity targets of 100 Mbps increasing to 1 Gbps per 1,000 users, and Wide Area Network of 10 Gpbs per 1,000 users as minimum benchmarks for school connectivity.
•    Use E-Rate as part of a larger program to spur job-creating investment in high-capacity networks to the surrounding community.

CWA is not alone in its sentiments. At an event hosted by The Washington Post, “Officials from the White House, the Federal Communications Commission and Congress said... it is time to redouble federal programs that make broadband access more affordable and accessible to U.S. citizens.”


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EFF wants the FBI to release surveillance rationale | ComputerWorld.com

EFF wants the FBI to release surveillance rationale | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation should make public a legal opinion it used to justify a past telephone records surveillance program because other agencies may still be relying on the document for surveillance justifications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued in court Tuesday.


EFF lawyer Mark Rumold asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to order the FBI to disclose a 2010 legal opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, telling the judges that the OLC report amounts to final policy that agencies are required to disclose under open-records law. The EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the OLC opinion in February 2011 and later filed a lawsuit after the DOJ rejected its request.


The FBI telephone surveillance program, which operated from 2003 to 2007, isn't directly related to a controversial U.S. National Security Agency telephone records collection program disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden earlier this year. However it's possible for other surveillance agencies to use the OLC opinion to justify their surveillance programs going forward, Rumold said after the hearing. It doesn't appear that the OLC limited its opinion to the FBI, he said.


It's important to make the opinion public because it shows "the blossoming of secret surveillance law," he said.


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Why do bad patents win? | NetworkWorld.com

I will admit it. I was very disappointed to see that a Texas jury found Newegg liable for $2.3 million in a case brought by TQP Development. TQP Development is a "non-practicing entity," or patent troll. It is an entity that exists solely to enforce claims for patents that it controls. I am fundamentally opposed to these kinds of claims, especially as it relates to software.


I know the arguments - "patents ensure that those who do the groundbreaking work can reap the rewards of their ingenuity". "Fewer people would fund R&D if they did not have the protection of patents". "Even though companies like TQP appear to be no more than parasites on the living bodies of business entities, they are entitled to be paid for the use of these patents which they paid good and valuable consideration for". Sorry, none of these persuade me to feel the least bit sympathetic to TQP and other patent trolls.


Alas as much as I would like to think so, my own personal feelings are not determinative of whether a patent has been violated or not and what the damages are. Love them or hate them, the law is the law. What bothers me about cases like this is that very often the patents that are the subject matter of the lawsuit should never have been granted in the first place. There is prior use for many of these technologies and techniques that are the subject of the patents.


Our judicial system, based on trial by a jury of your peers, unfortunately fails us in many of these cases, though. These cases involve issues that are either too technical or complex for most jurors to truly grip. That is to say, the level of expertise needed to truly understand and decide the issues in question is just not present.


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DoD, broadcasters ink deal to free up 1755MHz-1780MHz band for mobile use | TeleGeography.com

The US Department of Defense (DoD) and the broadcasting industry have reportedly struck a deal that will clear the way for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction the 1755MHz-1780MHz band as part of its AWS-3 auction, a move long sought after by spectrum-hungry wireless carriers.


According to Fierce Wireless, under the terms of the deal the DoD will move its operations off the 1755MHz-1780MHz band to the 2025MHz-2110MHz band.


The online journal notes that TV broadcasters currently use the 2025MHz-2110MHz band for remote news gathering operations, including the transmission of video footage from the scenes of emergencies.

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Time Warner Cable Follows Comcast's Lead Offering HBO With "Starter" Cable TV | Stop the Cap!

Time Warner Cable Follows Comcast's Lead Offering HBO With "Starter" Cable TV | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable is following Comcast offering customers that don’t care about the majority of cable channels the opportunity to subscribe to HBO with a bare bones cable TV package.


“Starter TV” offers a stripped down package of 20 channels, mostly local over-the-air stations for $19.99 a month for the first year targeting cord-cutters and cord-nevers that don’t subscribe to television packages. A bundle including Starter TV and HBO is now being marketed on Time Warner Cable’s home page for $29.99 a month.


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House Communications Subcommittee Schedules FCC Oversight Hearing | Multichannel.com

House Communications Subcommittee Schedules FCC Oversight Hearing | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The House Communications Subcommittee has slated Dec. 12 for the FCC oversight hearing chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) signaled last week was coming.


It will be the first hearing with the newly constituted, full complement of commissioners--FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Michael O'Rielly were both sworn in earlier this month.


Walden said he expected it to be "an open, wide ranging discussion that will include everything from cell phones on airplanes to FCC process reforms and the status of the incentive auctions."


Also likely to come up at the hearing, Walden said, is the status of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to eliminate the UHF discount, which it voted on in September.

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