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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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Mobile Internet use in Minnesota: Residentnial Report | Blandin on Broadband

Connect Minnesota released results of two surveys this week. Residential use of mobile broadband and business use. There are a couple of observations that seem to emerge in both reports – such as rural use lags urban use – but otherwise I think the reports are different enough to merit two posts. This post is about the residential use.


Here are some of their highlights…


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CA: Suddenlink makes aggressive move with Digital 395 bandwidth | Steve Blum's Blog

CA: Suddenlink makes aggressive move with Digital 395 bandwidth | Steve Blum's Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

No longer constrained by severely limited backhaul capacity, Suddenlink has cranked up Internet speeds for its customers in Mammoth Lakes and is planning to do the same in the other eastern California communities it serves. Customers with service plans that delivered 1.5 to 3 Mbps are now getting 15 Mbps at no extra cost, and can upgrade to a 30 Mbps tier if they want. That’s according to Jason Oelkers, Suddenlink’s California system manager, speaking today at the Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium annual forum in Bishop, which sits astride the route.


The increased speeds are made possible by the Digital 395 middle mile project, which stretches from Reno and Carson City in Nevada, south through Mono, Inyo and eastern Kern counties to Barstow, generally paralleling U.S. highway 395. Other ISPs in the region, including Schat, Lone Pine TV and IWVISP, are scrambling to do the same.


Now that the California Public Utilities Commission has given the project an extra $10 million, work is underway to complete the final nine mile gap between the northern and southern halves of the system, and extend service to the town of June Lake. Other segments of the network will be finished as budget and environmental clearances allow.


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Zayo Group introduces 100Gbps connectivity in Europe | TeleGeography.com

Colorado-based Zayo Group, an international provider of bandwidth infrastructure services, has announced the expansion of its 100Gbps wavelength services in Europe, beginning with availability between London and Amsterdam, providing connectivity to crucial traffic aggregation points and IP nodes.


Zayo began the implementation of its 100Gbps wavelength services across its US network in late 2012. In recent months the technology has been rolled out along the eastern corridor serving major markets including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and the western corridor between Seattle and Los Angeles.

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House Judiciary Releases Internet Tax Principles | Broadcasting & Cable

As Congress ponders Internet tax legislation, the chairman of the House committee with jurisdiction over the issue has laid out basic principles to guide the discussion. They include a level playing field for brick and mortar, "brick and click" and exclusively online sales and a Web take on the Boston Tea Party: "No regulation without representation."

"The aim of the principles is to provide a starting point for discussion in the House of Representatives," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Goodlatte said the principles are the product of input from taxpayers, business, trade groups and government entities.

The principles are:


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Homeless, Unemployed, and Surviving on Bitcoins | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Homeless, Unemployed, and Surviving on Bitcoins | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Jesse Angle is homeless, living on the streets of Pensacola, Florida. Sometimes he spends the night at a local church. Other nights, he sleeps behind a building in the heart of the city, underneath a carport that protects him from the rain.


Each morning, he wakes up, grabs some food, and makes his way to Martin Luther King Plaza, a downtown park built where the trolley tracks used to run. He likes this park because his friends hang out there too, and it’s a good place to pick up some spending money. But he doesn’t panhandle. He uses the internet.


The park offers free wireless access, and with his laptop, Angle watches YouTube videos in exchange for bitcoins, the world’s most popular digital currency.


For every video he watches, Angle gets 0.0004 bitcoins, or about 5 cents, thanks to a service, called BitcoinGet, that shamelessly drives artificial traffic to certain online clips. He can watch up to 12 videos a day, which gets him to about 60 cents. And he can beef up this daily take with Bitcoin Tapper, a mobile app that doles out about 0.000133 bitcoins a day — a couple of pennies — if he just taps on a digital icon over and over again. Like the YouTube service, this app isn’t exactly the height of internet sophistication — it seeks to capture your attention so it can show you ads — but for Angle, it’s a good way to keep himself fed.


Angle, 42, is on food stamps, but that never quite gets him through the month. The internet provides the extra money he needs to buy a meal each and every day. Since setting up a bitcoin wallet about three or four months ago, he has earned somewhere between four or five bitcoins — about $500 to $630 today — through YouTube videos, Bitcoin Tapper, and the occasional donation. And when he does odd jobs for people around Pensacola — here in the physical world — he still gets paid in bitcoin, just because it’s easier and safer. He doesn’t have to worry as much about getting robbed.


Jesse Angle isn’t your average homeless person. But he shows that bitcoin is changing the world in more ways than you might imagine. Some believe it could provide a major boost to the country’s 640,000 homeless, not only in providing extra pocket change for those on the street, but by helping urban homeless shelters more quickly secure donations for hot meals, beds, and blankets.


Angle learned about bitcoin through Sean’s Outpost, a Pensacola charity that has raised about $32,000 through a program that solicits donations in bitcoins rather than American dollars. So far, it has received donations from 25 different countries, and this has bought almost 16,000 meals for Pensacola homeless.


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Unlocking Mobile Devices Could Give BYOD a Boost | NetworkWorld.com

Unlocking Mobile Devices Could Give BYOD a Boost | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Alarmed at what it describes as inadequate competition and consumer choice in the wireless sector, the Department of Commerce is petitioning federal regulators to write rules mandating that carriers unlock cell phones, tablets and other mobile device, freeing users to operate their devices on other networks.


The Commerce Department's appeal to the Federal Communications Commission for making unlocking a standard industry practice echoes a similar position staked out by the White House, which endorsed unlocking in response to an online petition earlier this year.


"Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle," Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of Commerce and the administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), said in a statement.


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T-Mobile US extends LTE coverage to 154 markets | TeleGeography

T-Mobile US has confirmed that it has extended its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to a total of 154 markets, up from 116 in July.


According to a new LTE deployment fact sheet provided by the carrier, T-Mobile’s LTE network now covers around 180 million potential customers, up from 157 million two months previously.


The mobile giant has also reiterated its intention to offer LTE technology in 200 markets by the end of 2013, covering around 200 million potential customers.

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Canada: Wind, Eastlink confirm bidding in 700MHz auction | TeleGeography

Canadian cableco Eastlink and second-tier mobile operator Wind Mobile confirmed yesterday that they will bid in January’s 700MHz 4G mobile licence auction, alongside ‘dead cert’ entrants Rogers, Telus, Bell, Videotron, SaskTel and MTS.


In an interview with Cartt.ca, Eastlink’s CEO Lee Bragg confirmed that the cableco – which currently offers mobile services in its heartland Atlantic region but also holds 3G/4G frequencies in Alberta and Ontario – will bid for 700MHz licences in its existing cable network/mobile licence footprint, while noting that the blocks on offer in the upcoming sale are geographically bigger (e.g. ‘Alberta’) compared to the AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) territory licences the company won in 2008, further helping plans for future 4G network expansion.


Meanwhile, Wind CEO Tony Lacavera told the Globe & Mail that his company also intended to place bids on 14 January, and stated that ‘there is a dire need for additional wireless spectrum in Canada to ensure the long-term success of any independent wireless provider’. Another second-tier cellco, Public Mobile, is also expected to bid, according to statements from its private equity owners earlier this year, although financially-struggling rival Mobilicity is not expected to be in a position to participate.


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Twitter’s Third Act: A New Design to Court the Mainstream | AllThingsD.com

Twitter’s Third Act: A New Design to Court the Mainstream | AllThingsD.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Twitter has lots of users. It wants a lot more.


That is, in part, why it is planning a massive overhaul of its mobile apps, designed to make the service more appealing to mainstream users.


You should get a first glimpse of Twitter’s new look in the not-too-distant future. Sources said the company is waiting to show off its new design until sometime after Apple releases its iOS 7 software update, scheduled for this Wednesday. (Twitter will release a small update after iOS 7 launches, with the more significant one to come later on.) It will be Twitter’s third major interface change in the company’s seven-year history.


The company declined to comment for this article.


Gone will be the four tabs at the bottom of the app’s screen, as the New Yorker’s Matt Buchanan first noted, replaced instead by swiping through different content-focused streams. There will be the main reverse-chronological stream that current users are familiar with, as well as a stream for interactions between other users and conversations they’re having. Notably new, there will also be a stream dedicated entirely to photos shared on Twitter (an idea that Facebook included with its segmented News Feed redesign months ago).


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IL: Make no little tech plans: Chicago wants to be like Seoul | Crain's Chicago Business

IL: Make no little tech plans: Chicago wants to be like Seoul | Crain's Chicago Business | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The city of Chicago released its technology plan today, all 100 pages of it, which Chief Technology Officer John Tolva effectively converted to a tweet during a speech to the City Club of Chicago.


"After he took office, Mayor Emanuel told me, 'I want Chicago to be the Seoul, South Korea, of North America," Mr. Tolva told the lunchtime audience at Maggiano's Little Italy. Seoul is famous for having the fastest, most ubiquitous broadband in the world.


Paul Green, a City Club board member and Roosevelt University professor, couldn't resist the opening. "That means the DMZ is the Wisconsin border and the governor of Wisconsin would be you-know-who."


You can read the full report, absent the one-liners, below. It boils down to a few key areas: technology infrastructure, education and jobs, and using data to deliver government services more efficiently.


The good news is the city already has been working on all those things. For example, this week it said Comcast Corp. has doubled the number of low-income residents who are getting discounted ($9.99 a month) high-speed broadband access to 14,000.


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Retrans debate widens rift between operators and programmers on NCTA board | FierceCable.com

Retrans debate widens rift between operators and programmers on NCTA board | FierceCable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the biggest beneficiaries of clashes between pay TV distributors and broadcasters may be Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm hired by Time Warner Cable in 2009 to help it persuade members of Congress and the FCC to reform retransmission-consent rules which have helped CBS Corp., Fox and Comcast's NBC demand increased fees to carry their TV stations.


TWC paid Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock $200,000 in 2009, the year before it formed the American Television Alliance, a retransmission-consent reform coalition backed by DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Verizon, Cablevision and several other distributors and programmers who don't own TV stations, according to lobbying records obtained by FierceCable. ATVA now pays Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock $600,000 annually, and records show that Time Warner Cable has paid the firm an additional $240,000 each year since 2010. Mark Isakowitz, the firm's president, is named as president of ATVA in the non-profit coalition's tax filings. Caroline Cain, office manager for Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, is ATVA's secretary and treasurer.


Time Warner Cable is one of the largest members of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the cable industry's top trade group, and CEO Glenn Britt sits on NCTA's board of directors. But with about half of NCTA's board consisting of executives tied to companies that own TV stations, including Comcast, Walt Disney Co. and Fox, NCTA hasn't taken a stance on the retrans debate.


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ALA calls for leap forward in E-rate goals; streamlined program | American Library Association

On Monday, the American Library Association (ALA) asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to accelerate deployment of the high-capacity broadband needed to serve students and learners of all ages through our nation’s libraries and schools. ALA calls for new strategic investments in telecommunications and broadband infrastructure, as well as program changes to improve cost-effectiveness and streamline processes to enable greater participation.


America’s 16,417 public libraries serve more than 77 million computer users each year, yet only half of these multi-user outlets offer Internet speeds above the FCC’s home broadband recommendation of 4 Mbps. Through these Internet connections, libraries support the education, employment and e-government resources and services all increasingly moving to “the cloud.”


“The nation is facing a sea change in what robust technology infrastructure can enable, and libraries are perfectly positioned to light the way forward and ensure no one is excluded from digital opportunity,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “America’s libraries must move from basic connectivity to high-capacity broadband so our students and our communities can compete globally. The E-rate program is essential for fulfilling this digital promise.”


Culminating two months of intensive review and research, the ALA’s response to the FCC’s most comprehensive E-rate proceeding since the program’s 1997 inception acknowledges this enormous opportunity for advancing the E-rate program. Monday’s filing also aligns with President Obama’s ConnectED goal to connect America’s students through libraries and schools to the Internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within five years.


The ALA calls for new E-rate funding to jumpstart and sustain high-capacity and high-speed Internet connections that support digital learning and economic development through libraries and schools. The current funding cap on the program consistently falls far short of meeting basic demand for Internet-enabled education and learning services, and technology trends clearly show needs and future capabilities only are growing. To address this, ALA supports a two-pronged approach: 1) New temporary funding is needed to support the build-out of high-capacity broadband networks and especially provide increased support for libraries with the lowest levels of broadband connectivity. 2) A permanent increase in funding is not only justified but is a sound investment for the country.


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The U.S.'s crap infrastructure threatens the cloud | InfoWorld.com

The U.S.'s crap infrastructure threatens the cloud | InfoWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to the broadband testing firm NetIndex, U.S. consumer broadband speeds rank 33rd in the world, right behind the Ukraine. Personally, I pay more than $1,500 per month for 30/30MB fiber for our office. This is ridiculously expensive and slower than the average household Internet in many other countries. It's a serious impediment to the United States maintaining its economic competitiveness -- and to enabling all of us to take full advantage of the cloud, which is clearly the next phase of computing.


As a patriotic American, I find the current political atmosphere where telecom lobbyists set the agenda to be a nightmare. All over the world, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies in the United States work to prevent it from coming here. Some of those monopolies are even drafting "model legislation" to protect themselves from both community broadband and commercial competition.


Poor laws and regulations have protected a duopoly in most areas of the country. You can buy Internet from the local cable monopoly or the local phone monopoly, period. Neither have much motivation to make it much faster nor any cheaper.


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Sinclair emerges as a major broadcasting player | USAToday.com

Sinclair emerges as a major broadcasting player | USAToday.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

During an analyst conference call in August, David Smith, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, downplayed a possible new federal rule that could put prevent the fast-growing company from buying up more stations. "I am not concerned about it right now," he said.


Pressed on the issue, Smith struck a more defiant note. "When you look at trying to constrain broadcasters in this competitive landscape today, to me, it doesn't make a lot of sense," he said. "We really need to be unshackled from that in order to compete against these (cable, satellite and phone) companies."


Smith's aggressive buying binge in recent months has shown that the unshackling of Sinclair is well underway, a development that pleases investors but has regulators and media watchdogs on alert.


In the last 2½ years, Sinclair nearly doubled its portfolio of TV stations to 108 from 58, becoming the largest broadcaster in terms of number of stations. It will own and operate 149 stations when its pending deals are completed.


"They're definitely entering big-time," says Craig Aaron, CEO of Free Press, a media watchdog organization.


With interest rates low and ad dollars plentiful, Sinclair is hardly alone in scooping up TV stations. Other companies — including Gannett, Media General, Nexstar Broadcasting and Tribune Co. — also have bought or announced deals to acquire more stations this year. (Gannett owns USA TODAY.)


But Sinclair's singularly torrid pace of growth has fueled debate about enduring questions on concentration of media ownership and fresh attempts by federal regulators to scale back broadcasters' ambitions.


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Six Steps for Moving Your Broadband Project Forward | Craig Settles Blog | RoIsForYou.com

Getting faster better is increasingly becoming an imperative. However, as much as stakeholders can see the value of the a highspeed network, the question of how to get from here to there stymies probably 50% of communities. And they can’t get out of the starting gate.


One major hurdle to moving forward is that folks often don’t know what questions to ask and to whom to ask them. Cities such as Chattanooga and Lafayette get calls and e-mails weekly from those seeking help, but it’s hard to keep your own network running if you’re constantly providing startup consulting.


The question asked 90% of the time is, how are we going to pay for a network? This isn’t a cheap adventure. Once the issue of money is raised, politics rears its head in all its local, state and federal permutations that can produce a morass of fear, uncertainty and doubt that further impedes the go/no-go decisions.


To get your communities to stop circling the question of “how do we get highspeed Internet access?” and get off the dime to actually move forward with a project that has reasonably good chance for success, consider the following six steps.


Your road to better broadband starts here.


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Cable Get Some Concessions In FCC's Special Access Order | Broadcasting & Cable

The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau Wednesday took the next step in collecting data on the marketplace for special access (business) broadband services. The commission plans to use it for one-time analysis to determine if it has to make any changes to its pricing flexibility rules.

The report and order "[clarifies] the scope of the collection to reduce burden where doing so is consistent with our delegated authority and will not impact the Commission's ability to analyze the data; (2) [provides] instructions and record format specifications for submitting information; and (3) [modifies and amends] questions and definitions contained in the collection."

The FCC said it would issue a public notice with deadlines for submission once the new data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget per the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Cable operators got some concessions to their concerns about the scope of the data collection. For example, the FCC clarified that a filer can put "unknown" if it does not know whether a connected location is a building, cell site, or other structure. The FCC had proposed requiring a location type with a latitude and longitude.

Cox and Comcast had argued that they don't necessarily know or keep tabs on the type of structure, and that recreating it for the data collection could be burdensome.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and American Cable Association had asked not to have to provide maps verifying interconnection nodes. The FCC said it would not eliminate those obligations, but would reduce the burdens.


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Comcast's Business-Class VoiceEdge Platform Goes Mobile | Multichannel.com

Comcast's Business-Class VoiceEdge Platform Goes Mobile | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast Business has added several mobile features to VoiceEdge, its cloud-based PBX platform for small- and mid-sized commercial customers, that distributes access to unified communications and video calling features and enables customers to access them via iPhones and Android-powered smartphones.


Comcast said the mobile features are available to both current and new VoiceEdge customers, noting that it helps business customers support bring-your-own device policies. Those added features include the mobile app (Android version sampled at left) that interfaces to communications elements such as voice mail; Teleworker, which brings home the voice capabilities customers typically get in the office; Softphone, an app that lets users make and receive phone from the PC using their business phone number; and Video Calling, which enables point-to-point, HD-quality video calls using Business VoiceEdge phones with built-in cameras.


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Congress Could Throttle Tech Innovation With Two Measly Words | Slate.com

Congress Could Throttle Tech Innovation With Two Measly Words | Slate.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Walking the streets in Palo Alto, Calif., it’s hard to imagine that the rest of the United States is still crawling out of a recession. I suggest we don’t tell the entrepreneurs here, most of whom are 19 to 27 years old—one of the demographics most shaken by the economic downturn. What accounts for this continued growth? Likely, the entrepreneurial spirit of these young people will continue even in difficult times, or perhaps unemployment and under-employment provides more reason to branch off and try something new and innovative. Clearly, the barrier to entry for many business ideas has fallen precipitously. Today, twentysomethings with novel ideas and the ability to write basic software code are inventing multimillion- or even multibillion-dollar iPhone apps (like Instagram). Hard work, ambition, and a healthy skepticism of old ideas and market models are the secret sauce of Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs throughout the United States.


The full utilization of American ingenuity and innovation demands these entrepreneurs, and thankfully there is no shortage of dreamers willing to take big risks and run with ideas, ideas that often seem crazy at first. While innovation can happen just about anywhere—Silicon Valley, a parent’s basement, a college dorm room—in Washington, D.C., policymakers have a different job: It’s less about encouraging than it is about not stifling our promising startups.


In my time in Silicon Valley visiting startups, angel funders, and VCs, no one asked me about new tax breaks or government-sponsored startup incubators. But I heard repeated concerns regarding problems with our immigration policy and numerous accounts of the difficulties navigating our ineffective patent system and how our current implementation of copyright, as opposed to constitutional copyright, discourages innovation, hurts content creators, and reduces the amount of content available for the consumer.


We can harness the incredible resource of human ingenuity, the greatest force for economic growth in history. But in order to do so, Congress needs to use care in creating and updating regulatory and legal structures that promote innovation. And right now, Congress may be poised to weaken what was once a model of forward-looking legislation.


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Canada: SaskTel disconnects ‘Connected’ Wi-Fi | TeleGeography

Provincial Canadian operator SaskTel has shut down its ‘Saskatchewan! Connected’ free wireless internet service, which was launched in four cities across the province six years ago with backing from the Saskatchewan government.


The reason given for termination is a low level of usage of the service, offered in businesses districts and education campuses in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.


However, SaskTel is still offering free Wi-Fi in selected areas and plans to continue deploying hotspots in response to demand.

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AT&T Mobility lines up HSPA+ JV in Wisconsin | TeleGeography

AT&T Mobility plans to replace Element Mobile’s CDMA network in Wisconsin with a new HSPA+ service carrying the AT&T brand, Fierce Wireless has reported. The mobile giant has reportedly reached an agreement with ‘the existing partners in Element Mobile’ to form a new company ‘that will be majority owned by AT&T that will sell services under the AT&T brand to customers in Central Wisconsin’.


Meanwhile, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the new company will be called Lake Mobility and AT&T will own 59.9% of it. The carrier noted that Lake Mobility will continue to operate its CDMA network for at least one year after the transaction closes, in order to complete the HSPA+ overbuild without a loss of service for subscribers.

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FCC to auction H block spectrum in 2014 | ComputerWorld.com

FCC to auction H block spectrum in 2014 | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will sell 10 megahertz of spectrum in the 1900MHz band for commercial mobile services in an auction beginning Jan. 14, the agency announced.


The agency on Friday set a minimum price for licenses in the so-called H block of $1.56 billion, with some of the money funding the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a government board building a nationwide broadband network for public safety agencies.


The auction will help mobile providers address a predicted spectrum shortage, said Mignon Clyburn, the FCC's acting chairwoman. The auction "will help close the spectrum gap as well as contributing to the goal of making mobile broadband available to our nation's first responders," she said in a statement.


Congress, in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, required the FCC to license 65 megahertz of spectrum, including the 10 megahertz in the H block, by February 2015.


The FCC has considered auctioning the 1915-1920MHz and 1995-2000MHz spectrum in the past, but concerns about interference with a nearby PCS block kept the commission from moving forward. An FCC order adopted in June created technical rules to keep the H block from interfering with PCS signals.


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Protecting the open Internet may require defunding the ITU. Here’s how to do it. | Wash Post

Protecting the open Internet may require defunding the ITU. Here’s how to do it. | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the past week, two senior U.S. officials, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and
Republican Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) were quoted as saying the United States should pull funding from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at least as a last resort, if the U.N. telecommunications body persists in its attempts to regulate the Internet.


What's the ITU? Why do people want to defund it? And what would it take to do so?


Read on to find out.


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Better Business Bureau: Comcast should tweak triple-play ads | FierceCable.com

Better Business Bureau: Comcast should tweak triple-play ads | FierceCable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In response to a complaint from CenturyLink, the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division said Comcast should make a bigger effort to inform consumers that the $99 monthly triple-play package it markets only represents the introductory fee.


NAD, which is a self-regulatory organization for advertisers, also suggested that the nation's largest MSO should alter the wording of ads which suggest its high-speed Internet service is faster than CenturyLink's, according to a MediaPost report.


CenturyLink had complained about Comcast ads that say the Xfinity high-speed Internet service it markets in its triple play of video, voice and data service is up to four times faster than CenturyLink's broadband product. While Comcast offers a 25 Mbps service in its bundle, and CenturyLink sells a 10 Mbps service, CenturyLink noted that it also offers a standalone service offering speeds of up to 40 Mbps.


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Who Are the `Cord Nevers' That Don't Pay for TV? | Bloomberg Video

Who Are the `Cord Nevers' That Don't Pay for TV? | Bloomberg Video | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There's a new generation of tech-savvy, budget-conscious consumers who are taking advantage of the availability of high-speed Internet connections and the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, lower-cost TVs and other gadgets that make it easy to consume downloadable shows in a snap. Alex Sherman has more on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West."


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ConnectED and E-rate Reform: The Conversation Begins | Benton Foundation

ConnectED and E-rate Reform: The Conversation Begins | Benton Foundation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Back in July, the Federal Communications Commission sought public input on a review of the commission’s E-rate program which reduces the costs of telecommunications services for schools and libraries around the country. The FCC recognized that schools and libraries increasingly require high-capacity broadband (1) connections to take advantage of digital learning technologies that hold the promise of substantially improving educational experiences and expanding opportunity for students, teachers, parents and whole communities. As part of the review, the FCC proposed three goals for the program – and measures to achieve these goals:


  1. Ensuring schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st Century broadband that supports digital learning;
  2. Maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate funds; and
  3. Streamlining the administration of the E-rate program.


The FCC is responding to a growing chorus of calls to modernize the E-rate program and ensure high-capacity connections to schools and libraries nationwide. In June, President Barack Obama announced the ConnectED initiative aimed at connecting all schools to the digital age. (2) The ConnectED initiative seeks to connect schools and libraries serving 99 percent of our students to next-generation high-capacity broadband (with speeds of no less than 100 Mbps and a target speed of 1 Gbps) and to provide high-capacity wireless connectivity within those schools and libraries within five years. President Obama specifically called on the FCC to modernize and leverage the E-rate program to help meet those targets.


September 16 was the deadline for the first wave of public comments. Now stakeholders in this proceeding will review the public input and offer additional comments to help guide the FCC’s review. By October 16, the second wave of public comments must reach the FCC and then the agency will begin reviewing that input.


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