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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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HomePlug Tech Passes 300 Products Certified | BWWGeeksWorld

HomePlug Tech Passes 300 Products Certified | BWWGeeksWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The HomePlug Alliance (www.homeplug.org), the worldwide industry group for powerline communications networking, today reports a surge of activity in HomePlug product certifications throughout 2012. HomePlug Certified products are designed to enable a home's electrical wires to distribute broadband Internet, HD video, digital music and smart energy applications.

 

HomePlug operates the most established and robust certification program for powerline networking, with more than 300 products certified. The HomePlug Certified logo has become an important industry validation of reliability, interoperability and ease-of-use for consumers, retailers and service providers alike.

 

Before a product can display the HomePlug Certified logo, it must pass rigorous interoperability testing with other Certified products included in the HomePlug AV test matrix. The certification test matrix includes products using seven different HomePlug AV chipsets from four vendors:

 

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Community Anchor Institutions and Localization | BTV Gig

Community Anchor Institutions and Localization | BTV Gig | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the goals of the National Broadband Plan is that every community in America has affordable access to gigabit-per-second broadband service at anchor institutions:

 

"Schools, libraries and health care facilities must all have the connectivity they need to achieve their purposes. This connectivity can unleash innovation that improves the way we learn, stay healthy and interact with government."

 

What, exactly, is an anchor institution? Community-Wealth.org has a good overview:

 

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Broadband Connected Communities | Rural Community Building

Broadband Connected Communities | Rural Community Building | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The United States now has 100 million more “connected devices” than it does citizens, and increasingly those who are not connected are being left behind.  

 

That is why we’ve been working with Connected Nation to help increase broadband adoption in rural America and encourage communities to get involved in their Connected Community Engagement Program.

 

This program leads a community through an assessment of broadband access, adoption, and use which ultimately results in a tailored technology action plan that is easy to follow.

 

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Cable Industry Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion | The Consumerist

Cable Industry Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion | The Consumerist | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A month after one study called shenaniganson the cable industry’s repeated assertion that data caps and usage-based pricing are intended to relieve congestion, the president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association has admitted as much.

 

NCTA president, and former FCC chair, Michael Powell recently told a Minority Media and Telecommunications Association audience that usage-based pricing isn’t about congestion, but “how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.”

 

He said that charging more to customers who use the Internet the most “is a completely rational and acceptable process to figure out how to fairly allocate those costs among your consumers who are choosing the service and will pay you to recover those costs.”

 

Time Warner Cable recently announced its intentions to make its Essentials broadband service, which provides a $5 discount to customers who agree to stay below 5GB/month in data usage, available nationwide. We’ve voiced our concerns about the program (which really only offers about $1/month in savings when you factor in that you currently must rent a modem from TWC) because a $5 discount for customers who can only use 1/50 of the broadband of regular customers doesn’t seem to add up.

 

“If usage caps were about ‘fairness,’ carriers would offer the nation’s grandmothers a $5-$15 a month tier that accurately reflected her twice weekly, several megabyte browsing of the Weather Channel website,” writes DSLreports.com’s Karl Bode. “Instead, what we most often see are low caps and high overages layered on top of already high existing flat rate pricing, raising rates for all users. Does raising rates on a product that already sees 90% profit margins sound like ‘fairness’ to you?”

 

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29% of Clearwire shareholders opposed to Sprint takeover | TeleGeography

Investors holding around 29% of the outstanding minority shares in Clearwire have indicated that they are unhappy with majority owner Sprint Nextel’s USD2.2 billion buyout offer for the wireless broadband specialist, Reuters reports.

 

As previously announced, on 17 December 2012 a special committee of the board consisting of ‘disinterested directors not appointed by Sprint’ unanimously approved Sprint’s approach to acquire the almost 50% stake in Clearwire that it does not already own, for USD2.97 per share.

 

However, negotiations have been complicated by a rival bid from satellite TV giant DISH Network – which seeks to acquire all of Clearwire’s common stock for USD3.30 per share – subject to minimum ownership of at least 25% and the granting of certain governance rights.

 

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FCC 1 Gbps 'Challenge' Just Another Hollow FCC Promise - Another Genachowski Goal Obtained Without Lifting a Finger | DSLReports.com

FCC 1 Gbps 'Challenge' Just Another Hollow FCC Promise - Another Genachowski Goal Obtained Without Lifting a Finger | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new FCC initiative promises to accelerate the delivery of 1 Gbps connections to all fifty states by 2015, though the plan upon closer inspection appears to be another hollow agency puppet show. FCC boss Julius Genachowski received ample press attention last week by proclaiming that the FCC was spearheading a new agency program that would bring 1 Gbps connections to all fifty states in just two years. Few stopped applauding long enough to notice the plan's hollow core.

 

In a press statement, the FCC announced their new "gigabit city challenge" would help foster development of ultra-high speed connections, spurring national innovation and driving business development nationwide. According to the FCC, only 42 communities in 14 states are served by ultra-high-speed fiber Internet providers.

Genachowski pitched his initiative in a guest editorial over at Forbes, in which the FCC boss "challenges" the industry to get moving:

 

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UK: Faster broadband benefits e-leaners | rsnOnline.com

UK: Faster broadband benefits e-leaners | rsnOnline.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

RECENT approval for the upgrade of the UK's rural broadband network has been welcomed by distance learning service providers.

 

The £530m rural broadband scheme will improve web services in the country's more remote areas, said the Distance Learning Centre.

 

Upgrades are being rolled out throughout the country as part of government plans to connect 90% of homes to superfast broadband, it said.

 

The news can only be good for Britain's economy as well as many people's quality of life, said Mike Verinder, managing director of the Distance Learning Centre.

 

"People in rural communities want to develop their skills, gain new qualifications and improve their employment and promotion prospects," he said

 

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CO: Open Range telecom equipment sold at auction | DenverPost.com

CO: Open Range telecom equipment sold at auction | DenverPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telecommunications equipment on towers in 160 U.S. cities in 12 states was sold Wednesday in an auction of Open Range Communications Inc.'s assets.

The former broadband Internet and phone provider, based in Greenwood Village, filed for bankruptcy protection in October, saying it had about $114 million in assets and $110 million in debts.

 

Open Range officials blamed the bankruptcy on inability to get needed broadcast spectrum, problems with network quality and vendors, and the "sporadic" flow of money from a $267 million federal loan.

 

The loan was approved by the Rural Utilities Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in early 2009. It was intended to help extend broadband access in rural areas.

 

Open Range owes a balance of $73.5 million.

A U.S. House committee has launched an investigation into how Open Range received the loan.


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The Future of Medical Records | The Atlantic

Electronic medical records are not working like they should -- or could -- according to a new analysis in Health Affairs that revisited previous predictions for the EMR revolution and found disappointing results, in terms of efficiency,saved costs, and patient care.

 

The practical concerns pointed out by the study include ease of use and ability to share information across systems. But another important metric -- the corollary to questions like Would You Want to See Everything Your Doctor Writes About You?" -- is, What would you, the patient, do with that information provided you were granted access?

 

The federal government took the Department of Veterans Affairs' current record system, which "looks and feels like a receipt," and challenged designers to reimagine the Continuity of Care Document, an EMR output used to describe a patient's health history.

 

Technology is "only a tool," as an expert who helped push for the adoption of EMRs under President Obama told The New York Times. "Like any tool, it can be used well or poorly." 

 

Here are some ways it could be done very, very well, as put forward by entrants:

 

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YouTube's Reign Threatened by a Spotified Revolution, and Other Reel Truths for Video in 2013 | All Things Digital

YouTube's Reign Threatened by a Spotified Revolution, and Other Reel Truths for Video in 2013 | All Things Digital | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

From the continued growth of online video to Socialcam and Viddy’s up and down spiral, 2012 was a crazy year for the world of digital video, and I expect it to take a turn for the insane in 2013.

 

In the past year, we’ve seen several niche social media networks blow up around images, music and ideas — Instagram, Spotify and Pinterest. But what happened in the digital video space? Many mobile video start-ups entered the scene this year, yet despite the increasing demand among consumers for Web video, none of these companies could crack the code on the most critical element of digital video: Discovery. But as content multiplies at an increasing rate, 2013 will finally be the year that the future becomes clear on the next advancement in video.

 

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The Arizona We Want | Arizona Republic

The Arizona We Want | Arizona Republic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Capturing a complete and accurate picture of Arizona is a difficult task for, in reality, we are a state of contrasts. We have vast, beautiful open spaces and yet we’re one of the most urban states in America. We have a significant number of senior citizens yet we also have one of the youngest populations in the nation.

 

So, too, are we a state of contrasts in our social and political endeavors. We have high educational aspirations, yet low investment and performance. We recognize the need for a diverse, balanced economy that will yield a larger number of high-paying jobs, yet population growth and housing remain our dominant economic identity. We will be one of the first states in the nation in which our “minority” population will be the majority, yet we are not adequately educating the younger members of our new majority for success in the economy of the future.

 

How do we turn our contrasts into strengths as we chart a clear and coherent way forward? In The Arizona We Want 2.0, a new report our Center is releasing this week, we are presenting a roadmap that will enable us as Arizonans to sort through the elements of the future we want for ourselves and the state in order to direct our collective activities in a more coherent manner.

 

Building on the insights gained from the Gallup Arizona Poll in 2009 and the vast array of meetings, discussions and activities that have occurred since the release of the original Arizona We Want report, the 2.0 report turns now to presenting specific next steps we can take to move us toward that desired future. The steps are organized around the eight goals expressed by Arizonans in the original report. Five of the goals — education, job creation, environment and water, infrastructure and health care — are leader-driven requiring the collective action of leaders around the state. Three of the goals — young talent, civic engagement and community involvement — are citizen-driven, requiring individual and collective action of citizens everywhere.

 

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TWC: Netflix Is Withholding Content to Gain 'Unprecedented' Access to ISPs | Multichannel.com

TWC: Netflix Is Withholding Content to Gain 'Unprecedented' Access to ISPs | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable said it is currently in discussions with Netflix on terms for connecting into the video streamer’s private content delivery network, but the MSO charged Netflix with unfairly holding back content in trying to get preferential treatment from Internet service providers.

 

Last week, Cablevision Systems announced a deal to participate in Netflix’s Open Connect private CDN. Under the agreement, Cablevision customers who are Netflix subscribers will have access to select “Super HD” and 3D content. Netflix saves money on third-party CDN transit fees by co-locating caching servers that store copies of the most-frequently accessed content at ISPs' data centers.

 

But Time Warner Cable complained that Netflix was improperly tying access to the enhanced video content to the CDN initiative.

 

“While they call it ‘Open Connect,’ Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs,” Time Warner Cable said in a statement to Multichannel News. “We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs. Time Warner Cable’s network is more than capable of delivering this content to Netflix subscribers today.”

 

Asked for a response, a Netflix spokesman said, "Open Connect provides Netflix data at no cost to the location the ISP desires and doesn't seek preferential treatment. We hope Time Warner [Cable] will join the many major ISPs around the world who are participating in Open Connect to reduce costs, minimize congestion and improve data delivery to enhance the consumer experience."

 

Netflix’s relationship with ISPs has been contentious at times.

 

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In The Fight Between Netflix And Cable Operators, High-Quality Streaming Video Is Being Held Hostage | TechCrunch

In The Fight Between Netflix And Cable Operators, High-Quality Streaming Video Is Being Held Hostage | TechCrunch | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week at CES, Netflix announced that a number of ISPs had adopted its Open Connect technology, which provides a more direct connection between it and a cable operator, lowering the cost of delivery and increasing the quality of its streaming video. And for those who do participate, Netflix has a bonus: Due to those efficiencies, it will be able to offer up Super HD and 3D video to their broadband subscribers.

 

But here’s the flip side: One cable provider is arguing that because Netflix isn’t offering it Super HD or 3D content, that it is essentially discriminating against ISPs based on whether they deploy Open Connect boxes. Time Warner Cable sent a statement to Multichannel News which reads:

 

“While they call it ‘Open Connect,’ Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs… We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs. Time Warner Cable’s network is more than capable of delivering this content to Netflix subscribers today.”

 

Forgetting the irony of a cable provider for preferential treatment of the services it provides over their network, here’s the real punchline to this story. If Netflix weren’t witholding Super HD content, Time Warner Cable would likely be crying foul over how the streams its subscribers generate were choking its network and slowing down data connections for everyone. It’s true — Time Warner Cable can deliver that content today, but in doing so, it would be creating incredible strain on network peering points, and it would drive up Netflix’s CDN costs.

 

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Utility "Digerati" face competitive edge | FierceSmartGrid

Utility "Digerati" face competitive edge | FierceSmartGrid | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The grid is going digital, and utilities must adapt.

 

The adoption of digital technology by utilities could transform the way they interact with and understand customers, and drive efficiencies across their organization internally, by using technology to better engage with customers at home, workers in the field and the overall organization.

 

Utilities pressed to reduce costs despite low margins and the realities of grid modernization, a more decentralized approach to energy generation, more environmentally conscious customers, and the explosion of social media just add to the pressure. Customers expect instant engagement and are looking for a more proactive role in managing their connectivity and energy use. Concurrently connected objects in smart energy infrastructures -- such as home energy automation, smart grid and smart city -- are overwhelming utilities with data that of which their business and operational models cannot yet take full advantage.

 

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Outdoor Cabinets for Utility and Smart Grid Electronics | Utility Products Magazine

Outdoor Cabinets for Utility and Smart Grid Electronics | Utility Products Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An energy management system consists of the metering systems (smart meters), smart grid equipment (power line sensors, remote switches, and other equipment to improve service reliability and power restoration), communication equipment connecting to smart meters and the intelligent grid, and back-office computer systems that enable these systems to communicate and work together.

 

Much of the fixed-point communications electronics-including backup batteries-installed alongside transmission and distribution lines and substations will require protection from the elements, thermal management to maintain the proper operating temperature ranges, and security to prevent malicious access and tampering. In many cases, the installation of a thermally managed outdoor cabinet will be more cost effective and practical than a new building or shelter.

 

This article introduces the features offered with thermally-managed outdoor cabinets, including the thermal management systems, power efficiency, acoustic management, security and intrusion prevention. These features have an impact on the total cost of ownership over the life of the deployment-typically many years-and understanding and leveraging them can result in significant operational expense reductions, as well as increased reliability and longevity.

 

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Comcast Internet Essentials Brings Access to Low-Income Homes | NYTimes.com

Comcast Internet Essentials Brings Access to Low-Income Homes | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At the cramped downtown office of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, a line of older residents waited to apply for a federal program that helps pay for heat and other utilities. On the walls, next to posters advertising Head Start and other public services, hung posters for something called Internet Essentials.

 

“Is the Internet on your back to school list?” read one leaflet being handed out along with information about the Women, Infants and Children program, a Health Department initiative that offers nutritional and breast-feeding support to low-income families.

 

Internet Essentials is not a government program, although that would be difficult to tell from the poster. Instead, it is a two-year-old program run by Comcast, the country’s largest Internet and cable provider, meant to bring affordable broadband to low-income homes.

 

Any family that qualifies for the National School Lunch Program is eligible for Internet service at home for $9.95 a month. The families also receive a voucher from Comcast to buy a computer for as little as $150.

 

The program is not charity: Comcast started Internet Essentials in order to satisfy a regulatory requirement to provide Internet access to the poor, which also happens to be one of the few remaining areas for growth for cable companies across the country. More than 100,000 households in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and other major markets have signed up for Internet Essentials.

 

But as the program gains popularity, the company has come under criticism, accused of overreaching in its interactions with local communities — handing out brochures with the company logo during parent-teacher nights at public schools, for instance, or enlisting teachers and pastors to spread the word to students and congregations.

 

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MN: Would you pay $1000 for inadequte broadband? | Blandin on Broadband

Aaron Brown is a writer, speaker and teacher in Northern Minnesota. He writes about life on the Range – for folks outside of Minnesota that’s the Iron Range, know for timber, tourism and Bob Dylan. In some areas, they are now promoting timber, tourism and technology (oh and Bob Dylan) but Aaron’s recent blog post explains why that’s not possible throughout the region.

 

Aaron is a long time advocate for better broadband in the area. He is speaking from the front lines – both he and his wife make at least part of their living online. Aaron is blunt about the need to get better broadband soon to attract and retain families and younger people to the area if there is to be a future of the area. His post is worth reading – I wanted to whet your appetite with just a few key points…

 

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A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid's Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

A Cheap, Rugged Tablet Is Your Kid's Next Fixation | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Forget phablets. Touchscreen Android devices designed expressly for kids with bright colors, durable cases and rubberized surfaces are making a big splash in the tablet space.

 

Tablets certainly are a hot-ticket item. Apple was projected to sell 62 million iPads in 2012, and Android tablet sales were up 177 percent this holiday season. But while some parents are only too happy to share their $500-plus tablets with the kids (or even buy the kiddos iPads of their own), some are opting instead to get a tablet designed specifically for their wee ones’ tiny fingers and eager minds.

 

According to an August Forrester survey of 4,750 adults, 20 percent of tablet-owning parents with kids 6 and under say they let them use their tablet. That number rises to 29 percent among parents with kids older than six. And the gadgets ranked highly on kids’ gotta-have list this holiday season. The iPad took the top spot on kids’ Christmas wish lists in a Nielsen survey of 3,000 U.S. residents aged 6 and over, beating 16 other popular gaming and computing devices. The 13 and up set also favored the iPad over other brand tablets and computers.

 

Kids love tablets, but use them a little differently than we do.

 

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EU: Tax man trying to figure out a way to outsmart Google | Ars Technica

EU: Tax man trying to figure out a way to outsmart Google | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If a new French government proposal (Google Translate) is implemented, tech companies earning money in France would pay new taxes based on how much personal data is collected from their users.

 

For months now, lawmakers around the world have lambasted financial shenanigans in use by Google, Amazon, Apple, and many other tech companies that employ legal techniques to shift income and drastically minimize their tax burden.

 

British and French officials have gone after Google in particular. Margaret Hodge, the United Kingdom’s public accounts committee chair, slammed Google’s northern European operations chief last year, saying, "We're not accusing you of being illegal, we are accusing you of being immoral.”

 

France has floated a proposal that would impose a new tax on the collection of personal data as a way to counter tech companies’ tendency to legally move money around Europe—between Ireland, Bermuda and the Netherlands. Google, for example, despite an estimated $2 billion in ad revenue in France, pays almost no taxes in the country.

 

Last Friday, a 198-page government report to the French Ministry of the Economy outlined a proposal that, if approved by the French government, would impose a tax on tech companies based on how many users a site like Facebook or Google has, and how much personal information those companies hold.

 

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IL: Evanston to Have State's Fastest Internet | NBC Chicago

IL: Evanston to Have State's Fastest Internet | NBC Chicago | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Anyone looking for the fastest Internet connection in Illinois should head to Evanston.

 

The city and Northwestern University have been awarded $1 million to turn the area into an Illinois Gigabit Community.

 

It will provide an ultra high-speed connection that's 100 times faster than what people normally can access. The goal is to keep students from going to Silicon Valley after they graduate.

 

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Lessons From The Derecho 9-1-1 Failure: When Industry Self-Regulation Is Not Enough. | Wetmachine

Lessons From The Derecho 9-1-1 Failure: When Industry Self-Regulation Is Not Enough. | Wetmachine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC released a fairly thorough report on the widespread 9-1-1 failure that followed the June 2012 “derecho” windstorm. For those who don’t remember, the derecho differs from most weather events by coming up almost without warning. According to the report, carriers had approximately two hours of warning from the time the derecho started in the Ohio Valley to when it hit the D.C. Metro region.

 

As a consequence of the damage done by the derecho, Northern Virginia experienced a massive failure of its 9-1-1 network, leaving over 1 million people with working phones (at least in some places) but no access to 9-1-1.  West Virginia experienced systemic problems as well, as a did a scattering of locations in other states impacted by the derecho. Verizon maintains the network in Northern Virginia, while West Virginia is managed by Frontier.

 

In both cases, the report concluded that both Verizon and Frontier failed to follow industry best practices or their own internal procedures. To be clear, this was not a massive dereliction of duty. But the accumulation of some corner cutting over here, some poor practice over there, meant that when the unpredicted crisis hit the system suffered critical failures precisely when most needed. Unlike just about every other part of the network, where providers balance the cost of hardening a network against potential events with a number of other factors, the core 9-1-1 system is explicitly supposed to remain operational in even the most extraordinary circumstances.  It is the foundation of public access to emergency services. As long as I can contact the phone network, I should be able to get 9-1-1 service. Public safety responders rely on the public reporting emergencies so that they can efficiently deploy resources as much as the public depends on its ability to contact emergency services through 9-1-1.

 

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Online News Viewing Cuts into Cable Viewership | eMarketer

Online News Viewing Cuts into Cable Viewership | eMarketer | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable news shows may be seeing a dip in viewership among digital-savvy US consumers. According to a January survey by AYTM Market Research, 37% of internet users surveyed said they watched less cable TV news than they did five years earlier. The survey points to both online news sites and online video clips as drawing more attention from news seekers.

 

Online news reading has become a commonplace activity among US consumers, with the frequency of online news reading having passed that of cable TV news watching, according to the survey. While 39% of respondents said they read online news every day, only 25% said they watched cable TV news every day. Moreover, a mere 4% said they never read news online, compared with nearly 20% who said they never watched cable TV news.

 

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VT: UVM professor wins grant to study smart grids | Boston Globe

VT: UVM professor wins grant to study smart grids | Boston Globe | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A University of Vermont professor has won a $400,000 National Science Foundation Career Award for his research proposal on ‘‘smart’’ electrical grids.

 

Dr. Paul Hines, a professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematics Sciences, has proposed research on ‘‘harnessing smart grid data to enable resilient and efficient electricity.’’

 

He says the research would study ways to use smart grid data to find patterns of vulnerability in power systems, and would use the results to reduce the risk of cascading power blackouts.

 

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The Need for a Balanced U.S. Spectrum Policy between Licensed and Unlicensed Uses | Revolution Wi-Fi

The Need for a Balanced U.S. Spectrum Policy between Licensed and Unlicensed Uses | Revolution Wi-Fi | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The future of US competition in mobile broadband innovation hangs in the balance with upcoming rulemakings on spectrum auctions that were authorized as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to help fund tax cuts, as well a proposal to open a portion of federal spectrum for broader use through spectrum-sharing arrangements.

The spectrum policy debate is between the balanced allocation of licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum. The economic value of unlicensed spectrum already results in between $16-37 billion in annual economic value. And according the FCC, it also increases the value of wired broadband services by $25 billion per year and reduces the cost of delivering wireless broadband service by $25 billion per year through Wi-Fi offload mechanisms by carriers. Unlicensed spectrum is also helping spur innovation in other markets. For example, Wi-Fi plays a critical role in fostering the mobile apps economy, currently a $10 billion market that is projected to be a $46 billion market by 2016. Unlicensed spectrum is also the key enabler for machine-to-machine (M2M) networks that could prove to be a $1.4 trillion market by 2020. Add all of this up, and couple it with the huge growth in the Wi-Fi market and the impending congestion in the 5 GHz unlicensed frequency bands with the adoption of 802.11ac that utilizes 80 MHz and 160 MHz wide channels, and a compelling case for more unlicensed spectrum can be made.

Three proposals exist to increase unlicensed spectrum in the U.S.:

 

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Netflix CDN v. The Cable Guys or "Comcast v. Level 3 Part Deux -- Peering Payback!" | Public Knowledge

Netflix CDN v. The Cable Guys or "Comcast v. Level 3 Part Deux -- Peering Payback!" | Public Knowledge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Few things make me experience the bitter joy of Cassandrafreude more than watching someone flip the other guy’s argument. So it is with Netflix and Time Warner Cable, and their current beef over Netflix making its new uber-HD content available to ISPs for free, but only through Netflix’s content delivery network (CDN).  TWC accuses Netflix of demanding "unprecedented" access and privileges for its own (i.e., Netflix's, not TWC's) content. (Although ESPN360 actually went so far as to charge ISPs on a per subscriber basis some years back, which strikes me as a little more extreme than just saying "use my CDN," but lets not quibble on this point.)

 

This of course begs the question: how can Netflix be asking for privileges if they are making this available for free, and if it actually improves speed and avoids network congestion (you can see a Netflix power-point about the technology here)? Come to think of it, this has been available for free since May, but none of the major vertically-integrated MVPD/broadband access providers had any interest in it? (Although a number of stand alone players like Google Fiber signed up right away). Why did Netflix have to artificially create an incentive to get TWC (and the other major MVPD/access providers) to even come to the table to discuss connecting to their CDN? Could it be because you are actually making Netflix pay through the nose to deliver its content to you via traditional CDNs, so that “free” actually means “no longer able to collect CDN fees from our chief video rival?” Does it have anything to do with the fact that the CDN allows Netflix to determine – and publish – whether an MVPD/broadband access provider is diddling with its content delivery?

 

I know, I have a suspicious nature. I am sure there is some other perfectly logical explanation why you are resistant to getting a free CDN connection that improves your subscriber’s experience. But really, TWC and other MVPD/broadband access providers, after that little contretemps between Comcast and Level 3 (boring econ paper here), I expect you will forgive me for my suspicions. Remember that?

 

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