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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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If US Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Why Should You? | Truthdig

If US Corporations Don’t Pay Taxes, Why Should You? | Truthdig | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Go offshore young man and avoid paying taxes. Plunder at will in those foreign lands, and if you get in trouble, Uncle Sam will come rushing to your assistance, diplomatically, financially and militarily, even if you have managed to avoid paying for those government services. Just pretend you’re a multinational corporation.

 

That’s the honest instruction for business success provided by 60 of the largest U.S. corporations that, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, “parked a total of $166 billion offshore last year” shielding more than 40 percent of their profits from U.S. taxes. They all do it, including Microsoft, GE and pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories. Many, like GE, are so good at it that they have avoided taxes altogether in some recent years. 

 

But they all still expect Uncle Sam to come to their aid with military firepower in case the natives abroad get restless and nationalize their company’s assets. We still have a blockade against Cuba because Fidel Castro more than a half century ago dared seize an American-owned telephone company. During that same period, we have consistently intervened to maintain the lock of U.S. corporations on the world’s resources, continuing to the present task of making Iraq and Libya safe for our oil companies. 

 

America’s multinational corporations still need the Navy to protect shipping lanes and the Commerce Department to safeguard U.S. copyrights. They also expect the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department to intervene to provide bailouts and cheap money when the corporate financial swindlers get into trouble, like GE, which almost went aground when its GE Capital financial wing got caught in the great banking meltdown. 

 

They want a huge U.S. government to finance scientific breakthroughs, educate the future workforce, sustain the infrastructure and provide for law and order on the home front, but they just don’t feel they should have to pay for a system of governance, even though it primarily serves their corporate interests. The U.S. government exists primarily to make the world safe for multinational corporations, but those firms feel no obligation to pay for that protection in return.

 

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With Causes Charities's curator insight, September 10, 2014 4:33 PM

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Memorandum of Understanding EU-US on eHealth | EU Info Society News

This Memorandum of Understanding between the US Department of Health and the European Commission opens the door for cooperation surrounding health related ICT.

 

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OTT services beneficial to 'dumb pipe' ISPs | ZDNet

OTT services beneficial to 'dumb pipe' ISPs | ZDNet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Internet service providers (ISPs) typically flinch at the idea of commoditizing bandwidth for fears of becoming nothing more than "dumb pipes". But Hong Kong Broadband Network is glad to do just that, and wants many over-the-top (OTT) players to fill up their bandwidth to bring content and services to customers in order to drive user demand for faster speeds.

 

"We embrace OTT, we want them to fill our big fat dumb pipes," said Niq Lai, CFO and head of talent engagement at HKBN, during his keynote at the Management World Asia event here Tuesday.

 

The key is finding "LUCA", or legal unfair competitive advantage, for the company, Lai said, pointing to how offering fiber broadband at "the best value" for local residents can also bring "huge margins" for the company to be profitable.

 

The cheapest plan from HKBN is 100Mbps (megabits per second) fiber-to-the-home for HK$168 (US$21) per month.

 

HKBN does not take a commission or cut from the OTT players' revenue, meaning they "get a free ride on our network", Lai pointed out, adding the company proactively engages with OTT providers.

 

Rather, the benefit of embracing OTT players to fill up the fiber bandwidth is that subscribers become used to getting content such as movies or sports matches on ultra-fast Web speeds. This is the only reason why customers would sign up for fiber, because it is "like drinking water from the hose", he explained.

 

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FCC Approves T-Mobile, MetroPCS Deal | AllThingsD.com

FCC Approves T-Mobile, MetroPCS Deal | AllThingsD.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission today gave T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom its blessing to combine its U.S. wireless operations with MetroPCS.

 

In its decision (PDF), the FCC stated that the merger would serve the public interest and would not result in “competitive or other public interest harms.”

 

“With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a separate statement. “Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.”

 

Among the benefits outlined by the FCC were the facilitation of LTE deployment, development of a more robust, national network, and expansion of MetroPCS service into new markets.

 

The Department of Justice also gave the merger the green light earlier this month. The deal now hinges on approval from MetroPCS shareholders, which may prove to be the biggest hurdle yet. Two of the carrier’s shareholders, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management and Paulson & Co., plan to vote against the merger.

 

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China’s next-generation Internet is a world-beater | KurzweilAI

China’s next-generation Internet is a world-beater | KurzweilAI | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An open-access report published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society last week details China’s advances in creating a next-generation Internet that is on a national level and on a larger scale than anything in the West, New Scientist reports.

 

At the root of the problem are “two major gaps in the architecture of the Internet”, according to a report from the New England Complex Systems Institute, compiled in 2008 for the U.S. Navy and released to the public this week.

 

China is already coming up with better defences. One of the most important aspects of its next-generation backbone is a security feature known as Source Address Validation Architecture (SAVA). Many of the existing security problems stem from an inability to authenticate IP addresses of computers that try to connect to your network. SAVA fixes this by adding checkpoints across the network. These build up a database of trusted computers matched up with their IP addresses. Packets of data will be blocked if the computer and IP address don’t match.

 

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How Big Data Is Changing the Whole Equation for Business | Wall Street Journal

How Big Data Is Changing the Whole Equation for Business | Wall Street Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The experts call this state of affairs big data. The definition is squishy, but it usually boils down to this: Companies have access to vastly more information than they used to, it comes from many more different sources than before, and they can get it almost as soon as it's generated.

 

Big data often gets linked to companies that already deal in information, like Google, Facebook and Amazon. But businesses in a slew of industries are putting it front and center in more and more parts of their operations. They're gathering huge amounts of information, often meshing traditional measures like sales with things like comments on social-media sites and location information from mobile devices. And they're scrutinizing it to figure out how to improve their products, cut costs and keep customers coming back.

 

Shippers are using sensors on trucks to find ways to speed up deliveries. Manufacturers can trawl through thousands of forum posts to figure out if customers will like a new feature on their product. Hiring managers study how candidates answer questions to see if they'd be a good match.

 

Lots of obstacles remain. Some are technical, but business as usual also can stand in the way. In most companies, decisions are still based on HIPPO—the highest paid person's opinion—and persuading an executive that data trumps intuition can be a hard sell.

 

What follows are several ways that companies are tapping the power of data to transform their businesses.

 

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Netflix launches global ISP speed index website | GigaOM Tech News

Netflix launches global ISP speed index website | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix unveiled its Global Speed Index website Monday, aggregating performance results from its 33 million worldwide subscribers in one place, and allowing users to see which ISP offers the best Netflix performance in their country.

 

And guess which country is leading the charge, offering its citizens some of the fastest Netflix speeds? That’s right, the United States. However, U.S. broadband only came in first because of Google Fiber, whose very few actual customers saw an average Netflix speed of 3.35 Mbps in February. Second in is the U.K., where Virgin customers averaged 2.37 Mbps during the same month. At the bottom of the list is Mexico, where the fastest ISP averaged at 2.10 Mbps.

 

Of course, these speeds are far below what most ISPs advertise for their services, but the averages include lower-bitrate SD fare, network slowdowns due to poor Wifi performance and all kinds of other factors. Or, as Netflix puts it.

 

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What McLuhan might have said about the GA municipal broadband bill | Saporta Report

What McLuhan might have said about the GA municipal broadband bill | Saporta Report | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

“The medium is the message,” Marshall McLuhan wrote five decades ago. There could be no better proof of the lasting relevance of that observation than the way I watched the debate on Georgia’s municipal broadband bill last Thursday night.

 

I’ve spent countless hours watching legislative debates on the hall monitors at this capitol and others across the South, and countless more watching archived footage on my desktop. But when I picked up a hand-me-down, first-generation iPad to watch this debate at home, it had the force of a revelation. The clarity of the live-streamed images on that device was so much better than what I was accustomed to, that when Rep. Don Parsons of Marietta began calling out by name the legislators who’d spoken against the measure, you could see that his hands were trembling, ever so slightly.

 

“We become what we behold,” McLuhan, who accurately described the internet 30 years before it came to pass, also wrote. “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” The lesson of that live-streamed debate is that one more pixel’s worth of clarity, one more megabyte of speed, can make all the difference in our perception. In this age there’s no such thing as sharp enough, no such thing as fast enough. And at bottom, that’s what this debate was all about. (You can watch the entire debate here, on the video marked GA House Day 30 PM3, beginning at the 19-minute mark. The resolution won’t be as good, but you’ll hear the desperation in Parsons’ voice.)

 

The likely reason Parsons was nervous was that he already knew the bill he co-sponsored, which would have prohibited a local government from introducing broadband service into an area if even one customer in an entire census tract had service from a private provider of 3 megabytes a second or faster, was going down in flames. The measure failed, 90-71. Significantly, the vote didn’t break down evenly on either party or racial lines. Rep. Calvin Smyre of Columbus, the Democratic dean of the House, voted for it; Rep. Ed Setzler of Acworth, the Republican chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, voted against it. Most rank-and-file Democrats opposed it, but the most crucial portion of the opposition were the small-town Republicans, like Rep. Tom McCall of Elberton and Rep. Jay Powell of Camilla, who saw the bill as directly against the interests of their communities.

 

And for good reason. Like hypocrites singing loudly in church, supporters of this measure wrapped themselves in the raiment of private enterprise and free market philosophy, casting themselves as protecting broadband providers from unfair competition from municipalities wasting their taxpayers’ money. (See the remarkably belligerent speech by Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs, beginning at the one-hour 31-minute mark on the video archive.)

 

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Microsoft's next chapter: Putting Bing tech inside our homes and data centers | GigaOM Tech News

Microsoft's next chapter: Putting Bing tech inside our homes and data centers | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two terms kept popping up as I watched a slew of Microsoft executives show off the company’s future at its annual TechForum media gathering last week. One was “machine learning.” The other was “Bing.”

 

I would have been surprised had I not sat down with Microsoft Technical Fellow Dave Campbell the night before the event to talk big data. After all, I was in Redmond — home of Word, Excel and a, shall we say, misunderstood new operating system — not Silicon Valley, where “machine learning” now rolls off the tongue as easily and often as “startup” or “triathlon.”

 

However, a single rhetorical question from Campbell resonated pretty loudly and got me in the right frame of mind for what I was about to hear: Who else, he asked, has a top-tier web service business (complete with the hundreds of petabytes of data those services collect) as well as a top-tier enterprise software business?

 

He could have added to that list a consumer software business, 30 percent of the world’s long-distance calls, a mobile device business, one of the world’s most popular gaming platforms, a large-screen touch-display business, and a motion-sensing device that ties into — and can control — all of them. They all came into play at TechForum, as various company presidents, engineers and now-adviser-to-the-CEO Craig Mundie demonstrated a future where everything is connected and trying to learn what we like and what we’re doing.

 

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Don't auction off empty TV airwaves, SXSW activists tell FCC | Ars Technica

Don't auction off empty TV airwaves, SXSW activists tell FCC | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Activists at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, TX, built a free wireless network to help publicize the power of unlicensed "white spaces" technology. The project is part of a broader campaign to persuade the FCC not to auction off this spectrum for the exclusive use of wireless carriers.

 

Almost everyone agrees that until recently, the spectrum allocated for broadcasting television channels was used inefficiently. In less populous areas, many channels sat idle. And channels were surrounded by "guard bands" to prevent adjacent channels from interfering with each other. A coalition that includes technology companies such as Google and Microsoft and think tanks such as the New America Foundation has been lobbying the FCC to open this unused spectrum up to third parties.

 

The proposal initially faced fierce opposition from broadcasters, but they dropped their opposition after reaching a compromise with the FCC last year. As a result, the FCC recently opened up white space frequencies to unlicensed uses.

 

Now debate has shifted to a new question: whether to auction off some of these white space frequencies for the exclusive use of private wireless companies. Supporters of the auction approach argue that incumbent wireless providers could use the spectrum to improve their networks. And they point out that the auctions would generate much-needed cash for the federal treasury.

 

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Georgia's Internet Uprising | Free Press

Georgia's Internet Uprising | Free Press | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The movement to connect more people to high-speed Internet services scored a win in Georgia last Thursday. It’s a victory that should resonate in every U.S. community that is struggling to give people better Internet access.

 

A coalition of Georgia mayors, counties and local activists overcame an industry-backed bill that would have prohibited municipalities from building their own broadband networks. The bill, HB 282, was defeated in a decisive bipartisan vote. The 94-70 tally marked the end of a string of legislative victories for those who seek to limit Internet choice to a few powerful companies.

 

Municipal broadband networks have been gaining traction across the country. It’s easy to see why: In many rural and low-income communities, privately offered broadband services are nonexistent. In its 2012 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission counted nearly 20 million Americans (the vast majority living in rural areas) beyond the reach of broadband.

 

The rise of homegrown Internet infrastructure has prompted the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to introduce state-level legislation designed to limit services to a handful of corporate network providers. ALEC, which receives financial support from AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, has helped pass bills that hamper or outright ban municipal broadband networks in 19 states.

 

The legislators who sponsored the Georgia bill are major recipients of ALEC “scholarships.” Rep. Don Parsons is an active member of the ALEC Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force. He has received $5,735.48 during his first three years in that role.

 

Bill sponsor Rep. Mark Hamilton received $3,527.80 in ALEC scholarships in 2008 alone, according to the Center for Media and Democracy. In the last cycle, Hamilton was on the receiving end of thousands in campaign contributions from AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast and Verizon.

 

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Free Exchange: Net benefits | The Economist

Free Exchange: Net benefits | The Economist | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

WHEN her two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 1992, Judy Mollica spent hours in a nearby medical library in south Florida, combing through journals for information about her child’s condition. Upon seeing an unfamiliar term she would stop and hunt down its meaning elsewhere in the library. It was, she says, like “walking in the dark”. Her daughter recovered but in 2005 was diagnosed with a different form of cancer. This time, Ms Mollica was able to stay by her side. She could read articles online, instantly look up medical and scientific terms on Wikipedia, and then follow footnotes to new sources. She could converse with her daughter’s specialists like a fellow doctor. Wikipedia, she says, not only saved her time but gave her a greater sense of control. “You can’t put a price on that.”

 

Measuring the economic impact of all the ways the internet has changed people’s lives is devilishly difficult because so much of it has no price. It is easier to quantify the losses Wikipedia has inflicted on encyclopedia publishers than the benefits it has generated for users like Ms Mollica. This problem is an old one in economics. GDP measures monetary transactions, not welfare. Consider someone who would pay $50 for the latest Harry Potter novel but only has to pay $20. The $30 difference represents a non-monetary benefit called “consumer surplus”. The amount of internet activity that actually shows up in GDP—Google’s ad sales, for example—significantly understates its contribution to welfare by excluding the consumer surplus that accrues to Google’s users. The hard question to answer is by how much.

 

Shane Greenstein of Northwestern University and Ryan McDevitt of the University of Rochester calculated the consumer surplus generated by the spread of broadband access (which ought to include the surplus generated by internet services, since that is why consumers pay for broadband). They did so by constructing a demand curve.

 

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What is Connect 2 Compete? | Broadband Rhode Island

What is Connect 2 Compete? | Broadband Rhode Island | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Connect 2 Compete is a new, nationwide program committed  to improving the lives of low-income Americans by building awareness, promoting digital literacy training, and increasing access to technology. It will bring low cost computers, reduced Internet connections and digital literacy training to low income Americans. In addition, the Everyone On program, a program fueled by C2C, will direct the public to free digital literacy training through the locator guide. Broadband RI is working with our community partners and libraries throughout RI to increase the number of trainings through 2014.


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Public Well-Being Must Be 'Primary Measurement' Of US-EU Trade Agreement | Techdirt

Public Well-Being Must Be 'Primary Measurement' Of US-EU Trade Agreement | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that the US and EU have officially announced the start of talks on a new bilateral free trade agreement -- sorry, a "trade and investment partnership" -- groups in both regions are trying to work out what this will mean for them and their constituents. Arguably the most important constituency of all is the public, and yet it is also the one that until now has been systematically shut out of previous negotiations for things like ACTA or TPP. One representative of that huge group -- though not, obviously, the only one -- is the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), which describes itself as follows:

 

a forum of US and EU consumer organisations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy making.


With commendable speed, it has submitted an open letter on the proposed agreement, addressed to Ron Kirk and Karel de Gucht, who are leading their respective delegations (pdf). Early on, it states the TACD's basic position:

 

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Broadband 101 Fact Sheet | community broadband networks

Broadband 101 Fact Sheet | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We are pleased to announce our most recent Fact Sheet - Broadband 101! Most of the people following our work already know these key details but you also know people who are confused and perhaps intimidated by Internet issues.

 

Enter, the Broadband 101 Fact Sheet [pdf]!

 

We cover basic terminology, traditional technologies to deliver broadband, and common policy goals. We also explain why fiber optic connections are so popular lately and why neither we nor Wall Street expects robust competition in telecommunications.

 

This publication joins our previous fact sheets that explained how community owned networks have led to new jobs and tremendous savings for community anchor institutions.

 

Please share it with elected officials, local policymakers, friends, enemies, and those people you aren't sure you really know on Facebook. If you have some thoughts on what we missed or what should be included in Broadband 201, let us know in the comments below.

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What makes a good broadband network for schools? | eSchool News

A panel of broadband experts recently agreed that high-quality access for schools and districts means more than providing a connection to the internet—good broadband provides a foundation for innovative initiatives, cloud services, telecommunications, and much more.

 

Hosted by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the panel discussed the power of broadband access in schools and how it takes extensive planning, research, and legislative backing to ensure not just access, but high-quality access that can sustain growth.

 

“Our biggest concern was to have equitable access for all schools and districts,” said Tim Sizemore, program manager for the Kentucky Department of Education’s Kentucky Education Network (KEN). “It started in the early 90s and has developed over the years to a statewide and state-funded broadband initiative.”

 

According to Mike Leadingham, director of the state education department’s Office of Knowledge, Information, and Data Services, the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA)—which passed in 1990—established funding for broadband access and services for the state’s school districts.

 

“Allocation of bandwidth for districts is usually based on size,” said Leadingham, “but we make adjustments based on initial usage. Some districts are advanced in terms of using online services and some are not. We make sure all districts get what they need, but we don’t over-allocate.”

 

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IL: Five Questions: Nathan Stooke, CEO of wireless Internet firm Wisper ISP | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

IL: Five Questions: Nathan Stooke, CEO of wireless Internet firm Wisper ISP | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nathan Stooke's garage at his O'Fallon, Ill., home housed his small wireless Internet service provider business from its inception in 2003 until the business got too big to be called a mom-and-pop operation.

 

So in 2006, Stooke moved his Wisper ISP Inc. headquarters to a 10,000-square-foot converted sturdy old barn on Lebanon Avenue in Shiloh, where he reports business is still good.

 

From hiring help only as needed when he started the company to 17 employees now and plans to hire four more soon, Stooke has seen his firm's annual revenue grow to nearly $2.4 million from just $300,000 in its first full year of operation.

 

Not bad, he concedes, for someone who struggled throughout his school years with dyslexia, making it much more difficult for him to read and complete assignments than almost all of his classmates.

 

Stooke said he eventually turned that reading disability to his advantage, by having assignments read to him, even while he was working on other projects. "I have very good comprehension when I hear something explained," he says.

He also says he was focused and determined to do well, both in school and later in business.

 

His determination helped him become a member of the U.S. National Swim Team while he was in college at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He says overcoming his disability also gave him the courage to start his own companies after completing a master's degree at SIUC.

 

Wisper ISP now serves about 3,200 customers in an area stretching from Jerseyville to Carlyle Lake to Red Bud in Illinois and throughout the Missouri side of the St. Louis area as far west as O'Fallon.

 

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Caps on Data Use Dim Online Learning's Bright Future - Commentary | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Caps on Data Use Dim Online Learning's Bright Future - Commentary | The Chronicle of Higher Education | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Will the Internet remake education? Prestigious universities like Stanford and Georgetown now offer free classes to any student with an Internet connection and an attention span. Educators and policy makers believe these new online courses could make higher education more available and affordable for all.

 

The key word here: could. As people struggle to sort the good from the bad in the world of massive open online education, some are already asking, as The Chronicle did recently, "For Whom Is College Being Reinvented?"

 

But even that debate rests on a fundamental assumption that access to the courses themselves is not a barrier. Today, data caps—monthly limits that force Internet users to pay for a specific amount of data and bill them even more if they exceed the limit—are proliferating. They threaten to put the brakes on this potential online revolution.

 

Although much of the data-cap debate has focused on how these restrictions affect streaming-video services like Netflix, a recent study by the Open Technology Institute found that the caps also create barriers to using other data-intensive services, including online education. Sites like Coursera and Udacity, which offer free online lectures and interactive feedback, are growing in popularity, as are downloadable lectures on iTunes.

 

But consider trying to complete an online class using a mobile broadband connection with a data cap. Both Verizon and AT&T offer "low cost" plans that bundle unlimited voice and texting with a gigabyte of data consumption for $40 or $50 per month. However, if you tried to stream video lectures on that connection, you'd reach the data cap after about three hours and then face fees of $15 per gigabyte. If you tried to complete a course with 15 hours of video a month, your phone bill could arrive with as much as $70 in extra fees.

 

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A wish list for education technology | GigaOM Tech News

A wish list for education technology | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Given that I’ve been writing about technology in education for some time, I’ve come to think an awful lot about how kids these days can have it so good. Graphing calculators that actually make math beautiful? Digital notecards that can figure out my biggest knowledge gaps? Easy access to information, people and tools that cater to my interests — whether that’s music, programming or stop motion animation? Count me in.

 

This week in particular, at the SXSWedu ed tech conference in Austin, I happily geeked out in panels and conversations about data science, makerspaces, online learning and other movements angling to remake education. But, impressed as I was, I still found myself looking for more conversation and answers to questions about a few themes.

 

Much like the SXSW Interactive conference that’s just getting underway, SXSWedu is a choose-your-own adventure experience — there’s another option around every corner and you’re always wondering what you missed. It’s possible other participants got their fill on the following topics, but here’s a wish list of what I hope to hear more about in ed tech — in the year to come and in Austin in 2014.

 

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High-speed broadband expansion connects communities across Washington state | FierceTelecom.com

High-speed broadband expansion connects communities across Washington state | FierceTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Construction is now complete on Northwest Open Access Network's (NoaNet) nearly 1,000 mile expansion of broadband fiber, connecting nearly all unserved areas of Washington state that have struggled with limited access to high-speed Internet.


NoaNet received two federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants to bring high-speed Internet access to schools, hospitals, emergency response agencies, and libraries across Washington, and to lay the ground work for bringing affordable broadband service to thousands of businesses and households. An additional 600 miles of expansion is scheduled for completion this summer through the second grant.


"This broadband initiative created immediate jobs during construction and brings economic investment to rural areas for years to come that have been left behind by the digital revolution," said Greg Marney , Chief Executive Officer of NoaNet. "Washington is now nationally recognized as one of the most wired states in the country and we're proud to have contributed to this accomplishment."


Remote areas often have only the most rudimentary Internet capabilities needed to share critical information among firefighters, police, hospitals and first responders. Additionally, businesses are reluctant to relocate or expand in areas not served by broadband.


The new broadband service will expand public safety access to critical emergency and healthcare services to the hardest to reach locations in the state. The enhanced broadband system will also increase availability and viability for using broadband to transfer real-time data over networks, allowing hospital physicians to communicate with EMTs en route from injury sites.


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iDoctor: Could a smartphone be the future of medicine? | Video on NBCNews.com

iDoctor: Could a smartphone be the future of medicine? | Video on NBCNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
One of the world’s top physicians, Dr. Eric Topol, has a prescription that could improve your family’s health and make medical care cheaper. The cardiologist claims that the key is the smartphone. Topol has become the foremost expert in the exploding field of wireless medicine. Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

 

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dzenancelahmetovic's curator insight, March 17, 2013 12:59 AM

The introduction of these technologies, in my view, is vital in allowing doctors to provide their patients with a more accurate and more efficient health care service.  Having to wait days, and sometimes weeks, to obtain results to scans that may or may not resolve your health problem can be quite frustrating and counterproductive.

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China Calls for Global Hacking Rules | NYTimes.com

China Calls for Global Hacking Rules | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

China has issued a new call for international “rules and cooperation” on Internet espionage issues, while insisting that accusations of Chinese government involvement in recent hacking attacks were part of an international smear campaign.

 

The remarks, by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, were China’s highest-level response yet to intensifying reports that the Chinese military may be engaging in cyberespionage.

 

“Anyone who tries to fabricate or piece together a sensational story to serve a political motive will not be able to blacken the name of others nor whitewash themselves,” he said.

 

Speaking to the news media on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress on Saturday, Mr. Yang said that the reports were “built on shaky ground” and that cyberspace should not be turned into a battlefield.

 

Beijing has stepped up its response to the attacks in recent weeks, saying that China is often the victim of such attacks. Although security experts have found evidence that many of the most aggressive attacks can be traced back to Internet addresses inside China, the Chinese military recently said that attacks on its own computers were linked to Internet addresses in the United States.

 

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MN: Carolyn Parnell & Massoud Amin on Gov Tech's Top List of Doers, Dreamers and Drivers | Blandin on Broadband

Gov Tech recently announced their 2013 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers list. There are two Minnesotans on the list: Carolyn Parnell & Massoud Amin. Note: 2 Minnesotans out of 25 names seems pretty good. Speaks to local innovation!

 

Carolyn Parnell, the State CIO, is recognized for her consolidation of Minnesota IT functions and staff, based it seems on a policy of setting standards. According to Gov Tech…

 

Then, in June 2011, the Legislature passed a bill to consolidate all IT functionality in the state under Parnell’s office — a consolidation that she says is about one-fifth complete because it’s a massive, multiyear undertaking. “We started with a mandate to  pull under one roof all aspects of IT — people, projects, infrastructure, applications — which was scattered among 70-plus organizations,” she said. “This had not been done in the state before.”

 

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Google taps Target for same-day delivery test | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Google taps Target for same-day delivery test | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Target Corp. might not have its own same-day online delivery project, like rivals Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores. But it's still active in the get-it-now space, partnering with a same-day-delivery test by Google Inc.

 

TechCrunch reports that Google is testing a service that would compete with Amazon Prime, tapping eight stores in the Bay area to see how the project works. Target is reportedly one of the merchants involved, though there's no official word from either company.

 

The San Francisco area was also the market where Target last year partnered with eBay Inc. on a same-day delivery service that eBay was preparing.

Wal-Mart, meanwhile, began a same-day delivery test in the Twin Cities called "Walmart to Go."

 

Google is just the latest big company to explore the demand for same-day delivery, a development that is being closely watched by big retailers. If it works and catches on, same-day delivery could erode one of the big advantages of brick-and-mortar stores against online rivals.

 

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Broadband infrastructure a low priority at California Assembly hearing | Steve Blum's Blog

Broadband infrastructure a low priority at California Assembly hearing | Steve Blum's Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I might have headlined this post “bridging California’s digital divide is a high priority”. That was the stated topic at today’s Assembly utilities and commerce committee hearing in Sacramento. Assembly members, representatives from urban non-profit groups and state and local agencies spoke eloquently about the need to improve California’s current 73% broadband adoption rate in order to equalize opportunities for all.

 

However, the financing source under consideration is money set aside for infrastructure projects in the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). The committee chair, Steven Bradford, a Los Angeles area Democrat, is sponsoring assembly bill 1299 which would give urban public housing a place of honor in the CASF queue and allow money from the infrastructure fund to be spent on broadband adoption efforts.

 

Strictly speaking, promoting adoption – of broadband or any other service – means signing up more subscribers. In the context of broadband, though, the meaning has grown to include a wide range of educational, social service and marketing programs. Usually, it’s organizations like those testifying today that operate those programs. Ergo the interest in a new pot of money.

 

Those organizations, by the way, also included lobbyists from AT&T and the cable industry, and executives from Verizon (kudos to Verizon for sending people who actually run networks for a living). Promoting broadband adoption, in the traditional sense, is what they do.

 

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